story and photos by Tim Hailey
When the Mickey Thompson MIRock Superbike Series added Orient Express Pro Street’s biggest payout ever—the $10,000 to win Battle Royale—to October 4-6’s Fast by Gast Fall Nationals, NO ONE predicted two Pro Street neophytes would reach the final and battle for the big check. But when the world’s quickest, fastest streetbikes took to Maryland International Raceway’s meticulously prepped quarter mile, that’s exactly what happened.
It was a very tough weekend for Pro Street veterans. Going into the last session, Frankie Stotz and his 6 second, turbocharged Honda CBR1000RR had yet to make it respectably down the track and were unqualified. Stotz squeaked in with a 7.17 in the final session—good enough only for 14th in the quickest streetbike field ever.
All-time streetbike champion of the world Mikey Slowe came out of his retirement slumber for this event, riding Maltese racer Simon Giordmaina’s Rodney Williford-prepped turbo Suzuki Hayabusa. But Slowe—struggling to get a clean pass on the unfamiliar bike—was bumped all the way down to 19th and the B class in the chaotic final session.
Three-peat champ Williford fared little better than Slowe, making the A field on the No-Joke ‘Busa but losing in the first round of eliminations to Bud Yoder, who was on Mark Paquette’s bike.
Joey Gladstone qualified number 1 on the DME ‘Busa with a 6.986 at a whopping 215 mph, .001 quicker than Jeremy Teasley on Ronnie Mitchell’s pink “Rizzo.” Tony Ficher and his ragingly loud supercharged ‘Busa was third with a 6.997 and Aruba’s Terence Angela fourth with a 7.001. Chris Moore’s 7.202 on Williford’s “Purple Nitrous Bike Eater” placed him 16th and last.
Tony Ficher’s 6.95 took out Jeremy Teasley on “Rizzo” in the semis. MORE PST PHOTOS
The semis boiled down to the top four qualifiers, with Ficher’s 6.95 beating Teasley and Angela taking out teammate Gladstone 7.002 to 7.017. So after all was said and done, the final of the biggest Pro Street race ever would be settled between two riders who’d only very recently entered the class and neither whom had ever won.
Jason Miller flashes the cash before the Battle Royale final. MORE PST PHOTOS
It was a pretty sizable performance advantage that Ficher seemed to be bringing to the final, making it that more surprising when Angela posted his own 6.95 to take the win over Ficher’s 6.98—the first ever side-by-side 6 second Pro Street race. “It’s amazing!” said Angela. “To go the final, run my first 6, get my first win, and all the cash—I don’t know what to say. It’s just amazing.”
The start of Terence Angela’s big payday. MORE PRO STREET PHOTOS
“Terence stayed in the 7.0s from testing all the way through the 6.90s on raceday,” said DME team boss Dimey Eddinger. “He kept his head straight and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
“We arrived at Maryland International Raceway Thursday night,” said Kent Stotz, father of Pro Street racer Frankie. “We made one test pass shutting off at half track to run 4.57. This was .02 quicker than our 6.96 record run at Indy (NHDRO race). We have never been more confident on the bike running its best numbers than at this race. On our first qualifier the bike shot out to an amazing 1.15 to the sixty foot timer clocks (.02 quicker than anyone ever before) but then came the power wheelies. We had adjusted for the cool air but not quite enough, preventing us from showing how fast this cbr1000rr really is.
“Somewhere along that run unbeknown to us, our suspension was damaged. We spun the tire every run after that and only qualified 14th due to the chassis unloading itself. The next morning we put notes together from when the Captain America bike had similar traction problems. We changed out the rear shock and softened some settings. We had Tony Ficher with the supercharged ‘Busa first round. Frankie cut a light on him and the bike stayed planted all the way to a soft 7.05 at 200. It wasn’t enough to cover Tonys 6:99 at 207. No one ran in the 4.50’s to the 1/8th mile all weekend except us on 4 straight passes leading up to the Battle Royale event. We worked very hard and believed (and still do) that we have the quickest Pro Street bike in the country—on the planet!.”
Rendolf Torbed of Curacao. MORE PRO STREET PHOTOS
Another islands racer, Rendolf Torbed of Curacao, won Pro Street C and Wisconsin’s Ryan Hable won Pro Street B.
Ryan Hable MORE PRO STREET PHOTOS
Billy Vose on the Mike Thyen owned MPS Pro Mod ‘Busa
Largely overlooked because of the Pro Street excitement was one of the greatest Mickey Thompson Pro Mod eighth mile races of all time. The sharp end of the field was very sharp, with Casey Stemper’s 4.032 squeaking out number 1 ahead of Maryland native Ronnie Procopio’s 4.034. Multi-time champ Billy Vose qualified third with a 4.08, the first 4.0 by the Mike Thyen owned MPS ‘Busa—or any ‘Busa, for that matter.
“We rolled into Maryland International Raceway on a mission to run 4.0s,” said Dan Rudd of MPS. “We started with the tune-up from last race as our baseline for the first round of qualifying Friday night and ran a 4.13 at 174.73. The bike was way too aggressive and we smoked the tire like a Top Fueler; running a terrible 60 foot of 1.08. The bright side was this was our career best speed and we can calm down the initial launch to get our normal 1.01 or 1.02 60 foot times. We did a planned engine swap for Q2 and ran a clutch slipping 4.19.
“The HTP Performance gang had run a 4.095 last year to take the ‘World’s Quickest Hayabusa’ title from us. The next round we ran a 4.096, our first 4.0, but a thousandth of a second short! On the final qualifier we ran a 4.088 to finally become the ‘World’s Quickest Hayabusa’ again! A leak down test revealed an issue with the new engine and the original engine was installed in the frame rails for eliminations. First round we defeated a red-lighting Jeremy Teasley with a 4.11. Second round we met the familiar red FBG entry of Paul Gast. Paul had been no quicker than 4.12 all weekend, but ran a stellar 4.06 to beating Billy to the finishline by a scant 6 thousandths of a second ending our day early.
“The MPS team would like to give a special thanks to Chachi from BNL for the great food and transportation to the starting line and Cliff Johnson for the extra hands all weekend!”
Ronnie Procopio on Terry Schweigert’s new monster DTM bike
Veteran Paul Gast joined the 4.0 club on raceday with a 4.05 win over Vose. But Gast couldn’t hang with Stemper’s 4.039 in their semifinal pairing, and Stemper’s pass wasn’t even good enough for lane choice in the final! Procopio’s 4.036 took that honor, but paled in comparison to his winning 4.019 at 175.25 mph against Stemper in the final round.
Defending DME Real Street champ Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin stole some of the massive event’s thunder on Saturday with a 7.750, good enough to secure the number 1 spot on his Exoticycle turbo ‘Busa. Seven bikes qualified quicker than 8 seconds in the biggest Real Street field of the year, but the final still featured the usual suspects Dobrin and multi-time champ Jeremy Teasley. Dobrin gave up the tree with a .121 to Teasley’s .067, then ran .005 slower than Teasley’s Roger Starrette owned and tuned, nitrous-huffing Kawasaki ZX14. “We finally fixed the nitrous in fourth gear and started going fast,” said Teasley, who’d been giving up the winners circle lately but still has enough points to basically just qualify at Rockingham and claim his fifth Real Street title in multiple sanctions.
Jeremy Teasley and the Roger Starrette owned and tuned, nitrous-huffing ZX14
Tom Federici was the only, and thus winning, competitor in Real Street B.
Connecticut Kingpin Bob Carlson
Teasley also has the MIRock Crazy 8s championship pretty well locked up, but the race win this weekend went to Connecticut Kingpin Bob Carlson, who beat former champ Eddie “Who” Chapman in the final. Carlson also won Saturday’s Brock’s Performance Street ET final over Jordan “By the Fire” McDougald.
Brian Canoles won Trac King/APE Top Sportsman
The Trac King/APE Top Sportsman final was a battle between the two super-clean turbo ‘Busa dragbikes of Brian Canoles and Kevin Hamilton. With only .004 difference in their reaction times, Canoles ran closer to his dial-in to take the win.
Wayne Smith, near lane, won Sunday’s Brock’s Performance Street ET
Hamilton, though, won Saturday’s Fast by Gast Pro ET final over Bob Mathias. Clay Davies won Sunday’s Pro ET final over Wayne Smith, who kept his clutch cool enough to win the Street ET final over Andrew Charcalla that very same night. Chuck White won Friday night’s gambler’s race.
Frank Christian, near lane, beat Terry Tompkins in the 4.60 final
It’s a rare Louis Concrete 4.60 final that doesn’t include either or both Kenny Cornnell and Ronnie Smith, but that’s exactly what happened when Frank Christian beat Terry Tompkins. Cornnell racked up enough points, though, to claim the first ever championship in the world’s quickest motorcycle index class.
Andy Baumbach, near lane, won the 5.60 final over Michael Ostrowski
“Fearsome” Andy Baumbach won the FBR Shop 5.60 final over Michael Ostrowski.
Lil’ Charlie and Mandingo seemed to have the win against Nanu and RG3 til a bad 3-4 shift
Saturday night’s Afterdark Undergound’s feature race had Darion “Nanu” Payne taking the win on Derek Henderson’s “RG3” GSXR1000 when Lavar “Lil’ Charlie” DeLee’s “Mandingo” ‘Busa flubbed the 3-4 shift.
JT and Country’s ‘Busa were set to race Lil’ Richard and Sandy until Teasley ran afoul of MIR’s new 2 foam block rule
Richard Gadson on the carbureted Sandy bike
It will be hard to top this huge event’s 882 entries—the biggest MIRock race ever—but the Mickey Thompson MIRock Superbike Series aims to do just that at the upcoming Lee’s Performance World Finals, November 1-3 at legendary Rockingham Dragway. In addition to the return of pro classes to Rockingham, that race will feature the always intense Street and Pro ET Tournament of Champions as the world’s biggest motorcycle drag racing series winds down it’s 2013 season.
EARLIER:2 PST Virgins Fighting for $10k
Aruban superstar Terence Angela in the Battle Royale final. MORE PST PHOTOS
EARIER: Semis Set at Battle Royale
Paul Gast had Pro Mod low ET of the round with a 4.063 in E2
3X Champ Williford out in E1
Bud Yoder’s first race on Mark Paquette’s bike ousted Rodney Williford in Battle Royale E1
EARLIER: RG3 goes long against Mandingo
EARLIER: Field set for Battle Royale
Jeremy Teasley is only .001 behind Gladstone on Ronnie Mitchell’s “Rizzo” PHOTOS
Casey Stemper and Ronnie Procopio both ran 4.03s in Pro Mod, with Stemper .002 quicker
Dobrin’s RST 7.75 Steals PST Thunder
Ronnie Procopio improved to a 4.05 on Terry Schweigert’s DTM/Q80 bike in Q3 of PM
EARLIER: Ficher into 6s at MIR
Tony Ficher’s Supercharged ‘Busa was first in the 6s this weekend with a Q2 6.99 PHOTOS
EARLIER: Ficher leads into Battle at MIR
Paul Gast kept it all red & white at the top with a 4.11 in Pro Mod
EARLIER: MIRock’s Battle Royale is Imminent!
The most anticipated Mickey Thompson MIRock Superbike Series event of the year is going down October 4-6 with the Fast by Gast Fall Nationals, featuring Orient Express Pro Street’s biggest payout—the $10,000 to win Battle Royale! The world’s quickest, fastest streetbikes will be shooting for record times and trap speeds on Maryland International Raceway‘s meticulously prepped quarter mile.
Joey Gladstone and the DME ‘Busa will be looking for 215+ mph
Rodney Williford launches “No Joke” in July, but expect him to be back on his own bike
At least 42 racers will be battling for Pro Street glory, including Joey Gladstone on the DME Suzuki Hayabusa, three-peat champ Rodney Williford, and all-time streetbike champion of the world Mikey Slowe making his Pro Street return on Maltese racer Simon Giordmaina’s Williford-prepped turbo-Busa. “Rodney, Mike and I are all excited and looking forward to his first 6 second pass on the bike,” Giordmaina said from the beautiful Mediterranean island.
The world’s first 6 second Pro Street pass occurred during the October race two years ago at MIR, and the 6 second club is still a tight fraternity. “First in the 6s” Ryan Schnitz will be in the house, along with fellow club members Tony Ficher on his ragingly loud supercharged ‘Busa and Frankie Stotz, making his first ever MIRock appearance on his turbocharged Honda CBR1000RR.
Mikey Slowe will ride Maltesian Simon Giordmaina’s Pro Street Bike
Will Tony Ficher’s supercharged ‘Busa run 6.90s or better??
Multi-time DME Real Street champ Jeremy Teasley MORE REAL STREET PHOTOS
Don’t think for a minute—or even 6 seconds—that the other MIRock racers will allow Pro Street to steal all the thunder. DME Real Street champ and recent Atco winner Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin will have the wick turned up as high as it will go on his Exoticycle turbo ‘Busa, as he chases down multi-time champ Jeremy Teasley’s Roger Starrette owned and tuned, nitrous-huffing Kawasaki ZX14. Atco number 1 qualifier Darion “Nanu” Payne and his Mike Mace Motorsports, nitrous Suzuki GSXR1000 will also be vying for the Real Street win, and how long will it be before Kawasaki superstar Rickey Gadson brings a gun to this fight and mounts a serious challenge? Also look for Eddie Murphy, Sherell Blake, David Merks, Anibal Merced and more to be blasting big nitrous pops at every shift down MIR’s 1320.
Darion “Nanu” Payne and his Mike Mace Motorsports, nitrous Suzuki GSXR1000
Ronnie Procopio and Dave Norris in the July Pro Mod final
The Mickey Thompson Pro Mods return to absolutely chew up the eighth mile, carrying the front wheel all the way to the finishline. Maryland native Ronnie Procopio, recent ADRL Battle for the Belt winner Dave Norris, multi-time champ Billy Vose and others will twist their chassis to the limit. And a new MIRock rule gives a huge weight break to short wheelbase bikes, bringing lot of old favorites back out to show what they can do.
Kenny Cornnell gettin’ his Gary Clark on in 4.60 MORE PHOTOS
Jeremy Teasley on his Crazy 8s bike
It won’t just be pro classes felling the love at MIR, as sportsmen get every bit as much attention from the Budd’s Creek crowd. Trac King/APE Top Sportsman, MIRock Crazy 8s, Louis Concrete 4.60, and FBR Shop 5.60 will see champion index racers “Hillbilly Hustler” Jimmy Shifflett, MIR homegirl Kelly Clontz and her husband Chris, Julie Lucas, Jay Windsor, Kenny Cornnell, Ronnie Smith, Marion Ford, “Fearsome” Andy Baumbach and more.
The myth, the man, the legend—Jimmy Shifflett
Steady streetbike race winner Michael Herman Jr.
Brock’s Performance Street ET and Fast by Gast Pro ET are expecting over a hundred racers aiming for the last remaining spots for November’s Tournament of Champions at Rockingham Dragway. Anybody not in will have to run the gauntlet of Connecticut Kingpin Bob Carlson, MIR homeboy Shayne Proctor, Virginia’s Clay Davies, Floridian Robert Parker and more.
Saturday night’s Psychobike.com Afterdark Undergound will feature, as always, the nation’s hottest grudge bikes—Cobra Commander, Ric Flair, Eddie Kane, etc—and coolest riders—Teasley, Payne, Schnitz, Richard Gadson, Lil’ Daddy, and then some.
Lil’ Daddy vs. Nanu on RG3….look for more of this in Afterdark Underground
A full 800+ entries are expected, and this is your last chance to catch the world’s biggest motorcycle drag racing series in action—real, sizzling action—at MIR in 2013, so don’t miss it!