Seven-time Top Fuel motorcycle champion Larry “Spiderman” McBride maintained his unbeaten season with his fifth consecutive victory of the season, and first ever at National Trail Raceway, during the AMA/Prostar Cyclefest from Columbus, Ohio.
With three races left to go this season in Indy, Atco, and Gainesville, McBride is hoping to complete the ever-elusive perfect season like he did back in 2003.
“I’m sure going to try,” McBride said. “I don’t feel any extra added pressure though. After 29 years of racing you know what’s going to happen. The only thing you can do is be consistent and make them beat you. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”
McBride’s last round loss occurred in September of last season when he was upset by Dave Beck in Atco.
Heading into the Cyclefest McBride’s only other appearance at National Trail Raceway came in 1997 when he finished runner-up to Tony Lang in the finals of the now defunct NHRA Pontiac Excitement Nationals.
Due to what officials concluded to be an unsafe stopping area for a Top Fuel Motorcycle the Cyclefest was contested on the eighth-mile – a decision McBride fully applauded.
“I am the one that was pulling for it,” McBride said. “We always want to race quarter-mile but the stopping area was just too bad.”
‘When we run the eighth the set-up is basically the same,” McBride said. “The nice thing about it, is that it is easy on the engine.”
In his first eight-mile event since September of 2003 McBride rose to the top of the qualifying list with an impressive 3.95 at 195 mph during his first run on Saturday.
“It was a good smooth pass,” McBride said. The hard part was adapting to the difficult weather conditions. It was very hot and we had a 140-degree track. With 4,200 feet of corrected altitude we had to step the power up but we also had to be careful because the track was so slick. One benefit is that we didn’t have much humidly. The track is a little better when there’s no moisture on the ground.”
In the final McBride defeated rival Korry Hogan with a run of 4.03 to Hogan’s 4.19. McBride was quick off the line with an .094 light and 1.02 sixty-foot time.
“I used to be even better than that on the tree,” laughed the 49-year-old McBride. “Korry is young and usually he gets me at the line. I just left hard and I never saw him after that. I give Hogan’s team a lot of credit. Those boys are doing really well and they got good power.”
McBride’s quest for a perfect season will now move to the tour’s next stop, the Pingel Thunder Nationals, August 4-5, from Indianapolis, Ind.
‘The new organization is great,” McBride said of AMA/Prostar’s new ownership. “They are implementing some gradual changes that are for the better and they are working hard through some tough times with fuel.”