XDA – MTC Engineering Summer Nationals
Virginia Motorsport Park
May 31 – June 2, 2019
Jordan Haase Prevails at XDA Summer Nationals
Jordan Haase / Williford Racing XDA MTC Engineering Summer Nationals Race Recap
This past weekend, the XDA Racing series made its way to Virginia Motorsports Park for race number 2 of the 2019 season. Since we left Maryland a rule change was made to try to tighten up the class after Rodney, Frankie and Richard all ran in the 6.50’s and Jeremy ran in the 6.40s which let’s be honest, all those runs set the internet on fire. But some combos were struggling to match numbers close to that, which prompted Jason Miller to make some changes. Our 68” combo was eliminated and “lightweights” got bumped into the 69” wheelbase combo moving forward. So, what did that mean for us… Most would think it is just a simple wheelbase change to add an inch but there is more that went into it. We had to get the bike/rider combo to weigh a minimum of 675lbs vs the 650lbs we previously fell under which meant more to take into consideration over the few weeks between races.
The week leading up to the race weekend I headed down to the shop in North Carolina from Pennsylvania so I could help button things up and we could get the chassis setup for the new weight and wheelbase. I got the motor back in the bike Tuesday and we fired it up and checked everything over Wednesday. While John worked to get the spare motor cylinder fixed up and everything assembled I made a quick trip over to Anchor Graphics in Durham to get a little artwork done on the trailer door. Huge thank you to Matt Byrd for fitting me in with a small window of availability and getting the wrap designed, printed and installed in under 24 hours! It turned out absolutely amazing!!! Also thanks to Terrence Belton for the killer photo and to Brandi at Dragbike.com for the awesome photo editing.
Thursday we shifted attention the changes we had to make to keep us “close” to our 68” setup. We changed the gearing to account for the added weight. We added almost 20 lbs to the combo between my relaxed dieting and some ballast to the chassis. We checked over the weight and got it to within a few pounds and then focused our attention on the shock setup to make sure we weren’t way out in left field. We got it dialed in and I loaded everything in the trailer and hit the road to VMP.
With all the changes, we knew testing was going to be extremely important and we also realized we would have to work our way back into a tune that would work and produce results. The first hit off the trailer we pulled some power out and planned to abort the run at the 1/8 to be safe and check everything over before making a full pass. The numbers were lazy out front but it still went a 4.56 at 173mph. We looked over the data and added a little power to it. The second pass the 60’ picked up a few numbers as did the 1/8 mile time and out the back it ran a 6.834 at 210mph. I couldn’t’ believe how smooth the bike was and John was happy with what he was seeing on the logs, so we made a minor clutch change and decided to give it one more shot before Q1. The clutch change made a big difference and the incrementals showed it running a 1.16, 3.02, 4.46 and a career-best 6.736 at 215mph. Talk about promising!
With testing completed the attention was then onto qualifying. We always like to come out swinging on Friday night and try to put our best foot forward. I always say John is one of the best to tune “Off the Trailer,” so Friday nights are normally our let’s see what it can handle pass. I went into the round with hopes of possibly getting that elusive 6.6x slip, but the air change and minor brain fart with the boost tune caused us to slow up slightly. The bike left great and was hard-charging but was breaking up at the top of every gear. Even with the issues I was still able to go a new career-best 6.763 at 214mph which put me 5th heading into Saturday.
Saturday morning I was up and excited to get back to it. All the effort we put in was showing and I knew we could improve. The bad storms from the night before left the track in poor condition so the decision was made to scratch the early qualifying run to allow the XDA crew to get the racing surface right. By the time the 4 pm qualifier came, I was ready to go! When I let the clutch go, the bike left about as well as it had all weekend, but again broke up slightly at the top of each gear. I drove through it and short shifted 4th to try to make the most of the run. The ET slowed up to a 6.855 but the speed was a career-best 217.56mph! We reviewed the data and couldn’t figure out what was causing the issue. Everything seemed to be working fine so we decided to throw a little more at it for Q3. I fired the bike up in the water box and something didn’t sound right so I quickly shut it off. John ran back to see what was going on. We fired it up again and he agreed something was not right. He quickly checked the header and realized that cylinder 2 was not firing. Talk about a gut-wrenching feeling. I knew I was in the show but really wanted what I figured would be my last shot of the weekend at a 6.6X pass. I sat back and watched as the rest of the class ran and was relieved to only get bumped back to the #7 spot heading into Sunday eliminations. The unfortunate part was I would be paired up with my teammate Darion “Nanu” Payne.
Once we got back to the trailer we tried to quickly diagnose the issue before resorting to pulling the motor. We checked injectors, coils, and wiring and everything looked fine. John told me to go ahead and start prepping to do a leak down and take the motor out. However, once I got the spark plugs out we quickly figured out the issue. I have never seen a spark plug fail, but that was what had been causing our issue all day. The porcelain around the electrode had separated and fell down into the grounding strap, essentially isolating the plug and not allowing it to fire. We put a new set of plugs in the bike and it fired right up!
Before the evening was over, all eyes were on the XDA Bulls Grudge Shootouts and we were supporting our teammate Big Dave on Pickin Pockets who were battling it out in the Monster Bulls (Heavyweights) class. He was able to make his way through a tough field and get to the finals for the second race in a row. This time though he was able to bring home the win in Big Dave style! He was making killer passes all day and in the finals even with Moneytrain broke on the line Pickin Pockets made a crazy fast pull right down Broadway! Needless to say, it was an enjoyable evening in our pits filled with a few drinks being consumed, plenty of music, tons of laughs, and even a little dancing.
Heading into eliminations on Sunday morning, we knew that we need to play smart against Darion who has been running similar numbers on his Williford Racing/Mace Motorsports bike. We decided to pull a little power out of it from what we were going to run the night before and hope it was enough. I let the clutch go and the bike immediately pulled the tire off the ground, causing me to lift and play catch up the rest of the way. I had to lift and left the ground completely a few more times, but I was able to get it under control and drove past Darion who was having similar issues running a 7.32 at only 185mph to the win. It was clear that the spark plug issue was causing a bigger problem than we realized.
Our matchup was even tougher in E2 when we were paired up with my teammate Ehren Litten, who ran a career-best 6.58 during qualifying. We knew we couldn’t run with him on a clean pass so we agreed that we would play it smart and try to make a smooth pass to capitalize on any issues in the other lane. We pulled some power out of it in the first 3 gears to keep the tire on the ground and it seemed to work some. When the tree came down I got the starting line advantage and Ehren immediately spun the tire and had to abort the run. The bike made one of its best front half passes of the weekend going 1.16, 3.01 and 4.53 but wheelied again in 3rd pushing me towards the wall. I didn’t realize Ehren had shut off so I drove it through to make sure he wouldn’t drive around me going a 6.91 at 200mph.
The semi-final was set to be a rematch of a little rivalry with my friend Chris Connelly Jr, who was able to get past Chris Moore running an impressive 6.74 at 222mph. Chris and I have matched up quite a few times over the past few seasons and he has had my number each time, but we both knew I owed him one. We both started our pro street careers around the same time and have run similar numbers each year. It is always a fun battle, to say the least. This time however the outcome was in my favor. I got the starting line advantage on him and was able to fight the bike away from the center line long enough to take the stripe first running a 6.874 to his 6.894. Talk about a close one, I could see him the whole time and at the end, it was hard to tell who actually crossed first.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ladder, Rodney continued his dominance. He was able to defeat Chris Edwards with a 6.71 in E1, Jason Dunigan with a 6.61 in E2 and took out the lone nitrous bike of Gaige Herrera in the semi-finals running a 6.63. I was ecstatic when Rodney rolled around and said he won. It was a rematch of the Fall race at VMP back in 2018. Obviously, I can’t run the numbers Rodney has run, but we knew we would have to run a career best to even be close. While we were waiting for the finals, Rodney and I got to talking and he said to just focus on the win. He told me to do my job and put that 6.6X on the board, and if I did I would at least have a shot at the win. We headed up to the lanes and to be honest it was the calmest I had ever been going into an elimination round. I had already accomplished something I did the year before and there was really nothing to lose. Racing in the finals against Rodney is a win-win for me. They made the call to fire them up and we pushed up to the water box. I did my burnout and got lined up. We both staged and the tree flashed. Rodney got the slight advantage on the tree .045 to my .046 and we were off. The bike was pulling hard and we were side by side and all of a sudden he disappeared out of my sight as I clicked through the gears. I went through the finish line and saw the win light flash and was in complete shock. I started slowing down and began looking back to see if I could see Rodney or watch him come by and he wasn’t there.
I couldn’t believe that I had actually won the race. I got off the track and the emotions began to set it. I had been working and dreaming for this moment for so long it was such an unreal and unexplainable experience. I waited down there alone for a few minutes (which seemed like an eternity) just in shock wanting to see what the numbers were and what had happened. I couldn’t help but think about my dad and how I grew up watching him win races and championships and now I could finally say I had won. He was right there with me and on the front fender crossing through the finish line first like always. John came down on the scooter with a smile on his face and said: “Great job. You just won Pro Street! Do you know what you ran?” Obviously, I hadn’t seen and couldn’t hear anything down there so he began reading the numbers off and I couldn’t believe it. He said: “1.16, 3.00, 4.43 at 174.59”. I said what did it run?!? He started again “1.16, 3.00, 4.43, 5.65” and then he paused… I could see him holding back the emotions and then he said “6.684 at 213mph”. We shared a few minutes of tears and laughter together before beginning the push back to the trailer. I was greeted by my entire Williford Racing family and more tears were shed but it was all because of them that this was possible.
Sitting here today I am still on cloud nine. It feels like a dream I am just waiting to wake up from. It is such an emotional moment that it is hard to put into works. To be able to make it to the finals in consecutive races at VMP and to do it against Rodney, who has been an idol of mine since his outlaw days, is truly special. To win Pro Street was always a dream of mine for the last 15 years. Back then my friends and I would watch recap videos of Pro Street and I would say, “I will do that someday”. To win my first race against him, who I consider to be the greatest pro street racer of all time makes it mean that much more. To be able to do it while running a career-best 6.68 was the cream on top! Anyone that knows me understands how much work, blood, sweat, tears, sacrifices, and effort I put into this. But to be able to give bike Co-Owner & Tuner, my good friend, John Gover a win and a pro street bike that has gone 6.6X really means a lot. I am the competitive one and he is the numbers guy, I know the 68 probably meant a little more to him than the win, but I was able to give him both in one pass! Some people may not know this but 10 years ago John tuned my street bike. Fast forward a few years and I’m traveling with him to races to help out and turn wrenches. Then 4 years ago he gave me the opportunity to ride his bike to see if I really wanted to race Pro Street and if I could even handle it. Our experiment worked out pretty well and the next year we decided to build this bike together. The journey has had its share of ups and downs, but we never gave up and kept working to improve. Who would have known just a few years later we would be celebrating making our goals a reality…
WE DID IT – WE WON PRO STREET!!
This win is dedicated to my father Dennis “Wilber” Haase. It’s been 15 years since he’s been gone but each and every single day since then I have worked hard, pushed myself and never gave up on a dream that started long ago. My only regret is that he wasn’t here to share the moment with me, but I know he was riding along with me all day long and was smiling down when I grabbed that trophy. I have eaten, slept, breathed and lived with a passion for this since I was 3 and that was all because of him. Growing up in this sport and watching him win countless races and multiple championships has always pushed me to keep going and set high standards for myself. It’s safe to say I’m on top of the world. Going be hard to lose this smile for quite a long time!
I have to thank my wife Kala for being behind me 100% and putting up with how hard I push myself to be in this moment and position. She is my biggest fan and I know seeing me win was something she has been looking forward to. I have to again thank John for trusting in me and giving me an opportunity to live out my dream. Without him, this would never have been possible. I have to thank Zack Krinock for being my right-hand man all weekend, making the between round maintenance easier and making sure I had everything I needed. Thank you to Rodney, Amber, Ehren, and Toni for their never-ending support over the years. They have welcomed me into their families and have been there to help me become not only a better racer but person. Thank you to my teammates Mark, Gabe, Big Dave, Nanu, Jamie, Super Dave and the rest of our Williford Racing family for all the support and encouragement. No question this experience would not be the same without you all. I have to thank all my friends and family who have been behind me since this crazy dream started. So many of you have been there to help me along the way, cheer me on, and keep me remembering where I came from. You all have been there since day one and without you, none of this would be possible.
I have to thank my sponsors and supporters that made this all possible. Without people and companies like you, none of this would have been possible. The relationships and opportunity to work with you & promote your companies is just as enjoyable and important as the racing.
Cole Mountain Seitzinger & Penske Racing Shocks
AEM Performance Electronics
Vortex Racing Fan Page
John Noonan & Wossner Pistons USA
Dimey Eddinger/Andy Sawyer & DME Racing
RJ Bake & 1 Stop Speed
Brandi Neithamer & Dragbike.com
Jay Eshbach & APE Raceparts
Sebastian Domingo & NLR Motorsport Electronics
Ron Ayers Motorsports
Frando Brake System
M&M Parts & Leather
MTC Engineering LLC
Vanson Leathers Inc.
Simpson Race Products
Tim Hailey & Eatmyink.com
Kwame Olds & K.O. Photography
Bryan Greaux & Round Hill Rocket
Jason Miller/Chris Miller & XDA Racing/MBP