story by Tim Hailey
The Spring Man Cup is in the books and the surprises are few. It’s never a surprise when Larry “Spiderman” McBride wins a Top Fuel race, and today was no exception. When Chris Hand went out in round 1, Larry found himself surrounded by a tight field of Harley’s in the semis. Japanese Harley dealer Tak Shigematsu redlit by -.003 against the Ray Price H-D bike ridden by Tommy Grimes, who ran 6.31. McBride ran 5.96 against Jay “Bulldog” Turner for lane choice over Grimes in the final. Tommy did what he had to with an .019 to Larry’s .055, but Larry, his brother Steve, Roland and Chuck Stewart, and the whole crew have the blue bike firmly dialed back in on Planet 5. A 5.92 at 240 was a gun to Grimes’ exceptional 6.20 at 231 knife. “I tell ya, my bother and the guys have that bike set up so good I really didn’t have to move the bike around at all,” said Larry, who was thrilled to run six 5’s over the weekend. “It just went straight right through there.”
It was a Prostar deja vu winners circle with Keith Lynn and the Roger Gordon tuned Kawasaki Funnybike joining McBride. Lynn only has to run half as far these days in the eighth mile Star Racing Pro Comp class. Lynn ran 4.12 to drive around Japel Heard’s .012 light for the win on a day that started with veteran Paul Gast no-showing for round 1.
Rockingham Orient Express Pro Street winner Jeremy Teasley continued a streak for Ken Edwards’ “No Joke” Suzuki Hayabusa that stretches back to Maryland last October. Kenny closed out the MIRock season with two straight wins before putting Jeremy on the bike in the offseason. Teasley’s 7.01 over Bud Yoder’s 7.15 at 207 gave him lane choice over Frankie Stotz and his Honda CBR1000RR in the final. Stotz scored the class’ second 6 second lap at the November Man Cup but only had a 7.17 for Teasley’s 7.05 for the win.
Rockingham Real Street winner Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin powered his turbo (of course) ‘Busa out of a semifinal field full of nitrous Kawasaki ZX14s. Rickey Gadson redlit against Dobrin in their semi pairing, while David Merks scored a rare win over his RS Motorsports quasi-teammate Teasley in the other semi. With a fair performance advantage in hand, Dobrin gave the tree up to Merks but drove around with a 7.80 for the win.
Pro Dragster class mentor Johnny Vickers took the final round win over lovely Janette Thornley. Mike Lingo won Fast by Gast Top Gas over Saturday night’s Pro ET winner Chad Otts. Brandon Pellechino beat Danny Ingram in Worldwide Bearings Crazy 8s, Ken Chapman beat Gary Russell in MTC Super Comp, James Hendricks beat Charlie Tyre in Tiger Racing Streetfighter, John “Spooky” Markham beat Jason Rearick in Street ET, and Frank Linders foiled Chapman’s double attempt in MPS Pro ET.
See everybody at MIR in 2 weeks!
Rockingham winners at top of Man Cup timesheets
Larry “Spiderman” McBride ran 5.84 at 238 MPH in final qualifying session at Valdosta to secure a commanding Top Fuel pole. “It was basically the same tune-up as yesterday,” said Larry, referring to the 5.86 at 241 in Friday’s first session. “We hurt some exhaust valves, but that’s typical Spiderman stuff.”
Tommy Grimes and Chris Hand’s times of 6.209 and 6.294, respectively, held up for second and third. Jay “Bulldog” Turner sits fourth with a 6.37.
In Orient Express Pro Street, Rockingham winner Jeremy Teasley holds a gap almost as big as McBride’s. The 7.03 at 202 he ran on Ken Edwards’ “No Joke” Hayabusa is well ahead of surprise #2 George Gooch’s 7.167. Nearly a tenth behind Gooch is Friday’s testing star Joey Gladstone’s 7.261, as a tight Q2 field loosened up considerably as the sun went down. November winner Bud Yoder is fourth with a 7.279, Carl “Junebug” Lucas (7.29) is fifth, and Yoder’s teammate Michael Bayes sixth with a 7.31 on a ZX14.
Pro Street rookie Mark Paquette is seventh in that class, but took pole in the eighth mile Star Racing Pro Comp class with a stout 4.09 at 185 mph. Fellow Funnybiker Keith Lynn is second with a 4.10 as turbos took over the top of the field. Paul Gast’s Q1 4.14 held up for third, Japel Heard is fourth and Travis Davis fifth—al on nitrous bikes.
The Real Street field tightened up behind Rockingham winner Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin’s leading 7.873. Jeremy Teasley is second with a 7.887, David Merks third with a 7.998, and Rickey Gadson fourth with an 8.006 Dobrin’s on a turbo ‘Busa, the rest are on nitrous ZX14s.
Chad Otts nailed a .001 light to beat Rockingham winner Jerry Turner for Saturday’s MPS Pro ET win, and Dusty Brazel beat redlighting Randall Cross for the Street ET win.
Keep in touch all day Sunday for eliminations analysis and insights.
Earlier: Tight fields at the Man Cup!
Q2 of the spring Man Cup event was marred by a major Nitro Harley explosion that sent three to the hospital with serious injuries. But when the Top Fuel round was over, the top two positions held by Larry McBride and Tommy Grimes remained unchanged. McBride’s bike slowed to a 5.98 at 234 as the track temperature shot up to 130 degrees. Chris Hand jumped up to third with a 6.29 at only 204 mph.
Texan George Gooch, who’s crashed at this track, surprisingly sits atop the Orient Express Pro Street charts with a 7.260 at 197. Just .001 behind Gooch is Joey Gladstone on the DME Hayabusa. November Man Cup winner Bud Yoder is third with a 7.279, as Pro Street is making up for a lack of sheer quickness by bunching together a tight field. Carl “Junebug” Lucas (7.29) is fourth and Mark Paquette is having a great Pro Street debut with a 7.32 on his brand new Ronnie Mitchell built bike.
Paul Gast still holds the point in the eighth mile Star Racing Pro Comp class with a 4.14 at 171 mph, but the field’s tightened up behind him. Funnybiker Keith Lynn has jumped to second with a 7.167 at 177, while Japel Heard matched Lynn on ET but sits third on MPH with a 167. Travis Davis is fourth with a 4.180 and two-class competitor Paquette a close fifth with a 4.181.
Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin leads Real Street by a wide birth with a 7.873. Rickey Gadson is second with an 8.006, David Merks third at 8.02, and Jeremy Teasley’s 8.04 is fourth. Dobrin’s on a turbo ‘Busa, the rest are on nitrous ZX14s.
Q3 is underway and analysis will be posted soon, so check back!
Friday: McBride’s 5.86 is Man Cup day 1 highlight
Day 1 of spring Man Cup qualifying ended as a mixed bag. Top Fueler Larry McBride (who, with the help of brother Steve could find the hook-up in the parking lot if they had too) ran a 5.860 in his first real pass down the track, but Pro Street bikes faltered in the afternoon heat.
McBride tested earlier with a series of untried electronics on the familiar blue bike, but the bike didn’t like it. The crew pulled everything new off the bike and went back to their November set-up and their Web Cams delivered a blistering 5.86 (“with an 0,” Larry was sure to tell me) at 241 mph. Despite dropping cylinders on the pass, that placed Larry quite a bit ahead of second place Tommy Grimes, who ran 6.209 at 229.90 on Smilin’ Ray Price’s Harley.
Joey Gladstone ran 7.06 at 206 mph on the DME Pro Street Hayabusa in his afternoon test run, but couldn’t produce in qualifying. Bud Yoder ran 7.18 in the afternoon but slowed to a 7.279 at 199 in qualifying, still good enough for #1.”It was a hot track,” said Yoder’s tuner Ronnie Mitchell, though the ambient temperature only reached 82 degrees. “The starting line was not so good,” added Ronnie. Carl “Junebug” Lucas scored a stout 2nd with a 7.29 on Ricky Wood’s bike, with Jeremy Teasly third on Kenny Edwards’ “No Joke” Hayabusa with a 7.34 at only 159 mph….
Teasley had to settle for second best in Real Street with an 8.04, well behind Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin’s 7.89. David Merks and Rickey Gadson were hot on Tealsey’s heals with an 8.052 and 8.054, respectively.
Paul Gast has further stretched out his former Pro Stock Suzuki TL1000 and sits #1 in the eighth mile Pro Comp class with a 4.14 at 171 mph. Second place Japel Heard is well back with a 4.209. Funnybiker Keith Lynn is third with a 7.216 and MIRock champion Ronnie Procopio fourth with a 7.219.
Despite a spectacular weather forecast, bike counts are relatively low in the lightly promoted series. Eatmyink.com will give you regular updates and thorough analysis, along with the live timing and scoring that, as it turns out, is there for everybody and didn’t need any special string pulling, if you know what I mean….seems some sites are pulling your leg….But not Dragbike.com! Here’s a link to all the results on their site, although I’ve noticed that 1320go has mixed some of them up.