DME Nationals Rock the House at Rockingham Dragway


Man Cup presented by Vance & Hines
31st annual DME Racing Nationals
Rockingham Dragway
June 2-3, 2018

DME Nationals Rock the House at Rockingham Dragway

On June 3, 2018 drag bike racers rocked the house at Rockingham Dragway as the Man Cup DME Racing Nationals rolled into town.  Drag bike racers from all over came to the storied 1320’ drag strip to engage in two-wheel, handle bar to handle bar action which kicked off on Friday June 1, 2018 with the usual pre-race test and tune open to all racers in all categories.  It was actually three days of glorious sunshine with no weather interruptions throughout the event.

On Friday during open testing from 12 noon to 7PM with many racers taking advantage of the pre-race testing opportunity. One of the racers who stood out in early testing was Spencer Claycomb with is Shinko/WPS Real Street bike.  He was in the 7’s right away and when his 7.83 came up on the board, we knew it would be a great race for him. Vance Houdyshell also made a number of runs as did Elmer Cromer, Jeremy Teasley, and many other racers.

Saturday, the number one qualifiers were:

  • Pingel Top Fuel: Larry McBride 6.08 @ 242.45 MPH
  • OCR Pro Fuel: Kirby Apathy 7.184 @ 180.19 MPH
  • Falicon Pro Mod: Paul Gast 4.11 @ 172.76 MPH
  • APE Pro Street: Chris Connelly 7.01 @ 210.28 MPH
  • NX Pro Open: Keith Brown 7.47 @ 181.20 MPH
  • Shinko/WPS Real Street: Spencer Claycomb 7.72 @ 184 MPH

Grothus Ultra 4.60: Alan Fields, (4.610), MTC Super Comp, Brian Dale (8.903), Wiseco Street Fighter: Barry Pryor (9.507), Star Power Top Gas, Butch Million (8.20), World Wide Bearings Crazy 8’s, Shawn Bizelle (8.88), C&S Custom Street ET (Sat) Randy Parker, (Sun) Brian Dale, Vance & Hines V-Twin class, (Sat) Manny Carrasquillo, (Sun) Vance  Houdyshell, MPS Pro ET, (Sat) Ralph Medrano Jr, (Sun) Robin Procopio.

On Sunday, in Pingel Top Fuel racing, Dave Vantine, of Hamilton, NY won his second consecutive race in as many starts to once again defeat his mentor Larry “Spiderman” McBride, 6.22 to 6.36. Larry got the better of Dave with a starting line advantage of .034 to .083 reaction time, but Larry’s bike struggled to grab the race track and printed the tire for the full 1320’ of race track.

Larry’s bike was trying to drift to the center of the track and he fought it the entire pass, but Vantine got to the finish line first. This was a great victory for Vantine Racing, extending their points lead over the Cycle Specialist team for their best start in team history.  Armon Furr gave Dave a good run for the money in round E-1, posting his best pass on a new combination he is trying out with his Top Fuel Harley (6.86 @ 195.73), but Dave Vantine’s Gregg Pollard tuned bike was too much for the mighty Top Fuel Twin.

Orangeburg Cycle Racing Pro Fuel racing was great at the DME Nationals with Kirby Apathy of Deland Florida leading the way, his 7.18 pass during qualifying was a stunner.  With an unbalanced ladder, Kirby had a bye-run during E-1 action but a starting line mishap caused him to lose fire prior to staging and without breaking the beam under his own power; this eliminated him from competition.

Former Man Cup, P/F champion, Tyler Wilson then took center stage by defeating Janette Thornley  (7.5 Vs 7.68) and Preston Bartlett (7.40 Vs 7.46) to win his first Man Cup Pro Fuel event of 2018. Sam White looked good as the #2 qualifier (7.28), Jay Beasley (7.65) and Rocky Jackson (7.65) also gave it their best efforts during the weekend.

In Falicon Pro Mod, Paul Gast was the man to beat at this race. He was the number one qualifier with a 4.12 @ 172.76 MPH. When he met up with Shane Eperjesi in the final round, he saved the best for last by unleashing a 4.11 to Shane’s 4.28 to take the win, his first of the 2018 season. Paul Gast was the 2016 Falicon Pro Mod champion and he’s out to win that title once again!

APE Pro Street racing at the DME Nationals was really the DME show with two of their premier drivers, Chris Connelly and Jeremy Teasley, stealing the show. Chris was the #1 qualifier with a 7.01 @ 210 MPH and he rode ‘BOOST’ into the winner’s circle by defeating his team-mate, Jeremy Teasley 6.94 to 6.91 respectively, via a hole-shot (.028 Vs .096) for the win. Connelly was two places behind Teasley going into the Rockingham event. When the new points are totaled for this event, it will be interesting who leads who, going into the next event at Dragway 42, on July 13-15th in Ohio.

Nitrous Express Pro Open racing was a win for local Roxboro North Carolina racer Keith Browne and his brother, the chassis magician, Pete Browne. These two local residents who proudly call Rockingham Dragway their home track, have been attending Man Cup races for years and this is their first National event win for the brothers Browne.  They have a unique combination with their turbocharged Harley Davidson, racing in the Pro Open Class, the only bike of it’s kind in the class really.  Pete Browne is a true craftsman of the highest order as a welder/fabricator and together he and his brother Keith, who pilot’s the bike, are currently racing the second generation of this Turbo-Harley. They posted a 7.47 elapsed time during qualifying and they parlayed that into a win on Sunday by defeating Bobby Lovinggood, in the final round of racing for the class.

In Shinko/WPS Real Street racing at Rockingham, Spencer Claycomb was the odds/on favorite coming into the race with some blazing performance numbers during testing. But Anibal Merced of Concord, NC would have none of it. Anibal waded through the competition like a hot knife through butter to get to Spencer in the final round, then dispatched him on a hole-shot.  Spencer’s .075 light was too slow for Anibal’s .021 reaction time as Mr. Merced took Spencer to the cleaners at both ends of the race track.

Grothus Dragbikes Ultra 4.60 class at the DME nationals had an interesting preamble to the race, before the race weekend even came into being. Last year’s number one plate holder, Tony Mullen, won this year’s Exoticycle Spring Cup race and is clearly out to defend his hard earned #1 plate from 2017. About 10 days before the DME Nationals, which was race number two of a five race series, Tony Mullen shows up in a photo posted on social media with his arm in a cast!  It seems he hurt it badly, but he stated openly, “We’ll be at the Man Cup race.” A bit of pre-race drama, just to up the ante a bit.

In the super tough Ultra 4.60 class, Alan Fields qualified #1 with Mullen qualified in the number five spot. Then on race day, the two tough guys wade through the field to meet up in the finals. Field’s served up deal first with a .027 reaction time followed closely by Mullen’s .029 response. Then it was game-on for the eighth-mile racers.  660 feet later at the finish line, it was Alan Field’s taking his first Man Cup win of the season with a fine 4.61 to Tony Mullen’s 4.65 effort. This will make for an interesting points race battle in Grothus Drag Bikes Ultra 4.60 for 2018.

MTC Super Comp produced super good racing during the DME Nationals.  The number one qualifier Brian Dale, who was a buzz-saw on his opposition all weekend, found his-bad-self eliminated in round one of S/C when he matched up with Michael Smith during E-1 action and ended up on the wrong end of a double break-out pass. In the meantime, Spencer Claycomb and Jeremy Teasley were mopping up the remainder of the class on their way to meet up in the finals.  When they did, Spencer got the better of Jeremy  8.985 to 8.984, with a microscopic .0004 margin of victory going to Spencer Claycomb, via the .007 light by Spencer to Jeremy’s .029 effort. Baseball may be a game of inches, but motorcycle drag racing is a high-speed ballet, decided by the thinnest of margins in sports.

Wiseco Street Fighter, the 9.50 index class was rocking at The Rock during the Man Cup DME Nationals. Things were looking good for Barry Pryor out of Chesapeake VA, the number one qualifier, as he ripped through the field, all the way to the finals like a man on a mission. But there he met up with Jason Herron who strapped a .010 RT on Mr. BP and took him out for the win with a 9.508 pass on the 9.5 index. Roy Johnson qualified 3rd t this event and won the previous one, so he extended his points lead over the field, but will now have Bad Barry Pryor breathing down his neck for the next 3 races. November will be a reckoning for these two tough customers.

Star Power Top Gas racing was as tight as always at The Rock. It’s tracks like Rockingham Dragway that become a must for the Man Cup series as great traction and a lengthy shut-down are needed for such quick and powerful machines as the 8.20 index bikes. Butch Million looked strong at the #1 qualifier, but when he ran into Robin Procopio in E-2, she sent him packing, on her way to the Semis. There she ran into Ralph Medrano Jr of Davie Florida, who just destroyed everyone on race day for his first Man Cup victory of the season.

World Wide Bearings Crazy 8’s, the 8.88 index class had a strong field of talent at the DME Nationals. The usual cast of hitters were in the house and 8.88 is starting to look like Brazel-Ville for the high-speed hitter out of Norman Park, Georgia. Shawn Bizelle of LA, was the #1 qualifier, but the buzzing sound of the shredder heard throughout the facility was that of Dusty Brazel, feeding his opponents into the chipper: Frank Loney, Elmer Cromer, Brian Dale, and Randy Day, all were trailered by the Man Cup 8.88 champion of 2017 – Mr. Dusty Brazel. Dusty was the R/U at the Man Cup Spring Nationals and this coupled with his victory at Rockingham puts him solid in the lead for 2018. If he can make the trip to Dragway 42 in Ohio in July, he may well have the best opportunity to defend his #1 plate.

C&S Custom Street ET racing on Saturday saw Randy Parker as the #1 qualifier and it was Shaun Bizette taking the win over Janrei Thompson in the final round.  On Sunday, Brian Dale, who was a 1320 terror all weekend, was the number one qualifier for this class, but Dusty Brazel doubled-up with a win in Street ET on Sunday, to compliment his 8.88 victory in Crazy 8’s.

The Vance & Hines sponsored V-Twin class had quite the slugfest over the course of two days of racing. On Saturday, Manny Carrasqillo of Clearwater, FL, was the #1 qualifier and in the final round of racing, Vance Houdyshell defeated Branon White, who was tough as nails all weekend. In fact Branon White went the finals twice and was the runner-up both times.  The class winner on Sunday was Joe Peterson, of Wilmington, SC.

MPS Pro ET, where Eagles dare, was very dramatic to watch at the Rockingham Dragway Man Cup event. Anytime high speed, big power bikes are trying to run down the slower ET bikes, now THAT’S entertainment! On Saturday, Ralph Medrano Jr. was the #1 qualifier for the class and he was running on his 8.20 dial, and took out McAllister (11.01 dial), Pinkney (9.65 dial) and Brian Dale (8.97 dial) for the win. It must be mentioned here Brian Dale also had a hell of a weekend of racing at the Man Cup event.

On Sunday, the MPS Pro ET class was won by the talented and beautiful Robin Procopio, who together with her very savvy Husband’s tuning and guidance, they trailered: Bob Burt (E-2), Scott Riley (E-3) and Chris Roelse (E-4) for the stunning victory in the last round of racing.  Watching her gun down Roelse, who dialed 9.73 and her with an 8.18 was a sight! She started things off with a .000 reaction time (can she drive or what?), then she went after his bike like a heat-seeking missile and shot past him right at the finish line like he was cruising down easy street. This is the drama of on-track high-speed racing that makes Man Cup what it is – a great sanction where every bike, no matter what the configuration can find a class and great racing to enjoy – that’s challenging.

Our special thanks to Rockingham Dragway and the Man Cup for posting an additional $500 cash bonus in the MPS Pro ET class on the weekend, for the “No Box” racers who advanced the farthest in Pro ET.

The Man Cup’s next event is July 13/14/15 at Dragway 42, in West Salem, Ohio, join in the fun!

Video Playlist


Pingel Top Fuel
Winner – Dave Vantine / .083 / 6.224  / 225.75
Runner-up – Larry McBride / .034 / 6.360 / 237.17
#1 Qualifier – Larry McBride 6.085

Orange Cycle Pro Fuel
Winner – Tyler Wilson / .107 / 7.408 / 168.16
Runner-up – Preston Bartlett / .134 / 7.464 / 173.12
#1 Qualifier – Kirby Apathy 7.184

Falicon Pro Mod
Winner – Paul Gast / .028 / 4.110 / 171.08
Runner-up – Shane Eperjesi / .049 / 4.289 / 164.11
#1 Qualifier – Paul Gast 4.122

Nitrous Express Pro Open
Winner – Keith Browne / .039 / 8.473 / 141.85
Runner-up – Bobby Lovingood
#1 Qualifier – Keith Browne 7.477

APE Pro Street
Winner – Chris Connelly / .028 / 6.945 / 212.06
Runner-up – Jeremy Teasley  / .096 / 6.916 / 216.51
#1 Qualifier – Chris Connelly 7.017

Shinko/WPS Real Street
Winner – Anibal Merced / .021 / 8.083 / 29.39
Runner-up – Spencer Claycomb / .075 / 8.519 / 148.33
#1 Qualifier – Spencer Claycomb 7.72

Grothus Ultra 4.60
Winner – Alan Fields / .027 / 4.615
Runner-up – Tony Mullen / .029 / 4.653
#1 Qualifier – Alan Fields 4.610

Star Top Gas
Winner – Ralph Medrano Jr / .025 / 8.271
Runner-up – Jeremy Teasley / .019 / 8.277
#1 Qualifier – Butch Million 8.20

MTC Super Comp
Winner – Spencer Claycomb / .007 / 8.985
Runner-up – Jeremy Teasley / .029 / 8.982
#1 Qualifier – Brian Dale 8.903

World Wide Bearings Crazy 8’s
Winner – Dusty Brazel / .174 / 8.57
Runner-up – Randy Day / .128 / 8.822
#1 Qualifier – Shawn Bizette 8.88

Wiseco Street Fighter
Winner – Jason Herron / .010 / 9.508
Runner-up – Barry Pryer / .090 / 9.474
#1 Qualifier – Barry Pryer 9.507

MPS Pro ET Saturday
Winner – Brian Dale / .025 / 8.97 / 8.942
Runner-up – Ralph Mendrano / .017 / 8.22 / 8.184

MPS Pro ET Sunday
Winner – Robin Procopio / .000 / 8.18 / 8.226
Runner-up – Chris Roelse / .077 / 9.68 / 9.731

C&S Custom Street ET Saturday
Winner – Shaun Bizette / .063 / 9.063
Runner-up – Janrei Thompson / .003 / 9.306

C&S Custom Street ET Sunday
Winner – Dusty Brazel / .053 / 8.88 / 8.944
Runner-up – Bob Burt / .066 / 10.75 / 10.744

Vance & Hines V-Twin Saturday
Winner – Vance Houdyshell / .057 / 9.90 / 9.911
Runner-up – Barry White / .089 / 9.70 / 9.732

Vance & Hines V-Twin Sunday
Winner – Joe Peterson / .084 / 10.10 / 10.191
Runner-up – Branon White / .139 / 9.70 / 10.034

Scott and Kendra Riley brought their drag-sleds into competition, a first for Man Cup. Scott advanced well in Pro ET on Sunday to the Semi-Final round.


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