Cavalcade of Stars : Top Fuel and Pro Fuel Coverage

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10th Annual Cavalcade of Stars
Summit Motorsports Park
Norwalk, Ohio – May 20-22,  2016

SUNDAY

On Sunday, 22 May, 2016, the NHRA LUCAS Oil Drag Racing Series, (NHRA LODRS) took to the track at Norwalk, Ohio, for the 10th annual Summit Cavalcade of Stars show, for Division 3. Included in the racing action were the various Harley Davidson Drag Racing Series (HD-DRS) classes, led by Top Fuel and Pro Fuel Harley.

Greg Baugh, Street Pro
Greg Baugh, Street Pro

In attendance with the professional classes were sportsman racers, John Toth in Hot Street, Bill Rowe, Pro Gas and Scream’n Eagle, Greg Baugh – Street Pro, Don Lynn – Dragg’n Bagger. Surprisingly, these were the ONLY sportsman motorcycle drag racers to race at the event.

Don Lynn Draggin Bagger

Don Lynn Draggin Bagger

In the class of Top Fuel on Sunday, the first pair down the race track during eliminations was Jason Pridemore Vs Len Darnell. Jason’s .184 reaction time was well behind Len’s .041, but Len developed problems quickly and slowed to a 9.28 pass as Jason thundered down the left lane to a winning 6.64 elapsed time.

Jason Pridemore is determined to be a force to be reckoned with in T/F bike
Jason Pridemore is determined to be a force to be reckoned with in T/F bike

Tracy Kile of Bad Apple racing was next up against Bob Malloy. Tracy has been running consistent 6.30’s with the bike since his R/U at the MANCUP Spring Cup race in April. At Norwalk, his performance was much the same. Tracy qualified #3 with a 6.39 and in round E-1 against Bobby he cranked out another 6.39 @ 223 MPH to defeat Bob’s 6.54 @ 200 MPH. Bob is trying new combinations with his exhaust and clutches so while his performance is not quite where he wants it – that’s a work in progress, as is the case for many T/F entries.

The next pair to do battle was Ricky “Sharkey” House and Billy “Billy-Jack” Jackson. Sharkey qualified #2 at this race with a stout 6.33 at 226 MPH. Billy Jack qualified #7 in the eight bike field with a 6.81 at 197 MPH so this matchup looked unbalanced. But in drag racing, anything can happen. Right off the tree, both drivers broke traction and the pair got into a peddle-fest. The first bike to the stripe was Billy Jack with a 7.53 to Sharkey’s 7.94.

In the final matchup of E-1, low qualifier Jay Turner with his 6.29 was ready and waiting for Kevin Boyer the bump spot contender (6.98) with his Bull Dog tenacity tugging at the leash. When Turner let the dogs off the leash, his 6.33 was more than Kevin’s 7.0 pass could cover by a bunch. Jay is national #1 with the IHRA sanction and he’s capable of netting a #1 with the NHRA in T/F this year as well.

T/F bike racers will see a lot of this in 2016 from Jay Turner
T/F bike racers will see a lot of this in 2016 from Jay Turner.

In round E-2, Tracy Vs Billy Jack, Tracy’s off-pace 7.36 was more than enough to cover Billy’s troubled 14 second elapsed time and Tracy was off to the Bad Apple pit area to get his bike ready for the final round. Meanwhile in the matchup of the day, Jay Turner put Jason Pridemore in his favorite lane, the left lane, and while all eyes were on J.T. to crank out another deep-six second elapsed time performance, and the fans were looking for these two monsters to take it to the stripe, such was not to be. Jay spun the tire early, just off the hit, and once again Mr. Pridemore was belching flames down the left lane, sending him on his way to the final round against Tracy Kile.

Tracy Kile is a formidable presence on a Top Fuel drag bike
Tracy Kile is a formidable presence on a Top Fuel drag bike

The final round matchup was a repeat of round two for the right lane contender. Tracy spun the tire at the hit, tried to peddle the throttle, and a backfire resulted sending the left side injector components to the scrap bin. And again, Jason Pridemore’s “Gunslinger” Top Fuel bike thundered on to victory.

This win was a huge one for Jason Pridemore and his family in Top Fuel bike. Jason has very limited resources to race with. He spends much of his money, time, and indeed a big portion of his life – devoted to the refinement of his blown and injected, Top Fuel nitro Harley. Because of this, Jason and his team consisting of his mom, Ellie, his sister Rachel, and her daughter Carley, don’t get to the races very often. This win, while not the first time Jason has been in the winner’s circle, he’s been doing that on drag bikes since age 13, this was his first win in the class of Top Fuel motorcycle with the bike he and his family have put so much into.

In Pro Fuel bike competition, with the eleven bike field narrowed down to eight competitors on Sunday, the first pair out was Gary Stroud Vs Steve Pleasant, two cagey veterans who’ve met before. At the flash of green, Gary was away first with a .110 reaction time to Steve’s .123, but Steve’s “War Bird” was out of shape by half track, and Gary stormed on a 7.62 elapsed time.

In the next pair out, race fans saw the upset of the day as Rich Vreeland eliminated Janette Thornley. Her uncharacteristic .248 reaction time was her undoing as her 7.47 elapsed time was better than Rich’s 7.50, but his .152 RT became his trump card sending Rich on to the semi-final round and Janette to the trailer.

Rich Vreeland had a blessed weekend of racing with the fuel bikes.
Rich Vreeland had a blessed weekend of racing with the fuel bikes.

With the David Larson Vs Clint Pleasant match up next, at a flicker of green, Clint’s bike was away first, but it went flat before the 60’ clock. So all Clint could do was watch helplessly as David pounded out a very game 7.60 ET to send him on to round two.

The last pair out, Dennis Fisher Vs Kevin Garrow; with Dennis being the #1 qualifier 7.44 @ 164 and Kevin being the #8 qualifier, 7.85 @ 159, this matchup was a done deal if the bikes behaved. And they did; Dennis the Menace cranked out a 7.54 @ 173 MPH to Kevin’s improved 7.77 @ 161 MPH, as Dennis advanced to E-2.

As the second round of eliminations progressed, Gary Stroud ended David Larson’s day, 7.56 to David’s quicker 7.55, with Gary’s .104 reaction time getting the better of David’s .141 RT. Dennis Fisher then defeated Rich Vreeland 7.48 to 7.52 respectively to set the final round match up. Dennis, who was national #2 for the 2015 season, is really out for that #1 plate this year. He’s got Larry “Gray Ghost” Stanley calling his tune up shots this season and they are a formidable team.

Dennis Fisher and his Rapid Mortgage P/F bike are hot for a #1 plate this year.
Dennis Fisher and his Rapid Mortgage P/F bike are hot for a #1 plate this year.

In the final round, Dennis delivered a .144 RT with a 7.52 elapsed time that was not enough to catch Gary Stroud’s .119 RT coupled with his quickest pass of the weekend, a 7.45, as Dennis had to settle for R/U this race. Gary Stroud, a former Pro Gas, Pro Mod, champion stand out with the now defunct AHDRA is no stranger to the winner’s circle and we can expect to see more of these match-ups as the season progresses.

Gary Stroud is one tough motorcycle drag racer in any class.
Gary Stroud is one tough motorcycle drag racer in any class.

We here at DRAGBIKE.COM wish to extend a big thank you to Summit Motorsports Park staff, and I do mean a big thank you to all of the staff who did everything they could to make this event a success. The tremendous turnout by the fuel bike racers, all 22 of them, speaks volumes about how the racers feel about racing at America’s race track: Norwalk Ohio.

 

TOP FUEL HARLEY

Round 1

W – Jason Pridemore 0.184 6.645 170.62
L – Len Darnell 0.041 9.287 95.12

W – Tracy Kile 0.114 6.390 223.95
L – Bob Malloy 0.057 6.544 200.77

W – Billy Jackson 0.022 7.532 149.50
L – Rickey House 0.066 7.943 136.10

W – Jay Turner 0.043 6.333 219.08
L – Kevin Boyer 0.114 7.070 188.49

Round 2

W – Tracy Kile 0.148 7.366 203.83
L – Billy Jackson 0.106 14.390 65.88

W – Jason Pridemore 0.086 6.543 176.84
L – Jay Turner 0.053 10.334 89.07
Final

W – Jason Pridemore 0.119 6.496 179.30
L – Tracy Kile 0.165 16.675 43.40

 

PRO FUEL HARLEY

Round 1

W – Gary Stroud 0.110 7.629 163.39
L – Steve Pleasant 0.123 No Time

W – Rich Vreeland 0.152 7.501 163.47
L – Janette Thornley 0.248 7.477 171.40

W – David Larson 0.178 7.604 163.51
L – Clint Pleasant 0.150 8.325 155.67

W – Dennis Fisher 0.129 7.574 173.21
L – Kevin Garrow 0.183 7.773 161.94

Round 2

W – Gary Stroud 0.104 7.566 164.53
L – David Larson 0.141 7.557 167.97

W – Dennis Fisher 0.141 7.487 174.03
L – Rich Vreeland 0.135 7.529 166.64

FINAL

W – Gary Stroud 0.119 7.450 165.54
L – Dennis Fisher 0.144 7.529 172.17

 

PRO GAS HARLEY
William Rowe Jr., Hellertown, Pa., ’06 Destroyer, 9.859, 132.27 was unopposed

STREET PRO HARLEY
Greg Baugh, 9.516, 147.60 was unopposed

HOT STREET HARLEY
John Toth, Twilight, Pa., ’12 H-D, 10.008, 133.53 was unopposed

DRAGGIN BAGGER HARLEY
Don Ricky Lynn, Belle Vernon, Pa., ’00 Road King, 14.533, 88.89 was unopposed

SCREAMIN’ EAGLE PERFORMANCE HARLEY
William Rowe Jr., Hellertown, Pa., ’06 Destroyer, 10.716, 122.86 was unopposed

 

SATURDAY

Mother Nature has taken center stage at the 10th Annual Cavalcade of Stars event in Norwalk, Ohio.  She crept up on a great field of Nitro Harley racers and has kept them pit side so far.  As of Saturday morning, the only racing for the nitro Harleys has been bench racing between team members.

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Saturday morning started off like this at 8AM

Nitro, racers were in the lanes last night when the skies opened up and it rained all night past daybreak.  Track drying operations began about 8AM when the precipitation subsided.

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Bill Rowe in action at Norwalk on Friday

The list of entries to this race is outstanding.  The following list are the Nitro Harleys in attendance as of 8AM Saturday, 21 May 2016.

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John Toth in Hot Street

Top Fuel Harley: Rich Vreeland, Billy Jackson, Jason Pridemore, Tracy Kile, Kevin Boyer, Frank Capone, Rickey House, Bob Malloy, Jay Turner, Len Darnell. Ten T/F teams shooting for eight slots on Sunday.

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Jay Turner knows the deal

In Pro Fuel: Clint Pleasant, Steve Pleasant, Kevin Garrow, David Larson, Rich Vreeland, Gary Stroud, John McConnell, Tyler Wilson, Janette Thornley.

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Send a message, make it clear.

Sportsman M/C drag racers are very sparse at this event.  While no official list is available to me as of yet, I do have confirmation that; Bill Rowe, Don Lynn, Greg Baugh, and John Toth are here racing.

Saturday Qualifying

TOP FUEL

1) Jay Turner, Julian, N.C., ’16 Dixie, 6.293 seconds, 228.11 mph
2) Rickey House, Humble, Texas, ’13 VTS, 6.337, 226.47
3) Tracy Kile, Ashoville, N.C., ’16 Weekend, 6.392, 225.37
4) Len Darnell, Vancouver, Wash., dragster, 6.442, 221.60
5) Jason Pridemore, Garrettsville, Ohio, ’10 Harley, 6.473, 178.59
6) Bob Malloy, Elkton, Md., ’04 Buell, 6.486, 211.86
7) Billy Jackson, Honeybrook, Pa., ’16 Weekend, 6.817, 197.65
8) Kevin Boyer, Edmonton, Alb., ’10 Merican, 6.986, 179.64
9) Frank Capone, Wakefield, Mass., ’01 Weekend, 7.134, 148.10
10) Jake Stondeur, Goshen, Ohio, ’15 Weekend, 7.180, 221.23

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Billy Jack, 6.81 @ 197.65 #7 Qual

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Frank Capone 8.34 @ 116.14, #11 Qual

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Jake Stordeur, 7.18 @ 155.83 #8 Bump Spot

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Jason Pridemore, 6.47 @ 178, #5 Qual

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Tracy Kile, 6.39 @ 223, #2 Qual

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Jay Turner, 6.29 @ 228.11, #1 Qual, Low ET & Top Speed

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Kevin Boyer, 7.64 @ 179.61 #9 Qual

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Len Darnell, 6.44 @ 221, #4 Qual

PRO FUEL

1) Dennis Fisher, Dayton, Ohio, ’16 Hawaya, 7.441 seconds, 173.72 mph
2) Clint Pleasant, Kokomo, Ind., ’98 Thunder, 7.525, 173.38
3) Steve Pleasant, Peru, Ind., dragster, 7.544, 164.67
4) Janette Thornley, Statesville, N.C., ’15 HRP, 7.571, 168.37
5) Rich Vreeland, Bloomsburg, Pa., ’10 Weekend, 7.594, 162.70
6) Gary Stroud, Valparaiso, Ind., ’10 Harley, 7.619, 170.23
7) David Larson, Topeka, Kan., dragster, 7.725, 164.77
8) Kevin Garrow, Philadelphia, Pa., ’13 HRP, 7.850, 164.99
9) Tyler Wilson, Walnut Cove, N.C., ’14 Hawaya, 7.853, 161.23
10) Mani Geore, Montreal, Quebec, ’13 Weekend, 9.603, 89.38

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Gary Stroud, 7.61 @ 170.23 #4 Qual

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Steve Pleasant, 7.54 @ 164.67

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Kevin Garrow, 7.850 @ 159, Qual 7

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Tyler Wilson, 7.853, #8 Qual, on Bump Spot

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Rich Vreeland, 8.36 @ 151, #9 Qual

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Clint Pleasant, 7.64 @ 173.38

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Janette Thornley, 7.57 @ 168.37 #3 Qualifier

Tom McCarthy

Article by Tom McCarthy
 

Until Next time…

 

– Tom McCarthy

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