HomeNews / Race ResultsAMA/Prostar: Schnitz Memphis Fall Nationals 10/05

AMA/Prostar: Schnitz Memphis Fall Nationals 10/05

On a warm sunny early October weekend, it seemed Memphis, TN, where Blues live and Rock’n Roll was born, welcomed the sound of high performance dragbikes like it welcomes the classic vibrato of B.B. King’s legendary lead guitar on Beale Street.

The most compelling storyline heading into the AMA/Prostar Schnitz Memphis Blues Nationals Oct, 1st-2nd, was would another man join the exclusive MTC Five Second Club since it’s lone member Larry “Spiderman” McBride did so back on Halloween Day of 1999. McBride’s protégé Jimmy “Hulk” Brantley and veteran Chris Hand were clearly potential candidates after the duo’s stout performances a month earlier in Indy where Brantley ran 6.00 and Hand motored out a 6.07. In the end the five never flashed up on the scoreboards but the Fuelers still seemed to mesmerize the fans.

Top Fuel

Brantley flexed his muscles during Friday testing, belting out a 6.09 blast on a pass in which he lost one of his four cylinders at about 900 feet into the run. After making some changes to the clutch Brantley dazzled the Memphis Motorsports Park crowd with a stellar 6.01 to take home the pole position on Saturday. Hand didn’t fall far behind and secured the No. 2 spot with a 6.22 on his Rance Aluminum Trailer backed Puma. Harley faithful Scott Inaro and Tommy Sloan rounded out the bulimic four bike field with mid-sevens.

On race day Hand improved to a 6.17 at 212 mph and advanced to the final, ousting Inaro and his 8.81. The next run sparked a bit of controversy amongst the racers and officials. As Sloan’s turbo V-twin approached the starting-line against Brantley it shut off and would not re-fire. Sloan conceded the victory and failed to stage the bike. Shortly thereafter Brantley left the line before the tree was activated and did not receive a time. Prostar front man Scooter Kizer ruled despite the infraction Brantley would still be awarded the victory based on Prostar’s “John Force Rule.” Afterwards Sharon Hand was spotted in the pits visibly upset over the call and allegedly her and Larry McBride engaged in a heated discussion.

In perhaps Prostar’s greatest side-by-side Top Fuel final ever, Brantley collected his third career victory running a 6.04 to Hand’s 6.11.

Brantley will take a 40 point lead to the final race of the year where a first time class champion will be crowned whether it be Hulk or Hand.

Funny Bike
At the outset all eyes were focused on Korry Hogan who was fresh of his near record run of 6.49 in Indy. However Hogan bobbled in qualifying and it was veteran Keith Lynn who took the pole with a 6.79.

On race day Hogan returned to form with a 6.50 to take out Glen Nickelberry. Former class champ Travis Davis also scored an opening round upset defeating No. 3 qualifier Perry Hollie with a 6.81 to Hollie’s 7.22.

In round two top qualifier Lynn found himself in the rare position of running his best ET of the weekend the round prior yet still not getting lane choice. He was defeated by feisty Hogan with a 6.63 to Lynn’s 6.79.

Davis also advanced to the final with a holeshot win over the hot-hand of Tom “Big Money” Perry who ran a 6.74 to Davis’ 6.75.

Hogan went on to score his second consecutive event win with a monster 6.51 to defeat Davis’ 6.78.

With the victory Hogan clinched his second straight championship. Despite the success Hogan says the bike is still for sale and he still loves the smell of nitro in the morning.

Pro Mod
Prostar’s most abundant category saw 20 entries trying to better the 7.15 bump spot. C&W Cycle Works dominated qualifying by snatching the top three spots with its mainstay and defending class champ Charlie Farrar, along with a surprise visit from apparent C&W hired guns and former class champs John Sachs and Ashley Owens. Sachs took the top spot with an impressive 6.76 at 197 mph.

Sunday would not be as fortunate for the seemingly endless red and yellow brigade of C&W soilders. Championship hopeful Farrar was upset in round one by Fish’s Custom backed Ron Clark who ran 7.27 to Farrar’s wounded 8.24. Both Sachs and Owens went on to lose in the semi-finals.

The C&W fumbles left the door open for championship contenders L&W supported Barry “Georgia Boy” Greene and Mimmo Mariciano, who met up in the final. 10th qualifier Marciano advanced by defeating Mike Caputo, Ron Clark, and Ashley Owens with ETs of 6.92, 7.95, and 7.03. Forth qualifier Greene took out Eddie Gonder, “Evil” Bill Vose, and John Sachs with laps of 6.94, 6.89, and 6.95. The race against Vose was a heated, trash-talking, brutal rematch of the duo’s no-decision grudge race at Maryland International Raceway back in August.

In the end it was Greene who garnered a career first Prostar victory after Mimmo fouled on the line with a -.119. Afterwards Greene dedicated the win to his late uncle Randy Stevens who always dreamt of winning a race.

Marciano will take a 25 point lead to Gainesville over Mike Caputo. Less than 50 points back are Farrar and Greene.

Pro Stock
Coming into Memphis Paul “The Professor” Gast found himself in an unusal position. An event win would lock up his first championship since Bill Clinton was President in 1998. Over the years Gast has been a consistent performer but has fallen just short in championship rivalries with Fred Collis, Todd Doege, and Keith Dennis.
Gast wasted no time in his quest for the No. 1 plate and took top honors in qualifying at 7.168.

On race day Gast proceeded to march to the final with runs of 7.22 and 7.21, but not before former class champ Todd Doege laid down low ET of the meet with a 7.163. In a final that has become commonplace over the last five years Gast defeated Doege with a 7.22 to Doege’s 7.27. Both men were impressive as usual on the tree with Gast cutting a .022 to Doege’s .018.

The victory was Gast’s forth of the season and guarantee’s him his long awaited, elusive fifth championship.

Pro Street
In just his third Prostar race of the year two-time class champ Kent Stotz stole the show in qualifying recording the quickest Pro Street pass ever with a stunning 7.32, covering the field by more than two tenths on his Honda CBR1100XX. Stotz didn’t overly celebrate the run and in pre race ceremonies told of his battle for consistency and how he has posted low-elapsed time of the meet for the last 11 events he has entered, yet failed to reach the winner’s circle during that time.


Photo by Matt Polito, www.dragbikephotos.com

Stotz’s race day misfortune continued and he was upset by eventual finalist Phil Stoll in round No. 2 with an 8.05 to Stoll’s 7.56. Defending class champion Barry Henson shined on Sunday and cruised to the final with wins over a broke Matt McCoy and teammate Rickey Gadson with times of 7.56 and 7.48.

In the final Henson motored his Velocity Racing Hayabusa past his customer Stoll’s 8.02 with a 7.48.

With the win Henson clinched his second straight championship and moved past Rickey Gadson to take the lead on the all-time Pro Street win list.


Photo by Matt Polito, www.dragbikephotos.com

Sportsman
In an all Team Brock’s Performance Part’s 1000 Supersport final Rickey Gadson defeated teammate Vince Woska with a 9.20 to Woska’s 9.32. With the victory Gadson locked up his 7th career AMA/Prostar championship.

Rick McWaters bettered teammate Jeremy English on a holeshot with a 9.36 and .056 to English’s 9.35 and .099 in an all- Patrick Racing Hot Rod Cruiser final.

In Top Gas Glenn Brown became one of the select few, perhaps only, to win the Kawasaki and Suzuki filled class on a Yamaha with his FJ-1200. Brown took the victory after “Fearsome” Andy Baumbach fouled out by four-thousandths throwing away an 8.206.

Steve Wycuff rode his 1428 cc Kawasaki to a win in Super Comp with a .016/8.93 to take out Clint Hillard’s .037/8.95

Three-time class champ Mark “9.90” Coulson garnered yet another Super Gas victory with a run of .009/10.04 to take-out Jeff Sutton’s .114/9.99.

Pro ET saw Eric Harmon go .013 on the tree and run an 8.31 on an 8.29 to defeat Lonny Rueckert’s .009/9.91/9.87.

In Street ET Michael Baynes used a .030 and a 9.74 on a 9.50 to defeat “Not Evil” Debbie Knebel who was timed out by Autostart due to clutch problems.
In the exhibition Super Street class Darren Burnett beat the category’s only other participant, John Johnson, with an 8.63 to Johnson’s 9.98.

It was an all Kawasaki H2-750 Triple final in the Super Eliminator two-stroke only class where Mike Bianco’s .278/10.64/9.00 was enough to beat Roger Wilhelm who merely broke out with a .094/9.77/9.78.

The intense action in BBQ country has left some interesting scenarios heading into the next race. It all culminates as the season comes to an end at the upcoming AMA/Prostar World Finals from Gainesville, Fl, Nov, 13th-15th. See you there…….

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