Man Cup: FuelTech World Finals Wrap-up
Man Cup presented by Vance & Hines
43rd annual FuelTech World Finalspresented by Kibblewhite and Wiseco
South Georgia Motorsports Park
November 20-25, 2019
by Tom McCarthy
FuelTech World Finals Wrap-up
The Man Cup 43rd Annual FuelTech World Finals, presented by Kibblewhite Precision Machine and Wiseco Powersports, wrapped up on Monday, November 25, 2019. It was an event that will be long remembered by the racers and fans who attended for the size and magnitude of its presence. South Georgia Motorsports Park (SGMP) is a huge venue, and by Friday night, it was that jammed with racers and fans.
The spectator crowd on Saturday afternoon was enormous, the best noted at a Man Cup event in the nine-year history of the sanction. The pit side stands, and the grandstands were filled. The event was streamed live on MotorMainiaTV.com, courtesy of McKinney Motorsports and Dunigan Racing. Not only that, but Lucas Oil Productions were on the property, filming the event for MavTV, for airing at a later date. Both the fans and the racers received a feast for the eyes and ears of motorcycle drag racing
Racers and spectators alike from all over the world were in attendance for this event. Over 30 racers from Aruba came over with their bikes in not one, but two shipping containers. There were racers in competition from Sweden, Japan, India, Australia, the UK, Canada, Puerto Rico, to name a few. This event was everything a “World Finals” should be and more.
It all began on Wednesday, November 20, with advanced parking, along with a Man Cup test & tune open session. On Thursday during testing, Larry McBride set the Top Fuel motorcycle world on its ear with a 5.507 elapsed time at 264.96 MPH. This was the quickest and fastest pass in the history of Top Fuel motorcycle. Testing 1-2-3, Pingel Top Fuel motorcycle fans, did you see THAT one?
Racing action also began on Thursday with the APE All-Star Shootout. Two qualifying rounds were run, followed by two rounds of eliminations. Richard Gadson on the Mummert/Gadson entry took the #1 qualifying spot with a 6.52 elapsed time, earning a bye in round one. He then went on to defeat Ryan Hable in E2, and this set up his final round match up with Jeremy Teasley, who defeated Jason Angela and Chris Connelly Jr. In the final, Teasley got the better of Richard, who was fighting a wheelie, running a 6.660 to his losing 8.962.
Also in specialty racing action for Thursday, which wrapped up on Friday, was the Grothus Ultra Dragbikes 4.60 Challenge, where racers competed for GDB Cash rewards. Over two dozen 4.60 racers entered the fray, and after one time trial, racers were paired by random draw.
The final pair of Dystany Spurlock and Mike Chongris were matched up to begin the 4.60 qualifying round Friday evening and Dystany got the better of Mike on the double breakout pass, with her .041 RT to his .060 reaction to the tree as the deciding factor. This was her first taste of victory at a Man Cup event.
The Pingel Top Fuel motorcycle drag racing class was the talk of the event with racers and fans wondering just how far The Spiderman might lower the national record during the weekend. Larry qualified #1 with a 5.62 @ 261 MPH, just a tick-off his record-setting mark of 5.60 @ 263.10.
Dave Vantine occupied the second qualifying position with a solid 5.71, followed by Ian King 5.93, Sam Wills 6.05, Jay Turner, 6.46, Mitch Brown 6.77, Juha Hintukainen 9.92 and Chris Hand 10.47, on the Red Neck Express.
During eliminations, Larry faced off against Chris Hand during E1 and Chris and his team put up an excellent fight posting a stout 6.14 @ 207 to Larry’s 5.64 @ 258 MPH. Sam Wills defeated Jay Turner 6.09 to 7.21, Dave Vantine out ran Juha Hintukainen 6.06 to (broke), and Ian King shot past Mitch Brown on Dennis Bradley’s bike, 5.81 to 13.62.
During round two of eliminations, Sam Wills suffered mechanical woes, and Larry McBride took the win with a 5.68 @ 261mph to secure his place in the final round and with it a 20th Top Fuel championship. Ian King of the UK then posted a stellar 5.82 @ 239 MPH to dispatch Dave Vantine, whose rear tire went up in smoke early in the run. This set up a classic Pingel Top Fuel final between the two quickest Top Fuel motorcycles on the planet. And the final round did not disappoint.
10-time European Top Fuel motorcycle champion, Ian King vs. the Spiderman was the matchup everyone wanted to see as these long-time friends and rivals always tend to bring out the best in one another. When they launched their Top Fuel bikes on Monday afternoon, everyone could see they were on a hard run, with Ian gaining quickly through the mid-course. From the starting line area, it was impossible to tell who was in the lead late in the run. When the scoreboards lit up with 5.929 for Spiderman and 5.924 for Ian, with the win-light lit for team McBride, it was chaos on the starting line for the Cycle Specialist team of Larry McBride. Larry took the win on a hole-shot, .199 to .212 respective reaction times, and it was a great drag race indeed for Pingel Top Fuel.
Pingel Top Fuel Twin at this event delivered a great field of racers from as far away as Sweden for the Per Bengtsson team, with Tommy Grimes driving for the unique Top fuel vertical twin known as “The Beast.” With nine bikes entered, the number one qualifier was Jason Pridemore of Ohio with his immaculate “Gunslinger” Top Fuel Harley. Jason delivered a solid 6.17 elapsed time that was a stunner and Tommy Grimes, driving for Per Bengtsson on the Beast stopped the clocks with a 6.20, showing they were indeed up for the challenge. Other qualifiers were: Tii Tharpe 6.30, Rickey House 6.49, Tyler Wilson 6.54, Rich Vreeland 6.81, Tim Kerrigan 6.88, Tadashi Sato 7.27, and Don Becker 7.48.
During eliminations, Pridemore and Grimes made their way through the field to meet up in the final round fora much-anticipated matchup between The Beast and The Gunslinger. Tommy’s .180 RT to Jason’s .203 gave him a decided head start, and Jason was in hot pursuit until he broke traction early and Tommy thundered on to victory, 6.60 to 6.91 respectively. This race was a great victory for the Swedish racing team, who traveled a great distance to race against the best in the USA. They came into the event with a best of 6.19, and they bettered that to a 6.18 in testing to achieve not only victory but a new personal record for the team and the bike, which is a one-of-a-kind, vertical, parallel-twin — a magnificent machine.
Hawaya Racing sponsored Pro Fuel did not disappoint from qualifying through to a championship showdown conclusion. It began with Kirby Apathy dropping a six-second elapsed time bomb on his fellow racers with a 6.96 @ 184.98 MPH, to show and prove he’s still in possession of the world’s quickest and fastest Pro Fuel bike on the planet.
Next in line for qualifying was points leader Preston Bartlett with a fine 7.33, Sam White with a 7.40, Al Miles of Canada with a 7.60, veteran David Larson with a 7.61, Janette Thornley 7.62, Rocky Jackson 7.67, Curt Sexton 7.69, Jim Martin 7.74, Michael Beland on Bobby Hoover’s bike, 7.93 and Michael Ray on Tyler Wilson’s Pto Fuel bike with a troubled 16-second pass.
During eliminations, Kirby started things off with a bye run, and in round two, he was matched up against Rocky Jackson, a two-time Man Cup Pro Fuel champion. They got into a peddle fest during their match up, with the Rockstone, taking the win. Al Miles was not able to make the call in the next round, so this put Rocky in the finals against current #1 champ Preston Bartlett, who came into this event, looking to 3-peat on his previous two Man Cup championships.
When they launched for the final round, it looked good at the hit of the throttles, with Preston’s .150 being slightly quicker than Rocky’s .162. But after that, Rocky Jackson slowed, and Preston stormed off to victory and his third consecutive Man Cup Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel championship. His 7.29 at 173 MPH was a great last-pass by his team in again defending their championship.
Falicon Pro Mod was one strong class with 24 bikes pressing for the 16 bike field, and qualifying was decided with a 4.17 bump-spot held down by Lance Hines. On the outside looking in were Connell Smith, Tyrone Lemons, Terry Wynn, Darien Guillory, Lou Grist, Kenny Hill, Kim Morrell, and Gerald Smith.
Number one qualifier for Pro Mod was Richard Gadson on the Cooper Performance machine with a 4.00 pass just ahead of Travis Davis and his 4.01 effort. Ronnie Smith, Paul Gast, Chris Garner Jones, Brunson Grothus and Ashley Owens all cocked in with 4.0 times; followed by TT Jones 4.11, Eric McKinney 4.12, Terry Schweigert 4.13, Mike Chongris 4.141, Rickey Gadson 4.145, Ricardo Knights 4.147, Deshawn Wheeler 4.148, Rick Perry 4.163 and Lance Hines 4.173.
As eliminations unfolded, the current point’s leader and defending Pro Mod champion Paul Gast dispatched Ricardo Knights and Chris Garner Jones, to meet up with Ronnie Smith for the final round. With both bikes evenly matched, Smith qualified 3rd, Gast 4th. Paul Gast was off the starting line first with a .014 RT to Smith’s .064, and they stormed off to the finish line where Paul Gast got there first with a 4.05 to Ronnie’s 4.07 and the reaction times being the significant factor to Paul’s win light. Paul Gast maybe 70 years of age, but his reaction times are not!
In Nitrous Express Pro Open competition, on Sunday, 14 entrants entered the competition ladder. The number one qualifier was Rob Garcia of Pottstown, PA, with a 6.34 @ 214 MPH, followed by Jean Gosselin of Canada 6.42 and Mark Rendeluk with a 6.43. The top-ten qualifiers in that followed were: Shane Eperjesi 6.50, Niki Zak 6.58, Rob Giard 6.95, Jason G. 7.29, Larry Hayes 8.60, Grimmer Helglison 8.75 and Richard Every 8.95.
Coming into this event, Jean Gosselin held a commanding championship points lead over Mark Rendeluk 316 to 270, and it was clear the Canadian Express was out to defend its Nitrous Express Pro Open #1 plate with honor, which Jean accomplished with gusto. He defeated John Terranova in round one and Jayson Geerman in round two. Gosselin advanced to the finals after a stout match up against Mark Rendeluk, where Jean prevailed 6.27 to 6.36 in a great side-by-side matchup. On the other side of the ladder, Rob Garcia took out Grimmer Helglison and Shane Eperjesi to meet Gosselin in the final. Unfortunately for Gosselin didn’t make the final, and Garcia broke the beams under power to take the win.
In APE Pro Street DME Racing’s Jeremy Teasley took the #1 qualifying spot with a 6.486 at224.47 mph, just ahead of Richard Gadson on Brad Mummert’s Suzuki GS nitrous bike with a 6.49 @ 215 mph. Other qualifiers included: Frankie Stotz 6.65, Jason Dunigan 6.71, Gabe Frederick 6.73, Gaige Herrera 6.83, Ryan Hable 6.85, Jason Angela 6.98, Justin Shakir 7.001, Patrick Borg 7.003, Brad Christian 7.004, Lorenzo Ortiz 7.03, Chris Edwards 7.22, Rudy Sanzoterra 7.39, GT Tonglet 7.42 and Carlos Olivo.
With so many heavy hitters in the mix, there was no way to predict the #1 and #5 qualifiers would match up in the final round, but that’s exactly how it worked out. Jeremy Teasley’s 6.48 in qualifying was followed up with a winning 6.49 in E-1 against Ryan Bonitatis, a 6.70 to take out Patrik Borg in E-2, a 6.48 solo shot in E-3 and 6.64 to 6.82 take out teammate Jason Dunigan in E-4 and send Jeremy to the final round. Meanwhile, Gabe Frederick took out Carlos Olivo in E-1, Gaige Herrera in E-2, then trailered Richard Gadson in E-3 with a 6.69 to a 6.74, to earn a single into the final round to match up with Jeremy Teasley on the DME prepared GSX-R1000.
As the final round was called on Monday, Jeremy’s team was thrashing heavily to make the lane call, and Gabe Frederick waited to give his opponent every possible opportunity to make the call. But as time wandered on, there was just insufficient time for Teasley’s team to make it. All parties expended valiant efforts, but in the end, the chief starter instructed Gabe to fire, do his burnout and stage: then Gabe Fredrick laid down a career-best 6.58 at 226 MPH to solidify his hard-earned win at this event.
Chris Edwards who missed the first two races of the season did a hell of a job at the last three events to earn himself the 2019 Pro Street Championship!
In Shinko/WPS Real Street action, Jeremy Teasley was on top of his game with a record-setting 7.59 @ 190.65 MPH, to erase Spencer Claycomb’s record mark of 7.62 set a Rockingham, just a month earlier. Other qualifiers included; Anibal Merced 7.69, David Stewart 7.73, Jamie Lopes 7.76, Marcus Hylton 7.83, Spencer Claycomb 7.90, Jason Herron 7.96, Alisha Malone 7.96, Steve Holmberg 8.062, John Dobrin 8.065, Mike Sancho 8.10, Ruvin Panell 8.43 and Bud Harrod 12.20.
As eliminations unfolded for Real Street, Jeremy Teasley on the AM Performance GSX-R1000 and Anibal Merced marched through the ranks to meet up in the final round. It was the matchup of the day for Shinko WPS Real Street, and the two cagy veterans were on point with their A-games polished. At the flicker of the tree, both bikes were away quick with Anibal getting the faster reaction time, .069 to an uncharacteristic .100 for Teasley. Then suddenly something went away on Anibal’s bike, and he started to slow. Jeremy Teasley stormed off to victory with a 7.62 at 188.78 MPH and proceeded to the winner’s circle. Team DME and Jeremy Teasley are indeed one tough combination to beat!
Mark Hylton Won the 2019 Championship with an 82 point lead over Spencer Claycomb.
In Grothus Ultra 4.60 racing, the quality and depth of competition was just off-the-hook at this event. 49 entries made their way into the staging lanes for some of the toughest motorcycle drag racing competition of 2019. The #1 qualifier for the event was Tyler Cammock, of Middleton DE, with a stellar 4.600 to sneak in under Deshawn Wheeler’s 4.602. The racing was just fast and furious with these great racers.
It all came down to the final matchup after five rounds of racing for John Schwartz and Douglas Robinson, to decide who was best this day. Schwartz got off the line quickest with a .071 RT to the green light, and Robinson responded with a .108, but that was his undoing. The faster RT got Schwartz to the finish line first, despite Robinson running a perfect 4.60, right on the index. Reaction times matter profoundly in drag racing.
Star Power Top Gas was well attended as the 4.60 class with 51 entries ready to do battle. At the top of the heap was #1 qualifier Wyatt Wiesen with an 8.203 elapsed time on the 8.20 index. With so MANY heavy hitters in Top Gas there was no way to see into a crystal ball and see who would be in the final round. Coming into the event, Ricardo Marte had a 298 points lead on Mike Lingo with 229 points. They both wanted badly to go the five rounds and get to the finals to secure the 2019 Top Gas championship, and one of them did.
Ricardo Marte of San Juan Puerto Rico survived every round of racing except the final round, where Brunson Grothus took him out on a double breakout pass after delivering a devastating .003 RT on the launch against Ricardo’s .012 RT to the tree. The bottom line is Brunson won the battle, but Ricardo won the war by clinching the 2019 championship. GREAT racing by both racers!
The 2019 Top Gas Championship went to Tony Mullen with more than a 100 point lead. Mullen didn’t miss an event all season and will be defending his title again in 2020.
MTC Super Comp class had a massive turnout with 41 participants. In the early stages of the competition, the racers were matched up with random pairings. Coming into this event, Spencer Claycomb (231), David Fletcher (212), Dalton Markham (197), Dusty Brazel (193), and Brian Dale (180): all had a shot at snatching the 2019 MTC Super Comp title. Yet none of them qualified deep, nor made it to the final round. Top guns John Markham and Dustin Lee advanced through to the last round, and they made it a good one. John Markham was off the line first with a .012 RT, and Dustin was right there with him posting a .015.
As they raced for the stripe, Dustin Lee stopped the clocks with an 8.92 elapsed time to John’s 8.87 breakout pass – which delivered victory. Despite the efforts of the competition, Spencer Claycomb held on to his points lead and claimed the 2019 Championship!
Wiseco Street Fighter action during the Fuel Tech World Finals was another well-attended class with its 9.50 index number that attracted fifty-three racers. It’s not only highly popular for the attainable index number, but many of the premier heavy-hitters like to race in Street Fighter. Coming into this race, Pablo Gonzalez was #1 in points with 277, Dusty Brazel 264, and Bob Burt with 254, so all were within striking distance of the point’s championship.
Pablo Gonzalez was the #1 qualifier for the event with a 9.509 on the 9.50 index, and that helped him points-wise. Dusty Brazel did his bad-self good with a #7 qualifying position, and he lasted several rounds, eventually going out to John Markham, 9.52 to 9.50 with three rounds remaining. Pablo Gonzalez also went out to Roy Johnson that same round on a double breakout pass. With both Brazel and Gonzalez out the same round, Gonzalez was able to retain his point lead and claim the 2019 Championship!
The final round came down to a matchup between John Markham and Wade OTJ. Markham dropped a .058 reaction on the tree, and Wade responded with a .081, Markham arrived at the finish first with a 9.53 to 9.56, to clinch the win for John Markham.
MPS Pro ET at the World Finals was one of, if not THE toughest class to win at this event. With close to over 100 entries for Saturday and Sunday, it was just one big brawl of some of the most talented ET motorcycle drag racers in the world. We have to emphasize “the world” here because of the 39 entries that came from Aruba alone, they were most prominent in the ET racing ranks. Not only that, but you add racers like Mike Konopacki of Canada and the racers from Puerto Rico and India – well there it is, a world-wide melting pot of the best of the best from around the globe.
After many rounds of MPS Pro ET racing, the final round came down to a matchup between Elgin Donata of Aruba and Dustin Lee, who is arguably the toughest ET motorcycle drag racer of our current times. Elgin dialed in on a predicted ET of 8.80; Dustin Lee chose a dial of 8.92. At the flicker of a green light, Elgin responded with a .032 reaction time, which would have been good against most racers, but Dustin Lee was set on kill and delivered a perfect .000 RT, putting Elgin .030 behind the 8-ball, right at the hit of the throttle. At the stripe, Dustin arrived first with a 9.0 and Elgin’s 8.87 ET put him out of contention. Dustin Lee cemented his second victory of the event and headed for the winner’s circle.
For the 2019 Championship, Gary Russell had a substantial lead on the class going into the final and easily kept his lead to clinch the championship.
The Vance & Hines Race Shop V-Twin class enjoyed its biggest field of 2019, during the Fuel Tech World Finals. Many racers from around the southeastern United States were in attendance and the #1 qualifier was veteran motorcycle drag racer Crosby Blair of TN. His 9.78 sat in the #1 spot and coming into the event, Vance Houdyshell of FL, checked in with 363 points, and his next closest opponent was Loren Potter with 291 points, tied with Freddie Barrieo, also with 291 points.
Vance did a great job of cutting through the fields during the weekend and clinched his third consecutive V-Twin class championship while advancing to the final round on the last day of competition. There he met up with Donnie Huffman, a racer with just a few decades of experience in racing V-Twin motorcycles. It was a great matchup: Donnie dialed 9.63, and Vance chose a 10.17 elapsed time. The race ended at the hit of the throttles, and Vance lit the red-eye, with a -.058 RT, to send Huffman to victory lane. While Vance didn’t win the final round, he did win his third championship, which he worked very hard on every race, all season long, and never missed an event.
Liska Racing Street ET was every bit the brawl everyone expected it to be at the World Finals. With round after round of furious racing, this was the class Team Aruba sunk their teeth into, and they succeeded: by the end of the race, two members of Team Aruba survived the fray to meet up in the final round. Rondley Calorina and Benjamin Somers of Aruba matched-up with respective dial-in numbers of 9.36 and 9.91.
At the hint of green light, Somers was away first with a .024 RT, and Rondley responded with a .044, and they were glued side-by-side down the track. At the stripe, Rondely’s 9.63 was quicker than Bejamin’s 10.32 to the dial-in, and victory belonged to Rondley Calorina. The celebration by Team Aruba was ecstatic, with flags waving and beer flowing. Once again, the people of Aruba showed excellent team spirit and great racing skills in winning the class.
In Street ET Pablo Gonzalez won the 2019 Championship by just ten points over Jeremy Burt, and will now have two Man Cup Championships to defend in the 2020 drag racing season.
The Super Eliminator class at this event, as it was last year, was very well attended with a strong field and great performances by the bikes. The #1 qualifier was Jim Chongris of Mentor, Ohio, on his Kawasaki H-2 with a 7.86 @ 160.31 MPH. The finalists were Tim Ford and Alex Hughes, who delivered a 9.054 @ 146 MPH for the win by Tim Ford.
The Man Cup FuelTech World Finals, presented by Kibblewhite Precision Machine and Wiseco, wrapped up on Monday, November 25, 2019, six days after the event began. It was an epic gathering of some of the best motorcycle drag racers from around the globe. With 2020, next year, being the 10th anniversary of Man Cup motorcycle drag racing, it is expected that this event will be even bigger and better than ever!
Man Cup’s 2020 race season starts at Orlando Speed World in Orlando, Florida, on April 3-5, 2020. Mark your calendars now for the 2020 Season.
2020 Man Cup Motorcycle Drag Racing Schedule
- April 3-5 / Orlando Speed World Dragway
- May 1-3 / South Georgia Motorsports Park
- July 10-12 / Dragway 42
- September 11-13 / Rockingham Dragway
- November 18-22 / World Finals at South Georgia Motorsports Park
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 www.mancup.info on the web or 727-742-5245 voice/text.
- April 3-5 / Orlando Speed World Dragway
- May 1-3 / South Georgia Motorsports Park
- July 10-12 / Dragway 42
- September 11-13 / Rockingham Dragway
- November 18-22 / World Finals at South Georgia Motorsports Park
The Man Cup Series is brought to you by our sponsors : Adams Performance – APE – Bates Leathers – Carolina Cycle – Cometic – Cooper Performance – D&G Chassis – DME Racing – Daytona Senors – Dragbike.com – Exotic Cycle – Falicon Performance – Grothus Dragbike – Hawaya Racing – Hot Rod Chrissy Photos – HTP Performance – JRI Shocks – Lectron – MoTec – MPS Racing – MRE – MTC Engineering – 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 – Worldwide Bearings – Wossner Pistons