In 2008 motorcycle drag racing icon Larry “Spiderman” McBride is aiming to further cement himself among the all-time greats.
This season McBride will vie for an unprecedented ninth Top Fuel Motorcycle championship.
“This is why we race, to win,” McBride said. “It would be a great honor to win championship No. 9. I’ve got a great team behind me and we are up for the challenge.”
Perhaps challenge is the key word. McBride feels he will face harsh resistance and intense competitiveness from his Top Fuel colleagues.
“I think Korry Hogan and Chris Hand will step-up big time this season. Also we will probably see Jimmy Brantley make it to a couple races, and everyone knows what kind of performance he’s capable of,” McBride said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of competition this year.”
McBride appeared at the Powersports Motorcycle Dealer Expo at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind. in mid-February. Here the eight-time champion had the opportunity to spend time with several of his sponsors and interact with dragbike fans throughout the event. McBride is pleased to report all of his sponsors have continued supporting the team for the 2008 season.
“I always look forward to the Expo and spending some time in the Web Cam booth,” McBride said. “I would really like to thank all of my sponsors for staying with me. The economy has been tough and we really appreciate the support. Without it I certainly wouldn’t be able to do what I do.”
Along with winning a ninth championship McBride has also set a performance goal for this season. After redesigning a few critical components on the bike The Spiderman hopes to crack into the elusive and uncharted 5.70-zone.
“It would mean a lot to our entire team. Over the winter we revamped our bike and made a few updates. We put new drive pulleys on it and went to a wider belt on the drive side for more performance,” McBride said. “I see this making a difference but we will still need the right conditions and will need to get a tremendous amount of power to the ground.”
Spiderman’s brother, Steve McBride, will return as crew chief and will be joined by veteran father-and-son crew members Roland and Chuck Stuart.
McBride begins the 2008 season at the AMA Dragbike, formerly AMA Prostar, B&B Bikeweek Nationals in Valdosta, Ga, March 1-2. Along with the organization’s name change comes a new schedule. Most notably, the series will no longer contest a race at Gainesville Raceway or Virginia Motorsports Park and Bruton Smith’s Bristol Motor Speedway has been added to the schedule. The 2008 season will begin and commence in Valdosta, Ga.
“We are going to miss Dinwiddie and Gainesville but we like Valdosta. It’s a great track,” McBride said. “It’s going to be interesting to go to Bristol. It looks like a great facility and it will be our first time there. It will be a challenge to learn the track.”
McBride is also looking into the possibility of running exhibition passes at the popular Pinks events in Gainesville and Atlanta.
Along with overhauling their record setting motorcycle the McBride brothers were also busy this winter building a 1250-horsepower sand drag ATV with twin 14-inch wide rear paddle for a customer in Louisiana.
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, 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.