story and photos by Tim Hailey
The 10th annual FBR Shop Nationals—round 6 of the 2012 Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series—were shaping up to be a Kawasaki vs. Suzuki battle. But the results show that Suzukis used the best Rockingham Dragway track surface so far this year to great advantage.
Multi-time DME Real Street champ Jeremy Teasley has always conducted his business on a Roger Starrette-tuned, nitrous Kawasaki ZX14, but Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin’s turbocharged Exoticycle Suzuki Hayabusa has dominated the 2012 season. Coming into The Rock, though, it was Rickey Gadson’s Chris Jones-built, turbo Kawasaki ZX14R that was making all the noise. Gadson beat Dobrin in Indianapolis on the brand new bike that just debuted at MIR in July.
Jeremy Teasley ran .001 off of his own overall record
But Teasley qualified number 1 on Saturday and ran .001 off of his own overall record on Sunday, laying down a 7.764 in round 1 of eliminations. Suddenly struggling to find power on the big end, Gadson lost to Dobrin in the semis. Teasley’s .055 light in the final left Dobrin’s .131 far, far behind. But the ‘Busa’s turbo power came on quick and strong, propelling Dobrin to a 5.16 eighth mile and 7.765 winning ET past Teasley’s 7.859.
Joey Gladstone had it going right up through the last 320 feet of the Pro Street final
Two time defending Orient Express Pro Street champion Rodney Williford knows a thing or two about hustling turbo ‘Busa power down the track, but current points leader Joey Gladstone did it best on Saturday. Gladstone’s DME Racing Hayabusa qualified number 1, then ran tantalizingly close to giving Rockingham its first 6 second streetbike pass with a 7.007 in the semis.
Rodney Williford had some ground to make up against Joey Gladstone’s DME Racing Hayabusa
But despite having lane choice for the final and a .080 to .135 jump on Williford at the tree, Gladstone spun at mid-track and gave up the win with a 7.13 to Rodney’s second straight 7.02. Williford now moves to within a round and a half of Gladstone for the championship.
Ronnie Procopio at speed
Like Ted Nugent, Ronnie Procopio refuses to release his stranglehold on the Mickey Thompson Pro Mod eighth mile class. Multi-time champ Procopio qualified number 1 on his Robert Tull Plumbing Suzuki, then ran low ET 4.11 to drive around Billy Vose in the final. Vose and bike owner Mike Thyen made huge gains with the MPS EFI Hayabusa this weekend at The Rock.
Matt Davies kicked it out in 2 classes at The Rock
Virginian Matt Davies doubled up, winning FBR Shop 5.60 on his ’74 KZ1000 dragbike and Saturday’s Brock’s Performance Street ET on his ZX10R streetbike. Champion Jim Shifflett runner-upped in 5.60 and Eric Griffith did the same in Street ET.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boo Brown
Sunday’s Street Et race went to Randolph “Boo” Brown, who beat fellow Virginian Michael Herman Jr. when Herman spun out of the groove and took the long way in an all-‘Busa final round.
Maryland carpenter Steve Moye finally got the House of Speed Crazy 8s win he’s been fighting for on his GSXR1000, taking out MIR winner Travis Boudreaux’s ZX14 in the final. Boudreaux took the tree but broke out.
Barry Pryer Sr.
Barry Pryer Sr. took an all-‘Busa streetbike Trac King/APE Top Sportsman final when perennial runner-up Terry “T-Bone” Singleton redlit by -.002.
“Fearsome” Andy Baumbach
Nitrous Express Pro ET races went to “Fearsome” Andy Baumbach over Scottie Keller on Saturday and Chris Clontz over double-runner-up Herman on Sunday. Baumbach and Clontz both rode wheelie-bar dragbikes to the wins.
Saturday night’s Afterdark Underground grudge racing program got off to a raucous start with Lil’ Boss riding the longest, tallest, wiggliest wheelie that anybody could remember in a loss to Tyree on “Optimus Prime.” That mid-track acrobatic showed, along with low ETs in all pro classes, that Rockingham Dragway was prepped and sticky.
Lil’ Boss takes the tree over Tyree before shooting for the moon
The Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series races next on September 29-30 in the Fast by Gast Fall Nationals at Maryland International Raceway at Budds Creek, Maryland.
NHRA tests have Rockingham at its Best
Sadly I was just shooting the starting line of this Tyree vs. Lil’ Boss money round. Lil’ Boss on the white bike launched into a 12 o’clock wheelie and rode it—all wild and wiggly—for what surely seemed like an eighth mile. That shit was wild. Next pair, Dustin bursts into flames. Afterdark Underground is off to a crazy start in beautiful weather.
Joey Gladstone leads Pro Street after 2 rounds with a 7.07 at 204
After a week of NHRA Pro Stock testing—both cars and bikes—that carried on late through Friday night, the Rockingham Dragway racing surface is tighter than it’s been all year. Jason Line, Greg Anderson, Dave Connolly and others were hot lapping in the mid 6.50s, and the numbers are showing it too: Joey Gladstone leads Orient Express Pro Street on the DME Racing Hayabusa with a 7.07 at 204 after two rounds with Rodney Williford second at 7.12.
Ronnie Procopio leads Mickey thompson Pro Mod with a 4.12 at 174 with Billy Vose running a great 4.17 on the Mike Thyen/MPS dry shot Hayabusa.
And all is back to normal in DME Real Street with Jeremy Teasley leading with a 7.85 at 191 over Rickey Gadson’s 7.88 at 179.
Kawasaki vs. Suzuki tops Rockingham bill
Rickey Gadson’s Kawasaki ZX14R has been scary-quick right out-the-box
When the Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series invades Steve Earwood’s Rockingham Dragway this weekend for the 10th annual FBR Shop Nationals, it will bring a classic Kawasaki vs. Suzuki battle with it.
Exoticycle‘s Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin and Brick City’s Ashon “Capo” Dickerson
That conflict is full-blown in DME Real Street. Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin is thoroughly upending multi-time champ Jeremy Teasley’s grip on the class. Dobrin’s turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa has kept Tealsey’s Roger Starrette-tuned, nitrous Kawasaki ZX14 out of the winners circle most of the year. Teasley did break back through at The Rock in June, but Dobrin took the circle back at Maryland International Raceway in July.
Jeremy Teasley won Real Street in the June heat at The Rock
But just last weekend, a new player slayed Dobrin’s ‘Busa. Rickey Gadson is no new player, but his Chris Jones-built, turbo Kawasaki ZX14R just debuted at MIR in July. And last weekend, Gadson and the new bike beat Dobrin at the NHDRO/ManCup race in Indianapolis.
But if you think this is only a three horse race, guess again. Before damaging his motor on the big end at Indy, New Jersey’s Ashon “Capo” Dickerson laid down what he claimed to be the best eighth mile in Real Street history. And that was without the extra inch of wheelbase just added to liter bikes like Dickerson’s nitrous Suzuki GSXR1000 by the MIRock series. Will Dickerson have a giant killer bullet back in the frame for this weekend?
Will frequent runner-up “Super Dave” Stewart break through this weekend?
Recent runner-up “Super Dave” Stewart, Mark Billiter, David Merks, Ed Murphy, Darion “Nanu” Payne and others will be giving it their all to also claim a piece of DME Real Street glory this weekend at The Rock.
Rodney Williford is going for his third straight MIRock Pro Street championship
Two time defending Orient Express Pro Street champion Rodney Williford took the win last time out at The Rock, but he’s had to share the deed to the winners circle a lot this year with DME Racing’s Joey Gladstone. But Teasley’s also gotten a piece of the real estate and will be fighting for more, along with Ryan Schnitz and the HTP Performance Hayabusa, Greg Wallace, Carl “Junebug” Lucas, Eric Hart, Danny Cox and more.
Is Ronnie Procopio vulnerable this year?
Ronnie Procopio’s stranglehold on the Mickey Thompson Pro Mod eighth mile class is in jeopardy, with Robbie Hunnicutt, Mac McAdams, and Mark Paquette all scoring wins along with Procopio this season. Ryan Schnitz and the HTP Performance EFI, true Hayabusa are improving every time out and also looking for a piece of that trophy action.
Shayne Proctor has his sights set on some sportsman titles
As the season enters its final three races, points battles take center stage in Trac King/APE Top Sportsman, FBR Shop 5.60, Brock’s Performance Street ET, and Nitrous Express Pro ET. As always, Saturday night’s Afterdark Underground grudge racing program will draw horsepower hustlers from all over the Southeast and beyond.
Afterdark Underground will set the Sand Hills on fire Saturday night
Although racing won’t officially begin until Saturday, the track will be open for private MIRock testing from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday, preceding an evening test-and-tune session from 6-11 p.m.
Highlight of Saturday’s program will be pro qualifying at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. along with day-long competition in Pro ET and Street ET. Gates open Sunday at 8 a.m. with single elimination finals beginning at 12 noon.
Adult admission is $10 Friday, $20 Saturday and $20 Sunday. Special combo tickets also are available – $35 for Saturday and Sunday or $45 for all three days. Kids six to 11 are $5 daily. Those under six are free when accompanied by a ticketed adul
NOS Real Street 1Ks get extra inch in time for The Rock
Nitrous 1000s like Ashon “Capo” Dickerson’s GSXR get an extra inch in time for the August race at The Rock
As turbo and nitrous big bore Kawasaki ZX14s and Suzuki Hayabusas battle it out for the DME Racing Real Street trophy at every single Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series event, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a nitrous 1000 either in the winners circle or at the top of the time sheets. So the ever-busy powers-that-be in the tech dept. are giving the little guys an extra inch of wheelbase in time for the FBR Shop Bike Nationals on August 25-26, 2012 at Rockingham Dragway.
Says a press release from the series: “The DME Racing Real Street class has evolved over the years from low 8-second machines to motorcycles that have eclipsed the 7.80 barrier all with a stock hand clutch and a stock chassis. MIRock officials haves always monitored the different combinations in the class (Nitrous Big Bore, Nitrous Liter, Turbo Big Bore, and Turbo Liter combinations) and have made wheelbase adjustments to the class over the years to keep parity among them. In an effort to maintain that parity, and not have the class fall to one combination MIRock officials have given the nitrous liter bikes and additional inch of wheelbase.”
“This change will bring back many of the nitrous liter bikes that helped get this class started many years ago,” said MIRock promoter Jason Miller. “We look forward to even tighter competition in the DME Racing Real Street class and a chance to see some new racers in the winner’s circle.”
2153 US Hwy 1 North
Rockingham, NC 28379
For Your GPS:
L.G. Dewitt Road
Marston, NC 28363
Find out more about the Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Super Bike Series at http://www.mirockracing.com