On April 6-8, 2018, hundreds of motorcycle drag racers shed the winter blues by descending upon South Georgia Motorsports Park, in Adel, GA, for the 42nd Annual Exoticycle Spring Cup Presented by Roaring Toyz. This event kicks off the motorcycle drag racing season for the all-bike sanctions each year.
Many early arrival racers took part in the early test and tune event, and were treated to seeing Larry “Spiderman” McBride lay down a 5.79 @ 251 MPH. There was plenty of wheel standing action on Thursday and on Friday during Q-1 as Wade Rich and the SGMP staff had the track hooking well. As projected, the testing continued until the afternoon hours on Friday when qualifying kicked off. While Mother Nature stole the show on Saturday with a complete rain-out for that day, nothing dampened the spirits of the racers who came out in force on Sunday to do battle for championship points in their respective classes.
In Pingel Top Fuel, Larry McBride’s official 5.84 @ 244.12 MPH made him the #1 qualifier and gave him lane choice over Chris Hand and the Red Neck Express. Larry eliminated Chris while Dave Vantine took out Mitch Brown, 6.10 to 7.44 on the timing clocks.
So the final round match up was a good one with two members of the MTC 5 Second Club facing off. Dave was away first with a fine .084 reaction time, to Larry’s .141 RT. While Dave was away first, Larry launched like a rocket-ship and was in hot pursuit briefly until he broke traction and coasted the length of the race track. Meanwhile, Dave Vantine powered away to a 6.73 elapsed time for his first win of 2018 and a significant lead in the Pingel Top Fuel points race.
In Orangeburg Cycle Racing Pro Fuel class, the nitromethane fumes were heavenly after a long winter break from racing. Kirby Apathy was the #1 qualifier with a very stout 7.19 elapsed time, right off the trailer. But on that run, Kirby spun the #2 intake cam, and it threw off the rest of his cam timing enough for the exhaust valves to hit the pistons and end his racing weekend.
During eliminations, Man Cup #1 Pro Fuel plate holder Preston Bartlett was first out with Jim Martin in the other lane. Preston bested Jim with a 7.41 elapsed time to Jim Martin’s 7.96. In the next matchup, Sam White, who just bought Johnny Vickers “Terminator” bike, got the better of Rocky Jackson, 7.30 to 8.13 for the Rockstone. In the final round, Preston and Sam had a great drag race, side by side all the way down the 1320’ of SGMP surface. Preston Bartlett got to the finish line first, his 7.43 was just what he needed against Sam’s 7.76 to secure his first win of 2018 in OCR Pro Fuel.
Falicon Pro Mod at the Spring Cup was flying! The talented Ashley Owens was bombing right off the trailer in qualifying with a 4.01 and he kept the bike on “Kill” for the whole race. During eliminations, he took out Connell Smith, 4.03 to 4.52, and then he trailered the talented Jeff House in E-2, with a 4.03 to Jeff’s excellent 4.09 to advance to the final round. There he met up with good friend Eric McKinney, the number one qualifier and while they were ready for a fierce showdown, unfortunately, something failed on Eric’s bike just after the burn-out, sending Ashley on to the winner’s circle. Being the kind of racer Ashley is, he finished off the round in professional style giving the fans a stout 4.03 @ 176 MPH blast.
In Nitrous Express Pro Open, it was good for racers to see an old familiar face in the mix once again: Mr. Rick Perry. Rick who is a veteran drag bike pilot of a few decades now, is back and has teamed up with George Babor of BPM (Babor Performance Motors) and if these two stay paired up for 2018.
With his solid 6.59 in qualifying, Rick was the #1 qualifier in Pro Open and took the bye run in round one action. In the final pairing of NX, Pro Open, Jean Gosselin of Canada, on the Canadian Express, gave Rick a run for his money with a 6.90 effort, but the BPM horsepower was too much for the flying Frenchman and Rick’s 6.53 sent him off to the winner’s circle. This is the first win in 14 years for the Rick Perry, George Babor team and they are thrilled to be back racing together again with the Man Cup.
APE Pro Street action started with Jeremy Teasley leading the way with a 6.73 @ 214 MPH for his sponsor DME Racing. He then proceeded to carve his way to the final round by defeating Francesco Valentino (6.75 to 8.17) then he took out Mike Kovacevich (6.81 to 7.04) followed by a bye-run, into the finals. There he faced off against veteran motorcycle drag racer Ricky Gadson. Ricky, knowing Jeremy had the quicker bike, pushed the tree a bit too hard, lighting the foul-light and the victory went to Jeremy Teasley.
The DME bike is sporting a new and very sharp paint job. Hat’s off to team DME for a strong showing their first outing of 2018.
In the Shinko/WPS Real Street class, Spencer Claycomb was the number one qualifier with a 7.82 @ 178 MPH, and the crowd was wowed by Jason Herron who clocked in with a monster 187.18 MPH pass during qualifying (Q-1).
During eliminations, it was Johnny Dobrin slicing through the field for the win. He defeated Mike Sancho in E-1, Bud Harrod during E-2 and met up with the flashy Spencer Claycomb for the final round of the day.
It was a great drag race by the two of them with identical elapsed times of .788, but Johnny’s .055 light to Spencer’s .221 spelled the difference in etching the win for the Exoticycle man: Mr. Johnny Turbo Dobrin.
Grothus Ultra 4.60 action at the Spring Cup event was a hotly contested class led by “Hollywood Jackson” in qualifying. He stopped the timing clocks with an excellent 4.609 during qualifying to snag the lead for the class. He then proceeded to wade through the competition and into the final round where he found the 2017 4.60 class champion Tony Mullen waiting for him. They locked horns in the finals and Tony Mullen came out on top, 4.67 to Jackson’s 4.73 elapsed time. They are expected to wage a fierce points race throughout the 2018 season whenever the Grothus Ultra 4.60’s take to the track.
In Star Racing Top Gas competition, it was Ricardo Marte and Sam Hurwitz battling through the masses to meet up in the final round. Mr. Ricardo Marte took out #1 qualifier Jeremy Teasley in semi-finals to match up with ex-NHRA Pro Stock motorcycle racer Sam Hurwitz in the final matchup. Sam strapped a .009 RT light on Ricardo, who responded with a .044 RT, then at the stripe on the big end, Sam’s 8.264 was not enough to beat Ricardo’s 8.213 and that was all for Sam Hurwitz. Ricardo won big at the Man Cup opening event in two classes.
MTC Super Comp racing during the Spring Cup was tight with Jeremy Teasley showing his mad skills as a drag bike pilot by not only taking the win in APE Pro Street, but in MTC Super Comp as well. Jeremy defeated New England Dragway Top Bike Eliminator Champion Ed Hughes, Man Cup heavy hitter Ted Harvey and the very talented Dusty Brazel to advance to the final round of racing. There he matched up with Shawn Welch, and they went at it with handle-bar to handle-bar excitement for all who witnessed it. J.T. came off the line first with a .030 reaction time to Shawn’s .073 light, and they stayed glued together for 1320’ of race track. At the stripe, it was Jeremy Teasley with the win, as Shawn broke-out, 8.85 to 8.93 on the 8.90 index.
World Wide Bearing Crazy 8’s racers at the Spring Cup kept the racing tight by running on or within the 8.88 index by two-tenths of a second by all the contestants during qualifying. Clearly they could all run the number, and this made for fierce competition all weekend. WWB Class champion Dusty Brazel made it to the final round to face Eddie Doherty who is a former New England Dragway class champion.
When they rolled out, Dusty chose the right lane and Eddie the left and they pre-staged and staged like the veterans they are. Eddie’s .051 RT was a tad better than Dusty’s .071 reaction to the tree, and they kept it side-by-side throughout the matchup. On the top end where it matters most, Eddie went 8.90 on the 8.88 index, and Dusty was there with an 8.89 elapsed time – so the RT at the tree was the difference in sending Eddie Doherty to the winner’s circle. Eddie was joined there by Sam Hurwitz, John Civitarese and Ed Hughes as these guys have been racing drag bikes together since the 1980’s.
In Wiseco Street Fighter racing, the 9.5 index is a number most any race bike or street bike can run, so much of the on-track action is often decided at the stripe. Two veteran drag bike racers waded through the dozens of drag bikes to meet up in the final round. Stanley Russell and Roy Johnson both have a few years of drag bike racing under their leathers, so when they met up for all the marbles, everyone who knew them knew it would be a great drag race; they didn’t disappoint.
Stanley’s .096 RT shadowed Roy’s .092 light and they were off the line quickly. On the big end, the scoreboards showed a 9.658 for Stanley Russell and a 9.621 for Roy Johnson with the margin of victory going to Roy Johnson by about the width of a tire!
Vance & Hine V-Twin racing at the Spring Cup was a battle between two good buddies who have duked it out before, Vance Houdyshell and Don Horta. In the final round of racing, it was Don Horta who got the better of Vance who is defending his #1 plate from the 2017 season. There were 28 racers in points in this class during the 2017, season; Don Horta finished 5th last season, he hopes to trade plates with Vance Houdyshell come this November 18th when the season ends.
MPS Pro ET racing is always exciting at all the Man Cup events. With Harvey Hubbard and Ricardo Marte headed into the final round, racers were ready to see a great matchup, but that was not to be. Unfortunately during the semi-final round of racing, after going five rounds to get there, Harvey Hubbard’s drag bike broke, sending Ricardo Marte into the winner’s circle for the second time this event. It was a proud day indeed for Ricardo and his friends who filled the SGMP winner’s circle with a joyous celebration!
In the final matchup of the event, Dusty Brazel and Ed Ruffin got together for the C&S Custom Street ET finals to put the event into the history books. It’s always entertaining to watch a Tortoise Vs the Hare match up when it’s a 10 second drag bike and an 8 second screamer. Ed’s bike was dialed on a 10.15 time and Dusty’s was an 8.86 secured number. On the starting line, Ed had a 1.29 second handicapped head start on Dusty, who just couldn’t hold it long enough and pulled the trigger a bit too soon. Dusty red-lit by .017, giving the win to Ed Ruffin who now takes the points lead for the class, heading into the next race of the season.
The next race for the Man Cup series will be June 1-2-3 at Rockingham N.C., hope to see you all there!