story and photos by Tim Hailey
Ryan Schnitz’s HTP nitrous Hayabusa is rock solid on its way to a 7.06
Despite forecasts for rain and oppressive heat and humidity, a strong Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MiRock Superbike Series field laid down quick runs and put on a thrilling show at Maryland International Raceway’s Fast By Gast Summer Showdown. And the notorious nitrous vs. turbo battle that has raged in drag racing for at least a decade found peaceful coexistence in Sunday’s pro class finals, with two wins going to the bottle and one to the hair dryer.
Ryan Schnitz seemed destined to shatter Orient Express Pro Street records on his Cecil Towner-tuned HTP Performance nitrous Hayabusa. Ryan nailed a 7.06 at 195.51 mph in round 2 of qualifying, with more in it. The bike was spinning on the top end, its RPM’s wavering. The nighttime Q3 session seemed to be the right time. The afternoon rain was over, the sky cleared, the temperature plummeted, and the MIR staff prepped the track like nobody’s business. It seemed like a perfect time for Ryan to get a distinctive new jacket, but instead the bike launched skyward and the lap was ruined. “I guess I put a little too much in it!” laughed Towner.
And that, pretty much, was the story on raceday too as the ‘Busa failed to show the rock solid stability that led to Saturday’s .06. The day ended with the win, but not the record. Schnitz raced champion Rodney Williford in the final. Williford spun early and shut off, while Schnitz’s problems occurred further down track, taking the win with a 7.51. Ironically, Schnitz’s 7.063 was too quick for his Q1 7.13 to serve as a back-up for the record. “We went too fast!” said Towner.
Real Street final between Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin (near) and Jeremy Teasley
A DME Real Street win finally went to someone other than Jeremy Teasley and his Adams Performance/RS Motorsports Kawasaki ZX14, as Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin took the first ever MIRock Real Street win for the mechanical power-adder. After ceding the tree to Teasley, Dobrin pulled low Real Street ET of the event to drive around on his Exoticycle Suzuki Hayabusa.
Arabian Drag Racing League defending season points champion Terry Schweigert came all the way from his British Columbia, Canada home to take the Mickey Thompson Pro Mod win, building good karma for the following weekend’s American Drag Racing League event in Topeka, Kansas. Schweigert and tuner Dan Wagner struggled off the trailer with a bike that ran way slower than the 4.13 it ran just before getting loaded on the trailer. Schweigert qualified fifth with a 4.229 in the eighth mile class, well behind number 1 Ronnie Procopio’s 4.166. But raceday was a different matter, as Schweigert worked his way past Tyler Cammock, Robbie Hunnicutt and Procopio on his way to the final with Mark Paquette’s turbo Funnybike. Paquette seemed to be finding his tune-up as the day ground on, but lost it in the final. Schweigert took the tree and ran his quickest lap of the weekend—4.164—to take his first win since Round 1 in Qatar.
“Fearsome” Andy Baumbach with family and friends
“Fearsome” Andy Baumbach took the House of Speed Crazy 8s final over Shayne Proctor, along with a commanding position in the points battle. Former constant winner Proctor is getting his mojo back, also running-up to Fast By Gast Pro ET winner Michael Herman Sr. on Sunday. Saturday’s race was shortened by rain, with the large field electing to split the purse after 3 rounds. Ditto for Schnitz Racing Street ET, with Louis “Kip” Green winning over Willis Warren Jr. on Sunday. It was Warren’s second straight runner-up in the hotly contested class. The all-Maryland FBR Shop Top Sportsman final went to Aberdeen’s Dale Ashton over MIR icon Chris Clontz.
Jason Miller with the Michael Hermans, Sr. & Jr.
Lavar “Lil’ Charlie” Delee on “Cobra Commander” got past spinning Rickey “Hollywood” Grayson in one of Saturday’s big Afterdark Underground races. Lil’ Charlie and the Commander weren’t so lucky in the light of day on Sunday, losing to Billy Vose and “God of War.”
The Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series races next at the always fabulous Fast by Gast/WPGC “Bike Fest” July 23-24 at Maryland International Raceway in Budds Creek.
Keeping it going at MIR
Chachi finally beats Trae! Eric “Lil’ E” Hart (above) rode the Chachi/BNL Racing nitrous Hayabusa past Trae Heath’s “Wigsplitter”, this time with Caleb McDougald aboard. It happened during round 1 of Orient Express Pro Street eliminations.
With the pro bikes in the lanes for round 2, a steady sprinkle moved in over the shutdown area for a small delay.
“YOUR AD HERE”….Joey Gladstone should sell the space on his oilpan, as much time as he spends showing it to us.
Weather turning fast at MIR
Chances are good that Ryan Schnitz will run significantly better than 7.06 in tonight’s session
The rain is over, the sky cleared, the temperature plummeted, and the MIR staff prepping the track like nobody’s business. I’m reminded of a Prostar race in Gainesville, and a 7.04 Pro Stock pass by Antron Brown that was akin to rotating the earth at that time. Pro Stock tuner Mark Peiser and I were just talking about that pass last week at Englishtown, and I’m feeling a similar vibe here at MIR right now. If Ryan Schnitz makes a similar leap tonight, the Mickey Thompson checkbook might come out and Ryan may get a very distinctive new jacket…
Tech director Phill Davis gets all Sherlock Holmes on the HTP ‘Busa
A trike race broke out during the rain delay and was dominated by—who else? Jeremy Teasley and his brother Cameron
Ricky Wood hid a bottle (or a push) in his race with Chachi
Schnitz and HTP on Kill at MIR!
Ryan Schnitz and the nitrous-huffing HTP Hayabusa are finally laying down the numbers when it counts, nailing a 7.06 at 195.51 mph in round 2 of Orient Express Pro Street at the Fast by Gast Summer Showdown at MIR. And there’s more in it. The bike was spinning or something on the top end, RPM’s wavering. Ronnie Procopio leads Mickey Thompson Pro Mod with a 4.166, Jeremy Teasley leads DME Real Street though that session was interrupted by rain. The program is still delayed.
Find out more about the MiRock Superbike series at http://www.mirockracing.com