Top Fuel Motorcycle legend and 18-time champion Larry “Spiderman” McBride is hoping a long-awaited return to a racetrack he has not competed at since the 80s will prove to be a turning point in what has been a challenging Man Cup campaign.
McBride heads into this weekend’s, July 13-15, Fast by Gast Nationals at Dragway 42 in West Salem, Ohio trailing class leader Dave Vantine by 38 points.
McBride qualified his Trim-Tex backed “Star” on the pole at each of the first two events, but suffered consecutive final round losses to Vantine, smoking the tire in Valdosta and driving through the clutch in Rockingham.
With a short, five-race sprint to the title, the Spiderman knows he needs to get his first win of the season in the Buckeye state.
“We have had some tough breaks,” McBride said. “All we can do is show up and give it 100-percent. Dave and his team have done a great job this season and they are going to continue to be tough to beat.”
McBride says it’s key to block out the added pressure of the points battle and focus on the proverbial one run at a time.
“Consistency is what will get us back on track,” McBride said. “We just need to make good clean runs all weekend.”
In Rockingham McBride says the team gained valuable tuning information.
“The clutch slipped too hard,” McBride said. “We should have put some more weight in it. We learned something, and that’s the main thing. We are always learning with this new bike.”
In the final McBride was on and off the throttle, shutting off initially at the 330′ mark, and ultimately came just .08 of a second, about a bike length, away from catching Vantine at the stripe, 6.22 to 6.36.
Since the last race the McBride brothers have performed their usual thorough maintenance, tearing the machine all the way down to the bare frame to inspect every component.
Three rounds of qualifying gets underway Saturday at 11:30 AM. Don’t miss Top Fuel’s long-awaited return to Ohio!
For all their continued support with this new machine, McBride thanked his primary sponsors; Trim-Tex Drywall Products, Pingel Enterprise, Drag Specialties-Parts Unlimited, Final Swipe Merchant Services, Web-Cam, APE and Kibblewhite Precision Machining.
Vance & Hines Motorsports, Red Line Synthetic Oil Corporation, Federal Mogul, PR Factory Store, Ferrea Valves, World Wide Bearings, Vanson Leathers, Belt Drives Ltd, Simpson Race Products, Nitrous Express, EK Chain, Arias Pistons, Cometic Gaskets, B&J Transmission, Carolina Cycle, L.A. Sleeve, PJ1, Mickey Thompson Tires, Valco, Goodridge, Carlisle Belts, ProJack, Bullseye Visual and Gates Belts.