This past weekend it wasn’t the weather gods that brought the heat to Maryland International Raceway (MDIR) for the 18th annual WPGC Bike Fest, it was the racers that showed up with their best tune-ups ready for serious competition. With the fullest fields this year, and a variety of activities going down in the pits, it was an all-around great event for the Xtreme Dragbike Association (XDA).
The volume was turned up at this event with Live music featuring new artist King Combs, a Baggers vs Slingshot Sound Off, custom bike show, sound competition, and bikini contest. And if that was enough ground shaking for you, Top Fuel hit the drag strip putting down their own beats. Top Fuel match racing returned for the fifth year in a row, Larry ‘Spiderman’ McBride and Dave Vantine both took two wins out of four matches. But it was the Spiderman that put on the best overall show running at 5.76 and a 5.87 at 250mph to leave the crowd wanting more.
Orient Express Racing Pro Street
Winner – Chris Connelly
Runner-up – Rodney Williford
#1 Qualifier – Rodney Williford 6.610
ET Record – Rodney Williford 6.61
MPH Record – Rodney Williford 224.73
It was an excellent weekend for Orient Express Racing Pro Street, they broke records, half the field qualified in the sixes, they had their first shootout in qualifying and a first-time XDA winner.
WORLD RECORDS are almost never set in the hot July heat, but this weekend Rodney Williford smashed the Pro Street record with a 6.61 at 224.73 pass in round two of qualifying. The crowd came to their feet when the numbers came up on the board! Not only did he run it, but he also made four passes over the weekend in the 6.60’s! In the July heat, this is unheard of.
Darion Payne and Tom Ivy made their first six second passes this weekend running 6.835 and 6.907 respectively in qualifying. Darion Payne would make it to the semi-finals to be taken out by the Williford machine.
This event also featured our first Penske Racing Shocks Pro Street Shootout during qualifying. Eight racers put up $250 for a chance to win $2,000 and $250 for runner-up. With only one qualifying round the night before these racers were paired up in the lanes by a random card drawing to create an eight-bike ladder. Mark Gargiulo, Rodney Williford, and Chris Connelly would take first-round wins to make it a DME vs. Williford Semi-Final.
Teasley got the holeshot on Gargiulo, but Mark didn’t have the steam to catch Teasley’s 6.76. On the other side, Williford and Connelly had identical reaction times, but there was nothing Connelly could do against Williford’s 6.61 tune-up! With Teasley running a 6.76 and Williford a 6.61, they went into the final with Williford as the favorite for the win. And you could hear the upsets from the other side of the track over in the betting area as Teasley cut a better light and then Williford couldn’t keep the front wheel down through his pass running a 6.76 to give the win to Teasley’s 6.73. The Penske Racing Shocks Pro Street Shootout will run again next month at VMP for the Superbike Showdown.
Now on to Sunday for the main show of the weekend. Shootout winner Jeremy Teasley would fall in round two to Jake Dugan’s 7.05 pass. Darion Payne would take out Jordan Haase in round two only to have his teammate Williford send him to the trailer in the semi-final. DME Racing’s Hot Shot Chris Connelly kept his head down and focused as he won every round to make it to the final. Rodney Williford on his record-breaking Pro Street bike would slaughter every competitor on his way to the final looking for redemption after the runner-up in the shootout. So now we were back to another Williford vs. DME standoff in the final. Both bikes left hard and fast as they stayed side-by-side down the track, both racers would struggle to keep their front wheels down, but it was Connelly who was able to maintain the gap in front of Williford to take his second win of the year taking out another heavy hitter of the class. This win now sends Connelly to the points lead of Orient Express Pro Street.
DME Racing Real Street
Winner – Jeremy Teasley
Runner-up – Spencer Claycomb
#1 Qualifier – Eddie Chapman 7.654
ET Record – Eddie Chapman 7.654
MPH Chapman – Eddie Chapman 195.17
DME Racing Real Street had its first field anywhere this year. Eighteen racers showed up and put on one hell of a show! Rookie, Alisha Malone qualified with an 8.019, and we thought for sure she would get her first seven-second pass this weekend, but problems in the first round will keep her waiting until next month.
During Friday night’s qualifying session, Eddie Chapman and Spencer Claycomb ran the fastest side-by-side pass in Real Street history with a 7.70 and 7.695! Qualifying produced record-breaking performances by Claycomb and Chapman. Going into this race, the class records were 7.659 at 193.16 held by Claycomb and Chapman respectively.
In round two of qualifying Spencer Claycomb broke the record with a 7.655, but it would only stand for a minute as Chapman would break it again that session by the narrowest of margins at 7.654, and breaking the MPH record with a 195.17
In eliminations, Michael Sweeney would take out Chapman in round two to end his hopes for a repeat win. Spencer Claycomb would take out Charles Dominique, Mark Hylton, and David Stewart to make it to the final. On the other side of the ladder, Jeremy Teasley took out Malone, his brother Cameron, and Sweeney to face off against Claycomb. Spencer got the holeshot on Jeremy and had him at half-track, but then his motor let go, and Teasley pulled in front and took the win from him.
HTP Performance Grudge
The HTP Performance Grudge class produced the biggest turnout of the year at WPGC Bike Fest with a total of seventy-one entries. Miss Bud Light Lime moderated the class and pulled a few races together on Saturday night to entertain the fans.
Four riders entered to run the ‘Small Man Street Tire Shootout’ eighth-mile race. In round one Jeremy Teasley on ‘Grinch’ took out Gabe Oldfield on his GSXR, they were evenly matched off the tree, but ‘Grinch’ had the power to get the win light turned on. In the next pair, Stewart ‘Lil Pluck’ Northan on ‘Bad Situation’ lost to Jamaruis Crawford on ‘Bud Light Lime-A-Rita’ after he lost fire as he was staged, Northan restarted his bike, but it was too late for him to catch Crawford. In round two the ‘Grinch’ squeezed all the Lime out of Crawford off the tree to take to take the juice out of his pass as Teasley powered to a win. Did we mention Teasley took this win on a hand clutch?
There was a lot of fast grudge passes, some of the stand outs were Richard Gadson flying on ‘Super Freak’ and Darion ‘Nanu’ Payne taking a win on a Harley Grudge race. ‘Running of the Bulls’ returns next month to HTP Performance Grudge.
Vance & Hines 4.60
Winner – Wes Hawkins 4.604 / 141.61
Runner-up – Mike Chongris 4.849 / 146.35
#1 Qualifier – Richard Gadson 4.601 / 150.13
The Vance & Hines 4.60 blew up at Bike Fest with its first full 32 bike field in history! With thirty three racers showing up to race, Ed Murphy had the bad luck of getting bumped out of the field with a 4.594 qualifier. Richard Gadson was the number one qualifier with a 4.601, but Robert Hunnicutt, Ron Bonitatis, Terry Tompkins, and Ronald Procopio were hot on his heels with 4.60’s qualifying numbers as well. In eliminations, Mike Chongris put the voodoo on his competitors as they were falling to red lights at the thought of Chongris in the other lane. Wilson Burkhead was the only competitor that did not fall under his red-light spell, so Chongris put the tree on him to make it to the final to go head to head with Wes Hawkins. And despite Chongris taking a nice holeshot on Hawkins, it was Wes’s weekend to win as he powered his way to victory with a 4.604. Wes and his team worked all week to get his bike ready in time for the weekend with boring cases on Tuesday, putting the motor back together on Wednesday and then putting it back into the bike on Thursday. This was a well-deserved win for the Hawkin’s team.
On Saturday Ronald Procopio won the 4.60 Big Money Shootout, a $500 to enter, $4,000 winner take all race among eight riders that took place during qualifying. Tyler Cammock and Mike Thyen also have taken Shootout wins this year.
The FBR Shop 5.60
Winner – Jeremy Teasley
Runner-up – Dustin Lee
#1 Qualifier – Dustin Lee 5.683
The FBR Shop 5.60 eighth mile class was full of some fierce competition. Dustin Lee qualified number one with a 5.62 in front of heavy hitters Brown, Proctor, Colon, Jackson, Cornell, and Teasley. Lee who had the best lights of his weekend in this class won five rounds to meet Jeremy Teasley in the final. Teasley was putting his 2015 Suzuki to work on Sunday as he hot lapped in the sportsman classes. But the final match would be a let down to the fans as Lee’s bike broke while running in Pro ET, essentially handing the win to Teasley. This win will keep Teasley in the number one spot as we head into another round of racing next month.
Shinko Tires Crazy 8’s
Winner – Duane Jackson
Runner-up – CJ Fair
#1 Qualifier – Arlew Difeo 8.880
Shinko Tires Crazy 8’s had a new number one qualifier for the season with Arlew Difeo who ran an 8.880 to edge out competitors Dustin Lee and Deshaye Manoney who also ran 8.88’s in qualifying. CJ Fair made it to his first XDA final which added more fuel to his motivation for a championship. But he couldn’t get around Duane Jackson in the final who put the tree on him and got to the stripe first taking his first Crazy 8’s win of the season. Both competitors will head to VMP next month for the Superbike Showdown to earn more points.
Mickey Thompson Tires Top Sportsman
Winner – Mac McAdams
Runner-up – James Farmer
#1 Qualifier – Ryan Bonitatis 7.669
Ryan Bonitatis qualified number one for his third straight event, not only that, Jay Windsor would hold the number two qualifying spot for the third consecutive event as well. Both riders would win rounds, but neither would make it to the final. The Mickey Thompson Tires Top Sportsman stand out of the weekend was Mac McAdams who would take the win in the final against James Farmer. Both riders cut close lights for a close side-by-side race until they got to the stripe and McAdams would back off the throttle at the right moment to ensure he took the stripe without breaking out.
MPS Racing Pro ET
Winner – Bill Bair .043 / 8.77 / 8.754 / 146.57
Runner-up – Jim Shifflett .093 / 8.19 / 8.127 / 157.78
Winner – Dale Hamilton .021 / 9.60 / 9.608 / 132.87
Runner-up – David Ashton .013 / 7.75 / 7.776 / 165.50
MPS Pro ET brought the heat this weekend with racers filling the lanes from front to back. In Saturday Pro ET racing was fierce all day long with 158 competitors cutting lights so tight that we saw the red light turned on fifty-two times in seven rounds of competition. Bill Bair came into the final with an edge on Jim Shifflett having the better average reaction times for the day. And Bair would once again put the tree on his competitor, and both would take the stripe breaking out of their dials. But Pennsylvania racer Bill Bair would get the win that day over Jim Shifflett.
In Sunday competition Dale Hamilton who took a win at the Summer Nationals at VMP was ready for a repeat, and his performance round after round showed that he was all business this day. He would meet David Ashton on his 95 Suzuki in the final to run the very last pass of the weekend. Ashton had a slight advantage off the line, but it wasn’t enough, and the win went to Hamilton who ran dead on his dial.
Brock’s Performance Street ET
Winner – Austin Bridge .099 / 9.50 / 9.61 / 119.61
Runner-up – Mike Schulz .007 / 9.05 / 20.03 / 34.31
Winner – Dustin Lee .013 / 9.13 / 9.24 / 124.08
Runner-up – Boo Brown .065 / 8.78 / 17.08 / 42.44
In Brock’s Performance, Saturday Street ET Austin Bridge and Mike Schulz in harmony would take out 117 competitors in seven rounds of competitions before meeting in the final. But the final round would not be the battle Schulz had planned on. Schulz cut a deadly .007 light but then ran into problems when his bike overheated and started spitting coolant out of the overflow causing him to spin, this handed the win over to Austin Bridge before they even hit the eighth mile.
In Sunday competition two heavy hitters would fall in round one of competition but then take advantage of XDA’s first round re-entry to make it back to the top and meet in the final round. Boo Brown and Dustin Lee would both go on to win six rounds until their Suzuki’s had to face-off. Lee cut the better light, but that didn’t come into play as problems for Brown at the sixty foot mark would send Lee to the winner’s circle.
Paint the Quarter Pink
Winner – Robin Procopio .068 / 7.99 / 8.09 / 135.22
Runner-up – Kim Dunham .126 / 9.11 /9.09 / 142.84
#1 Qualifier – Robin Procopio 7.985
For the sixth year in a row, the XDA featured the “Paint The 1/4 Pink” program to help raise awareness and money for the “Bikers Against Breast Cancer” foundation. The all-female class of thirteen women raised $4,410 dollars for the foundation before going to battle on the race track. Robin Procopio and Kim Dunham would be the stands outs in the class to meet in the final on Saturday night. In the final round, Procopio cut a better light and would take the win when Dunham broke out on her dial taking the stripe first with a 9.09 on a 9.11 dial.
For full qualifying and round-by-round results of the event, visit www.xdaracing.com.
In one month, the XDA will head back to Virginia Motorsports Park for the Inaugural Superbike Showdown on August 24-26, 2018. There will be over 700 Professional, Sportsman, and Grudge motorcycle drag racers in competition, and Saturday night HTP Performance Grudge will feature another round of “Running of the Bulls” battling it out for cash and bragging rights! Make sure you have August 24-26 on your calendar!
Visit www.XDAracing.com for event information, class rules, schedule and more.
The Xtreme Dragbike Association is an east coast motorcycle drag racing series with 700+ motorcycle racers in competition. The XDA features professional and sportsman classes along with grudge racing and a vendor midway. Lifestyle activities such as bike shows, bikini contests, DJ and live bands are also held at select events. For more info on the XDA, visit www.XDAracing.com or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube @xdaracing
REMAINING 2018 XDA EVENTS:
VMP: August 24-26
MDIR: September 21-23