story by Tim Hailey, photos by Tim Hailey and Genie Muldoon of T&G Photos
Ryan Schnitz on the HTP Performance Hayabusa
The wait for the world’s first 6 second streetbike pass is over, 10 years after Brock Davidson ran the first 7 second one. It’s not insignificant that both runs were made at the two tracks that make up the world’s premier motorcycle drag racing series, the Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series. Davidson’s pass 10 years ago was at historic Rockingham Dragway, but Ryan Schnitz sped down Maryland International Raceway this past weekend over a full second quicker. In fact, Schnitz nearly skipped straight into the 6.80s on the Cecil Towner-tuned, nitrous-huffing, HTP Performance Suzuki Hayabusa with a stunning 6.907 at over 203 mph.
That’s an achievement that Schnitz didn’t think possible when he and Johnny Locklear ran the first ever side-by-side 7 second streetbike pass years ago. And the window of opportunity to accomplish the feat at the Fast by Gast Fall Nationals was narrow, with unseasonably cold temperatures and pockets of rain and drizzle. But as always, the hard working MIR staff was keeping the quarter mile sticky with world record traction. For their achievement, Schnitz and Towner received a $10,000 check from Tim Hays for using one of his Hays Machine Works clutches.
Ken Edwards’ light in the final was No Joke indeed
After wheelieing on a round 2 solo pass, Towner went too far in the other direction with tire pressure and the bike spun, losing to Greg Wallace in the semis. Wallace then slept at the tree in the final while Ken Edwards nailed a .001 light on his “No Joke” Hayabusa and took his second Orient Express Pro Street victory on a holeshot. Rodney Williford’s clutch pulled him through the beam in the other semi, but Williford—who ran the first no-bar 6 second pass several years ago—accumulated enough points to claim his second straight Pro Street championship and his third MIRock championship overall.
Williford ran that long ago 6 second no-bar pass in the long gone Outlaw Pro Street (not street legal) class, where both he and Dave Norris won championships. Norris now races Mickey Thompson Pro Mod and won his first race in the class this past weekend against Ronnie Procopio in the final round. Procopio’s 4 valve GSXR head motor seemed to be ripping itself apart all day but was going rounds nonetheless. But Procopio didn’t make it to the stripe first in the final, Norris did. It was also the first win for his own DNR chassis. Like Williford, Procopio accumulated enough points to claim the championship despite losing the event.
Jeremy Teasley nearly has another DME Real Street championship under his belt, and took the class win at MIR over number 1 qualifier Joey Gladstone. Teasley’s Roger Starrette owned and tuned Kawasaki ZX14 has had everything replaced since it’s last time out and the team was still sorting the bike out when Teasley qualified an uncharacteristic 14th. But by the end of raceday, Teasley was running near record numbers, including a wheelieing 7.85 in the final.
The rains that Schnitz dodged to run the 6 didn’t avoid wrecking the race for some, as House of Speed Crazy 8s, Fast By Gast Pro ET, Cycle Connection Street ET, and Afterdark Underground failed to complete. FBR Shop Top Sportsman made it under the wire though and local hero Chris Clontz took the win over Tom Galligan. And neither rain nor cold could stop MIR’s famous bikini contest!
The Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series races next at the Lee’s Performance World Finals at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina.
Ryan Schnitz and HTP Performance didn’t just run the world’s first 6 second streetbike pass, they ran right past it with a 6.907. Schnitz’s 4.53 eighth mile ET would have qualified in the TOP HALF of the Mickey Thompson Pro Mod field at MIR, and his 171 mph eight mile speed would have been fiffth fastest in the field. Tim Hays will present Schnitz and HTP’s Cecil Towner III with a $10,000 check soon for doing the job with a Hays clutch.
On 6 second watch at MIR
Ryan Schnitz ran 7.007 testing on Wednesday
Clutch maker Tim Hays seems a little unsure of what to think. Two years ago he offered $10,000 to anyone who ran the first Pro Street 6 second passes and used one of his clutches to do it. All well and good but now it’s getting serious and Hays has to keep his checkbook handy. Just this week HTP Performance’s Cecil Towner III put a Hays clutch in the nitrous Hayabusa that Ryan Schnitz has already ridden to the class record 7.098. First pass in Wednesday testing with the new clutch was a 7.02. Secoond pass was a 7.007. “Put it on the trailer!” Hays reports Towner as saying.
Conditions have changed radically at Maryland International Raceway since Wednesday, when the HTP ‘Busa ran 1.20 60 foot times. Today the bike ran a 1.19 before overpowering the chilly track in round 1 of Orient Express Pro Street qualifying for the Fast by Gast Fall Nationals. Rain delayed the day and a large bike count has set the second round of qualifying back to 6pm as the sun rapidly declines and Towner openly worries about track temp.
Those worries were warranted, as the bike spun on the big end depsite a beautiful track from the MIR crew. Still, Ryan leads qualifying with a 7.174 at a slowish 192 mph. Champion Rodney Williford is second with a 7.221, Dimey Eddinger third with a 7.285. Jeremy Teasley ran round 1 on his nitous ZX14, then ran a 7.36 at over 200 mph on the turbo ZX14 in Pro ET! The nitrous bike was withdrawn and Teasley ran a handful 7.62 at 182 on the turbo bike in Q2.
Ronnie Procopio now has a 4.06 Mickey Thompson Pro Mod bracket bike no matter who’s prepping the track—MIR or ADRL. He leads qualifying with a weight-added Jeremy Teasley second with a 4.07 on his first and only pass. Dave Norris is third with a 4.16.
And Joey Gladstone leads DME Real Street with a 7.85 on his lil’ turbo GSXR1000. Johnny Turbo Dobrin is second with a 7.92. Champion Jeremy Teasley is a distant 12th (behind brother Cameron even!) as everything on his blue, Roger Starrette-tuned ZX14 is completely changed. BUT, Teasley ran a 7.87 tonight on the bike in Pro ET using only one stage of nitrous…
The nitrous bottle on Teasley’s Real Street bike “contained some trash,” on his Q3 pass, according to Jeremy. “It ran out of nitrous at about the 330. I kinda needed that.” So perennial champion Jeremy goes into eliminations qualified 14th, three spots behind brother Cameron, and facing trailermate David Merks. Joey Gladstone, who has an NHRA Pro Stock deal to rent one of Matt Smith’s bikes, qualified #1 with a very stout 7.853.
Schnitz stays qualified #1 in Pro Street with a 7.150 with Williford just behind at 7.159
Check back with eatmyink.com soon for the full story on what does or doesn’t happen here at Budd’s Creek!
Find out more about the MiRock Superbike series at http://www.mirockracing.com