Ends Well For Team Spiderman
By: Jack Korpela
It was a sentimental
weekend at the first AMA/Prostar race dedicated solely to Larry
"Spiderman" McBride's mentor, Elmer Trett, who died tragically
at the 1996 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, IN. McBride, who
holds the record for the quickest and fastest quarter-mile motorcycle
run of all time, would have made his late-friend proud by posting
low elapsed time of the meet with a dazzling 6.10 at 220 mph.
"I was really excited
to be competing at a race in Elmer's name," McBride said. "I
wanted to be the first one to run a five at his race."
MTC Performance and
Elmer's widow, Jackie Trett had one of Elmer's legendary "Mountain
Magic" bikes on display to tribute the Hall of Fame Drag Racer.
This nostalgic piece had the "Spiderman" a bit choked up.
"I don't know if
I can stand many more days seeing that motorcycle, it was pretty
emotional," McBride said. "That bike has got seven years worth
of putting me on the trailer in it. We beat him every now and
then but that was about it. Elmer was the greatest."
McBride's first qualifying
pass of the weekend was uncharacteristically off-pace with a
mid-pack 6.49. "Nothing really went right on the first pass,"
McBride said. "We have been trying a lot of new stuff so we
just needed to come back to the pits and regroup."
McBride's lap of
the weekend came in qualifying session number two as the team
appeared to have found the correct tuning combination. "We are
running a new Vance & Hines head and it is giving up a lot of
power," McBride said. "Just being able to run something that
Byron Hines made is an honor to me. Him and Elmer were really
good friends, so we really wanted to come out here and set a
new record for both of them."
McBride's 6.10 pole
position granted him a first round bye, where he lived up to
his reputation as the "Spiderman" by crawling from side-to-side,
to keep the bike in the groove, posting a 6.12 at 228 mph. "It
was hard to keep it in the groove, the bike really wanted to
go to the right," McBride said. "We call it O-D-H when that
happens, out there hanging. It's really a lot of fun to ride
when it does that."
clouds hovered above Atlanta Dragway, in Commerce, GA, postponing
second round of eliminations to the next race in Richmond, VA.
For the second time in two races, McBride is once again forced
to look to the future to finish the current race.
"It's really tough,"
McBride said. "We haven't been able to win any money at the
last two races. I just thank god that we have good sponsors.
If it were not for them, we would be really hurting."
McBride will get a
chance to finish up the race his home track in VA, May 3rd-4th,
where he will take on Tommy Smith in round two.
"We have got a lot
of work to do before then, we will probably go to the track
and test before the race," said McBride, who only lives 80 miles
from Virginia Motorsports Park. "It should be a really good
time. Just like last year, we rented a suite that we are going
to cater it for all of our friends, family and sponsors. We
gonna have a big old shindig up there."
McBride thanked his
crew for all their hard work and support. "My brother, my wife,
and Roland Stuart, are awesome, you can't get any better than
the crew I have," McBride said. "We have also got Keith Adams,
who worked on Team Winston, helping us out to give us some fresh
ideas on our fuel system."
Likewise McBride thanked
all of his sponsors and looks forward to seeing them in Virginia.
McBride expressed gratitude toward; Pingel Enterprise, Trim-Tex
Drywall Products, Drag Specialties-Parts Unlimited, RedLine
Synthetic Oil Corporation as well as his other sponsors:
Performance, Web-Cam, Kibblewhite Precision Machine, Vanson
Leathers, Performance Machine, Kawasaki USA, Belt Drives Ltd,
Triton Corp (Kool-Bak), Street & Competition, Trac Dynamics,
Simpson Race Products, Nitrous Express, APE, EK Chain, Arias,
R&D Spring, Autolite, MSD, Protect ALL, Whipple Industries,
Cometic Gaskets, B&J Transmission, Carolina Cycle, L.A. Sleeve,
PJ1 Nology Engineering, Mickey Thompson Tires, Corbin Seats,
Stark Masonry, and Vance & Hines Motorsports.
On a personal note,
McBride wanted to thank and bless all of the troops overseas,
putting their lives on the line for America. "America is such
a great country," said McBride. "People are over their dying
for us, and we are out here racing."
Make your plans now
to be in Richmond, VA, May 3rd-4th, to witness the quickest
and fastest bike on the planet, at the same venue where McBride
ran the world's quickest motorcycle pass at an astounding 5.89
Jack Korpela can be
reached at Lumberjack@dragbike.com