story and photos by Tim Hailey (except where noted)
The world’s largest motorcycle drag racing series ramped up the boost and added another jet of nitrous with this past weekend’s 17th Annual Fast by Gast Spring Nationals at Maryland International Raceway in Budds Creek, MD. A mind-blowing 844 entries took the tree for their share of Mickey Thompson MIROCK Superbike Series purses and contingencies, and yet race promoter Jason Miller’s MIR staff polished off the event with the precision and efficiency of a Navy SEAL team.
The big noise in Orient Express Pro Street was the expectation of the sport’s first true 6.80something street tire pass. And when champion Joey Gladstone pulled his turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa out of the DME Racing trailer and popped off a 6.91 right away, it seemed a forgone conclusion that the milestone would fall during a weekend with a high performance weather forecast on MIR’s fussed-over quarter mile.
Keith “Shine” Dennis struggled with the “No Fear” ‘Busa but still won Pro Street B
Gladstone improved to a 6.907, but when he damaged a motor the DME team shifted focus and aimed for the win, nearly filling the entire semifinal ladder with DME bikes along the way. In the end it was Gladstone with a 6.94 to 7.03 win over teammate Terence Angela. Keith “Shine” Dennis won Pro Street B.
Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin put a hair dryer back in the DME Real Street winners circle
DME Racing Real Street saw the most competitive Pro class action of the weekend, with seven bikes qualifying with 7.80s on the board. Former champ Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin lead the field into eliminations and made it pay with a trip to the winners circle. Dobrin beat fellow turbo-‘Busa racer Eddie “Who?” Chapman 7.91 to 8.08 in the final.
Defending Real Street champ Jeremy Teasley struggled with his new nitrous Kawasaki, losing the semi to Chapman while struggling to keep the ZX14 off of the centerline.
Darryl Hollins won Louis Concrete 4.60 on a Kawasaki!
Louis Concrete 4.60 packed a full field with the world’s quickest eighth mile index bikes and, in a surprise move, Miller doubled the 4.60 purse although the field fell short of the number required for him to do so. Virginian Darryl Hollins nailed the index best in qualifying and then nailed the tree in the final, taking the win over Terry Tompkins.
Ladies and gentleman, Trac King Clutches Top Sportsman winner Boo Brown
And speaking of nailing the tree, how about a .003 light from legendary Boo Brown in the Trac King Clutches Top Sportsman final. Brown posted that dizzying number against Kermit Garnett, who never stood a chance.
Fun For All Motorsports racer Ron Arnold doubled up on Sunday
With so many racers on the grounds, it hardly seems fair that one would walk off with two trophies. But there’s nothing fair about Kentucky racer Ron Arnold’s starting line and stripe skills, and he won both the Cycle Connection Crazy 8s index class and Sunday’s Fast by Gast Pro ET bracket race. Arnold’s .015 light in the Crazy 8s final was tough for Richard Gadson to deal with, while Arnold’s Pro ET win came at the expense of Anthony Buckson in a double-redlight final. Sunday’s Fast by Gast Pro ET win went to Bill Bair on a Hayabusa dragbike over Willie Warren Jr.
Sporting a collectable MSP sidewinder, Bill Bair took the Saturday night Pro ET win early Sunday afternoon
Virginia’s Clay Davies won Brock’s Performance Street ET on Saturday
And Francis Proctor won Brock’s Performance Street ET on Sunday
Brock’s Performance Street ET wins went to Virginia’s Clay Davies on Saturday and—just when you thought you already knew all of Maryland’s legendary Proctor family of motorcycle drag racers—previously little-known Francis Proctor on Sunday. Davies beat Virginia rival Michael Herman Jr. with an .026 light in Saturday’s late-night final, while Proctor nailed an .015 on fellow Marylander Jimmie Miller on Sunday.
It was North meets South as Michael Ostrowski made the drive down I-95 from New York pay with the FBR Shop 5.60 win over Floridian Robert Parker. Ostrowski’s .033 light on a Suzuki dragbike was hard for Parker to overcome in the eighth mile on his Kawasaki streetbike.
“I might not show you my books, but I will show you my oilpan.” Does Eddie Cane even need a front wheel? I have so many shots of this bike in the air. And don’t forget….this bike crashed the day before!
Saturday night’s Afterdark Undergound was severely curtailed by nagging, un-forecast showers. But the weekend as a whole saw passes by grudge favorites Kingpin, Eddie Cane and Cobra Commander. Eddie Cane actually washed out and crashed with Gladstone in the saddle on Saturday afternoon, with neither worse the wear for the experience. A highlight on Saturday night was future second-generation racer Gina Hamilton making her first passes on dad Dale’s streetbike.
The best-attended motorcycle drag racing season in history continues at MIR with the MIROCK Fast by Gast Summer Nationals, May 30-June 1, 2014.
EARLIER: Not “if” but “when” at MIR
With a 6.91 right off the trailer, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” Joey Gladstone will run Orient Express Pro Street’s first 6.80something. “Might want to get your video camera ready,” said DME boss Dimey Eddinger. That was BEFORE Gladstone crashed Eddie Kane during the second Grudge session. Gladstone is OK, Kane is checking his books….But now it’s time for the final, and if it’s gonna happen this weekend there is one more chance against teammate Terence Angela.
Rodney Williford sits third with a 7.05 on Simon Giordmaina’s bike from Malta
Ehren Litten has made both his first 200 mph pass and his persoanl best ET this weekend on his DME Pro Street bike
Rick Gadson went out in E2 when his bike wouldn’t whick up at the starting line
Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin leads a frisky DME Real Street field with a 7.81
Big Man Roger Starrette is second with a 7.84, one of seven REal Street racers with 7.80s after two sessions. And 10th place Sherell Blake told me “Have your camera on me next pass. I’ve got something for them.”
4.60 #1 qualifier Darryl Hollins
With rain curtailing Afterdark Underground action, the highlight of the night might have been Dale Hamilton’s daughter Gina making her first passes on Dale’s streetbike.
Intrepid Dragbike.com reporter Connie Egan focusses on the action
MIROCK Racers Head to MIR
Joey Gladstone recently ran a record 6.905 at Valdosta, can he go quicker at MIR?
The motorcycle drag racing season is off to its best start in nearly a decade, and when the Mickey Thompson MIROCK Superbike Series lands at Maryland International Raceway you can expect the fireworks to go ballistic.
The Fast by Gast Spring Nationals on the famous, meticulously prepped quarter mile in Budds Creek, April 25-27, could very well see the sport’s first true 6.80something Orient Express Pro Street pass. Current champion Joey Gladstone recently ran 6.905 at a whopping 215.51 mph, and we all know how well Gladstone and his DME team run at MIR.
Three-time champ Rodney Williford will try to hold back DME’s four Suzuki Hayabusa attack of Gladstone, Terence Angela, Jason Dunigan and Ehren Litten—the Rockingham season opener’s top four qualifiers. The recently improved HTP Performance team will have three bikes of their own for “First in the 6s” Ryan Schnitz, Danny Cox and Jeremy Teasley. And we hope Eric Paquette will have the all-new, supercharged ‘Busa ridden by Tony Ficher ready to split eardrums for miles.
Can anyone stop Jeremy Teasley?
Multi-time DME Racing Real Street champ Jeremy Teasley will have to contend with not only former champ Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin, “Super Dave” Stewart, and Kawasaki superstar Rickey Gadson—but also his own tuner, Roger Starrette. The big man has dropped some pounds and stepped into the saddle. Also, expect to see the return of Del Flores on an all-motor bike. Ed Murphy, Sherell Blake, David Merks, Anibal Merced and more will also be competing on a vast array of combinations.
“Fearsome” Andy Baumbach
Trac King Clutches Top Sportsman, Cycle Connection Crazy 8s, Louis Concrete 4.60, and FBR Shop 5.60 will—as always—see the finest index racers in the country. “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 will all be nailing the number.
Brock’s Performance Street ET and Fast by Gast Pro ET will see heavy hitters like Connecticut Kingpin Bob Carlson, MIR hero Shayne Proctor, Virginia’s Clay Davies, Floridian Robert Parker and more choosing their dials and playing the stripes.
Saturday night’s Afterdark Undergound will go three hours strong and feature the nation’s hottest grudge bikes, coolest riders, and loudest trash talkers. Cobra Commander, Eddie Kane, Mandingo, RG3, Richard Gadson, Lil’ Daddy, Chachi, Possum, Alex Bud Light and Country are just some of the names you’ll hear cursed and cheered deep into the tire smoky night.
This season is one people will be talking about for years to come—don’t miss this chance to be a part of it!
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