Larry “Spiderman” McBride added yet another win to his impressive resume at the AMA/Prostar Bikeweek Nationals. Here, McBride gives us some insight into the season-opening race and brings us up-to-date on Jimmy Brantley.
Larry “Spiderman” McBride, seven-time AMA/Prostar Top Fuel champion, began the 2007 race season the same way he ended 2006 – with an event victory. However, the Bikeweek Nationals win from Valdosta, Ga, on March 4th, was one of the more difficult victories for the Spiderman, who was on-and-off the throttle five times before catching nitro-Harley pilot Ray Cason in the final with a 6.74 to Cason’s 6.99.
“It was a supercharged bike versus an injected bike, so I knew that if we didn’t make any major mistakes we would be in good shape,” McBride said. “Then right past the 100-foot mark we blew the tire off it, and I had to pedal it five different times to get it to hook up so we could run him down. I passed him right after the 1000 foot mark.”
The excitement of the side-by-side showdown brought the crowd to its feet. McBride said he felt the same excitement while wrestling the 1000-plus horsepower machine.
“I think the fans really enjoyed it,” McBride said. “It was a fun run for me, but of course it wouldn’t have been as fun if we didn’t get the win.”
For the first time in over two seasons McBride was without his teammate and 2005 Top Fuel champion Jimmy “Hulk” Brantley. McBride reports Hulk won’t be able to compete in 2007.
“Jimmy got really busy with work and he’s not going to be able to step aside,” McBride said. “We are going to miss having him this year, but I think he will certainly be back in the future.”
Valdosta marked the first AMA/Prostar race under new ownership, Hammer Motorsports, who purchased the organization over the winter.
“I’m very excited about the new ownership,” McBride said. “I think they will bring a new level of enthusiasm that will carry Prostar to the next step. It was a tremendous weekend.”
For McBride the season-opening weekend wasn’t entirely without some hardship. The champ battled a strong crosswind throughout the weekend and encountered transmission problems in opening qualifying.
“On the first run we shook the tire really bad and tore the sprag (low) gear out of the transmission,” McBride said.
McBride came back later in the day and dazzled the crowd with his first full pass of the new year at 6.01, 229 mph
“We made that run with a pretty strong 10-15 mph cross wind,” McBride said. It was really the first run of 2007. That’s not too bad off the trailer.”
In the opening round McBride defeated the Harley Davidson of Sonny Michalowski with a 6.24 to Michalowski’s 8.99.
“It was on another 6.0 lap but I decided to shut it off,” McBride said. “There was still a pretty good crosswind and I saw that we had a good enough lead so I shut off the throttle 5.8 seconds into the run.”
Next up for McBride will be the MTC Elmer Trett Nationals from Atlanta, Ga, March 31-April 1.