Man Cup presented by Vance & Hines
29th Annual Retail Fixture Blues City Bash
presented by B&C Trailer Service
Memphis International Raceway
June 2-4, 2017
Memphis Blues Bash Wrap Up
On June 2-4, 2017, the Man Cup motorcycle drag racing sanction rolled into Memphis, TN for the 29th Annual Retail Fixtures, LLC, Blues City Bash, sponsored in part by B & C Trailer Services, at Memphis International Raceway in Millington, TN. Racers, who had not been to a Man Cup event since the first weekend in April, were hungry for action and Memphis International Raceway staff had the track groomed and ready on Friday.
The threat of rainy weather greatly impacted the attendance of both racers and fans, which were notably thin in numbers. Thunderstorms in the area missed the race track for the first two days of the event. But weather radar and threatening skies conspired to present a grim forecast and that was all it took to keep racers and fans away. This left the racers and race promoters at the track scratching their heads as to “where the heck is everyone?”
The answer lay squarely within the internet and the plague of cell-phone weather forecasting and social media town-criers, who saw the powerful storms on weather radar and just stayed away. The problem was is was all around the track for two out of three days, but not on the race track.
Contrary to rumors that the sanction did not promote the event in advance; the truth is, the Man Cup advanced efforts in handing out flyers, and doing cross promotions with the Outlaw Street Car Reunion IV event in March via the Pro Street bikes, at this very track, were stellar. Yet all of the advanced promotions were canceled out by the immediacy of social media comments and instant cell phone weather forecasting.
Friday’s test and tune prior to racing action on Saturday was well attended by many who raced during the weekend. Racers from the Pingel Top Fuel series on the Nitro Conspiracy team devoted their entire day on Friday to advancing the tune-up on Dennis Bradley’s bike. Sam Wills and Mike Dryden never made a run on Friday; they just devoted 100% of their efforts to helping tune and train the team for Dennis Bradley and his pilot Mitch Brown. Larry McBride’s team, Dave Vantine, and Ian King all made check out passes on Friday.
On Saturday morning, as the sportsman took to the track, just after 9am, the C&S Custom Street ET class was called to the lanes, followed by the MPS Pro ET racers and the Vance & Hines V-Twin class racers. The sportsman racers beat it up from 9AM to 10:30 AM when the professional classes were called to the lanes for Q-1, lead by the Top Fuel motorcycles of the Pingel Top Fuel series.
The three qualifying sessions for Top Fuel took place at 11AM, 3PM and close to 5:30PM with the Top Fuel bikes leading the pro qualifying each time. Of the six Top Fuel bikes entered, after the smoke cleared from qualifying, Larry McBride was the number one qualifier with a fine 6.09 elapsed time, followed by Dave Vantine (6.11), Sam Wills (6.17), Ian King (6.40), Mitch Brown (6.56) and Chris Hand with a troubled 10.68 run he clicked off well before half-track.
In Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel action, Michael Ray, driving the Johnny Vickers “Terminator” bike took the top spot with a 7.24 @ 175 MPH to lead the way.
Everyone was looking for the magic six, but there were just too many grains of water in the air for the bike to generate the kind of power needed for that kind of performance. Others who qualified for the event were Preston Bartlett (7.36), Rocky Jackson (7.73), and David Larson (8.07).
Falicon Pro Mod racers were lead by Brad McCoy with an excellent 4.076 elapsed time. The MIR surface was well prepped and the racers had no trouble finding the grove to work with it.
Paul Gast was #2 qualifier with a 4.08, Brunson Grothus 4.14, Jeff House 4.16, Spencer Allen 4.17, and Charlie Prophit stopped the clocks with a 4.22, to round out the Pro Mod sessions.
In Nitrous Express Pro Open qualifying, Brunson Grothus was the man posting a stout 6.59, just ahead of Mark Rendeluk’s 6.66 best effort. Brian Lewis (6.69), Rob Aston (7.73), and Jean Gosselin (8.14) completed the sessions for the five bikes entered in Pro Open.
APE sponsored Pro Street qualifying, after three rounds on Saturday was lead by, Ryan Hable, his 6.85 @ 210 was very stout. Right behind him was Jeremy Teasley (6.94), Justin Doucet (7.01), Terence Angela (7.03), Rudy Sanzottera (7.13), Brandon Gosbell from the Gold Coast of Australia (7.27) on a Quick Time Motorsports bike, Mike Kovacevich (7.62) and Ehren Litten, of Williford Motorsports (7.64).
The Shinko/WPS Real Street racing class had three entries, of which Johnny Dobrin was the quickest in qualifying with a 7.90 @ 181.25 MPH. Luis Hornedo qualified #2 with a 8.14 elapsed time and Jeremy St. Julian had a troubled 12.11 effort.
There was no professional class racing on Sunday, points for this race will be awarded accordingly to racers who qualified on Saturday.
In the sportsman classes, all the various sportsman ranks of racing got in their qualifiers on Saturday per usual. However it must be noted this was a double points race for all the sportsman classes, as will be the case for the next two events at GALOT and Rockingham. There was elimination racing to class conclusion for C&S Custom, MPS Pro ET and Vance & Hines V-Twin on Saturday only. Class qualifying for all sportsman classes on Saturday went off without a hitch, hat’s off to all the sportsman racers who attended.
In Grothus Ultra 460 index racing, was the number one qualifier with a 4.608 elapsed time. There were nine entries in the class.
In Star Racing Top Gas action, Jim Chongras was closest to the index number with an 8.222 elapsed time, just head of Roam Weeks, who posted an 8.226 number. There were 18 entries in Star Racing Top Gas class at Memphis.
MTC Super Comp racing, set to the 8.90 index saw Ted Harvey in the number one spot with an 8.904 elapsed time, just ahead of Jeremy Teasley’s 8.905. 19 drag bikes were entered in the Super Comp class, making it the best-attended index class of racing for this event.
In World Wide Bearings Crazy 8’s racing, Real Street stand-out, Luis Hornedo held the top spot in qualifying with an 8.886 pass. There were 16 entries in WWB-C/8’s, with some of the best of the best in attendance. It was good to see Mr. Seven-O-Joe back out in competition, Mr. Joe Koenig had the full leathers on for the first time in a long time while competing on a Rickey Gadson ZX-14.
Wiseco Street Fighter class racing had 12 motorcycles entered in the class. Running on the 9.5 index, Ben Knight logged in a 9.51 for the number one spot, just ahead of Dustin Lee’s 9.52. It will be great to watch these two Titan’s of Sportsman racing duke it out for BAMF points this season. It’s already “Game On” for these two as the 2017 season will be memorable for them both.
While all of the aforementioned sportsman class did wrap up qualifying on Saturday, none of them entered into eliminations on Sunday. The rain began early and washed out Sunday while early sportsman racing in ET, Pro ET and V-Twin was in progress between 9:15am and 10:10AM.
On Saturday, Randall Cross won the C&S Customs Street ET class over Spencer Claycomb.
In MPS Pro ET, Ted Harvey defeated Matt Smith for the win.
And in Vance & Hines V-Twin racing: Ted Thompson won the class over Vane Houdeyshell.
Sportsman racers who attended this event will be awarded double points for their efforts. The next Man Cup race will be on July 15/16 at GALOT Motorsports Park for the MTC Nationals, see you there!