Man Cup presented by Vance & Hines
38th annual 190Hookup.com Nationals
presented by Rob Bush Motorsports
Darlington Dragway – September 28-29, 2019
by Tom McCarthy
The Man Cup motorcycle drag racing sanction rolled into Darlington Dragway on September 27-29, 2019 for the Rob Bush Motorsports 190-Hookup Nationals and it was a hot time at the old dragway that weekend! Temps stayed in the mid to upper 90’s throughout the event, testing both man and machines to the limits.
The Friday test and tune was well timed from 11AM to 7PM and many racers got in valued seat time, to get oriented to the new race track, as this was a first time for Man Cup racing at Darlington Dragway. The race was run in the 1/8th mile format and this change was welcomed by the Man Cup racers without a hitch.
Dragway manager Rhett Gardner did a stellar job of giving the racers a great surface to race upon. Nitro crew chiefs made regular measurements of the track and had traction meter readings in the mid to upper 300’s throughout the event, from testing to the race finale on Sunday. Our collective hat’s off to Darlington Dragway for a great place to race!
Saturday qualifying was a challenge for the racers dealing with upper 90 degree temps. This was given a welcome break, late in the day, when a weather front moved in and surrounded the facility, but by the good graces of fortune, it rained everywhere except on the race track!
The #1 qualifier in Pingel Top Fuel was Dave Vantine with a superb 3.78 elapsed time. Larry McBride was right behind him with a best of 3.79, so everyone knew; these two were in for a great race on Sunday.
Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel was also a tight class in qualifying with Sam White, tuned by Johnny Vickers posting a 4.59 just ahead of Preston Bartlett’s 4.68. They came into this race close in points and it was clear from the first qualifying run, these two were going to dog-fight all weekend. Jim Martin (4.70), Tyler Wilson (4.71), Rocky Jackson (4.76), Jay Beasley (4.81) and Kirby Apathy (5.13) also qualified for the event.
In Falicon Pro Mod, Paul Gast put everyone in their place with a fine 4.09 pass to lead the way during qualifying. Mike Chongris was right behind him with a 4.11, Tommy Saxon 4.14, G. Smith 4.49 and L. Grist posted a 4.50 elapsed time, to round out the class.
Nitrous Express Pro Open was led in qualifying by the Canadian Express of Jean Gosselin with a very stout 4.12 pass, assisted by Ed Grothus and Dan Wagner. Niki Zak, Mark Rendeluk, Bobby Lovingood, Rob Giard and followed. A Saturday night entry to the class was Ronnie Procopio.
In APE Pro Street, Chris Edwards was the lone entry with a 4.80 qualifying run and he graciously took the win on Sunday, improving to a 4.72 full pass, in the 1/8th, mile.
In the Shinko/WPS Real Street class, Spencer Claycomb was the man to beat by putting a 4.98 up on the board, letting all comers know, he was not playing this weekend. Spencer is always trying new combinations, looking for an edge and he’s refining his machine every event.
In the Sportsman classes the #1 qualifier:
Grothus Ultra 4.60 – Mike Chongris
Star Power Top Gas – Mike Lingo
MTC Super Comp – Rodney Gantt
Wiseco Street Fighter – Bob Burt
The Saturday winners in ET racing:
MPS Pro ET – Rick Eaton
Vance & Hines ET – Freddy Barreiro
Liska Racing ET – Chris Roelse
Saturday’s qualifying sessions set the stage for Sunday’s race in fine fashion. Darlington track staff was out early dragging the track, making sure the grooming was perfect for Pingel Top Fuel to kick off at 11AM and indeed it did in thundering fashion.
With two titans of Top Fuel facing off for all the marbles to lead off the pro-show, all eyes were on Dave Vantine and Larry McBride to let it all hang out and boy did they! McBride launched first with a stellar .038 reaction time and Dave Vantine responded with a respectable .058 RT to the flash of green and they were gone in the blink of an eye. 3.76 seconds later, Larry “Spiderman” McBride crossed the finish line first, followed quickly by Dave Vantine’s 3.80 who was close, but not close enough to catch the Spiderman. It was a great T/F drag race and Larry quipped later “Well I really pulled that one out of my (Bleep) now didn’t I!”
In Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel, Sam White was not only the #1 qualifier, but he was a successful man on a mission, going all the way to the finals to defeat Preston Bartlett, 4.61 to 4.72 during the final stanza. Pass after pass, Sam was straight as a string going down the Darlington Dragway race surface, racing hard like the old-pro he is – right on the money. Preston held 208 points coming into the event, Sam owned 126. With Sam qualifying #1 and winning the event, this will change significantly, tightening things up for Sam.
The rampaging Falicon Pro Mods in the house at Darlington were all in awe of the performance of veteran Paul Gast, who was the class of the class defeating everyone who crossed his path on race day. Paul never went slower than a 4.0 and uncorked a 3.99 along the way, just for good measure. In the final round, Paul Gast defeated Mike Chongris, 4.00 to 4.30 and while Mike did red-light on that pass, it didn’t matter. The freight train known as Fast By Gast was not stopping for anyone.
In Nitrous Express Pro Open: Jean Gosselin of Canada on his Canadian Express took the win over Ronnie Procopio, 4.04 to no-time rendered.
In Shinko/WPS Real Street racing, Mark Hylton defeated #1 qualifier Spencer Claycomb when they both attacked the starting line tree a bit too aggressively, each of them triggering a red-light. Spencer’s -.074 happened before the -.015 of Mark Hylton and that was it for Spencer’s racing weekend. Hylton’s winning weekend puts him in the lead of championship points, ahead of Jeremy Teasley going into the final two races of the 2019 season.
Grothus Ultra 4.60 racing at Darlington Dragway featured a win by “Hollywood” Broderick Jackson, who was a man on fire all weekend, taking names and kicking butt. Mike Chongris was the #1 qualifier but his final round red-light (.021) was his undoing as Hollywood, just uncorked a fine .029 and ran a beautiful 4.61, to take a trip to the winner’s circle. Come next race in Rockingham on October, 26-27, Mr. Jackson and Mr. Mullen will decide who’s going into the world finals with the points lead, right now: it could be any one of the aforementioned racers: Mullen, Jackson or Chongris.
Star Power Top Gas action was as hot as the air-temps at Darlington. Mike Lingo was on that 5.10 (1/8th mile) index number all weekend. He was the #1 qualifier and he scorched his way through the field like a blow torch on his way to the final round to meet Ronnie Procopio. On the last pass of the day in T/G, Ronnie did his best to chop the tree on Mike but was off by -.0001 of a second leaving too soon, handing the win to Mike Lingo, who went 5.10 on the 5.10 index anyway, solidifying his win.
MTC Super Comp racing at the Rob Bush, 190-Hookup Nationals was run on the 5.60 index and Rodney Gantt was the man in qualifying, but he was out before the finals as Harvey Hubbard and Spencer Claycomb lined up for top honors. Harvey showed great poise and racing skills with her .052 RT and clean staging routine. Spencer responded with a .002 RT and ran 5.66 on the index to take his place in the winner’s circle. Both racers put on a great show out there.
Wiseco Street Fighter, normally run on the 9.50 index for ¼ mile drag racing was run on the 6.20 index at this event as it was at GALOT back in 2017, for 1/8th mile drag racing. Talented sportsman racer Bob Burt was the man to beat in the #1 qualifying position, but he was nowhere to be seen in the final round that featured Dusty Brazel and Pablo Gonzalez going head-to-head. Dusty got out first with a .040 RT to Pablo’s .049, but Pablo ran closer to the number with a fine 6.20 to Dusty’s 6.22, to earn a much needed victory for Pablo Gonzalez.
In the Street ET wars: Bary Pryor Sr. won in Liska Racing Street ET over Vance Houdyshell, in MPS Pro ET, Shawn Welch held off Scott Riley for the victory and in Vance & Hines V-Twin racing class on Sunday, Vance Houdyshell beat Manny Carrasquillo to the big stripe for the win.
The next race on the Man Cup schedule is October 26-27 at Rockingham Dragway for the fourth race of this five-race series. There will be a test and tune session on Friday, October 25th, with early parking for vendors and professional teams on Thursday the 24th.
|Until Next time…
– Tom McCarthy