Man Cup : 30th Annual DME Racing Nationals Coverage

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Man Cup

Man Cup – 30th annual DME Racing Nationals 
Rockingham Dragway
September 23-24, 2017


Event Highlights

  1. Fastest speed on two wheels, 255.29 miles per hour by Larry McBride, Newport News, Va.
  2. Fastest woman on two wheels, 205.82 mph by Niki Zakrzewski, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. Quickest Pro Street elapsed time record, 6.667 seconds by Rodney Williford, Rougemont, N.C.
  4. Quickest Real Street ET record, 7.652 seconds by Dave “Super Dave” Stewart, Mooresville, N.C
  5. First side-by-side motorcycle 5-second run in open competition when McBride defeated Chris Hand of Navou Ala. in the first round, 5.957, 248.66 mph to Hands quicker 5.885, 222.95 mph.


30th Annual DME Nationals at Rockingham Dragway: One for the books

The Man Cup 2017 DME Nationals, held at Rockingham Dragway, September, 23/24 2017, was a race for the books – the record books that is. The event was full of great side-by-side drag racing at a first class race facility, and the on track performance by the racers was nothing short of stunning.

The historic part of the weekend started off during Q-1, Nitrous Express Pro Open class qualifying, when Niki Taube Zakrzewski made a 6.51 pass down the 1320’ of Rockingham Dragway racing surface, then stopped the MPH clocks while posting a 200.65 miles-per-hour speed that entered her, and Man Cup, forever into the history books. With that run she became the first woman motorcycle drag racer to crest the 200 MPH mark in competition. Dan Wagner provided the tune up, and the honor goes to Niki who drove her drag bike into the history books. She then went on to win the event in Nitrous Express Pro Open over Mark Rendeluk.

The racers and fans were already a-buzz for Niki, from Sam Wills 5.90 ET @ 234MPH pass, which led the Pingle Top Fuel field after Q-1 for that class. All of the I-4 fuel bikes were in the 6’s, the race was shaping up to be a good one, which is typical at Rockingham Dragway. People expect records to fall at The Rock; it’s that kind of place to race. But Sam’s opening round thunder was stolen by the Spiderman, who tried to rotate the Earth like his mentor before him: Elmer Trett.

Larry McBride racing did well; qualifying #2 behind the Nitro Conspiracy team. But then team McBride came out in Beast Mode on Sunday. E-1 became E-! when Larry and Chris Hand uncorked Man Cup’s first ever side-by-side 5 second elapsed times in Top Fuel motorcycle competition. Chris Hand’s 5.88 @ 222 MPH, was a personal best for the Red Neck Express on that pass, then thundering past Chris was Larry McBride with a 5.95 @ 248 that was preceded by a hole-shot, which gave McBride a .0014 MOV!

Team McBride then unleashed the beast on Dave Vantine during E-2 with a run that will long be remembered in motorcycle drag racing history. Larry McBride, on his next pass stopped the Rockingham Dragway MPH clocks at a historic 255.29 MPH speed! That my friend’s is the fastest pass ever recorded by a drag bike in motorcycle drag racing history as of 24/Sept/2017. There was bedlam on the starting line by all the Top Fuel motorcycle team members. McBride then went on to defeat Sam Wills in the Pingel Top Fuel class final round, to add to his championship points total lead.

In Falicon Pro Mod action, Ronnie Smith started tongues wagging with a 4.04, right off the trailer. No one knew at the time that by the end of Q-3, the top 6 qualifiers in P/M would all be 4-Oh’s! Talk about a tight field for Sunday’s eliminations. Ronnie Smith maintained his momentum all the way to the final round where he defeated Travis Davis, for a commanding victory in Falicon Pro Mod.

APE Pro Street, in qualifying was also stellar with Rodney Williford delivering a 6.70 at over 220 MPH. No one knew at the time this would not be his best run of the weekend. That would happen on his next pass to kick off E-1 with a blistering 6.66 @ 225 MPH, which sent Rodney to the top of the Orient Express GOAT List of “Greatest Of All Time” runs in P/St competition.

Rodney fell to traction woes next pass, vaulting his team-mate, Ehren Litten to the finals. There, Ehren defeated #2 qualifier, Terence Angela, to take the win in APE Pro Street.

Hawaya Pro Fuel, always a crowd pleaser, had solid wheels up performance from its entries; Michael Ray, Preston Bartlett, Jay Beasley and Tyler Wilson, who qualified exactly in that order. On race day, the team of Johnny Vickers tuning, with Michael Ray driving was the team to beat and Preston Bartlett with Walter Halonski did their best to do so. In the final round of Hawaya Pro Fuel racing, Preston’s 7.36 was close to Michael’s 7.35, but not quite close enough, with Michael Ray taking the win.

In the Shinko/WPS Real Street class, Dave “Super Dave,” Stewart turned heads with stellar performance all weekend. His 7.66 was good for the #1 qualifier spot, which earned him a bye-run in E-1. He saved the best for E-2 where he uncorked a world class 7.652 @190.89 MPH that had everyone shaking their heads. In the final round, Dave matched up with Johnny Dobrin and dominated the event by taking out Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin, 7.74 to 7.79, for the win.

Sportsman racing at the DME Nationals kicked off on Saturday morning, just after 9 AM EST, with MPS Pro ET, C&S Custom Street ET and the Vance & Hines V-Twin series racers. MPS Pro ET on Saturday was won by Stephen Knight with John Markham in the R/U spot. C&S Custom Street ET was won by Brian Dale over Spencer Claycomb and The Vance & Hines T-Twin race on Saturday was won by Barry Pryer Sr., over Manny Carrasquillo.

In the index racing series, the Grothus Dragbikes Ultra 4.60 class, the top-ten qualifiers were all listed in the 4.60’s on a 4.60 index, with Ronnie Procopio’s 4.604 being the closest run to the number, good for the #1 qualifying spot. When the smoke cleared on race day, the winner was Broderick Jackson with a 4.60 over veteran Tony Mullen, who broke out trying to run Broderick down.

Star Racing Top Gas, running on the traditional 8.20 Index, saw Alan Fields out front after qualifying, his 8.208 was best with Spooky’s 8.22 as the next best. The #1 qualifying spot earned Alan a bye run in round one, but he had to take out Ben Knight in round two and did so. In the final round, Alan matched up with Pete Chongris, who bested him as Alan encountered mechanical problems, ending his day of racing.

As for the Super Comp racers, going at it on the 8.90 Index, Jeremey Teasley’s 8.904 was but a tic better than Spooky’s 8.098 for the #1 qualifying spot. John “Spooky” Markham at Rockingham was one tough customer all weekend long. Teasley, who’s a highly skilled racer as well, just stormed through the field to meet up with Shawn Welch in the final round. In the last match up, it was all Teasley, going 8.961 on the 8.90 dial for the win.

In World Wide Bearings Crazy 8’s racing, with competition, with racers working off the 8.88 index, qualifying on Saturday showed that veteran Ron Arnold’s 8.885 was best just ahead of Dusty Brazel’s 8.889 effort. After qualifying #1, Ron got to work right away by eliminating Ben Knight in E-1, and Keith Brown in E-2. On to the finals, it was Ron Arnold and Dusty Brazel again, with veteran Ron Arnold getting the better of Dusty, who’s come oh-so-close more than once this season, but is still chasing that elusive win.

The Wiseco Street Fighter class, racing on the 9.50 index saw Chris Roelse take the top spot on Saturday during qualifying. Sunday on race day, it was Jason Herron in the winner’s circle after he defeated Pablo Gonzalez. Jason’s P/St bike broke a motor, so he hopped on the spare bike, and brought home the win in Wiseco Street Fighter.

MPS Pro ET on Sunday, Ted Harvey defeated Eric Griffith by strapping a .009 light on him to start the race, then went 8.12 on a 811 dial, to wrap it up. During C&S Customs Street Et action, John Fernandez was the top dog after he defeated the always tough Ron Arnold. John’s 8.364 on a 8.360 dial was just spot-on.

In wrapping up the race: in the Vance & Hines sponsored V-Twin series, Vance Houdyshell took a much needed win after matching up with Barry Pryer Sr., as the two of them were butting heads all weekend. Barry won the class on Saturday and Vance won the big one on Sunday. Both racers are looking forward to going at it again in November during the Man Cup Mann Hill Garage World Finals, which is shaping up to be the biggest drag race of 2017.



Rockingham Shows Off ‘Fastest Woman on Two Wheels,’ ‘Fastest Top Fuel Bike’

Niki Taube Zakrzewski, better known in the bike racing community as Niki Zak, sped straight into the record books Saturday at Rockingham Dragway where she became the first woman in motorcycle drag racing history to record a finish line speed in excess of 200 miles per hour. 

Little more than 24 hours later, the native of Sydney, Australia added an exclamation point by beating reigning Pro Open champion and point leader Mark Rendeluk of Oklahoma City to join Larry “Spiderman” McBride of Newport News, Va., and “Super Dave” Stewart of Mooresville as record-breaking winners of The Rock’s Man Cup Fall Nationals. 

Zakrzewski, who has been racing professionally for only three seasons, stopped the Compulink timers in 6.518 seconds at 200.65 mph Saturday astride before later improving to 6.450 at 205.82 mph.  On race day, she crushed the field with runs of 6.487 at 202.85 mph, 6.490 at 203.65 mph on a single and, finally, 6.487 at 204.85 mph. 

Until Saturday, the “fastest woman on two wheels” title belonged to NHRA Pro Stock Bike racer and former world champion Angelle Sampey of Mathews, La., who attained a speed of 199.76 mph on July 31, 2016 at Sonoma, Calif., Raceway.

McBride extended his Man Cup point lead by besting motorcycle legend and No. 1 qualifier Sam Wills of Edmond, Okla., in the Top Fuel final.  En route to victory, the flamboyant McBride coaxed his bike across the quarter-mile finish line at a fastest ever bike speed of 255.20 mph in the semifinals.

Stewart lowered the national record in the Real Street class to 7.652 seconds and beat national point leader “Turbo Johnny” Dobrin of Sarasota, Fla., in the money round.  

Other winners included Louisburg’s Ehren Litten in Pro Street, Michael Ray of New Braunfels, Texas in Pro Fuel, Ronnie Smith of Pasadena, Md., in Pro Mod, Broderick Jackson of Atlanta in 4.60 Index, Pete Chongris of Mentor Ohio in Top Gas, Ron Arnold of Bowling Green, Ky., in Crazy 8s and veteran Jeremy Teasley, the winningest motorcycle rider in Rockingham history, in Super Comp.

Litten beat Aruba’s Terrence Angela to earn the hardware in Pro Street but that win was anticlimactic after he upset national record-setting Rodney Williford of Rougemont, a multi-time champion in the old MIRock Superbike Series, in round two. 

Williford lowered the Pro Street national record to 6.705 seconds in qualifying and then stopped the timers in an even quicker 6.667 seconds at 225.67 mph in round one.  Against Litten, though, he couldn’t maintain traction and slowed to 7.871.

Weekend Video Playlist

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified when new videos are uploaded – click here.

Weekend Photo Galleries

Man Cup DME Racing Fall Nationals
presented by Vance and Hines at Rockingham Dragway


Qualifying – 1. Sam Wills, Edmond, Okla. 5.902, 234.00 mph; 2. Larry “Spiderman” McBride, Newport News, Va., 6.114, 228.92 mph; 3. Dave Vantine, Hamilton, N.Y., 6.167, 226.54 mph; 4. Ian King, Litlington, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, 6.258 217.67 mph; 5. Chris Hand, Navou, Ala., 6.567, 158.33 mph; 6. Armon Furr, Orangeburg, S.C., 7.822, 157.19 mph.

Round 1 – Dave Vantine, Hamilton, N.Y., 5.994, 227.31 mph, def. Ian King, Litlington, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, 6.204, 207.94 mph; Larry “Spiderman” McBride, Newport News, Va., 5.957, 248.66 mph, def. Chris Hand, Navou, Ala., 5.885, 222.95 mph; Sam Wills, Edmond, Okla., 5.902, 231.00 mph, def. Armon Furr, Orangeburg, S.C., 6.782, 199.88 mph.

Semifinals – Wills, bye; McBride, 5.833, 255.29 mph, def. Vantine, foul.

FINAL – Larry “Spiderman” McBride, Newport News, Va., 5.828, 246.48 mph, def. Sam Wills, Edmond, Okla., 6.235, 230.80 mph.



Qualifying – 1. Niki “Niki Zak” Zakrzewski, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 6.450, 205.82 mph; 2. Richard Brunson, Davenport, Iowa, 6.453, 202.21 mph; 3. Mike Rendeluk, Oklahoma City, Okla., 6.489, 204.05 mph; 4. Rob Garcia, Pottstown, Pa., 6.773, 193.40 mph; 5. Keith Browne, Semora, 6.972, 196.44 mph; 6. Robert Giard, Gainesboro, Tenn., 8.218. 189.58 mph.

Round 1 – Mark Rendeluk, Oklahoma City, Okla., 6.549, 202.24 mph, def. Rob Garcia, Pottstown, Pa. 6.892, 188.64 mph; Richard Brunson, Davenport, Iowa, 6.528, 198.67 mph, def. Keith Browne, Semora, 6.960, 192.55 mph; Niki “Niki Zak” Zakrzewski, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 6.487, 202.85 mph, def. Roget Giard, Gainesboro, Tenn., no time.

Semifinals – Rendeluk, 6.512, 202.64 mph, def. Brunson, 6.559, 198.70 mph; Zak, bye.

FINAL – Niki “Niki Zak” Zakrzewski, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 6.487, 204.85 mph, def. Mark Rendeluk, Oklahoma City, Okla., 6.679, 196.90 mph.



Qualifying – 1. Rodney Williford, Rougemont, 6.705, 220.73 mph; 2. Terrence Angela, Aruba, 6.813, 216.55 mph; 3.  Jeremy Teasley, Orient, Ohio, 6.819, 213.20 mph; 4. Ehren Litten, Louisburg, 6.867, 218.90 mph; 5. Chris Connelly, Brighton, Mich., 6.912, 208.26 mph; 6. Mark Gargulo, Granville, Mass., 6.943, 205.76 mph; 7. Chris Edwards, Bessemer City, 7.125, 201.97 mph; 8. Jorden Haase, Irwin, Pa., 7.134, 203.43 mph.

Round 1 – Ehren Litten, Louisburg, 6.742, 222.00 mph, def. Chris Connelly, Brighton, Mich., 6.964, 205.88 mph; Jeremy Teasley, Orient, Ohio, 6.884, 210.08 mph, def. Mark Gargulo, Granville, Mass., 6.984, 200.47 mph; Terrence Angela, Aruba, 7.083, 174.48 mph, def. Chris Edwards, Bessemer City, 9.810, 90.27 mph; Rodney Williford, Rougemont, 6.667, 225.67 mph, def. Jorden Haase, Irwin, Pa., no time.

Semifinals – Litten, 6.744, 223.21 mph, def. Williford, 7.871, 165.99 mph; Angela, 6.833, 215.27 mph, def. Teasley, 6.871, 185.54 mph.

FINAL – Ehren Litten, Louisburg, 6.786, 215.62 mph, def. Terrence Angela, Aruba, 6.897, 192.41 mph.



Semifinals – Michael Ray, New Braunfels, Texas, 8.237, 159.95 mph, def.  Tyler Wilson, Walnut Cove, 8.303, 161.63 mph; Preston Bartlett, St. Augustine, Fla., no time, def. Jay Beasley, Winston-Salem, no time.

FINAL – Michael Ray, New Braunfels, Texas, 7.354, 166.76 mph, def. Preston Bartlett, St. Augustine, Fla., 7.364, 171.34 mph.



Round 1 – “Super Dave” Stewart, Mooresville, bye; John Dobrin, Sarasota, Fla., 7.859, 188.99 mph, def. Jason Fernando, Tampa, Fla., 8.299, 176.84 mph; Marcus Hylton, Eden, 7.935, 171.93 mph, def. Anibal Merced, Concord, 8.048, 182.28 mph.

Semifinals – Stewart, 7.652, 190.89 mph, def. Hylton, 7.942, 170.45 mph; Dobrin, bye.

FINAL – “Super Dave” Stewart, Mooresville, 7.749, 193.10 mph, def. John Dobrin, Sarasota, Fla., 7.790, 191.40 mph.



Semifinals – Travis Davis, Douglas, Ga., 4.094, 174.28 mph, def. Brad McCoy, Cleveland, 4.082, 174.14 mph; Ronnie Smith, Pasadena, Md., bye.

FINAL – Ronnie Smith, Pasadena, Md., 4.086m 172.45 mph, def. Travis Davis, Douglas, Ga., 4.129, 171.42 mph.


4.60 INDEX

Round 3 – Tony Mullen, Bradenton, Fla., 4.616, 150.56 mph, def. Mike Chonglis, Eastlake, Ohio, 4.639, 148.44 mph; “Long Island Mike” Ostrowski, Bay Shore, N.Y., 4.642, 139.99 mph, def. Ronnie Procopio, Wake Forest, 4.659, 157.52 mph; Broderick Jackson, Atlanta, Ga., bye.

Semifinals – Jackson, 4.635, 153.49 mph, def. Ostrowski, 4.620, 142.22 mph; Mullen, bye.

FINAL – Broderick Jackson, Atlanta, Ga., 4.601, 155.44 mph, def. Tony Mullen, Bradenton, Fla., 4.595 breakout, 153.21 mph.


TOP GAS (8.20 target)

Round 2 – Pete Chongris, Mentor, Ohio, 8.191, 153.09 mph, def. Dustin Lee, Morristown, Tenn., 8.168 breakout, 163.29 mph; Jim Chongris, Mentor, Ohio, 8.286, 153.04 mph, def. Frank Loney, Dalzell, S.C., 8.099 breakout, 141.85 mph; Jeremy Teasley, Orient, Ohio, 8.224, 164.21 mph, def. Jeff House, Keller, Texas, 8.184 breakout, 157i.30 mph; Alan Fields, Climax, 8.183, 161.40 mph, def. Ben Knight, Elkton, Va., 8.180 breakout, 160.10 mph.

Semifinals – Fields, 8.271, 150.82 mph, def. J. Chongris, 8.364, 149.63 mph; P. Chongris, 8.250, 154.09 mph, def. Teasley, foul.

FINAL – Pete Chongris, Mentor, Ohio, 9.486, 114.40 mph, def. Alan Fields, Climax, 20.952, no speed. 


CRAZY 8’s (8.880 target)

Round 3 – Dusty Brazel, Norman Park, Ga., 8.891, 150.92 mph, def. Wade Smith, Dublin, Ga., foul; Ron Arnold, Bowling Green, Ky., 8.910, 144.10 mph, def. Keith Browne, Semora, 8.943, 143.78 mph; Eric Griffith, Riner, Va., bye.

Semifinals – Brazel, 8.942, 147.60 mph, def. Griffith, 8.898, 150.90 mph; Arnold, bye.

FINAL – Ron Arnold, Bowling Green, Ky., 8.914, 142.24 mph, def. Dusty Brazel, Norman Park, Ga., 8.964, 149.85 mph.


SUPER COMP (8.90 target)

Round 3 – Ron Arnold, Bowling Green, Ky., 8.847, 154.37 mph, def. Freddy Frazier, Sanford, foul; Jeremy Teasley, Orient, Ohio, 8.948, 149.76 mph, def. Travis Bordeaux, Harrisburg, 8.904, 138.07 mph; Randall Cross, Stone Mountain, Ga., 10.875, 107.96 mph, def.  “Long Island Mike” Ostrowski, Bay Shore, N.Y., foul; Shawn Welch, Waynesboro, Ga., bye.

Semifinals – Teasley, 8.916, 149.90 mph, def. Cross, 8.913, 148.61 mph; Welch, 8.917, 142.42 mph, def. Arnold, 8.893 breakout, 142.45 mph.

FINAL – Jeremy Teasley, Orient, Ohio, 8.961, 149.30 mph, def. Shawn Welch, Waynesboro, Ga., 8.018, 128.64 mph.


STREET FIGHTER FINAL (9.50 target) – Jason Herron, West Columbia, S.C., 9.545, 140.23 mph, def. Pablo Gonzalez, Carolina, Puerto Rico, 9.529, 141.91 mph.



Round 4 – Ben Knight, Elkton, Va., .014, 8.199 on an 8.180, 155.78 mph, def. Robin Procopio, Wake Forest, .025, 8.218 on an 8.200, 158.06 mph; Eric Griffith, Riner, Va., .035, 8.933 on an 8.880, 146.24 mph, def. Spencer Claycomb, Rockford, Tenn., .089, 9.007 on an 8.970, 141.58 mph; Ted Harvey, Mentor, Ohio, .031, 8.088 on an 8.090, 158.54 mph, def. Shawn Welch, Waynesboro, Ga., foul.

Semifinals – Harvey, .025, 8.186 on an 8.090, 153.02 mph, def. Knight, .019, 8.275 on an 8.170, 154.69 mph; Griffith, bye.

FINAL – Ted Harvey, Mentor, Ohio, .009, 8.125 on an 8.110, 144.94 mph, def. Eric Griffith, Riner, Va., .053, 8.906 on an 8.880, 151.20 mph.



Round 4 – Stephen Knight, Durham, .056, 9.042 on a 9.040, 148.36 mph, ddef. Dustin Lee, Morristown, Tenn., .059, 9.188 breakout on a 9.190, 147.17 mph; John Markham, Bowling Green, KY., .020, 8.831 on an 8.720, 138.27 mph, def. Calvin Mason, Mobile, Ala., .149, 9.191 breakout on a 9.200, 141.13 mph; Spencer Claycomb, Rockford, Tenn., .055, 8.975 on an 8.980, 148.05 mph, def. Harvey Hubbard, Sedley, Va., foul.

Semifinals – Markham, bye; Knight, .048, 9.039 on a 9.040, 141.73 mph, def. Claycomb, .088, 8.941 breakout on an 8.950, 150.35 mph.

FINAL – Stephen Knight, Durham, .011, 9.054 on a 9.020, 144.42 mph, def. John Markham, Bowling Green, Ky., .022, 8.736 on an 8.700, 147.04 mph.


Round 5 – Ron Arnold, Bowling Green, Ky., .055, 9.392 on a 9.380, 144.41 mph, def. Elmer Cromer, Nokomis, Fla., .097, 9.287 breakout on a 9.350, 147.68 mph; Roy Johnson, Keystone Heights, Fla., .022, 9.405 on a 9.390, 140.96 mph, def. Stanley Russell, Stanley, Ga., .048, 9.735 on a 9.720, 138.34 mph; John Fernandez, Tampa, Fla., bye.

Semifinals – Fernandez, .045, 8.426 on an 8.360, 155.79 mph, def. Johnson, .073, 9.467 on a 9.390,144.35 mph; Arnold, bye.

 FINAL – John Fernandez, Tampa, Fla., NA, 8.364 on an 8.360, 162.51 mph, def. Ron Arnold, Bowling Green, Ky., foul. 



Round 5 – Spencer Claycomb, Rockford, Tenn., .042, 9.261 on an 8.950, 155.65 mph, def. Bob Burt, Columbus, Ohio .048, 10.537 breakout on a 10.550, 121.30 mph; Brian Dale, Dalton, Ga., .048, 9.143 on an 8.950, 135.74 mph, def. Vance Houdyshell, Vero Beach, Fla., .024, 10.257 on a 9.900, 135.81 mph; C.J. Fair, Lexington, S.C., bye.

Semifinals – Dale, .059, 8.930 on an 8.970, 152.18 mph, def. Fair, foul; Claycomb, bye

FINAL – Brian Dale, Dalton, Ga., .043, 8.930 on an 8.930, 148.09 mph, def. Spencer Claycomb, Rockford, Tenn., .084, 8.920 on an 8.920, 151.53 mph.


 SUNDAY V-TWIN FINAL – Vance Houdyshell, Vero Beach, Fla., .143, 10.101 on a 10.000, 137.95 mph, def. Barry Pryer Sr., Chesapeake, Va., .176, 12.453 breakout on a 12.550, 105.22 mph.


SATURDAY V-TWIN FINAL – Barry Pryer Sr., Chesapeake, Va., .058, 12.887 on a 12.550, 89.71 mph, def. Manny Carrasquillo, Clearwater, Fla., .051, 14.740 on a 14.000, 83.96 mph.

Rockingham Dragway


Record-Setting Weekend Just ‘Business as Usual’ at Rockingham Dragway

 In the wake of last weekend’s ManCup Fall Nationals at Rockingham Dragway, track owner Steve Earwood admitted that he was both amused and confused by suggestions that his track “was back” after Niki “Niki Zak” Zakrzewski, Rodney Williford and Larry “Spiderman” McBride set the motorcycle world abuzz with record-shattering performances that included a 255.29 mile-an-hour top end speed from McBride’s Top Fuel Bike.     

 “I didn’t know we’d gone anywhere,” Earwood laughed.  “The Rock has been a destination track for anyone looking for maximum performance since we’ve been here and that’s been a source of great pride for me and my entire team.

“There’s nothing magic about it,” Earwood said.  “I just takes money, passion and commitment from a whole lot of people.  You don’t just sweep it off every week, throw down some traction compound and hope for the best. 

“Everyone talks about track prep but it doesn’t make any difference who’s doing the prep if the track surface isn’t up to specs.

 “That’s why we’ve repaved the track with a special mixture of asphalt five times,” Earwood said.  “We’ve torn out the old concrete and poured new, we’ve ground down bumps and filled in dips and we’ve consulted with companies that specialize in competitive surfaces and followed their suggestions.”

The payoff for all that expense and effort is a weekend like the one just passed in which Zakrzewski became the first woman to break 200 miles per hour on a drag racing motorcycle, and in which McBride recorded the fastest bike speed ever.

 “You enjoy the moment,” Earwood said, “but then you have to go back to work.  We have the Original Super Chevy Show coming to town this weekend and those guys deserve a consistent, high-traction surface as much as the motorcycle guys, the ADRL Pro Mods or even the NHRA Pro Stock racers who test with us on a regular basis.”

“You can teach track prep,” he said, “but you have to start with something worth ‘prepping.’”

Top performances at the ManCup Fall Nationals at Rockingham Dragway: (1) Fastest speed on two wheels, 255.29 miles per hour by Larry McBride, Newport News, Va.; (2) fastest woman on two wheels, 205.82 mph by Niki Zakrzewski, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; (3) quickest Pro Street elapsed time record, 6.667 seconds by Rodney Williford, Rougemont, N.C.; (4)  quickest Real Street ET record, 7.652 seconds by Dave “Super Dave” Stewart, Mooresville, N.C.; and (5) first side-by-side motorcycle 5-second run in open competition when McBride defeated Chris Hand of Navou Ala. in the first round, 5.957, 248.66 mph to Hands quicker 5.885, 222.95 mph.

  1. Fastest speed on two wheels, 255.29 miles per hour by Larry McBride, Newport News, Va.
  2. Fastest woman on two wheels, 205.82 mph by Niki Zakrzewski, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. Quickest Pro Street elapsed time record, 6.667 seconds by Rodney Williford, Rougemont, N.C.
  4. Quickest Real Street ET record, 7.652 seconds by Dave “Super Dave” Stewart, Mooresville, N.C
  5. First side-by-side motorcycle 5-second run in open competition when McBride defeated Chris Hand of Navou Ala. in the first round, 5.957, 248.66 mph to Hands quicker 5.885, 222.95 mph.

SATURDAY – Qualifying

After the smoke cleared around 8PM on Saturday night of the Man Cup, DME Nationals, the crowd slowly dissipated and the night fully fell on Rockingham Dragway. As the grills were lit and the smiles and war stories began, I believe all would agree; it was a very good day of racing. There were few oil-downs and delays, typical drag racing was the order of the day. That and some exceptional performances by the warrior elite.

In the Pingel Top Fuel series class, Sam Wills held on to the Top Spot with his 5.90 elapsed time at 234 MPH good for the #1 qualifier positon and the best numbers of the event so far. Sam ran the number during Q-1 and it held for the next two rounds. Larry “Spiderman” McBride (6.11), Dave Vantine (6.16) Ian King (6.25), Chris Hand (6.56) and Armon Furr (7.82) rounded out the qualifying for T/F

In Hawaya Pro Fuel class, Michael Ray’s 7.38 was the best of the day over Preston Bartlett (7.43), Jay Beasley (7.69) and Tyler Wilson (8.14). Johnny Vickers has been tuning and experimenting with the combination, so these numbers may come up a notch tomorrow. Also: chassis master Pete Browne is here and he brought Johnny’s new chassis, the latest T-2 pipe is done and it’s now in Johnny’s hands.

In Falicon Pro Mod, Brad McCoy saved the best for the last, as in the last qualifier to step up and deliver a 4.029 elapsed time and snatch the #1 qualifying spot from Ronnie Smith who had it nailed down through Q-1 and Q-2. Ronnie Smith’s (4.04), Travis Davis (4.062), Paul Gast (4.062, Brunson Grothus (4.07), Spencer Allen (4.09), Jeff House (4.11), Terry Wynn (4.20), Gerald Smith (4.84) and Charlie Prophit (6.80) round out the qualifying.

APE Pro Street has been led by Rodney Williford thus far in competition. His runs look smooth and almost effortless. Rodney’s 6.70 @ 220.73, was run during Q-1 and that number held for the #1 qualifier position and it’s a hell of a number. The next closest tracer is Terence Angela (6.813), Jeremy Teasley (6.819), Ehren Litten (6.86), Chris Connelly (6.91), Mark Garglulo (6.94), Chris Edwards (7.125) and Jordan Haase (7.13).

Nitrous Express Pro Open racing at this event has been the Niki Zak show and she’s putting on a hell of a show. Her Dan Wagner tuned “Pony” as she likes to call it, has had bracket bike like performance so far this event. Her 6.51 @ 200.65 in Q-1 was followed by a stunning 6.45 @ 205 which is certainly one of the quickest runs in Man Cup Pro Open history, and sets the bar high. Her #1 qualifying performance, which included the first ever 200 MPH pass ever recorded by a woman motorcycle drag bike pilot is a credit to her riding abilities and her team led by Dan Wagner. Brunson (6.453) was right on the heels of the lady from down-under, Mark Rendeluk (6.489), Rob Garcia (6.773), Keith Browne (6.972) and Rob Giard (8.21) comprise the pack headed into Sunday’s elimination rounds.

Shinko/WPS Real Street action, Super Dave took a stride ahead of Johnny Dobrin and secured the #1 spot with a stellar 7.66 pass which will earn him a by-run during E-1 tomorrow. Johnny Dobrin (7.74), Anabal Mercede (7.84), Marcus Hylton (7.93) and Jason Fernando (8.21) round out the field.

In Grothus Ultra 4.60, Tony Mullen landed the #1 qualifying spot, to lead the way. Mike Ostrowski, Alan Field, Cameron Shelton, Mike Chongris, Brunson Grothus, Ronnie Procopio, Broderick Jackson, Mike Thyen and Bobby Lovingood round out the top ten qualifiers.

Star Racing’s Top Gas series, with the 8.20 Index, has Alan Fields leading the way after running an 8.208 elapsed time, closest to the index. John “Spooky” Markham, Dustin Lee, Jim Chongris, Frank Loney, George Jones, Robin Procopio, Harvey Hubbard, Ben Knight and Jeremey Teasley make up the top-ten in T/G qualifying. Eliminations begin Sunday morning, before noon.

MTC Super Comp racing saw Jeremy Teasley move to the front of the pack. His 8.904 was just a tick closer to the 8.90 index than John Markham’s 8.908 or Dusty Brazel’s 8.909 – talk about close racing! Rick Eaton, Ben Knight, Ron Arnold, Freddy Frazier, Dustin Lee, Steven Knight, and Brian Dale, comprise the top-ten in S/C.


In the very popular 8.88 class, the World Wide Bearings Crazy 8’s, veteran Ron Arnold recorded an 8.885 to inch ahead of Dusty Brazel’s 8.889 for the top qualifying spot. Ben Knight, Travis Bourdeaux, Eric Griffith, Brian Dale, Stephen Knight, Spencer Claycomb, Randy Day, and Frank Dixon, make up the top-ten qualifiers in WW Bearings’ Crazy eights.

Wiseco Street Fighter, running on the 9.50 index, saw Chris Roelse take the top spot by running a 9.500 right on the index! Wade Smith’s 9.507 was not far off the mark, but a double goose-egg on the number is near-impossible to beat. John Markham, Stephen Knight, Pablo Gonzalez, Dustin Lee, Tom Lagasse, Luis Reyes, Butch Norwood, and Jason Herron, hold the top-ten spots in Street Fighter.

In Vance & Hines sponsored V-Twin racing for Saturday, at the DME Nationals, odds on favorite, Vance Houdyshell fouled out during E-2 at the hands of Mike Chongris who then fell to Barry Pryer who’s been hot as a tin roof all weekend. Barry went on to the finals to meet Manny Carrasquillo and it was Manny with the win, when the smoke cleared. It was a wild day in V&H V-Twin class with surprises for all.

MPS Pro ET racing took six rounds of racing to complete and in the end, it was Stephen Knight Vs John “Spooky” Markham who faced-off for the day’s win. Knight strapped a .011 RT on the Spooky Man who was no slouch with a .022 response, but in the end, it was Knight over Markham to wrap up Saturday’s race in Pro ET.

In C&S Custom Street ET racing, it took seven rounds of racing to get to the final round match-up between Brian Dale and Spencer Claycomb. Dale’s .043 RT was all the lead he needed over Spencer’s .084 light to take the win. Believe me, these two can’t wait for Sunday to take another swing at each other. Great racing by great racers: who could ask for anything more?

FRIDAY – Test & Tune

On Friday, September 22, 2017, the Man Cup DME Nationals kicked off on time with a Friday test and tune for racers to settle in for the weekend’s race. This is the fourth event of the five race season and it’s an important points race weekend in all classes with one race remaining in the Man Cup series.

Of the many racers to strut their stuff on Friday, Dave Vantine was the quickest of the bunch, in Pingel Top Fuel racing, with a 6.30 elapsed time. Ian King, Larry McBride, and Sam Wills all made test hits. The predominance of the teams were in fact testing new combinations, so while any testing in drag racing is forever a learning process for the teams, fans should remember that when a test and tune is in effect, it is normal that runs are aborted early as new combinations are tried. Hence the lack of numbers here posted on every team’s individual pass.

In Hawaya Pro Fuel testing, late in the day, right about last call for the day, Preston Bartlett and Michael Ray rolled in to make a pass. They each made a run that gave them a baseline for Saturday’s 3 qualifying sessions.

In Falicon Pro Mod class, Ronnie Smith ripped off a 4.05 that had everyone’s attention and Jay Regan was sharp enough to be in the mic for that one and for sure that run got everyone’s attention. Several P/M bikes were making laps on Friday. Brunson Grothus was also active in testing in multiple classes (P/M, P/O 4.60).

In Nitrous Express Pro Open; Mark Rendeluk was one of the quickest during Friday’s test & tune with a stout 6.62 @ 199.14 pass, he was pleased with. Rob Giard pulled in on Friday with his Funny Bike and Niki Zak is also on the property ready to race. Pro Open will be a very busy and competitive class this weekend.

APE Pro Street racers on Friday included DME’s Jeremy Teasley, Terence Angela, Chris Connelly, and others. Williford Racing is on the property and will make their presence felt during qualifying on Saturday.

In Shinko/WPS Real Street; Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin made e few test hits as did Luis Hornedo and others on R/St. The competition will be tough in Real Street this weekend.

In Sportsman racing, Dustin Lee, Ben Knight, John Markham, Spencer Claycomb, Barry Pryor Sr., Vance Houdyshell, and many, many others were out on the 1320’ making laps from noon to 5PM. It was a great afternoon of testing.

Tom McCarthy Until Next time…

– Tom McCarthy

About Man Cup Motorcycle Drag Racing : Headquartered in Safety Harbor, Florida, Man Cup motorcycle drag racing is North America’s largest professional motorcycle drag racing sanctioning body. Man Cup promotes motorcycle drag racing on a national event basis for professional, sportsman and ET bracket racers alike and is open to riders of all skill and experience levels. The Man Cup Series is the only national event style motorcycle drag racing series comprised of events throughout the eastern half of the United States. For marketing opportunities with the Man Cup as well as more information on Man Cup Motorcycle Drag Racing, please visit on the web or 7 2 7 – 7 4 2 – 5 2 4 5 voice/text.

2017 Schedule

  • April 7-8-9 / South Georgia Motorsports Park
  • June 2-4 / Memphis International Raceway
  • July 15-16 / Galot Motorsports Park  (1/8 mile)
  • September 23-24 / Rockingham Dragway
  • November 17-19 / South Georgia Motorsports Park


Memphis International Raceway


Rockingham Dragway

The Man Cup Series is brought to you by our sponsors :  Adams Performance – APE – Bates Leathers – Brocks Performance – Carolina Cycle – Cometic – Cooper Performance – D&G Chassis – DME Racing – Daytona Senors – – Exotic Cycle – Falicon Performance – Galot Motorsports Park – Grothus Dragbike – Hawaya Racing – Hot Rod Chrissy Photos – HTP Performance – JRI Shocks – Lectron – McIntosh Machine and Fabrication – Memphis International Raceway – MoTec – MPS – MRE – MTC – Muzzys – Penske Shocks – Pingel Enterprises – Portable Shade – PR Factory Store – RCC Turbo – Roaring Toyz – Rob Bush Motorsports – Rockingham Dragway – S&S Cycle – Schnitz Racing – Shinko – Star Racing – Western Power Sports – South Georgia Motorsports Park – Trac Dynamics – Vance & Hines – Ward Performance – Web Cam – Wiseco Pistons – World Wide Bearing – Wossner Pistons

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*