Man Cup presented by Vance & Hines
38th annual FBG Nationals
presented by Advanced Sleeve and Mickey Thompson Tires
Dragway 42 – July 12 – 14, 2019
Man Cup Fast By Gast Nationals Intensely Hot
by Tom McCarthy / Dragbike.com
The Fast By Gast Nationals presented by Advanced Sleeve held July 12-14 at Dragway 42, in West Salem Ohio was the second race of the five race season for the Man Cup motorcycle drag racing sanction. It was indeed a very hot and intense weekend with sunny skies, high temperatures and intense action. In the tower at race control, the announcer never saw so many triple ought reaction times in one event unfold on the racecourse. This event was a head hunter’s paradise.
The race was well attended, not only by the racers but by the manufacturers who support the racers and the racing. On the manufacturer’s midway, aligned with the Man Cup, were great displays by Pingel-TrimTex with Larry McBride racing, Fast By Gast, Grothus Drag Bikes, APE, Vanson Leathers, Bates Leathers, MTC, BPM, JE Pistons/Wiseco, and Advanced Sleeves.
The quality of the sportsman racing was immense in every category from ET to Index racing. For example, in Grothus Dragbikes, Ultra 4.60 class, during qualifying, 6 different teams ran the 4.60 index number. All of the racers who won their respective classes at the Fast By Gast Nationals have much to be proud of: they won against the best of the best in motorcycle drag racing. From Pingle Top Fuel to MPS Pro ET, it was INTENSE!
In Pingel Top Fuel, coming into the event, Dave Vantine was in first place and Larry McBride was in fourth place.
By the end of the event, with Larry taking the number one qualifier position with a 5.82 @ 239 MPH, the championship point’s chase began to change. In qualifying, Dave Vantine’s 5.91 @ 239 was a great number, but Larry nipped him on that one.
Then during eliminations, it was Larry and Dave in the finals with Larry storming to victory posting a quickest of the weekend, 5.78 @ 252 MPH vault from fourth place to second in championship points. During qualifying, Sam Wills qualified third with a 6.51, Mitch Brown next with a 6.52 and Chris Hand, was the number four qualifier with a 6.62. All of these heavy hitters are expected to be at the next Man Cup event, September 27-29 at Darlington, South Carolina.
Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel racing at the Fast By Gast Nationals was just as close as the Pingel Top Fuel class. Number one qualifier was Preston Bartlett with a 7.44 @ 170 MPH, followed by Sam White 7.47 @ 166, Tyler Wilson 7.53 and Rocky Jackson with a 7.65 elapsed time. Coming into this event, Preston was #1 in championship points with 109, followed by Tyler Wilson with 85, Rocky Jackson with 66, and Sam White had 48 at the start of the event.
With Sam White taking the #2 qualifier position and going to the finals, he gained significant traction in points on Tyler Wilson. Sam also advanced to the final round against Preston and was sent packing by Preston’s 7.44 @ 173 MPH, to Sam’s 24.66 elapsed time. The team of LSR Racing, which is Long and Short Racing, Preston Bartlett and Walter Halonski, are doing a great job of defending their back-to-back Pro Fuel championships with Man Cup. Three races remain for any team to unseat them in 2019.
Falicon Racing Pro Mod at the Fast By Gast nationals was dominated by none other than the title sponsor of the event: Mr. Fast By Gast his-bad-self – Mr. Paul Gast. Paul unloaded a 4.07 @ 172 MPH to qualify number one. Then he continued to hand out 4-oh’s into the final where he met Jeff House, who was also running 4-0’s this weekend. Jeff put a light on Paul with an excellent, .003 RT to Paul’s .028, to start things off and it was game-on to the stripe! Paul prevailed with a 4.03 to Jeff’s 4.17 for the win and a great drag race was witnessed by all. Qualifiers included, Brunson Grothus 4.13, Jeff House 4.13, Jim Fisher 4.21 and Mike Chongris 4.29.
Nitrous Express Pro Open was also a very competitive class at the Fast By Gast Nationals. Coming into the event, Jean Gosselin of Canada on his “Canadian Express” drag bike led in championship points with 109 and he was ready to take on, all comers. He tested well on Friday, and then on Saturday during qualifying he took the top spot in qualifying with a 6.57 elapsed time, just ahead of Mark Rendeluck’s 6.63 effort. Mark was chipping away at his elapsed times, doing well, until he windowed a block and had to change motors. Ron Maddox was number three qualifier with a 7.42, Charlie Thesis 7.81 and Rob Giard posted a 8.27 elapsed time. During eliminations, Jean and Rob dispatched their opponents to meet up in the final round. Rob had transmission problems and slowed to a 8.59 in the final, while Jean’s Canadian Express stormed off to a 6.60 @ 204 MPH enabling Jean to win his second race in as many events. Jean is the current #1 plate holder in P/O and he’s looking to repeat in 2019.
In Shinko/WPS Real Street competition, this was a race to remember for Spencer Claycomb. Spencer and Mark Hylton were battling it out and in qualifying, Hylton was the number one qualifier with a 7.88 @ 170 MPH. But that was as close to Spencer as he would get all weekend. In the final round, when they met up, Spencer dropped a bomb, a new world record in Real Street, a 7.691 to Hylton’s 7.85 to take the win and the history setting a new record for Man Cup Shinko/WPS Real Street racers.
Sportsman class racing at the Fast By Gast Nationals was definitely top shelf. The action in Grothus Dragbikes Ultra 4.60 set the pace for the remainder of the classes as to the level of closeness of the competition. During three rounds of qualifying on Saturday, July 13, 2019 the top eight looked like this: number one qualifier for the weekend was Tony Mullen with a 4.601, followed by Brunson Grothus 4.6026, Mike Lingo 4.6027, Broderick Jackson 4.6042, Jim Muntain 4.6056, Brody Grothus 4.6057, Ralph Medrano Jr. 4.61, and Mike Chongris 4.62! All of these racers are head-hunters on the tree and they can run the number right-on. During eliminations, Tony Mullen lost out to Mike Chongris who cut a .006 light and ran 4.60 to park Mullen. Then Mike Chongris went on to win it all 4.61 to 4.64 over Thomas Acres in the final match up.
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MTC Super Comp was also intense tight racing running on the 8.90 index. Number one qualifier was Rob Robaugh with an 8.9016, Brain Babrzk 8.9020, Joe Koenig, 8.9020, John Markham 8.9033, K. Sahrer 8.9055, Dalton Markham 8.9073, Ron Arnold 8.912, and Vic Puglia 8.913, to round out the top 8 qualifiers. Brian Babiak of West Seneca NY parlayed his #2 spot into a full day of racing on Sunday, going through 5 rounds of brutal eliminations to meet Tom Klemme, in the finals. Tom qualified in the 13th, spot and took his many years of racing skills to the final round to defeat Brian, who went red against the cagey veteran by a slim .014, to put Tom Klemme in the winner’s circle.
Also featured in the sportsman class racing at Dragway 42 was the running of the Super Eliminator bikes. S/E is a class made up of a hodgepodge of yesterday and today drag bikes where racers and spectators can see 1972, two-stroke Kawasaki motorcycles, as well as other vintage drag bikes from the old “DRAGBIKE!” era of motorcycle drag racing, brought back to life.
In qualifying for the Fast By Gast Nationals, Jim Chongris was the quickest bike out there with a 8.14 @ 159 MPH out of a 1972 Kawasaki H2. Another interesting combination in the S/E racing ranks was the father, daughter combination in competition of Allison Neeld and her dad Thad Neeld, of Ohio. They too were racing the old H-2’s and when the daughter went to the finals: all eyes were on her. Allison is 20 years old and she faced veteran Craig Adams. She raced her own race and posted a .042 reaction time to Craig’s .045 then she ran 9.92 on the 9.90 number for her national index and she won! The starting line erupted, her family and friends went berserk, deservedly so. Guaranteed we will see more of her and her dad in Man Cup motorcycle drag racing action.
Wiseco Streetfighter action, taking place on the 9.50 index: long-time motorcycle drag racing supporter and racer Walter Houghtaling of Mystic CT was the number one qualifier on Saturday with a 9.500 on the index to snatch the #1 spot. He then proceeded to have a heck of a race day on Sunday, wading through five rounds of eliminations to get to the final round. There he met up with Mid West heavyweight Ron Arnold who’s won many a championship in motorcycle drag racing. Walter was off just a bit on the tree and that’s all Arnold needed to drive around him and take the win. This is Ron’s first win in 2019 with Man Cup and we certainly hope to see more of him this season. This was also a great race for Walter who has been in the pits with Man Cup since the sanction began nine years ago. Definitely one of his best weekends of racing ever, the Fast By Gast nationals brought out the best in him.
In rounding out the Man Cup sportsman racing classes, Star Power Top Gas did not disappoint as a class of competition and it never does. It’s always well attended and tough as heck to compete in. Of the close to three dozen motorcycles racing in Top Gas, the number one qualifier on the 8.20 index was Shad Rowe of Frankfort, Kentucky. His 8.201 was the top number closest to the index.
Garreth Shepherd qualified number two with an 8.208 and went on to clean the table and win the race. After many rounds of eliminations, Garreth met up with Craig Adams in the final round and he got the better of Craig with a 8.21 to Craig’s breakout pass of 8.18. Hopefully, Garreth can make it to the next Man Cup event in September to continue his winning ways at Charlotte, SC.
In the ET racing ranks at the Fast By Gast Nationals, in the Liska Racing Street ET class, Saturday was won by Rick McWaters and Sunday by Marshall Hutchenson Jr.
MPS PRO ET at the Fast By Gast Nationals, on Saturday Rick Eaton won the class. And on Sunday, Jim Underhill was victorious after seven rounds of tough competition.
In Vance & Hines sponsored V-Twin racing, the Saturday contest was won by Loren Potter and on Sunday, Rick McWaters was the man headed into the winner’s circle.