The MiRock series faithful who braved misleading weather forecasts were rewarded with a weekend of nonstop racing, surprising results, and all-important points toward season championships.
Wild card Mark Billiter took a surprising HTP Performance Real Street win over HTP’s own Keith Thompson. Maybe even more surprising was Billiter’s semifinal win over cross-sanction Real Street king Jeremy Teasley. After detonating his Adams Performance Kawasaki ZX14’s motor the week before at Atco Raceway, Teasley borrowed Coby Adams’ blue ZX14 for Rockingham. Jeremy took the 8.18 bike, qualified number 1 with an 8.00, and seemed to be on his way to another dominating win after running 7.94 in round 1. Until the semifinals, that is, when Billiter’s builder/tuner—also with a ZX14 and sharing duties with Teasley’s team—failed to turn on Jeremy’s nitrous bottle. So after launching hard, Teasley’s now all-motor ’14 was powerless against Billiter’s huffing Kawasaki. The final against Thompson’s Suzuki GSXR1000 was an all-out drag race, with Billiter’s big ‘14 overtaking Thompson’s little 1000 on the big end.
Pro Sportbike champ Vinnie Demito took his second Orient Express Pro Street win mostly by surviving the carnage. Number 1 qualifier Mike Slowe spun worse than Demito and lost a round 2 spinfest. Demito’s semifinal opponent Steve Jester broke early in the day, and Rodney Williford was lucky to have a bye in the other semi because he was broke too. Williford got it all together to put up a stout performance against Demito in the final, but got flat-out treed for the win after not having time to properly adjust his clutch. Everyone in the class rode turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusas.
Every Pro Sportbike championship that hasn’t been won by Demito and Slowe has been won by Anthony Navarro, who seems well on his way to winning this year as well. But Navarro hit a stumbling block at Rockingham when he lost to trailermate Sean “Skinny” Walsh. Skinny’s been on the verge of a win all year and finally got his break, treeing Navarro by a full tenth and holding on to take out the number 1 qualifier for his first pro win.
On a mission, Jim Shifflett beat Clay Davies in Saturday’s Nitrous Express Pro ET final, then beat Baybay Yarbrough for the FBR Quick 32 crown on Sunday. That mission was initially to meet his brother Jeff in an all-Shifflett, magazine cover final, but Jeff went down on the big end when his fairing caught wind on Friday. That left it up to Jimmy to carry the family flag on Sunday and he did it well, though Shifflett did lose the Honda-Suzuki of Sanford 5.60 final to Jason Herron.
Andy Lynch beat Mike Schulz in Sunday’s Nitrous Express Pro ET final, and Rockingham ET king Stanley Russell beat fellow Georgian Baybay Yarbrough in Saturday’s Schnitz Racing Street ET. It wasn’t the first time these two have met in the finals, and both times Yarbrough was on a mount owned by Russell.
And what did Teasley do after getting knocked out of Real Street? He mounted his own GSXR1000 and won Sunday’s Street ET final over Boo Brown. Then the versatile Teasley put his leg over Greg Wallace’s “Now and Later” 1000, spotted Caleb McDougald a bike length, and took the day’s final grudge race.
The Mickey Thompson MiRock Superbike series returns to action October 3-4 with the Fast by Gast Superbike Finals at Maryland International Raceway in Budd’s Creek, Maryland.