Eight-time Top Fuel Motorcycle champion Larry “Spiderman” McBride perpetuated his dragbike dominance by garnering his fourth win of the season at the fifth stop on the AMA Dragbike tour, The Pingel Thunder Nationals from Indianapolis, Ind., August 1st-3rd.
As usual The Spiderman assembled a consistent and rapid cluster of elapsed-times during the weekend.
“My hat is off to my crew. Steve (McBride, brother and crew chief) is the Alan Johnson of Top Fuel Motorcycle,” McBride said. “We unloaded and went 6.01, then ran 5.94, 5.93, 5.92, and a 6.00 flat in the final. I’m very happy with that consistency.”
The only mechanical problem the team encountered throughout the weekend occurred on the first and last pass. McBride said the bike was occasionally dropping a cylinder about 4.4 seconds into the run.
“We don’t know exactly why it did that,” McBride said. “It’s just part of nitro racing. We have some ideas and we are going to check everything out really well.”
In the final McBride defeated Tom Perry, who ran 6.73 to McBride’s 6.00.
McBride’s next challenge will come at the AMA Dragbike US Nationals from Atco, NJ, September 12-14. McBride has been competing at this famed-New Jersey launch pad since 1980.
“Atco has always been good to us,” McBride said. “It’s one of my favorite tracks. We have a lot of memories there.”
Perhaps one of McBride’s greatest Atco memories came in 1991 when he defeated his late mentor Elmer Trett in the final and reset the national elapsed-time record to 6.49.
McBride fabricated even more fond Atco memories last season when he lowered the track’s dragbike record to 5.87 – a number McBride believes is beatable this year.
“If the weather is right, Atco is a track you can set records at,” said McBride, who holds the world record at 5.79.
McBride heads to Atco with a sizable 215 point lead in the championship series over No. 2 Tom Perry, making the Spiderman an odds-on favorite to earn his ninth career season title in 2008.
“To say you have nine championships is incredible. I think we are in good shape as long as we stay levelheaded and Steve doesn’t quit on me,” joked McBride. “The competition always gets tougher and we can’t take anyone lightly.”
The team thanked; Pingel Enterprise, Trim-Tex Drywall Products, Drag Specialties-Parts Unlimited, World Wide Bearings, 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.