Jordan Haase | Williford Racing Superbike Showdown Recap
XDA – 2nd annual Superbike Showdown
Maryland International Raceway
June 21-23, 2019
Jordan Haase | Williford Racing Superbike Showdown Recap
The 3rd stop of the XDA Racing Series brought us back to Maryland International Raceway on June 21st – 23rd. Following my big win at VMP a few weeks prior, I was trying to ride the wave of emotions and confidence but knew that to repeat I would have to block out my past success and start fresh.
I never had the feeling there was a target on my back in Pro Street, but after a win, it’s hard not to believe everyone is gunning to knock you off the throne. To keep pace and stay in the top 5, I knew this event was crucial as many teams realized it might be our last event with cool temperatures for quite a while. We came into the weekend intending to stay consistent but also leaning on the bike to repeat/improve on our 6.68 passes a few weeks earlier.
The goal is always to stay ahead or at least keep pace with the advancement of the class, so we decided even though our setup had just won a race, it was time to upgrade a few things. There had been a few changes in the works for the bike for a while. And even with a short turnaround, we felt the timing was right to make those changes between races. John Gover had developed an all-in-one fuel system that had been tested last year on Ehren Litten’s Pro Mod, and we really felt that changing over to this system would help with weight distribution and allow me to take advantage of some of the new rules (one which eliminated the need to run a real fuel tank).
To swap fuel systems, a new swingarm was needed, so a call to Dimey & Andy at DME Racing was a must. Over the years, the team at DME has continued to improve their already impressive swingarms. We decided for the new arm we wanted to keep it light and simple. Utilizing some of the features they offer, such as lightweight adjustment blocks/ends, and moving away from an underbracing design, we were able to shed a few pounds off the back of the bike.
With the new arm, Gover’s fuel system could be installed between the cross braces for a clean look with easy access. We also decided it was time to install a tire hugger to keep rubber and debris off the fuel system. No one wants to install critical components and then cause an issue that could easily be avoided. With the fuel system relocated on the bike and no need for a real tank, 1 Stop Speed sent a Catalyst Racing Composites Tank Shell my way. A new fuel system also meant new plumbing was required, and my good friends at TPG Tuning got me set up with all new Vibrant Performance lines and fittings. John made a custom plate to convert the existing subframe for the new tank shell, and we were ready to transform the bike.
Another exciting change for us heading into the event was courtesy of Sebastian Domingo at NLR Motorsports Electronics. We have been running his boost controller since the bike was built three years ago, but things change quickly in this sport, and electronics & software are no different. We spoke after VMP and talked through some issues we were having with the bike. He agreed to help out and work more directly with us. Thanks to him we got a new AMS-2000 installed and ready for battle moving forward. We are excited to see what improvements we can make with the newer version of the boost controller!
Anytime changes are made there is a concern that the performance could suffer or the setup could require some adjustment, so we decided it was worth making a few test passes Friday before qualifying. The biggest concern for me was the different feel of the bike and making sure it went straight. We made our first test hit and decided to pull some power out and click it off early. The bike left well, drove straight, and felt fast. It’s hard to shut off early when you know it’s making a good run, but playing it smart and not abusing the motor is worth it in the long run. We serviced the bike and made one more pass, this time running it out the back to make sure things checked out ok under significant power. The bike made a clean pass running over 175 mph to the 1/8 and went 6.76. Once we reviewed the data, everything checked out, and it was time to prepare for the Friday evening qualifier.
For the first qualifier, we decided to throw everything at it since the air was crisp and we had some excellent data from earlier in the day. We got paired up with Rodney with hopes to give the fans a preview of the VMP rematch. I let the clutch fly, and the bike wheelied early, so I chopped gas and tried to correct it, but with the cool summer air it was too much, and I had to shut off early coasting to the finish line. Not the outcome we were hoping for, but we stayed positive knowing Saturday’s forecast was set to be similar to what we tested in.
Saturday was a big day for our team in terms of results. Ehren set the pace Friday going a 6.52 and was looking to improve, and he did not disappoint in Q2 running a career-best and at the time world record 6.489!
That pass set the tempo for the rest of the weekend. Everyone was looking to improve, and that run drove everyone to dig deeper. For my run, we pulled some power out upfront to keep the front end down while still delivering the heat down track. The bike left well but slower than normal with a 1.210 sixty-foot, but started to quickly pick up going 4.491 at 173.54mph to the eighth-mile and from there the steam was rolling! I knew the pass was fast but didn’t realize how fast. The result was a 6.704 at a career-best 228.15mph! I had improved my speed by 11mph! That 2.213 & 54.61mph back half was incredible. It seemed like we had figured things out for the rest of the weekend. But as anyone familiar with Pro Street knows, things change quickly, and that was the best way I can describe the weekend.
In Q3, Litten once again was the talk of the round as he reset the speed record going 232.59mph! We wanted to try and get the front numbers to reflect what we ran at VMP, so we decided to lean on it, being we were securely in the field for Sunday. We felt that after the 228mph run, we could make the short times reflect a much better ET and go over 230mph. But when the tree came down, it was a little too much, and the bike wheelied about 100 feet out. I tried to correct it, but it wasn’t enough, and I shut it off early. For Q4 we attempted to take the data from the previous two rounds and make a clean pass. Unfortunately, during the run, I made a rider error after dropping the clutch, and it caused the bike to wheelie, and I again had to shut off early. It was a disheartening feeling going from the top of the world to wondering if I could turn it around on Sunday, but that is how racing goes. It’s always about learning from mistakes and getting better. During round 4, Mark Gargiulo was able to run a career-best 6.63, which was impressive to see. He is only running a limited schedule this season, so he is making every run count.
During qualifying, the Penske Racing Shocks Shootout was contested for the second time this year, and it was another Williford vs. DME final. At the PFR Spring Nationals, Rodney Williford won over DME Racing’s Jason Dunigan. And this weekend Williford’s Ehren Litten took the win in an impressive side-by-side pass running a 6.514 to Jeremy Teasley’s 6.531.
With qualifying complete, it was time for us to cheer on Big Dave on ‘Pickin Pockets’ who once again found himself working his way through the Monster Bulls grudge class to make it to the final round. He had been flying all evening and was looking to put on a show, and he did just that. It wasn’t his prettiest run of the day, but he stuck it out, and as the bike drove towards the wall he reeled it in long enough to turn on the final win light and bring home another trophy! Congratulations to him on back to back wins and cushioning his points lead!
Sunday for Round 1 of eliminations I drew Pro Street rookie Alex Moore. The bike he is riding, is no stranger to the class and we knew it would take a clean, fast A to B pass to get into the next round. We decided to pull some power out early and try to get to the back half-smooth before pouring the power to it. When the tree flashed, Alex got the advantage and was out ahead, but just as planned the smooth front half led to a quick and clean back half. I was able to drive around him on the top end for the win, running a 6.769 at 222.80mph to his 6.853 at 210mph. During the rest of E1, Ehren had a broke bye and was able to put together a clean 6.50 pass to advance, Darion got bit in a matchup with Frankie Stotz, Rodney had to fight a big wheelie down track that forced him to roll out of the throttle early allowing Jason Dunigan to drive by for the win, and Mark made it through running a solid 6.72 to defeat Ryan Hable. Not a bad round with 3 out of the Williford Racing bikes advancing.
In E2 I was matched up with Jeremy Teasley on the DME Racing GSX-R1000. It was a given that we would need to run a career-best ET if I was going to be able to advance. We put the coals to the tune and when the tree came down the bike left hard but wheelied almost immediately. I pedaled it quick to try to recover, but Jeremy was driving away. The bike continued to wheelie and I was forced just to watch as Jeremy reset the record running a 6.479 to my 7.257 at only 179mph. It was not the outcome we were hoping for, but we will take the hits and get better because of it. Round 2 was not a generous round for our team as Ehren was knocked out by Frankie Stotz running a 6.71 to Frankie’s 6.55 and Mark broke the transmission in the middle of the track while giving chase to Chris Connelly Jr. and was unable to advance.
In the competitive Pro Xtreme class Rodney Williford was the quickest bike on the property qualifying number one with a 3.99. His teammate Ehren Litten made his XDA Pro Xtreme debut earning the number two qualifying spot with a 4.01 on his black on black Hayabusa. Williford would take out his teammate in the semi-final running a 3.984 to Litten’s 4.630. Unfortunately going into the final Williford’s Suzuki would be sluggish leaving the line to cost him the race.
It wasn’t the outcome our team was hoping for, but there were a lot of promising runs and data to leave with. We will regroup and come back out even stronger at the next event. Be sure to make your plans to attend the XDA Racing WPGC Bike Fest this week at Maryland International Raceway July 26-28, 2019. This is the big one and an event you don’t want to miss. The event includes live music, freestyle motocross, bike show, sound competition, bikini contest, and much more!
Thanks to my teammates, family, and friends for their continued support! We are keeping the fight alive and aren’t going to back down from the challenge! I cannot thank you all enough for standing behind me!
I have to thank my sponsors and supporters that make this all possible.
Without people and companies like you, this opportunity would not exist. Being involved with such amazing people makes this journey that much better!
- Williford Racing
- Cole Mountain Seitzinger & Penske Racing Shocks
- AEM Performance Electronics
- Vortex Racing Fan Page
- Dimey Eddinger/Andy Sawyer & DME Racing
- John Noonan & Wossner Pistons USA
- RJ Bake & 1 Stop Speed
- Sebastian Domingo & NLR Motorsport Electronics
- Jay Eshbach & APE Raceparts
- Ron Ayers Motorsports
- Frando Brake System
- TPG Tuning
- Totally-Baked Powder Coating
- Premier Detailing
- Pro-Things Apparel
- Bartering Bobs
- Hamm Automotive
- M&M Parts & Leather
- Blackout Tinting
- MTC Engineering LLC
- Anchor Graphics
- Vanson Leathers Inc.
- Simpson Race Products
- Brandi Neithamer & Dragbike.com
- Tim Hailey & Eatmyink.com
- Terrence Belton
- Kwame Olds & K.O. Photography
- JT Norton
- Bryan Greaux & Round Hill Rocket
- Jason Miller/Chris Miller & XDA Racing/MBP