Man Cup: Records Set at MTC Engineering Nationals

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               Man Cup

Man Cup presented by Vance & Hines
MTC Engineering Nationals

Rockingham Dragway
October 26-27

Records Set at MTC Engineering Nationals

by Tom McCarthy

On Saturday morning,  Jay Regan made the call with a drivers meeting at 9:25 am, “Racers we have a mean-looking weather front moving in on Sunday morning that looks like it will be with us all day. So in order to get this race in, and give you all a fair shot at the points, we are running the whole race today. There will be two qualifying sessions, then we are going right into eliminations. We are going to get this race in today.”

MTC Engineering

And with that announcement, the racers returned to their drag bikes and prepared for battle, ready to condense two days of racing into one day. In the early days of organized motorcycle drag racing, back in the 70’s and 80’s, one-day events were common and some racers even prefer the one day dash for cash as the case may be.

Whatever the case, the racers were more than ready to push the start button and take advantage of the well prepared Rockingham Dragway 1320’ of racing surface and give it their best shot. Racers from across the USA and from across the pond were ready to give it all they had and so they did. The day began with Liska Racing Street ET, Vance & Hines Race Shop V-Twin, and  MPS Racing Pro ET running a time trial.  Once the ET racers lead the way, Sportsman Q-1 of the two sessions began, followed by Q-1 for Pingel Top Fuel, and all of the professional classes.

During Q-1, the initial #1 qualifiers were:

Pingel Top Fuel, Dave Vantine 7.50
Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel Sam White 7.23
Falicon Pro Mod, Paul Gast 4.00
Nitrous Express Pro Open Mark Rendeluk, 6.43
APE Pro Street, James Hebert 7.59
Shinko/WPS Real Street, Mark Hylton 7.78

In Q-2 qualifying: Pingel Top Fuel’s #1 qualifier was Larry McBride with a 5.62 @ a thundering 2.63MPH for the top spot and a new world record for MPH, surpassing his 258 MPH run in 2017. In Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel, Sam White took top honors with a 7.23 @ 177 MPH pass that earned Sam a bye run for E-1. In Falicon P/M, Paul Gast continued his dominance of the class, claiming the #1 spot with an excellent 4.00 elapsed time. In Nitrous Express Pro Open, Mark Rendeluk showed he’s returned to winning form with the excellent tuning of Chris Wedman, who has Mark’s new combination firmly back on track. Their 6.37 @ 214MPH in Q-2 put them in the top spot of P/O over Niki Zak, Rob Giard and Bobby Lovingood. APE Pro Street qualifying, after two sessions, was led by Chris Edwards with a 7.12 elapsed time. This earned Chris a bye run on the unbalanced ladder, going into E-1, later in the day.  Shinko/WPS Real Street was then topped off by Mark Hylton who took low qualifying honors with a 7.78 @ 176 MPH, to snag extra points as the low qualifier of the day.

In Sportsman Qualifying: Grothus Ultra 4.60, Tony Mullen, on the last pass of the final qualifying session turned in a 4.600, to take the #1 qualifier spot: like a boss! In MTC Super Comp, Ricardo Marte was the man with his 8.93 on the 8.90 index. Super Eliminator, Keith Browne on a very impressive V-Rod clocked in with a 8.29 elapsed time for the top spot. Wiseco Street Fighter, running on the 9.50 index, Chris Roelse stopped the Rockingham Dragway clocks with a 9.502 as the #1 qualifier. And in Star Power Top Gas: Alan Field was the man with an 8.209 on the 8.20 index.

After two rounds of qualifying for the Sportsman racers and the professional classes, it was time to get down to business and run the show to its conclusion.


The pro-show began with Pingel Top Fuel, led by a match-up between Dave Vantine and Tommy Grimes piloting “The Beast” of Per Bengtsson. Tommy’s machine launched viciously and looked to be ready to lay down a good number, but just about the tree, the bike struck the tire and that was all for Tommy’s charge. Meanwhile, Dave Vantine posted another five-second pass with a 5.80 @ 246 MPH to advance to the finals. In the next match up, Larry McBride was paired up with the Gray Ghost, Larry Stanley, a veteran Top Fuel Harley pilot of many years.

Larry McBride launched and was on and off the throttle trying to keep his bike hooked up as Larry Stanley broke shortly after the launch and his bike came to rest about the score-boards, just after the finish line. This set up a points race 1-2 matchup between Dave Vantine and Larry McBride who came into this event, 1-2 in championship points.

The final round of Top Fuel was one for the books as Larry launched like a rocket ship with Dave Vantine in hot pursuit, but that was not happening with Larry busy setting both ends of a new world record in Top Fuel motorcycle drag racing. Larry stopped the clocks with a 5.607 @ 263.10 MPH, not only re-setting his amazing Top Fuel record of 2017 (5.611-258 MP), but by running consecutive 263 MPH passes, he proved beyond doubt that his + 260 MPH run was no fluke. Dave Vantine recorded a troubled 6.79 on his run and while he was not able to produce the run he would like to have presented, he at least had the best seat in the house to witness the new world record in Pingel Top Fuel.

A brief synopsis of the class winners follows:

In Hawaya racing Pro Fuel, Sam White defeated Preston Bartlett in the finals to not only secure his second consecutive victory in as many races, but for the first time, buy qualifying deeper than Preston and defeating him in the finals, his efforts have greatly impacted the point’s race in Pro Fuel.

Falicon Pro Mod racing was dominated by Paul Gast who not only qualified #1, but won the event over Mike Chongris with a 4.04 to Mike’s 4.23 effort. It was a very dramatic win as Paul used up a fair amount of real estate, drifting right, while in the right lane. He was quite elated with the win and quipped later, “That was close, but I had it under control all the way. I knew it was going right, but I made sure I crossed the finish line first before I chopped it.”

Nitrous Express Pro Open was exciting with the return to form of Mark Rendeluk and Chris Wedman as power hitters in P/O. Mark’s 6.37 in qualifying was an omen of things to come and Niki Zak was game and it was inevitable they would meet up in the final. That happened, but not before Niki scared the you-know-what out of everyone when she defeated Rob Giard during eliminations.

Niki had a motor blow-badly, and when she lifted from the pass in the right lane, Rob Giard was in the left lane: all anyone could see was an enormous cloud of white vapor, obliterating all view from the starting line. Fortunately, the Rockingham Dragway facility has a top-end camera and from that, the tower staff could see and report that Niki was fine, her bike, equipped with an excellent diaper containment system, contained better than 85% of the mess that would have resulted in not only a dangerous shut-down for Niki, but it saved a significant amount of cleanup time.

When Niki and Mark matched up for the final round, Mark was first out with a .016 RT to Niki’s .506 light. Mark then stormed off on a stunning 6.35 @ 214 MPH to Niki’s 6.53 @ 206 MPH, for the win.

In APE sponsored Pro Street, Chris Edwards won his second consecutive event after his win in Darlington, last month, to bring home the bacon in P/St. His final-round pass of 7.15 @ 198 MPH bested James Hebert’s troubled 8.33 @ 196 MPH effort.

Shinko/WPS Real Street featured some interesting matchups between Mark Hylton and Spencer Claycomb. Hylton’s #1 qualifier was good with his 7.78 run and it looked like these two would slug it out for supremacy and that’s pretty much how the racing unfolded. Spencer had monster power, but was fighting the power-wheelie with a great degree of driving skill.

They matched up in the finals, and while Spencer clocked in with a stunning, record-setting 7.62 @ 187 in the semi-final round, having the power and being able to bring it to bear when needed, that’s the tricky part. The final round ended up with Marcus running a winning 7.77 over Spencer’s 7.70, as Spencer had to use all his considerable skills to reel in his monster that wants to either spin the tire, or lift the front end, at every moment. Claycomb did a great job of keeping the run as close as the numbers show. Hat’s off to Mark Hylton for a very impressive win.

Grothus Ultra 4.60 was quite the dramatic show with Tony Mullen of the Mullen Brothers racing team just handing out racing lessons round after round. His magnificent 4.600 #1 qualifier was just jaw-dropping and round after round Tony either outpaced his opponent or had lady-luck on his side, to advance to the final round.

There he met up with rival Mike Chongris and it was game-on! Mike knew he needed to push the tree and give Mullen no-quarter, so push it he did and the result was a .004 red light that sent the Mullen brothers to victory lane.

MTC Super Comp was won by Jason Herron had his hands full with battling Ricardo Marte, who has been storming through the ranks of S/C like a harvest scythe lately. Their matchup in the final round was a good one, with a double break out pass finale, which was won by Herron, 8.88 to 8.84, pushing the 8.90 index.

Man Cup’s unique Super Eliminator class was featured at this event. The winning machine was Tim Ford, who got the better of S/E stand out, Kevin Hutchinson, 9.03 to 9.32. They qualified 3-4 respectively and their final match-up was a solid one, with Kevin’s 750 Water Buffalo taking home the bragging rights.

Wiseco Street Fighter was one of the few classes not run to a conclusion as the rains came and ended the show at 9:23 PM.

Star Power Top Gas was strong as always for Man Cup racing. Two titans of the class, Alan Fields and Mike Lingo slugged it out in the last round. Alan got off the starting line first with a .016 RT to Mike’s .040 and they chased each other to the stripe. While T/G is run on an 8.20 index, they both broke out 8.18 for Fields and 8.16 for Lingo, with the win ending up for Alan Fields on the double breakout pass.

In the ET ranks, In Vance & Hines V-Twin racing, on Saturday, the win light went to Stacy Smith and the Sunday edition, which was run on Saturday night (to beat the rain) was won by Vance Houdyshell, who showed great skill all weekend.

In Liska Racing Street ET, the Saturday race was won by Janrei Thompson and the Sunday race was left incomplete by weather interruption.

MPS Racing Pro ET was won on the Saturday event by the very talented Pablo Gonzalez and the Sunday race was inconclusive, as it was rain impacted and incomplete.

Eric of MTC was on hand as the title sponsor of the MTC Nationals and did a spectacular job of not only supporting the event as the lead sponsor, but his door-prize give away efforts went over big with the racers. During pre-race activities, Eric of MTC handed out cash prizes of $125, $250 and $500 to winners: Freddy Frazier, Billy Hendron, Nate Koito, Jeff Godfrey, Devin Scott and Barry Pryor Sr.

It was a thrill and quite an accomplishment for the Man Cup staff, the Rockingham Dragway staff and the racers of Man Cup, to stuff a weekend of racing into one day to beat the ugly weather front headed in for Sunday. Hat’s off to all for putting this one in the books!

The Man Cup’s next event will be the Man Cup Mann Hill Garage World Finals to be held, November 21-24, 2019 at SGMP, see you there!

Friday Test & Tune Review

by Tom McCarthy

Racers from across the USA and as far away as Sweden have come to the facility affectionately known as ‘The Rock’ to compete for top honors in Man Cup competition.

On Friday, the test and tune session began around lunchtime with a few ET bikes taking the first passes down the track. Dozens of racers were in the pits by Friday morning to take advantage of the test session to prepare for tomorrow’s racing.

Larry McBride’s team had their Pingel Top Fuel bike out early in the noon-hour with no bodywork on it to look at the bike’s stance. Steve McBride checked out a few things and in short order they rolled the bike back into the Spiderman’s lair to prep it for a test pass. Later in the day they did a test hit, a half-track testing pass the showed a 1.03 sixty-footer and revealed a 3.81 @ 193 MPH, with the bike clicked off before the half-track marker. Even with the early intentional shutdown of the run, the bike still produced a 6.47 elapsed time. Later in testing Larry and his team cranked out a stunning 5.65 @ 248 MPH announcing he and McBride racing mean business. Beware the SpiderMan!

Dave Vantine also took his Vantine Nitrosports Top Fuel bike out for testing and posted an excellent 5.89 @ 223 mph in testing. Dave and his team are #1 in championship points and they intend to stay there. Later in the day they produced a second consecutive 5 second elapsed time 5.994 showing they are indeed a worthy contender for the throne in Pingel Top Fuel.

Also in Pingel Top Fuel, Per Bengtsson, of Klippan, Sweden brought his European Top Fuel Twin motorcycle, The Beast Dragbike, over to the USA and was in attendance during the Friday test session. Former NHRA T/F Harley champion Tommy Grimes of N.C. is the pilot for Mr. Bengtsson’s bike and Tommy worked the bike best he could, but spun the tire on both test hits Friday.

Larry Stanley, the “Gray Ghost” was out on his beautiful T/F Harley but encountered difficulties and was forced to shut off after his burnout.

In Hawaya Racing Inc Tyle Wilson, who has been racing an NHRA Top Fuel Harley of late; Tyler made a test pass early in the day but blew the tire away on the launch and aborted the run. He was back for more several times during the 7 hour test session today. Preston Bartlett and Sam White also made test runs. Late in the day, almost before closing out the session at 6:45PM, Preston stopped the clocks with a 7.34

Nitrous Express sponsored Pro Open class testing saw Mark Rendeluk of Oklahoma City, OK stop the Rockingham Dragway clocks with a 6.43 on his Chris Wedman tuned Suzuki. He has a recent personal best of 6.34 @ 214.72 MPH which he hopes to better at this event.

Also in NX, P/O testing; Niki Zak, of Australia, was testing “Pony” her favorite Thoroughbred horse and she turned in a 6.49@ 203MPH on her final test pass of the day.

The Shinko/WPS Real Street testing saw Mark Hylton working hard, making test passes all day.

In Grothus Dragbikes Ultra 4.60, the Mullen Brothers, Tony & Jimmy brought their championship machine up from Florida and flogged it repeatedly on Friday. One can expect excellence from them on race day.

Wiseco Powersports Street Fighter, Pablo Gonzalez, current #1 in Man Cup Points was making test passes all day.

Star Power Top Gas, #1 in T/G points, Ricardo Marte, was in on the test session today, making multiple test passes.

The ET bikes of Man Cup from the Liska Racing Street ET class, Pablo Gonzales was out there hitting the tree all day, he’s ready for round one tomorrow morning

Vance & Hines Racing shop sponsored V-Twin class bikes, @ance Houdyshell, is going to be tough on everyone come Saturday morning, he practiced hard today.

In MPS – Motorcycle Performance Specialties Pro ET, Gary Russell was making practice laps all day and Scott & Kendra Riley were also making test hits.

SATURDAY: Gates open at 7 am and we will be sending motorcycles down the race track at 9AM – Due to weather on Sunday, the race will be completed today.

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 727-742-5245 voice/text.

2019 Schedule

  • April 5-7 / SGMP Spring Cup
  • July 12-14 / Dragway 42
  • September 27-29 / Darlington Dragway
  • October 26-27 / Rockingham Dragway
  • November 21-24 / SGMP World Finals

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 – – 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