Rain and Timing Issues Didn't Slow Competitors Down
Article by Connie Egan
Photos by Teesphotoshop.com
The dreaded R word, rain, that many racers fear and refuse to even say on a race weekend almost wiped out one of the biggest races of the year the MIRock Fast by Gast WPGC Bike Fest at Maryland International Raceway. Saturday was a complete wash out but left Sunday rain free leaving the officials and racers with one choice, a one day event.
The pros would be given two chances to qualifying in the morning replacing their normal shake down runs while the ET classes had one qualifying shot. Officials set strict rules and began sending the bikes down the strip as fast as they could.
One man grabbed everyone’s attention early on when he rocketed to the number one qualifying spot on his Kawasaki Funny Bike breaking the Pro Mod record. Mark Paquette ran a 4.05ET then came out and backed the record up with a 4.03ET pass. Safe to say the whispers began in the pits if we could see a three second Pro Mod pass.
Once it seemed like things were rolling and on schedule the track started facing timing issues. The only person who knew how to fix the problem was in Denver Colorado for the NHRA race. Don’t think for a second down time is boring at MIR. Bikini contest, a beer garden, and a huge midway can keep any fan entertained. If you happened to still be sitting in the stands you may have been some of the lucky few who witnessed the dance off. Or not so lucky few.
The dedicated fans stuck through it all! Timing issues, oil downs, but saw some great racing leading up to the final. Husband and wife duo facing off, close racing in the pro categories, and some of the badest grudge bikes on the planet.
The Mickey Thompson Pro Mod final was going to be a good one when it came down to Paquette and ADRL’s young Casey Stemper. Both bikes had stellar runs all day and it was bound to be a close race. Not sure what happened to Stemper but he never left the line and Paquette rode to an easy win.
The number one and three Orient Express Pro Street qualifiers fought their way through the 15 bike field. Rodney Williford past Pro Street Champion vs. Joey Gladstone. Gladstone got the jump off the start and Williford rode around him at the finish for his second win of the season.
For those who follow the MIRock series know Johnny Turbo Dobrin has absolutely dominated the DME Real Street class all season till he was dethroned at the last race at Rockingham, NC by Jeremy Teasley. A battle we have seen for the last couple season. Teasley had the chance to break another one of Dobrin's streaks when he lined up against him in the semi final round. Dobrin may have lost the final round at Rockingham but he was not going to break his final round streak. After taking out Teasley he beat David Stewart in the final claiming his spot back on top.
The Brocks Performance Street ET, Fast by Gast Pro ET, and FBR Shop 5.60 index classes were not completed by the time the track decided to shut the event down some time after midnight. But we did manage to crown a TRAC King Top Sportsman winner Boo Brown over Chris Clontz and finally House of Speed Crazy Eights winner was Travis Boudreaux over Bob Carlson.
Last but not least was the special event held at the WPGC Bike Fest was paint the quarter pink. A special race supporting breast cancer run by a pretty stout list of 16 girls. This years winner was Crystal Dickerson when she defeated Kelly Clontz.
The action will continue to heat up at the next event, FBR Shop Bike Nationals August 25-26th at Rockingham Dragway in NC. Three races left before we have crowned this season champions so expect the action to surely heat up on the strip.