Eight-time Top Fuel Motorcycle champion Larry “Spiderman” McBride and friendly rival Korry Hogan treated AMA Dragbike fans to arguably one of the organization’s greatest final round races at the Orient Express U.S. Nationals from Atco, NJ, September 12-14.
The only thing out of the ordinary for McBride was this time he wasn’t on the winning side of this epic match-up.
McBride and Hogan blasted down the South Jersey launch pad side-by-side and remained that way through the finish line timing blocks. The scoreboards flashed McBride 6.02 to Hogan’s winning 5.96.
The run marked Hogan’s first official five second run and made him only the fourth dragbike racer to clock a sub-six second elapsed-time. McBride was the first to accomplish the feat in October of 1999. After the final McBride had nothing but praise for Hogan.
“They did a great job and I am proud of them. We gave them help this weekend with their six-shooter timing retard. They are a great group of guys and they work hard. They deserved this,” McBride said. “If I had the money I would have a two bike team and Korry Hogan would be my other rider. He’s a great person.”
Despite his admiration of Hogan’s accomplishment the eight-time champion says losing his first race of the year still stung and has made him hungrier than ever.
“When you lose you are never happy. You show me a happy loser and I’ll show you a man who doesn’t win any races. But it’s drag racing and you can’t win them all. I’m very proud of the effort my team gave this weekend,” McBride said. “It’s going to make us go home and work even harder to get our bike ready. For a few races this year we have had a problem where the bike occasionally drops a cylinder. So now it’s time to dig deep and get to the bottom of it.”
In qualifying McBride snagged the pole position with a stunning lap of 5.92, while most of the other competitors in the class where plagued with traction issues. Harley rider Dean Communal qualified second with a best pass of 6.71.
After accessing what appeared to be a hot slippery racetrack just prior to the final McBride and his team decided to back down the tune-up just a bit.
“Heading into the final we felt pretty good about our chances based on the way the racetrack was hooking,” McBride said. “Looking back we may have been too cautious. We didn’t want to lose the race by smoking the tire but on second thought I would have rather smoked the tire than got out ran.”
McBride will continue his quest for his ninth championship at the AMA Dragbike Fall Nationals from Norwalk, Ohio, October 10-12.
“We have to be careful in Norwalk,” McBride said. “They have a short shut down and if you run 245 mph you could end up in the grass in a hurry. I’d actually like to see them cut this race back to 1000 feet. We’ll be there giving it our best shot either way.”
The team thanked; Pingel Enterprise, Trim-Tex Drywall Products, Drag Specialties-Parts Unlimited, Red Line Synthetic Oil Corporation as well as his other sponsors.
Vance & Hines Motorsports, PR Factory Store, Muzzys Performance, Web-Cam, Kibblewhite, Ferrea Valves, Precision Machine, World Wide Bearings, Vanson Leathers, Performance Machine, Belt Drives Ltd, Street & Competition, Simpson Race Products, Nitrous Express, APE, EK Chain, Arias Pistons, R/D Spring Corp, Autolite, MSD, Protect ALL, Whipple Industries, Cometic Gaskets, B&J Transmission, Carolina Cycle, L.A. Sleeve, PJ1, Mickey Thompson Tires, Valco, and Carlisle Belts.