2019 Sportsman Motorcycle Bracket Shootout

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2019 Sportsman Motorcycle Bracket Shootout

Las Vegas Motor Speedway
September 28, 2019

Story by Kirk Walton / Photos by Bob Johnson Photography

This year’s Sportsman Motorcycle Bracket Shootout looked to have some warm weather and that means a lot of riders. Forty racers ended up coming from eight different states. Curtis Spracklin, Omaha, NE won the “longest tow” award and gets a $100 gift certificate from BB Racing (Bill Bullers).

On Saturday, September 28, 2019 was the qualifying and the race. The wind was a 25-40mph tailwind but track officials thought it might change during the event to a dangerous crosswind and decided to make the race eighth-mile. Thankfully, it mostly stayed a tailwind and there wasn’t any wind-aided scary moments.

In qualifying, there were a couple of awards to hand out:

  • Dave “Wheels” Wheeler, Murray, UT grabbed the #1 qualifying spot with a nice .004 reaction time. For that, he won a free head port from Performance Cycle (Ray Rains).
  • #7, Mike Pinkston, Magna, UT with a .017 got him $100 from Worldwide Bearings (Dave Conforti).
  • Mike Cragun, Sandy, UT was the #19 qualifier and wins $100 from Robinson Industries (Bill & Tim Robinson).
  • #32 qualifier was Jeremy Wanders, Meridian, ID and gets $100 from APE Race Parts (Jay Eshbach).
  • The “not so number 1 qualifier” was for the final qualifier. David Trost, Rock Springs, WY received $100 from Moondoggy Surf and Speed (Fred Garcia).

First Round:

Don Nielsen, West Jordan, UT took advantage of his reaction time (.036 vs .145) against Whitney Carlson, Meridian, ID and ran 6.060@113.46mph on the 6.03. Whitney ran 6.158@123.14 on a 5.85 dial.

Local Las Vegas rider Chris Ragan took out Craig Jensen’s snowmobile in a great race. Jensen had a slightly better light (.024 vs .033) but brokeout when Ragan ran 5.213@135.04mph on the 5.20. Jensen was 5.998@113.44 on the 6.02.

Gary Oaks, Las Vegas, NV also took on a snowmobile from Utah. He beat Wayne Taylor, Fairfield, UT with a 5.600@122.83mph on a 5.57 dial. Taylor ran under with a bad light (.191 vs .026). 6.274@104.39mph on a 6.38.

Two familiar racers at LVMS saw Jeremy Bates, Provo, UT beat Las Vegas’ Ed Malkiewicz on his electric bike. Jeremy had a great reaction time (.010 vs .149) to cruise to the win. 6.334@96.31mph (6.21) to Ed’s 7.514@90.30mph (7.40).

Terry Turner, Bakersfield, CA beat local racer John Austin when both broke out. Austin had the better reaction time (.062 vs .136) but Turner ran 5.834@120.24mph (5.87), Austin ran 6.232@113.47mph (6.28).

Dave Wheeler won when David Trost red-lighted. (-.306 vs .075). Both ran it out with Wheels running a 5.926@122.01 (5.98) and Trost at 6.408@106.16mph (6.42).

Two of the regulars at LVMS had to square off. Jeremy March, Flagstaff, AZ beat David Phillips, Las Vegas, NV when Phillips went red with a -.027 (March had a .088), March ran it out to 5.989@115.38mph (6.05) and Phillips at 8.840@79.16mph (8.74)

Shayne Tueller, West Point, UT brought out his new dragbike and raced Las Vegas regular, Ken Giles, West Valley City, UT. Giles had a big advantage on the start (.022 vs .108) but broke out, running 7.183@96.35mph on the 7.22 dial. Tueller went 5.37@131.45mph on the 5.33.

Clayton Howey, Hanford, CA defeated Kirk Walton, Salt Lake City, UT with a reaction time advantage of .017 vs .049 and coasting to a 5.978@115.02mph (5.84) when Walton couldn’t run the number (6.81) 6.955@110.83mph.

Another pair of former Rocky Mountain Raceway racers met. This time Tracy Giles, Salt Lake City, UT, got the reaction advantage (.029 vs .113) over Kelly Queensberry, Tooele, UT but the race was over as Queensberry broke.

Las Vegas’ turn for a pair with Justin King, Henderson, NV getting a great light over Geddy Getz, Las Vegas, NV (.008 vs .159) and running 6.385@94.83mph (6.32) to Getz 5.677@126.46 (5.64).

Rick Newport, Bluffdale, UT had a good race with Angel Estevez, Glendale, AZ. Lights were close (.022 for Newport, .025 Estevez). Newport running 5.154@121.87mph (5.13) to Estevez’s 6.252@104.57 (6.20).

Roy Barrera, Boise, ID, won with Tj Stufflebeam, Jr. red-lighted with a -.201. Both ran it out anyway with Barrera running 6.403@113.27mph (6.37 dial) to Stufflebeam running 6.672@113.11mph (6.64 dial).

Mike Cragun, another Utah racer making LVMS his home this year, ran against Craig Brown. Cragun got the advantage with a .089 to .184 reaction time and ran 6.484@106.65mph on the 6.47. Brown with a 4.399@165.40mph on the 4.24 dial. He didn’t walk away with empty-handed, he got $100 from Robinson Industries for quickest ET of the event with a 4.139 in qualifying. He also picks up the “fastest MPH of the event” prize of $100 from Worldwide Bearings for the 168.09mph run.

Curtis Spracklin beat Las Vegas racer Leo Shaver with a better reaction time of .032 to a .101. Spracklin ran 5.512@121.06mph (5.47) to Shaver’s 5.803@115.50mph (5.75).

Tyler Anderson, Glendale, AZ ran dead on with a three (6.043@108.82) to beat Jeremy Wanders’ breakout time of 5.305@146.99mph on the 5.32 dial-in time.

Mike Pinkston, had a big reaction time head start when Carlos Barreiro, Las Vegas, NV had a .433 to Pinkston’s .140. Pinkston coasted to a 6.102@104.88mph (5.99) to Barreiro’s time of 6.623@111.30mph (6.52).

Ben Congdon, Centennial, CO got the competition bye run when Las Vegas rider Eddie Sharron broke. Ben ran it out at 6.203@117.86mph on his 6.21 dial.

Kahea Woods, who was also doing double duty promoting this race, won with a .015 package. A .013 light and running 5.602@124.95mph. Jeff Maddox, Lake Havasu City, AZ left before the light was activated but ran it out to a 6.019@116.38mph on his 6.00.

Larry Mota, Orem, UT had a competition bye as well when John Evans, West Valley City, UT, couldn’t make the call. Mota racing at LVMS all year ran it out to a 5.887@119.74mph on the 5.89.

Prize winners for the first round:

  • Best Reaction Time /  Justin King .008. / $100 from Liguori Drag Racing (David Liguori)
  • Best Losing Package / Angel Estevez  .77 / $100 from Web Camshafts (Laurie Dunlap)
  • Quickest ET  / Mike Cragun 4.139 / $100 from Robinson Industries
  • Fastest MPH  / Mike Cragun 168.09 mph/ $100 from Worldwide Bearings

Second Round:

Gary Oaks put a .011 package on Chris Ragan by running 5.571@122.61mph with a .010 light. Chris ran 5.395@118.40mph on his 5.20 dial.

Kahea Woods tried to do the same as Gary but ran a 5.587@122.91mph on his 5.58 dial with a .021 reaction time. Tyler Anderson also ran dead on with a 6.048@112.69mph but had a.063 reaction time.

Justin King forced Mike Pinkston into a bigger breakout with a .033 to a .079. King ran a 6.286@104.88mph (6.29) to Pink’s 5.970@122.28mph on the 5.99 dial in time.

Larry Mota had a great .009 reaction time against Terry Turner (.075) and held on to win with a 5.975@118.65mph on the 5.89. Turner ran 5.880@120.21mph on the 5.82.

Another Las Vegas regular ET matchup was Dave “Wheels” Wheeler taking out Jeremy March. He used his better reaction time (.026 vs .115) to run a winning 5.953@109.54mph (5.90) to March’s 6.007@114.93mph (5.97).

Rick Newport took a redlight victory when Tracy Giles went a bit early with a -.017. Both ran it out anyway with Newport running 5.060@138.31mph (5.11) and Giles at 5.488@127.47mph (5.53).

Don Nielsen had Shayne Tueller covered but brokeout. He had the reaction time advantage at .047 vs .146 for Tueller. But Nielsen ran under his 6.03 dial by 6.027@114.39mph. Tueller ran 6.264@107.71 on the 5.33 dial.

In a double breakout, Curtis Spracklin was a bit closer and won over Jeremy Bates. Spracklin had a little better light (.079 vs .100) and ran a 5.472@121.07mph (5.49) to a 6.140@117.54mph (6.16).

Clayton Howey had a perfect light against a redlight (-.050) of Ben Congdon. Howey ran it out to run 5.823@125.99mph (5.86). Congdon did too and ran 6.240@117.61mph (6.19)

Roy Barrera forced Mike Cragun into a breakout with a reaction time advantage of .064 vs .093. Barerra ran 6.406@107.28mph (6.39) to Cragun’s 6.442@107.97 (6.47).

Prize winners for the second round are:

  • Best Reaction Time /  Clayton Howey .000. / $100 from Liguori Drag Racing
  • Best Losing Package / Tyler Anderson  .71 / $100 from Go Fast Bike Parts (Scott Horner)

Third Round:

Dave Wheeler nailed the tree with a .002 vs Clayton Howey’s .089 to for Howey into a breakout. Wheeler ran 5.918@121.44mph on a 5.89. Howey ran 5.808@126.07mph on the 5.83 dial in time.

Justin King also dipped into the .00’s with a nice .008 to Rick Newport’s .035. King dial a 6.27 and ran 6.310@103.29mph. Newport dialed a 5.06 and ran 5.121@136.30mph.

Roy Barrera ran dead on his time (6.372@113.86mph) but was late on the tree with a .149 vs Kahea Woods .080. Kahea ran a 5.591@122.76mph on his 5.57 dial for the win.

Curtis Spracklin also ran dead on his dial with a 5.450@125.52mph against Shayne Tueller’s breakout time of 5.294@131.55mph on his 5.33. Reaction times were the difference (.026 vs .180).

In a heavyweight Las Vegas ET battle, Larry Mota came out on top when Gary Oaks redlighted with a -.054, Mota had a .005. Mota ran it out to a 5.890@120.67mph (5.90), Oaks ran 5.611@123.77mph on his 5.55.

Prize winners for the third round are:

  • Best Losing Package / Rick Newport .96 / $100 from Go Fast Bike Parts
  • Best Reaction Time / Dave “Wheels” Wheeler /  $100 from Moondoggy Surf & Speed


Teammates Kahea Woods and Larry Mota met in the up in the quarterfinals. Woods had a .007 (to Mota’s .050) to take the win with a run of 5.605@124.26mph on his 5.557 dial-in. Mota ran under is dial in of 5.89 with a 5.889@117.62mph.

A close race between Justin King and Curtis Spracklin. King had a .012 light to Spracklin’s .023. King ran 6.293@106.63mph on his 6.28, Spracklin ran 5.466@121.16mph on the 5.45.

Dave Wheeler used his bye run to check the tailwind and ran 5.840@122.29mph on his 5.85 dial.

Prize winners for the fourth round are:

  • Best Losing Package / Curtis Spracklin .39 / $100 from Web Camshafts
  • Best Reaction Time / Kahea Woods .007  /$100 from Moondoggy Surf & Speed


Justin King just missed the light with a -.002 to give Dave Wheeler the win. Both ran it out and Wheeler ran a 5.863@122.46mph (5.84 dial), King a 6.310@107.63mph on the 6.29 dial in time.

Kahea Woods had the bye run and just broke the beam.

Prize winners for the fifth round are:

  • Justin King gets $100 bonus from Newport/Woods/Mota Motorsports, Lonnie Woodruff and Eddie Sharron.


Last time Kahea Woods made it to the final in the Sportsman Motorcycle Bracket Shootout was in the fall of 2017, where he won. Well, he did it again! Dave “Wheels” Wheeler wheelied out of the beams and red-lighted with a -.006. For good measure, Woods ran it out and ran dead on with a zero (5.590@124.87mph) and a .031 reaction time. With the wheelie, Wheeler could only run a 5.999@122.13 on the 5.87 dial-in time. Congratulations to Kahea!

Prizes for the winner and runner up:

  • Runner-up, David Wheeler: $300 from Mind/Body/Balance Trauma-Sensitive Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation (Tracy & Juanita Giles).
  • Runner-up, David Wheeler: $100 from Newport/Woods/Mota Motorsports, Lonnie Woodruff and Eddie Sharron.
  • Winner, Kahea Woods:  $700 from Mind/Body/Balance Trauma-Sensitive Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation.
  • Winner, Kahea Woods: $200 from Moondoggy Surf & Speed
  • Winner, Kahea Woods: $200 from Newport/Woods/Mota Motorsports, Lonnie Woodruff and Eddie Sharron.
  • Winner, Kahea Woods: Set of pistons from JE Pistons ($800 value).

Prizes and raffles were after the race. First, everyone enjoyed food from John Mull’s Road Kill Grill (Chuck Former). Larry McBride supplied team t-shirts to give away. Lucas Oil (Tom Bogner) gave tons of product away in the raffle.
David Phillips won a free helmet paint job from Primo Customs (Rick Primeau). APE race parts gave $100 for the “Coolest Bike” award to Tracy Giles Kawasaki ZX-14R.

It was another fun and great event. Special thanks to Kahea Woods for putting it all together. All the sponsors for the cash and prizes. The racers for coming from all over the west. The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Jeff Foster and the whole crew. Bob Johnson Photography for the photos. They are available on his website at: bobjohnson.zenfolio.com/

And of course Brandi at Dragbike.com for all the great motorcycle drag racing coverage of us and the rest of the world!