Ethan Barkley has been on a roll since the 2012 Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association season started back in June. At the Blackjacks Roadhouse Spring Nationals event at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, he came out of the gate swinging with an opening run of 7.85 @ 173 in round 1 qualifying. Unfortunately Mother Nature played the spoiler and put an abrupt end to the event mid-way through Saturday's qualifying session. (Qualified: 1st, Result: Rainout)
The next stop on the schedule was the Sturgis North Nationals in Ashcroft B.C. Ethan stopped in a day prior to the race to attend the 2nd annual Sicamous burnout competition. Ethan kicked off the festivities in the morning with a run through the slow ride skills coarse on his pit scooter. After a full day of skills riding, burnouts, stunt riders and freestyle MX, the crowd was treated to a great side by side Pro Street burnout right down the center of main street. Both Ethan Barkley and Ken Morrison lit up their tires for 100' in front of 3000+ fans.
The following day at the track netted similar conditions to the street he was on only 24 hrs beforehand. The track was extremely slick and under prepped. Ethan kept tweaking the tune up and chassis to eventually push the bike into the high 7.90's in the finals, good enough to take the win. (Qualified: 1st, Result: 1st)
Next up was the CMDRA Badlands Nationals at the Medicine Hat drag strip. This track has proven to be good in the past as Ethan posted many 7.5's on this surface. The team was fully prepared for this weekend, going over every detail of the bike in anticipation of what could be a record setting weekend. Ethan came off the trailer with a good tune and posted a 7.80 in the opening qualifying session. By the second round he had pushed the bike to 7.67 but the ambient temperature had taken its toll on the track and air density. With temps into the 100's and corrected altitude coming in at over 6000', it was unlikely the team could push the bike into the record books. For the third round he tried to put in a little more power in the first 330', unfortunately the track just wouldn't hold it and he spun out of the hole badly enroute to a 7.78 @ 187. Back in the pits Ethan was frustrated with the lack of traction, "there is so much more in the bike, but we need to dial it back to keep the tire under it". Sunday's eliminations shared similar conditions as Saturday, very high temperatures combined with poor density. Ethan made the call to just run medium tune-ups that would hopefully land him in the winner’s circle by days end. Consistency proved to be a good plan as he put up consistent 7.6's in eliminations, with a 7.64 @ 183 in the finals for the win. (Qualified: 1st, Result: 1st)
At the midway point in the season, Ethan has a healthy lead in the championship standings. The next stop on the CMDRA schedule will take place at Mission Raceway Park August 18-19th. The smooth track just outside Vancouver has played host to many record setting runs with its cool sea level air.
Photos by: seven62.com