World-record holder Larry “Spiderman” McBride extended his undefeated season by overcoming a mechanical problem to garner his third win of the year at the AMA Dragbike Summer Nationals from US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Mich., June 13-14.
“We have got a great year going so far,” McBride said. “If we can just keep it up, we have a chance to win a tenth championship. It’s all because I have such an awesome crew and great sponsors.”
Prior to the start of the event, AMA Dragbike officials announced the Top Fuel category would race to the 1,000 foot mark, as opposed to the traditional 1,320-foot-long quarter mile. The US 131 shutdown area is shorter than most AMA Dragbike tracks, with .35 miles of stopping distance.
“At 240-plus mph we need four-tenths of a mile to stop,” McBride said. “I’m a quarter mile guy. I’m not really a big fan of 1,000-foot racing, but I totally understand the decision for safety reasons.”
On Saturday McBride qualified on the pole with a 4.91. It was a tenth behind his all-time best 1,000-foot run, which came in late 2008, during his record 5.74 pass in Valdosta, Ga.
In opening eliminations McBride defeated Chris Hand, who shut-off early and crossed the centerline. The team became suspicious when McBride’s winning elapsed-time of 5.18 was off his usual pace.
“At that point we knew we had a problem with the motorcycle. We thought it was an electrical problem,” McBride said. “Running to 1,000 feet ended up being a blessing because it probably saved us some parts.”
In round No. 2 McBride slowed to a 5.57 on his bye run. This came after the team changed the entire electrical system on the motorcycle, leaving Team Spiderman baffled in regard to the machine’s ailment.
“We just couldn’t seem to find the issue,” McBride said. “When we got home and inspected everything we found out we had a bad supercharger. In the Atlanta final, I broke a crankshaft and when the bike back-fired, it knocked the supercharger out of time.”
Unfortunately Team Spiderman was not aware of this problem prior to the Martin final and McBride had just relinquished lane choice to Korry Hogan, who ran the quickest elapsed-time in the semis.
“It was a crapshoot. I knew we were having problems and he was running well,” McBride said. “I knew I had to be on my game.”
On his game he was. McBride cut a stellar .051 light to his friendly-rival’s .112. McBride reached the finish line first with a 5.24 at 216 mph to Hogan’s tire-smoking 9.89 at 85 mph.
“We got lucky,” McBride said. “It’s one of those deals where you take the win light any way you can get it.”
The good fortune couldn’t have come at a better time for The Spiderman. McBride was eager to get back to the winner’s circle after the previous AMA Dragbike race, The Spring Nationals from Memphis, Tenn., was shortened due to rain.
“It was really good to get back on the bike and get a win,” McBride said. “After Memphis we were counting down the days until the next race.”
Next up for McBride is the Virginia Bike Bash from Dinwiddie Va., July 11-12.
McBride expressed his gratitude and appreciation for all of the loyal support from his sponsors.
The team thanked; Pingel Enterprise, Trim-Tex Drywall Products, Drag Specialties-Parts Unlimited, Red Line Synthetic Oil Corporation, K&N Air Filters and Web-Cam as well as his other sponsors.
Vance & Hines Motorsports, PR Factory Store, Muzzys Performance, Ferrea Valves, Kibblewhite, 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, Goodridge, Carlisle Belts and Gates Belts.