Perennial Orient Express Pro Street champ Mike Slowe has started winning on his new ride, and the rest of the class is in deep trouble. Slowe and PTR Racing builder/tuner Anthony Navarro have the class’s smallest bike hooked up and blazing. In a field dominated by Suzuki Hayabusas and the occasional Kawasaki ZX14, their GSX-R1000 has finally found it’s footing.
It was just a little over a month at the AMA Dragbike race in Atlanta that Slowe lost a round with a bad light against eventual race winner Jeremy Teasley. In the past, Slowe would likely have driven his ‘Busa around Teasley, but he didn’t have the bike to do it in Atlanta. Then Slowe and the GSX-R won the MiRock Superbike Series race at Maryland. The win was great, but didn’t guarantee consistency.
Two weeks later, Slowe was again in the winners circle, this time at AMA Dragbike’s Spring Nationals at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park. Any break Slowe’s competitors had with him on an unproven mount is now over. Notoriously slow at the tree, Mike even had good lights all day with nothing over .090. He took the final over quasi PTR teammate Darren Burnett. Burnett also runner-upped in Saturday’s Dunigan Pro Street Shootout, that time to number one qualifier Bud Yoder.
Pro Street started eliminations with a statistical anomaly said to be impossible—a dead heat. Even though they display fewer numbers, dragstrip timing systems measure to the millionth of a second. But a millionth wasn’t a small enough margin to determine a winner between Steve Smithers and Mike Claycomb. A rerun was, though, with Smithers taking the round while Claycomb wheelied.
The Orient Express Pro Street class races next June 5-6 at the Fast by Gast Summer Showdown at Maryland International Raceway in Budd’s Creek.