Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series
event: Fast by Gast / WPGC Bike Fest
when: July 21-22, 2012
where: Maryland International Raceway in Budd’s Creek, MD, USA
The biggest motorcycle drag racing, stunt and club culture event of the year—the Fast by Gast / WPGC Bike Fest—was suddenly condensed into one long, busy day on July 22 when persistent rains washed Saturday’s schedule out completely. But whenever the Mickey Thompson MIRock Superbike Series is in town, Royce and Jason Miller’s Maryland International Raceway staff keeps it in high gear the whole time, prepping the track at 5:30 am on Sunday and pushing a tick under 500 of the world’s sickest dragbikes down the best racetrack in the business.
The mostly dormant turbo vs. nitrous battle was reignited when infrequent MIRock competitor Mark Paquette laid down record Mickey Thompson Pro Mod numbers on his badass black, turbo Kawasaki. Michigan medical tools sharpener Paquette laid down a string of 4.0s in the eighth mile class to get to the final against ADRL standout Casey Stemper, who also ran a couple of 4.0s late in the day. But that last one, a 4.08 in the semi against Ryan Schnitz’s 4.19 on the HTP Performance EFI/nitrous/Hayabusa “NJECTED” combination, damaged Stemper’s carbureted/nitrous/GS Suzuki in a flash of flame through the traps.
When Stemper rolled into the staging lanes, there was a resigned air of calm amongst his family crew and a decidedly unthrashed-upon look about his motorcycle. After a short burnout, Stemper staged the bike against Paquette, who’d noticed none of the signs of a wounded opponent. After taking the tree like it mattered, Paquette had the whole track to himself as Stemper shut it off back at the finishline. It was Paquette’s most vulnerable pass of the day, a 4.107. Paquette set the outright class record at 4.036 and topped his own MPH record with a trap speed of 182.58.
Orient Express Pro Street champ Rodney Williford backed up his Rockingham win from the last MIRock race with another one at MIR. Williford ran the only teen in qualifying, taking pole with a 7.19 at nearly 207 mph. Schnitz and the HTP Performance nitrous Hayabusa Pro Street bike and Joey Gladstone’s MPH record-holding, DME Racing ‘Busa were right behind at 7.226 and 7.228, respectively. After identical lights, Gladstone took Schnitz out in the semi to face Williford in the final.
The two have met each other at the end of the day many times in 2012. This time, Williford came in with a consistent performance advantage and he showed it, running 7.20 in the final vs. Gladstone’s losing 7.35.
“Super Dave” Stewart is normally a quietly consistent DME Racing Real Street competitor, qualifying near the top and hanging in there ‘til the end of the day. But “Super Dave” and his turbocharged ‘Busa were the big noise for much of the day at Bike Fest, qualifying number 1 with a 7.90.
Stewart beat Kawasaki superstar Rickey Gadson in the semis, while the other side of the ladder featured a race between rivals Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin on his Exoticycles turbo ‘Busa and multi-time Real Street champ Jeremy Teasley and his nitrous-huffing Kawasaki ZX14. Someone was going to have to run a 7.80 to win that match-up, and it turned out to be Dobrin. But the final was a different story, as both Dobrin and Stewart slowed to 8 seconds. Dobrin came out the victor, as he has three other times this season.
Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin
The Trac King/APE Top Sportsman final featured a match-up between MIRock veterans Randolph “Boo” Brown Jr. and Chris Clontz. Brown took the tree and controlled the stripe, causing Clontz to break out.
House of Speed Crazy 8s went to first time winner Travis Boudreaux, who ran the number while multi-class competitor Bob Carlson was slowing down late into the night.
The “Paint the 1/4 Pink” breast cancer research fund raising event went to Crystal Dickerson, who beat Clontz’s wife Kelly in the super-close final.
FBR Shop 5.60 Index was down to Walter Houghtaling and James Farmer when the busy program ran up against MIR’s 1:00 am curfew. Also caught unfinished was the double payday Fast By Gast Pro ET and Brock’s Performance Street ET, both after 5 rounds.
Although Afterdark Underground was washed out, Grudge Racing remains a MIRock priority and ran sessions thoughout the day and evening on Sunday.
XDL ran their kick-ass Stunt Bike competition all day Sunday, and the XDL pro riders even ripped it up in the rain on Saturday. Bill Dixon took the XDL Cup Final, Luke Emmons the Yamaha Generators Wheelie Race, Lin Eshlom the K&N Circle Challenge, Aaron Colton the Motul Drift Battle, and Rafal Pasierbek the Racing 905 Sickest Trick.
MIR’s famous $1,200 bikini contest— MC’d by WPGC’s ever popular Shack Nd Pack—was won by stunning beauty Jahaira Bratton, a frequent contestant on the MIR stage. The event also featured a show of sweet custom bikes, hot live music and the finest bikini bartenders ever! And even Saturday’s rain delay was well spent, as the motorcycle drag racing community spent the day telling track stories, street stories, tech stories, bad behavior stories, you name it.
The Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series races next August 25-26 at Rockingham Dragway in Rockingham, North Carolina.
Find out more about the Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series at http://www.mirockracing.com
This report was prepared by Tim Hailey and includes some photos by Genie Muldoon of Tracksideimages.com. Enjoy everything there is to read, see and watch about motorcycle drag racing and more at http://www.eatmyink.com
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