One thing the Midwest’s largest motorcycle drag racing series—the NHDRO—has gotten exceptionally good at is dealing with disagreeable weather. Frequently plagued with an unfavorable forecast, NHDRO just as frequently figures out a way to jack up the schedule, squeeze the program in, and out-hustle Mother Nature. So while the same rain that washed out the first day of Indy 500 qualifying across town fell down on the May Bike Fest at Lucas Oil Raceway, the NHDRO dropped the tree on its fifth season and took the stripe.
No one hustled a McIntosh Machine & Fabrication Pro Street bike down the LOR quarter mile better than Bud Yoder. With tuning help from Mark Paquette and Terry McIntosh, Bud and his turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa took every opportunity to improve in every condition.
But qualifying went to former champ “Mothug” Doug Gall, whose 6.99 led the field after two rounds. Gall met up with Yoder in the semis for what was probably the best race of the day. Bud nailed a .006 light on Doug and ran the first .80 of the weekend, an .87. Gall, meanwhile, ran a .92 at a stout 211 in a losing effort.
Yoder’s teammate Paquette blew the oil filter off in the waterbox, halting his own semifinal bid against Frankie Stotz. Hustling his little Honda CBR1000RR, Frankie was on a good pass until the motor pulled down in high gear and slowed him to a 7.04.
So with lane choice for the final, Bud laid down low ET of 6.84 and matched Gall’s high MPH of 211.96. Stotz’s valiant 6.95 at 201 came up short.
Defending PST champion Jeremy Teasley had a regrettable weekend on the John Drake-owned, fluorescent “No Fear” turbo ‘Busa, wheelieing and losing to Rudy Sanzottera in round 1.
But Teasley took the first win in MSP True Street, NHDRO’s new class showcasing the sport’s edgiest riders and most aggressive tuners. With true hand clutches, an instant green light, and a short eighth mile finishline, True Street races start and end quickly. The final boiled down to Teasley on his Kawasaki ZX14 vs Gall on NHDRO’s unpainted “Uptown Funk” Hayabusa, After Gall grabbed a slight edge at the tree, Teasley scored a 5.02 at 149 to 5.16 at 145 win.
Keith Lynn seemed to have Pro Comp in hand, qualifying number one with a 4.14 on his turbo/nitrous/gas Kawasaki Funnybike and clicking off .14s as easily as opening a Miller Lite. That was until he met up with Man Cup champ Brunson Grothus in the final. Lynn’s bike dropped the wheel and slowed short of the finishline while Grothus’ Pro Mod Suzuki kept on the spray to a 4.17 at 160 mph win.
The standard formula for a Pro Ultra 4.60 index bike is to take an older Pro Mod, something somewhat less competitive than Grothus’, and dial it down to hit the number in the eighth mile. Courtney Wheeler took the other route, starting with a small tire Top Gas bike and juicing it up.
In NHDRO’s first ever 4.60 final, Wheeler met up with Les Stimac, who rides Jeff Lindeman’s bike. Lindeman’s Suzuki has a long history, even adding weight and running Funnybike years ago in AMA/Prostar races. This is exactly the kind of bike that 4.60 is designed for. But Wheeler showed that Top Gas bikes can work too, taking the win when Stimac—who took the tree—broke out by .003.
Which brings us to Route 21 Top Gas, the 8.20 index quarter mile class. Grothus runs Top Gas too, and after dispatching number one qualifier Rod “Zesty” Bland in the semis, met up with “Kounselor” Kenny Schwartz. Grothus took the tree by .030 but came up .004 too quick at the stripe, leaving no “Reasonable Doubt” that Schwartz won the case.
The Millennium Trailers Super Comp final was also a double-breakout affair, with Charleston Chad Isley’s .015 light allowing him to push champion (and number one qualifier) Brian Selner too quick.
Ben “The hardest working man in motorcycle drag racing” Knight was also hitting the tree hard, slapping a .005 light on Kevin Adams and taking the win in Crazy 8s—also a double-breakout final. Number one qualifier Wes Brown and his Band of Renown hit the road to Tennessee after losing to Adams in round 3.
Adams, who won Saturday’s latenight Dennis Insurance Street ET race, also took the Streetfighter final over fellow Buckeye Rocky Ward. Both ran identical 9.406 ETs, but Adams took the tree .028 to Ward’s .080.
Sunday’s Dennis Insurance Street ET win went to Ron Arnold, whose .015 light left opponent Stephen Knight stuck in a suit of iron.
G&G Metal Spinners Pro ET winners were Greg Mallett on Saturday and Shannon Clem on Sunday. Clem’s .009 light put final round opponent Eric Cooper in a barrel.
Port-Tech Grudge racing and that half hour of nearly naked insanity known as the NHDRO bikini contest bore the brunt of the compressed schedule, but enough grudge passes were run to see rider Whip pitch a rod and go down is his own oil. The rider is fine and the bike will surely race again, but with both on the NHDRO event T-shirt, the question is begged—is there a T-shirt curse?
NHDRO starts ‘em up next at Gateway International just outside of St. Louis on June 5-7. But the BIG news is the BIGGEST Grudge race ever that NHDRO is planning for July 10-12 at Louisville’s Ohio Valley Raceway—there has never been another event like this one!
Find out more about the NHDRO at http://www.nhdroracing.com/
NHDRO thanks McIntosh Machine and Fabrication http://www.