30th Annual DME Racing Nationals | Pre-Race Report


Man Cup – 30th annual DME Racing Nationals 
Rockingham Dragway
September 23-24, 2017

Pre-Race Report

Are you ready for the Man Cup 30th annual DME Racing Nationals September, 23-24 2017, at Rockingham Dragway? There will be a test and tune on Friday for all bikes. Gates will be open to early arrivals on Thursday 4pm to 8pm. Friday gates open at 9am and the test session will commence at 12 noon, run till 7pm. Saturday morning, gates open at 7am, tech will be open early and racing will begin by 9am.

In the Pingel Top Fuel series at Rockingham, look for Larry “Spiderman” McBride to come out with big guns blazing as Sam Wills is only 5 points behind the Spiderman, going into the 4th race of a 5 race series. Sam and Larry will both fight for a deep qualifying spot and then do all they can to go rounds.

Every single point is important here as the championship point’s totals are nearing conclusion. Both of these Pingel Top Fuel motorcycle veterans have over four decades of experience; so it’s anyone’s race at Rockingham. But know this, other Top Fuel pilots like Dave Vantine, Chris Hand, and Mitch Brown all have their sights on a win too – so don’t miss the action!


Hawaya Pro Fuel racing at the Rock will be interesting with Michael Ray returning to action at this event as he needs to gain ground on Preston Bartlett who is currently leading in championship points, 249 to 173. That’s a lot of ground to cover for Michael Ray to try and catch/pass Preston, but with Johnny Vickers tuning on his home track, Preston and his team-mate Walter Halonski have their work cut out for them. It’s a fitting scenario, to be the best, you have to beat the best: at this Rockingham Man Cup event, we’ll find out whose best in Hawaya Pro Fuel racing. Watch for the Rockstone, Rocky Jackson, to play the spoiler here. He’s over due to suddenly charge ahead and win one.

Brunson Grothus

In the Falicon Performance Pro Mod series, going into the DME Nationals at the Rock, Brunson Grothus (249), Jeff House (216), and Paul Gast (209), will all be locking horns to try and establish point’s supremacy, before the next race, which will be the last one of the season. All of the top teams in Falicon Performance Pro Mod are so closely matched in their extreme performance, this class is truly a drivers battle, not unlike Pro Stock motorcycle; cut great lights on race day or you’re going home early. This is where Brunson Grothus has an edge – by his competing in multiple classes with similar bikes, he’s getting a lot of seat time and that’s the one high-performance accessory you can’t buy or replace: there’s no substitute for seat time. Any of the aforementioned racers are likely to be a finalist in the Falicon Performance Pro Mod class at Rockingham, but only one will win the event. Whoever that is will have the advantage of momentum going into the World Finals in November at SGMP.

Nitrous Express Pro Open racing at Rockingham will be as vicious as a wolf-pack battle for the leader of the pack. The big dog fight will be between Mr. Paint, Mark Rendeluk (180) Vs Brunson Grothus (172). Mark is just as deadly on the tree as Brunson and both Pro Open bikes are close in performance. There’s no telling how many bikes will enter Pro Open at the Rock, so there is no way of knowing in advance how many rounds the drivers will have to get to the final round. The most important element of the racers efforts in this battle is to not make any mistakes in their race program. If or when Brunson and Mark meet up in Nitrous Express Pro Open racing, stand back, the fur will by flying!

In APE sponsored Pro Street class racing, Jeremy Teasley (250), Justin Doucet (222) and Rodney Williford (188) lead the way. Jeremy is within reach of his first Pro Street championship title for DME Racing. This event being held at the home track where DME has made thousands of passes, they know exactly how to tune for the prevailing conditions. Anyone facing DME tuned bikes at this race will have to raise the bar high to keep up. Then of course there’s Williford Racing.

All of the Williford Racing tuned bikes can keep pace with, or exceed the DME bikes. The battle in APE Pro Street, going into this event, is not unlike the age old boxing match up of Ali Vs Frazier. This is a slug fest of the heavy weights. The winner at Rockingham will win big and that win will have a great impact on the championship rounds at the World Finals.

And in keeping pace with Man Cup APE sponsored Pro Street racing, the Man Cup sanction recently released that last year’s DME Racing All-Star Pro Street Shootout will happen again this year during the 41st annual Mann Hill Garage World Finals on November 15-19 at SGMP. There will be up to $14,000 available for winnings by a single Pro Street contestant. If that doesn’t bring out the best in Pro Street bike racing, nothing will! Please follow www.prostreetshootout.com for more details.

In Shinko/WPS Real Street racing at the Rock, going into the event, Johnny Dobrin (253) has a sizeable lead over Luis Hornedo (188). If Johnny can extend his points lead by the end of this race, he will be unstoppable by the World Finals. However, if the talented Luis Hornedo can qualify deep and win the event, all bets are off. Luis can certainly shake things up in Shinko/WPS Real Street at The Rock.

Sportsman Bonus Cash and Double Points

All eight of Man Cup’s Sportsman and ET categories will get the chance to race for double points as well as an extra cash bonus at selected events this season. The bonus program is aimed squarely at those Sportsman and ET racers who truly make up the backbone of motorcycle drag racing. Click here for more details.

In sportsman racing, in the Grothus Ultra 4.60 class, George Babor (305) has a slim lead over Brunson Grothus (282), followed by veterans Tony Mullen (259), and Mike Chongris (249). These four racers will duke it out at Rockingham Dragway and there is no clear leader here no matter what the points total indicates. Every round of qualifying and eliminations for these guys is vital. Driving skills, tuning skills, an infallible maintenance program are all necessary here. One thing is certain about the winner come Sunday evening, whoever wins this event, and they will have earned it!

8.20 Index racers, in the Star Racing Top Gas series are currently led by Mike Chongris (306), followed by Butch Million (250), John “Spooky” Markham (247) and Ben Knight (226). Star Racing Top Gas is heavily populated by the top tier of sportsman motorcycle drag racers and while you see the top points leaders listed here, believe me, there snipers on the sidelines that can drop any of these top guns, anytime, anywhere. There is no safe quarter in this class. Good luck to all T/G racers at the Rock, the battle will be brutal.

MTC Super Comp racing at the DME Nationals will not be much different than the battle in the aforementioned class; this will be close quarters fighting. BAMF leader Dustin Lee (309) leads in points over Dusty Brazel (289), but not by much. That lead can evaporate in one round of racing. It should be noted here that many of the top sportsman racer enter multiple classes of racing and as such, the good news is, lots of seat time. The bad news is, lots of seat time will little or no rest during the late rounds of racing on Sunday. So with the requirements of proper tuning and cutting close lights, add physical endurance to the list. It can be very hot and humid at The Rock, so watch for air-temp conditions to be a factor on race day, on the racers. We all know how ambient temps effect the race bikes and the race surface, let’s not overlook the toll it can take on a racer who is making 40 to 60 passes in two days of racing.

In the World Wide Bearings, Crazy 8’s class, Dustin Lee (306) leads Ben Knight (295) and Dusty Brazel (291), but only by a very slim margin. Spencer Claycomb (287), Brian Dale (284) and Wade Smith (275) are all also in striking distance of first place. Now add to this mix that Crazy 8’s is crazy popular and there will be many rounds of racing to complete to ferret out a winner on race day. Therefore the point total positions may shift significantly by the conclusion of the DME Nationals event at Rockinmgham. Who can beat Dustin Lee? Will he succeed in holding off this pack of leading sportsman racers? On Sunday, September 24th, 2017, we will find out!

In the Wiseco Streetfighter class, Chris Roelse (302) has a points edge over Dustin Lee (283) but that’s nothing to get comfortable about. Wade Smith (279), Ben Knight (271) and John Markham (266) are all in the mix as well. They will all see a LOT of one another at this race and whoever can score the win on Sunday, it will be a BIG one. With one race remaining in 2017 after this event, every point counts heavily!

Vance Houdyshell

Vance & Hines V-Twin class racing at the Rock, entering it’s fourth race of the season, may see it’s first series champion emerge by the end of the race. Vance Houdyshell, going into this event, has a point total of 280 championship-points, to lead the class. The next closest contestant is Barry Pryor Sr with 140 points, fully ½ of the leader, with just one race remaining after this one. If Vance qualifies well and goes rounds, he will likely be the first class champ for the 2017 Man Cup season.

In the C&S Custom Street ET class, Pablo Gonzalez leads the many sportsman racers of the class (262) with Spencer Claycomb (232) not far behind. The C&S Custom Street ET class is the bedrock of sportsman racing, this is the class the greatest majority of racers will first encounter when they first go sportsman racing. It’s not uncommon to see close to 100 entries in Street ET alone. Pablo has done well thus far to lead in the class. With head-hunter Spencer Claycomb hot on his heels, Pablo will need to bring his “A-Game” to Rockingham, to maintain his points lead.

The Mosh-Pit of sportsman racing: the MPS Pro ET series, will once again be a fierce fight at Rockingham, as it is every race. While all the new guys race predominantly in one class, the veteran’s of heavy metal slug it out in Pro-ET. If a racer can win in MPS Pro ET, that racer can win anywhere. Going into the DME Nationals, Ted Harvey (240) has a slim lead over the BAMF title holder, Dustin Lee (210) and Ted is in for the fight of his life to stay a leg-up on the hardest working man in sportsman motorcycle drag racing – Dustin Lee. Ted is capable of holding off Dustin. It’s anyone’s guess who will still be standing when the tire smoke clears after Sunday’s race, but one thing is for sure – whoever shows up for winner’s circle photos, they will have won a very tough race. 


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