story and photos by Tim Hailey, except where noted
Joey Gladstone vs. Ryan Schnitz, turbo vs. nitrous
A mid-season tweak to the Orient Express Pro Street rules delivered exactly the kind of parity between turbo and nitrous bikes that the Mickey Thompson MIRock Superbike Series was looking for. Giving the nitrous bikes back some of what was taken away at the start of the year, just in time for the Fast By Gast Summer Showdown at Maryland International Raceway on June 2-3, resulted in a qualifying order with nitrous and turbo bikes alternating like a zipper, and a nitrous vs. turbo final.
Jeremy Teasley and “No Joke” launch towards drama
Threatening to top the parity plotline this weekend, though, was the crash and return of MIRock star Jeremy Teasley. Riding Ken Edwards’ überpowerful “No Joke” turbo Suzuki Hayabusa, Rockingham winner Teasley’s carbon fiber real wheel broke apart at high speed just before the eighth mile. With no spokes whatsoever, Teasley rode the bike like a bull—hub-on-rim—for an amazingly long time before the ‘Busa finally pitched into a series of rollovers.
Shedding spokes at 160 mph, Teasley keeps the bike upright…for a while
In his spare silver Bates Leathers and green helmet, Teasley makes round 2 of DME Real Street qualifying
With multiple scrapes, a broken finger, and probably a broken foot as well (what you don’t know won’t keep you from racing), Teasley showed up the very next round to qualify in Real Street. All the while, Edwards and crew rebuilt the “No Joke” Pro Street bike in time for Teasley to qualify 6th in round 3 with a 7.26, behind number 1 Ryan Schnitz’s nitrous record 6.99.
Running straight but wheelieing wildly, Teasley lost in Pro Street round 2 against Danny Cox on the Hampton Roads H-D/ HTP Performance nitrous ‘Busa. Cox then lost to April race winner Joey Gladstone on the DME Racing ‘Busa in the semi. Schnitz’s nitrous huffing HTP ‘Busa overpowered upstart Neal Riddle’s turbo ‘Busa in the other semi, putting Ryan in the final against Gladstone, with Joey getting lane choice.
Cox had lane choice in the semi and chose the right, putting Gladstone in the left. Joey and the DME crew had been avoiding the left lane because the first 60 feet looked better in the right, but when forced into it they found the left had a better top end and chose it for the final. They used that advantage to beat Schnitz, who led until 1000 feet when Gladstone used a fastest-ever 213.74 mph top end charge to drive around for the rookie’s second straight win. The 6.98 to 7.01 race at the home of the world’s first 6-second streetbike pass was undoubtedly the quickest side-by-side street tire race ever, and nitrous vs. turbo to boot.
Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin’s turbo ‘Busa brushes off nitrous ZX14s like so much dandruff
Multi-time DME Real Street champ Teasley continued a frustrating year in that class, losing to Rickey Grayson in round 2. Grayson then lost to Rickey Gadson in the semi, setting up another nitrous vs. turbo final with Superstar Gadson and his Roger Starrette-tuned nitrous Kawasaki ZX14 against number 1 qualifier Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin’s turbo ‘Busa. Gadson had lane choice and took the right. As in the Pro Street final, both bikes left within .002 of each other. Dobrin stepped it up to a 7.86 vs. Gadson’s 7.91 and scored his third MIRock win of the year and his seventh straight overall in multiple sanctions.
Ronnie Procopio took over the Mickey Thompson Pro Mod points lead with a great 4.21 to 4.22 eighth mile final round win over fellow Legion of Doom racer Robbie Hunnicutt. “Another win for the Legion of Doom North Carolina Chapter,” Procopio quipped in the winners circle. He entered the event tied with Mac McAdams, who was timed out in round 1 against the broke bike of Eran Pielert.
With just a handful of full nitrous passes, the “NJECTED” HTP Performance ‘Busa Pro Mod with Schnitz on top qualified 4th with a 4.25 at 172mph—top speed for the class—with less than perfectly smooth passes. “Chassis setup on a dragbike is all new to us,” said HTP tuner/builder Cecil Towner. “We are making a number of changes each pass and looking to see how it affects the bike, and starting to get a handle on it pretty quickly.”
HTP’s hopes for another final round appearance were dashed when a fuel injector o-ring failed at start up for round 2 of eliminations. Crew members quickly alerted Ryan in the burnout box and the bike was shut off. “We just ran the bike and had no issues a few minutes ago,” said Towner. “I have never had an O-ring go bad on a fuel injector over time. This has been the only item to fail on this machine. We’ll be back and ready.”
Ryan Schnitz on the HTP Performance “NJECTED” Busa Pro Mod
Kevin Hamilton and crew
An all-Maryland Trac King/APE Top Sportsman final went to Kevin Hamilton over Chris Clontz. Kevin’s bother Dale won Fast By Gast Pro ET over Kip Green on Sunday, while Jimmy Shifflett won over Derek Crawford on Saturday. Fearsome Andy Baumbach doubled at MIR, winning House of Speed Crazy 8s over Robert Johnson on his Suzuki streetbike and FBR Shop 5.60 Index over Daniel Joyce on his Kawasaki dragbike. Jermaine Proctor held up the Proctor family honor with a Brock’s Performance Street ET win over Clay Davies on Saturday, while Clay’s bother Matt won over Desmond Allen on Sunday.
Fearsome Andy Baumbach’s Crazy 8s ‘Busa…
…and his FBR Shop 5.60 Index Kawasaki
Jermaine Proctor, photo by Terence Belton of T&G Photos
Saturday night ’s Afterdark Underground ran before a big crowd under a moonlit sky, and MIR’s famous bikini contest featured a lovely field—judged by the media to be the best ever—in bright sun on Sunday.
…and back, Eatmyink’s got you covered. Click the pictures for your view of Maryland’s best bikini babes….
The Mickey Thompson MIRock Superbike Series races next June 30-July 1 at North Carolina’s Rockingham Dragway.
No Joke! Teasley set to qualify
Jeremy Teasley gives to No Joke bike a test ride through the MIR pits after Ken Edwards put the bike back together following a big Q1 crash.
Equipment Failure Crashes Teasley!
Jeremy Teasley and the No Joke Hayabusa Orient Express Pro Street bike just before an equipment failure crashed the bike and pitched Jeremy into the wall. Jeremy kept the bike upfright for a long time before it finally went over. “It felt at first like I was in oil,” said Teasley, who broke a finger, probably his right foot, and has some scrapes. Still, he was considering making round 2 of DME Real Street! You can see an unenhanced sequence of crash photos here.
New HTP Pro Mod paint job Spy Photo
The new HTP Pro Mod paint scheme looks right at home in HTP’s Darkman-lair shop
Pro Street Bringin’ the Action to MIR
Ryan Schnitz’s HTP Performance nitrous bike should run a lil’ closer to it’s 2011 form
A mid-season Orient Express Pro Street rule change, giving the nitrous bikes back some of what was taken away at the start of the year, promises to give the blue bottle crowd ammunition for revenge against the 6 second turbo onslaught that happened at Maryland International Raceway in April. So expect the wildest street tire showdown of all times when the Mickey Thompson MIRock Superbike Series reconvenes for the Fast By Gast Summer Showdown at MIR on June 2-3, 2012.
Rodney Williford’s turbocharged Purple Nitrous-bike Eater went a 6 last time out
The home of the world’s first 6-second streetbike pass last October saw two turbo bikes join Ryan Schnitz and the nitrous huffing HTP Performance Suzuki Hayabusa in the exclusive 6 Second Club in April. Pro Street rookie Joey Gladstone on the DME Racing ‘Busa and two-time defending champion Rodney Williford rang up the magic number, and several other turbo bikes including Rockingham winner “No Joke” with Jeremy Teasley up top were within striking distance.
Joey Gladstone ran a 6 and won the last MIRock race on his DME Racing turbo ‘Busa
HTP Performance builder/tuner Cecil Towner is covering his bets, though, and debuting his new turbo bike at MIR with rider Lavar “Lil’ Charlie” DeLee in the saddle along with Schnitz on the nitrous ‘Busa.
Schnitz and the HTP ‘Busa Pro Mod
Towner and Schnitz will also be returning with the brand new EFI/nitrous/Hayabusa Mickey Thompson Pro Mod combination that debuted so well in April, losing the final to surprise first time Pro Mod winner Mac McAdams.
Johnny Turbo will once again be swatting off nitrous ZX14s
Pro Street isn’t the only class expecting a vengeful pack of nitrous bikes. RS Motorsports owner/tuner Roger Starrette and his three nitrous Kawasaki ZX14s will be ganging up for sure on Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin’s turbo ‘Busa in DME Real Street. Dobrin’s won both races this year, and multi-time Real Street champ (and Adams Performance/RS Motorsports rider) Jeremy Teasley is pissed at seeing his checks and trophies going to someone else.
Also expect huge Trac King/APE Top Sportsman, House of Speed Crazy 8s, FBR Shop 5.60 Index, Fast By Gast Pro ET, and Brock’s Performance Street ET fields to race deep into the night along with Saturday night’s Afterdark Underground. MIR’s famous bikini contest, though, will be glistening in the bright light of day on Sunday. You won’t want to miss 6 seconds of the Fast by Gast Summer Showdown at Maryland International Raceway.
Girls! Girls! Girls!
MIRock Pro Street Rules Revision
Mid-Season tweak for the nitrous bikes
There have been rule changes in Orient Express Pro Street to help close the performance gap between the nitrous and turbo bikes for the last decade. The nitrous bikes were given many advantages in the rulebook, and left the turbocharged bikes handicapped to try to achieve parity in the class. Then during the 2011 season a few nitrous teams finally closed and surpassed gap with the rule advantages and it showed on the track.
In an effort to help bridge the gap between the two different combinations the nitrous bikes lost some but not all of their rule advantages. The turbocharged bikes were also given the same wheelbase options as the nitrous bikes and a slight weight reduction. There has been much debate in the off-season about the rule changes, and MIRpck officials have been keeping a close eye on intervals and each combination’s performance since the rule changes went into effect at the end of last season.
MIRock promoter Jason Miller says “The class parity is closer than it has been in decades, but the turbocharged bikes are basically running the same numbers as the nitrous bikes were last year now and the nitrous bikes were slowed down a little too much with the changes. We felt it was necessary to remove 30 lbs off the nitrous combination’s base weight to put them back at the same weight they were at last year. We are also allowing sliders back in with a 10 lb. weight penalty, as it is not a street bike type clutch. These rule revisions will tighten up the Pro Street class to a very exciting side by side drag race that will entertain MIROCK fans for years to come.”
The following rule revisions are effective immediately on 5-22-12, and the normal MIRock 14 day window for rule revisions do not apply here as we are opening up a combination and not restricting it before the event. These rules will be in full effect on June 2nd-3rd at the Fast By Gast Summer Showdown.
For more information on the Mickey Thompson Tires MIROCK Superbike Series please visit: www.mirockracing.com