story and photos by Tim Hailey
Sporting a new copperhead paint job, Mark Paquette ran a 4.000 in Pro Comp qualifying
Rain may have put an early end to eliminations at the NHDRO Fall Fury Season Finale at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, but it couldn’t stop record-pace performances and the crowning of season champions. Big-time numbers are starting to be the norm when the Midwest’s largest motorcycle drag racing series takes over the beautifully prepped racing surface at LOR.
There have only been two bikes burning anything but nitro to ever cover the eighth mile in less than 4 seconds—Ashley Owens in the ADRL, and Billy Vose in Bahrain and Qatar. But Mark Paquette, sporting a new copperhead paint job on his turbo-methanol Kawasaki Funnybike, came within .001 of that achievement when he qualified number 1 for Schnitz Racing Pro Comp with a 4.000 at 176 mph.
Keith Lynn led Schnitz Racing Pro Comp Q1 with a 4.13
That lap blew early pace setter Keith Lynn’s 4.13 right out of the water. So it’s a bummer that Paquette didn’t have the chance to either back up the 4.00 or go one better and nail a 3. Or maybe Lynn’s consistency would have triumphed over Paquette’s record-setting distraction. It should also be noted that Chris Cutsinger’s program is improving, with the Corydon campaigner running a 4.20, and he might have inserted himself as a raceday player. But the rain put the kibosh on all of that, and Paquette claimed his season championship without having to turn a wheel on Sunday.
Frankie Stotz launched hard on his way to a 6.96 at 210 mph
Paquette’s Pro Street bike, in the hands of Tyler Fisher, ran 6.98 at 211
McIntosh Machine & Fabrication Pro Street saw similar qualifying performances, with Frankie Stotz’s 6.962 taking the number 1 spot on his turbocharged Honda CBR1000RR. Second generation racer Tyler Fisher caused a further stir Saturday night when he ran 6.98 at 211 mph on the Suzuki Hayabusa that Paquette owns and tunes—meaning Michigan surgical tool sharpener Paquette was right on his game with two very different pieces of equipment. Doug Gall was third with a 7.13, and veteran rider Phil Stoll fourth on Ronnie Mitchell’s turbocharged, pink “Rizzo.”
Intense Phil Stoll on Rizzo
Doug Gall’s early season success netted him the Pro Street championship
Pro Street bikes were lapping like crazy during Port-Tech Grudge, and Sunday’s eliminations would have been a no-holds barred battle for the win. As it was, Gall was the big Pro Street winner on the weekend as he claimed the championship. “My biggest goal in drag racing was to win a Pro Street championship,” said Gall, who won the Crazy 8s championship in the NHDRO’s first full season. “I am very fortunate to have a great little crew and have the right amount of luck.” Gall plans to defend the number 1 plate in 2014 and also run all the MIRock and Man Cup races if the sponsorship is there.
“Number one in points had to be eliminate second round and we would have to win the race,” Kent Stotz said about his son Frankie’s championship hopes. “During qualifying, Frankie pumped the throttle and rode out two small wheelies to put up an amazing 6.96 at 210mph to (potentially) break the NHDRO record. This put us in the number one spot for the weekend. Having more qualifiers we decided to go for consistency and boy did we find it. Running four consecutive 4.50’s to the eighth mile, we were ready for Sunday. Unfortunately (it) rained on our parade and ruined our chances at the title. Without a chance to finish the Final, the Championship was awarded to the current points leader. Congratulations to Doug Gall on his first #1 plate. We were very disappointed on not battling this race to the end and missing another #1 plate. Heck, we did not even get a chance to back up the 6.96 E.T.record.”
Top Gas champ Doug Fisher
Fisher’s dad Doug, who started the season off with a double win in May, claimed the Hornish Brothers Top Gas championship. “Big thanks goes out to NHDRO, Brian Selner, and my crew—Tyler, Alexis, and my dad Bud. Couldn’t have done it without them.”
Ron Arnold won the Catalyst Racing Composites Crazy 8s championship
Dalton Markham scored the Super Comp championship and Friday’s Quick 16
Fun For All Motorsports-sponsored Ron Arnold won the Catalyst Racing Composites Crazy 8s championship, and young Dalton Markham scored the Super Comp championship. Markham also won Friday night’s G&G Metal Spinners Pro Quick 16 final over Dan McCarten. “I’d like to give a special thanks to my dad John for all the support and time he puts in to motorcycle drag racing,” said Dalton. “Not everyone has a dad like mine. I’d also like to think Ray Mancini at Extreme Motorsports for all the help with my bike. I look forward to a great next season!”
Ben Knight will have to wait till 2014 to see if his Streetfighter lead turns into a championship
By competitor vote, Tsukigi Racing Streetfighter will wait till the 2014 opener to decide their championship—the only class to decide to do so. Ben Knight leads Dave Page and John “Spooky” Markham in the class, and Knight’s been screwed out of the chance to win a championship before—when the Haltech Man Cup Finals was cut short by a curfew. “I could have voted ‘yes’ to end the points and would have been the deciding vote,” said Knight. “However I have been on the other end of a similar situation and would rather wait it out till we can resume next year and declare a true champion.”
Brian Selner won G&G Metal Spinners Pro ET Champ of Champs
Brian Selner hammered Greg Mallett in the G&G Metal Spinners Pro ET Champ of Champs final, and Steve Withem won Saturday’s race over Bill Hormuth in the final.
Josh Wood won Dennis Insurance Street ET Champ of Champs
Josh Wood beat Dustin Burchett in the Dennis Insurance Street ET Champ of Champs final, and Adam Harris won Saturday’s race final over Bill Heyde. Ray Perdue won Friday night’s Street Quick 16.
Want those NHDRO bikinis?? HERE YOU GO
The infamous NHDRO bikini contest was a multiple exposure affair, with more Skin2Win attitude and banana/Twinkie swallowing gymnastics than ever before.
Brian and Niki Welch and the whole NHDRO staff congratulate all the champions, thank all their sponsors, wish everyone a safe and fabulous off-season, and will announce it’s 2014 schedule very soon!
EARLIER: Paquette, Stotz Blowing NHDRO Record Book Apart
EARLIER: Stotz’s 6.96/210 takes over at NHDRO
EARLIER: NHDRO’s Fall Fury in Full Swing
Quicktime’s Rudy Sanzottera is Back in the Saddle like Aerosmith