Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series
event: Fast by Gast Spring Nationals
when: April 28-29, 2012
where: Maryland International Raceway in Budd’s Creek, MD, USA
story and photos by Tim Hailey
Showers that cancelled Saturday night’s program failed to dampen the high-horsepower action when the Mickey Thompson MIRock Superbike Series opened the Maryland International Raceway portion of its season with the Fast By Gast Spring Nationals this past weekend, April 28-29. MIR’s super sticky track surface delivered the world’s first 6-second streetbike last October, and two bikes joined the exclusive 6 Second Club this time around.
Rodney Williford’s Purple Nitrous Eater
Two-time defending Orient Express Pro Street champion Rodney Williford rang the magic number up in round 2 of qualifying on Saturday with a deep 6.95, then matched it in round 3. “I actually spun on that second pass,” reported Williford, who was tuning his turbo Suzuki Hayabusa with a 6.80 in mind.
Jeremy Teasley had some wild rides on the way to #2 qualifier on “No Joke”
Jeremy Teasley won the MIRock opener last month at North Carolina’s Rockingham Dragway on Ken Edward’s “No Joke” turbo ‘Busa, then won the Manufacturers Cup race in Valdosta, Georgia and rolled into MIR with full head of steam. But the No Joke team blew a motor in Friday practice, yet qualified number 2 with a 7.03 despite never laying down a good looking pass. Pro Street rookie Joey Gladstone was third on the DME Racing ‘Busa, and Ryan Schnitz fourth on the HTP Performance nitrous ‘Busa.
Bud Yoder and Ronnie Mitchell had a costly raceday
Schnitz had to roll out of the throttle in round 1 and lost to upstart Shannon Maylee, who then lost to Gladstone in round 2. Williford lowered his record further to 6.941 on a round 1 broke bye, then beat Danny Cox in round 2. Teasley raced past Neal Riddle in round 1, then wheelied wildly and lost to Bud Yoder in 2. The round win was a costly one for Yoder and builder/tuner Ronnie Mitchell, as they scattered their second motor of the day.
Joey Gladstone focusses on a 6
So Yoder no-showed for his semifinal match-up with Gladstone, who nailed a 6.994 at a record 211.23 mph. Williford had an earned bye in the other semi and boiled his tire badly at launch. Trying something out or sign of a malfunctioning clutch? Apparently the second choice, as the final was a carbon copy of the semi for Williford and Gladstone streaked down the track for the first Pro Street win for him, DME, and DME’s Dimey Eddinger—who stepped out of the saddle this year to make room for jockey-sized Gladstone.
Ryan Schnitz and the new HTP Performance EFI/nitrous/Hayabusa Pro Mod
Maybe losing round 1 allowed Schnitz and HTP Performance builder/tuner Cecil Towner to focus on their brand new EFI/nitrous/Hayabusa Mickey Thompson Pro Mod combination, which they hope will subdue the class’ long-dominant, ancient, Suzuki GS motor. Qualifying looked like it might be a month’s long searched for competiveness with the full-fairing HTP Hayabusa, but the team ripped off a 4.28 in eliminations round 1 of the eighth mile class to trailer long time Pro Modder Robbie Hunnicutt.
Two-time Pro Mod champ Ronnie Procopio broke in his round 1 win over tire-boiling Jamie Emery, giving round 2 opponent Schnitz a bye to the final. Surprise number 1 qualifier Mac McAdams also had a broke bye to the semi. Earlier, McAdams was frustrated with a 4.22 best in Friday testing, then popped off a 4.12 without warning in Saturday qualifying.
Who would have guessed that Mac McAdams would dominate Pro Mod?
On Sunday afternoon, McAdams seemed to have a performance advantage of over a tenth for the final, but an event that was supposed to serve as a test session for HTP suddenly turned into a chance for a win. Their new bike and its performance were an unknown quantity for opponent McAdams, who none-the-less laid back on the tree. Schnitz did improve by over 4/100ths in the final, but McAdams’ pass held true to form and his 4.16 was good enough for his first Pro Mod win.
Jeremy Teasley goes skyward while David Merks aims for the finishline
DME Real Street is often thought of as Jeremy Teasley’s personal playground, as he’s won multiple Real Street championships in multiple sanctions on nitrous-huffing Kawasaki ZX14s built by owner/tuner Roger Starrette and the Adams Performance/RS Motorsports team. But Exoticycles’ Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin came to MIR with five wins in his last five appearances, including the Rockingham opener and the Manufacturers Cup.
Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin (near lane) is set to drive around Rickey Gadson in the semi
Dobrin qualified number 1 at MIR, but found himself surrounded in the semis by all three RS Motorsports ZX14s, ridden by Teasley, Valdosta runner-up David Merks, and Kawasaki superstar Rickey Gadson. Teasley wheelied badly and lost to Merks, while Dobrin vanquished Gadson, setting up a Valdosta final rematch. Merks took the tree and was 100% on the bottle early, but Dobrin’s turbo power was too much and he drove around for another win.
Derek “High Dollar” Christensen and Mac McAdams in the Fast By Gast Pro ET final
Fighting the pro classes for attention on Sunday was the Fast By Gast Pro ET double payday brought on by Saturday night’s rainout. After beating MIR homeboy Chris Clontz in the Trac King/APE Top Sportsman final, Rickey Butler Jr. took aim at a big money double in Pro ET. Likewise, Mac McAdams hurried quickly out of the Pro Mod winners circle to get back on track with his bracket bike. Butler didn’t last long, but McAdams carried it all the way to the final before redlighting by .004 against Derek “High Dollar” Christensen and his no-bar Hayabusa.
Jeremy Teasley’s younger bother Cameron was going rounds in House of Speed Crazy 8s, and advanced to the final to face MIR legend Shayne Proctor. “Oh no,” said Cameron’s father James “Crow” Teasley. “If Cameron wins this we won’t be able to drive home with him in the car. We’ll have to put him in the trunk so we don’t have to listen to him.”
MIR homeboy Shayne Proctor won Crazy 8s
Crow needn’t have worried this time around, as Kawasaki die-hard Proctor nailed a .010 light on young Teasley in the double breakout race. Both these riders have a deep family posse at the track, but none is deeper than MIR homeboy Proctor’s. There are more Proctors at the track than you can imagine, and his cheering section erupted when the winlight came on in the left lane.
17 year-old Ashley DeTurck won FBR Shop 5.60
A young rider who was able to seal the deal is 17 year-old second generation racer Ashley DeTurck. In the FBR Shop 5.60 Index final, DeTurck went up against one of the toughest veteran racers of all time in “Fearsome” Andy Baumbach. But Virginia plumber Baumbach felt something funny in the clutch/tranny during his burnout, and when he put his black Kawasaki on the 2-step the bike launched straight away, well before the tree was activated. “I didn’t know what to think,” said DeTurck, who none-the-less did the right thing by waiting on her greenlight, making her lap, and taking her first MIRock win.
Mike Schulz has won every Brock’s Performance Street ET race so far this year
The last class to finish, sometime around midnight, was Brock’s Performance Street ET, where Mike Schulz now remains undefeated on the year after taking both races at The Rock in March. And to prove that point about the Proctor family, Schulz beat Anthony Proctor in the final.
Eddie Cane won’t show you his books, but he will show his oil pan
Saturday night’s Afterdark Underground rainout sure didn’t keep many big races from going off, as Possum, Big Dre, CJ400, Lil’ Charlie, Caleb Holt, Jeremy Teasley and more all saw serious action in the light of day. And the sun shined brightly on MIR’s famous bikini contest, where the Mid-Atlantic seaboard’s hottest models kicked it out for the crowd.
The Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series races again at MIR for the Fast By Gast Summer Showdown, June 2-3, 2012.
Caleb and Teasley trading punches at MIR
Jeremy Teasley (near lane) leaves on Caleb Holt in an afternoon snack. Caleb drove around to eat all 20 chips
Rain ended the night at Maryland International Raceway, and it’s a damn shame because Grudge fever was spreading quicker than Monkey Pox on a Delta regional jet.
Lil’ Charlie launches Cobra Commander first afer staging with the back tire but spins and loses
Caleb and JT set for the big “Hunny” race that didn’t happen Saturday because of rain…Sunday maybe?
And oh yeah, there was qualifying for some legit races too:
Williford Nails a 6 at MIR
MIRock Superstars Trailering to MIR
Ryan Schnitz on the HTP Performance Suzuki Hayabusa
The Mickey Thompson MIRock Superbike Series is off to the most thrilling start in its history. New Orient Express Pro Street rules have the whole field bearing down on Ryan Schnitz’s HTP Performance Suzuki Hayabusa—the world’s first 6-second streetbike. Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin is hellbent on upending Jeremy Teasley’s DME Real Street dynasty, and HTP Performance’s Cecil Towner is equally bent on destroying once and for all the ancient Suzuki GS motor’s grip on Mickey Thompson Pro Mod with his full-fairing Hayabusa. All these dramas and more will play out in what should be the Maryland International Raceway opener’s biggest field ever on a stage of high-horsepower weather this weekend (April 28-29, 2012) at the Fast By Gast Spring Nationals.
Jeremy Teasley on Ken Edward’s “No Joke” turbo ‘Busa
Although Teasley’s Real Street season hasn’t gone as planned, he’s finding his way to the Pro Street winners circle on Ken Edward’s “No Joke” turbo ‘Busa. After taking the MIRock opener last month at North Carolina’s Rockingham Dragway, Teasley and Edwards then won the Manufacturers Cup race in Valdosta, Georgia. But HTP will have Schnitz’s ‘Busa stuffed full of nitrous for MIR’s super sticky track—the same one that Schnitz busted that 6 second milestone on last October.
Danny Cox and the Hampton Roads Harley-Davidson sponsored, HTP-built nitrous ‘Busa
Schnitz won’t be the only challenger for Teasley, let alone the only challenger from HTP. Danny Cox moved into the class late last year, but already took number 1 qualifier at the Rockingham opener. Just this Wednesday, Cox ran a personal best of 7.15 at 200 mph. Schnitz ran 7.08/207 at the same test, and you can bet (and probably will) that defending class champion Rodney Williford, Caleb Holt, Joey Gladstone, Carl “Junebug” Lucas, Eric Hart and others have been doing more than shining their windscreens since the Rockingham event.
Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin out ahead of Ashon “Capo” Dickerson
Like Teasley has done in Pro Street, so has Dobrin in Real Street, Jeremy’s former playground. Dobrin followed up his Rockingham win with one at the Manufacturers Cup aboard his turbo ‘Busa. Teasley arrived at The Rock with a 2 day old, nitrous-huffing Kawasaki ZX14 built by owner/tuner Roger Starrette. The pair were still working the bugs out in Valdosta, but Starrette is driven to win and surely hasn’t rested since. Gladstone, Rickey Gadson, Mark Billiter, David Merks, Ashon “Capo” Dickerson, Super Dave Stewart, Cameron Teasley, and Rickey “Hollywood” Grayson will also be aiming for the win, though Richard Gadson is iffy. Rickey’s nephew crashed at Atco Raceway this past week and is nursing injuries with hopes of making the MIR event.
Ronnie Procopio started his Pro Mod title defense with a win at Rockingham
Pro Mod is the domain of two-time champion Ronnie Procopio, but he’ll face a new challenge this weekend from HTP Performance’s brand new EFI/nitrous/Hayabusa combination with Schnitz at the throttle. Sporting full Pro Stock bodywork on a Keith Browne-built chassis, the much anticipated bike hit the track for the first time this past Wednesday in a test session at Virginia Motorsports Park. Expect Robbie Hunnicutt, Mark Paquette, Jamie Emery and others to challenge with a mix of nitro, turbos and nitrous in the hair raising eighth mile class.
HTP wasn’t just testing their “legit” bikes at VMP this week, they also brought out their brand new “Ghost Rider” grudge racing ‘Busa. See this new long wheelbase monster make laps and take races with the likes of “Cobra Commander,” “Sub Zero” and other heros of the grudge racing game at Saturday night’s Afterdark Underground.
But Afterdark Underground won’t roll until huge fields of Trac King/APE Top Sportsman, House of Speed Crazy 8s, FBR Shop 5.60, Fast By Gast Pro ET and Brock’s Performance Street ET have completed their duels. And Sunday’s famous bikini contest will showcase the Mid-Atlantic seaboard’s hottest models showing their wares for crowd approval and the top prize.
Friday’s open test session from 9-5 proceeds a full weekend of racing from the world’s biggest motorcycle drag racing series. See you at MIR!