Man Cup : Season Opener a Roaring Success
Exoticycle / Roaring Toyz MAN CUP Spring Cup
presented by Vance & Hines
Season Opener a Roaring Success
Coming into the MAN CUP race, the weather forecast was spectacular and the conditions did not disappoint; three days of fabulous racing on April 8-10, 2016 at South Georgia Motorsports Park started off the year with the Exoticycle, Roaring Toyz, Spring Cup race. 539 racers attended the event over the three days, records were broken, exciting side-by-side Top Fuel bike action had fans on their feet; it was everything a season-opening race should be.
Jay Regan of MAN CUP had this to say about the race: “I believe this was our best attended season opener to date and I absolutely need to thank Wade Rich for his tireless efforts in getting the track in record producing condition right out of the gate, all the way to the final rounds. A big shout out to our MAN CUP staff: Laura, Rich, Bill, Kevin, Pat and Larry for their hard work over five long days that made this event a success.”
In addressing the changes from last year’s season-ending race Jay stated, “I believe we showed right off the bat that improvements we implemented over the off-season have helped to produce a more efficient running the event. Lastly, I would like to personally thank each and every racer who attended the Exoticycle / Roaring Toyz Spring Cup and congratulate all of the class winners.”
The overall conduct of the race was spot-on. $48,250.00 was paid out to the racer turn out of 539 entries. SGMP track staff had the track prepped on time every day. There were unforeseen issues with the timing equipment that drove us all nuts, but just as issues crop up with race bikes, so too the unforeseen happens with all racing equipment. People adapted, overcame the problems, and the race finished damn near on time every day.
Now on with the report
Complete race results available in PDF format . Click here to download.
The pre-race buzz about this being a full eight bike field in Pingel Top Fuel was well placed as indeed on Sunday there were eight T/F bikes that qualified on Saturday night at the end of Q-3.
Chris Hand and his team had to hustle to make it to the track on Saturday, then set up and throw everything they had at one qualifying shot to make the field on Saturday night. It was the last qualifying round, the last chance to make it to the dance. They succeeded, but mortally wounded the Redneck Express in the process.
Chris’s 6.75 @ 201 MPH run put him in the number 6 qualifying spot out of eight bikes entered in T/F competition for this race, but the bike coughed up a transmission in the process. Something the team could not overcome, so they were a heartbreaking no-show on Sunday.
A similar fate came to the Alwine Racing team unexpectedly. While they qualified well a 6.31 @ 236 MPH in the number four spot, on Sunday, they were packing before the race started. Problems with the breaking system for the bike were more than the team could overcome, so they had to park it.
As racing unfolded on Sunday, in the Pingel Top Fuel series, number one qualifier Dave Vantine (5.88) spun the tire bad on the launch and Tak Shigematsu of Japan, just ran away from Vantine’s yellow bullet with a 7.20 pass at 190 MPH on his new Top Fuel bike that just arrived in the USA two weeks before the race. For a band new bike, he did great his first race out.
Tracy Kile of Bad Apple Racing, who qualified fifth, had a solo in E-1 due to the missing ATF-1 bike, and Tracy was just the epitome of consistency in T/F all weekend. His 6.40 @ 218 in qualifying was followed by a 6.38 @ 219 in E-1. His 6.37 at 222 MPH in E-2 was ready for Tak, but then Man from Japan could not make the call and Tracy had a solo into the final round to face Sam Wills.
The Nitro Conspiracy team headed up by Sam Wills & Mike Dryden qualified, third with a 6.11, and had a solo in E-1 due the missing Red Neck Express, dispatched Larry McBride in E-2 6.07 to Spiderman’s 6.73, and matched on to meet Tracy Kile in the last round. Their race was just awesome to see for the fans.
Tracy got out on Sam with a .105 reaction time to Sam’s .114, and they were side by side for 1320 feet of race track with the front tires in the air the whole time. When they crossed the finish line, neither Sam nor Tracy knew who won – it was that close: 6.30 for Sam, 6.29 for Tracy and the win light came on in Sam’s lane.
It was good to see Mike Beland out with his new Shield Bright Coatings sponsored Top Fuel bike owned and tuned by Don Johnson. They qualified seventh in the field, “We had the legend of our sport, Larry McBride in round one” he commented after the race, “I got out on him early, but his 6.28 was too much for our 6.82 pass. This was a good first outing for our team and we look forward to racing in Top Fuel bike at all the MAN CUP races this season.”
In the Hawaya Pro Fuel class, with six bikes entered, Kirby Apathy on his “Gunfighter” powered V-Twin was the man to beat with a 7.48 as the low number. Tyler Wilson, the number six qualifier drew Kirby in round one and never got close to the man. His 7.10 @ 178 MPH was the quickest ET of the meet in the class and a real stunner for the stab & steer crowd.
Due to the unbalanced ladder with six bikes, this gave Kirby a single in the semi’s and a trip to the final round.
Rocky Jackson, the number one gun in Man Cup Pro Fuel racing was ready for Kirby in the final round and the two close friends were ready for a good drag race. Rocky got out on Kirby right away and by half track the race was over. Not because of the hole shot, but because Kirby got a little greedy on the tune up. “I should have left well enough alone after that seven-ten pass” he commented after the race. “I got greedy and wanted to set a new record because I knew the bike had it in it. So I was a little aggressive on the tune up and when the bike came up on the launch, it hit the bars just a little too hard. This unloaded the rear tire, and then the tire shook and grabbed, but by then Rocky was gone. My bad, I won’t make that mistake again.”
Hats off to qualifiers: Kirby Apathy, Cliff Holly, Rocky Jackson, Preston Bartlett, Dennis Fisher and Tyler Wilson making it to the race. We hope to see more crowd-pleasing Pro Fuel bikes at the next MANCUP event on June 11-12 in Rockingham, N.C.
In the Falicon Pro Mod Series, thirteen bikes entered the race and Travis Davis of Douglas, GA was the man to beat with his 4.08 #1 qualifying number. This earned him a single during E-1 and he laid down a fine 4.069 with a .004 light announcing to all he was quite ready for all comers this day. And with that Travis proceeded to cut through the competition at this race like a hot knife through butter.
In E-2 he strapped a .005 reaction time on Jeff House and delivered another 4.07 performance to eliminate Mr. House. In the semi-final round, Travis did much the same to Shane Eperjesi serving up a 4.090 to Shane’s 4.15 elapsed time.
In the final match up, Travis found unlikely hero Terry Wynn, the number 13 qualifier in the opposing lane and dispatched him as readily as he did the others on race day. Travis Davis finished outside the top ten in MAN CUP points in 2015. That’s not likely to happen again in 2016.
In the Nitrous Express Pro Open class, eleven bikes were entered into the class on race day. Mark Rendeluk, of Oklahoma, was the man to beat with his 6.53 @ 200 mph delivered during qualifying. While he had the number one qualifier spot, he was quick to note Joey Gladstone on the dreaded Tink-Tink machine emerged during qualifying and the combination yielded a jaw-dropping 6.68 @ 220 mph, and he knew he had company courtesy of DME Racing.
Mr. Paint (Rendeluk) had a single in E-1, his competition for E-2, Dennis Powell, was broken so again he had a free ride in this round where he again just broke the beam, but in E-3 he had to earn the win by butting heads with Cory Reed of Star Racing who wasn’t giving anyone a free anything out on the race track.
Mark’s .019 reaction to Cory’s .024 light set the pace for the race as Mr. Paint dispatched Star Racing’s newest star 6.63 to 6.97 respectively. Setting up a great drag racing match up for the final round of the class.
Rick Perry, who qualified fourth with a 6.84, had passes of 6.81 and 6.87 in competition, so he KNEW his only chance of winning against the quicker bike was to chop the tree. At the blink of the yellow lights Rick attacked best he could but he was too quick on the reaction by .003 of a second and chopped the tree onto his bad self. His 6.94 was a valiant effort to Mark’s 6.55, but the race was over on the starting line.
Mark Rendeluk starts off 2016 the same way he ended 2015 with the Man Cup sanction: he’s #1 in Nitrous Express Pro Open class.
In the APE sponsored Pro Street class, the sixteen bikes on the ladder were lead by Terence Angela, of Aruba. His solid 6.89 at 215 MPH really rocked the house during the Saturday qualifying session. While Joey Gladstone is the most recognized name in the class, he’s not alone and he knows it. Joey and his team mate have traded heavy punches before and this is nothing new for these two who qualified one-two in the class respectively. However a harsh reality of drag racing is; never get comfortable.
Joey started off eliminations tearing up the opposition in usual form; he took out Ryan Schnitz with a 6.83 pass in E-1 then upped the ante in E-2 with a 6.77 and a 6.76 in E-3 that proved the record run was no fluke. He also carded reaction times of .025 and .014 for the aforementioned runs. He was on fire going into the final round. Enter the dragon: Ehren Litten and Williford Racing. They are not intimidated at all by DME’s power.
Ehren, driving with Williford Racing, qualified 9th on the back half of the ladder. He had Jason Dunigan of DME in E-1 and when Jason’s bike faltered, Ehren drove right past him. In E-2, he was the giant killer and drilled Terence Angela on the tree with an .008 reaction time to Terence’s .079 light, 6.905 for Litten and 6.904 for Angela and he advanced to the semis.
There he met Alex Williams, who took out Bud Yoder and Joey Jobbe in previous rounds. Ehren’s 6.80 and .044 light was too much for Williams and he earned the right to face Gladstone in the final round. He then delivered the Coup-De-Grace to Joey Gladstone. Ehren’s .021 RT to Joey’s .067 was just what he needed to get by Joey at the stripe as his 6.83 was slower than Joey’s 6.79, but his reaction time was quicker and that was the difference for the win by Ehren Litten. Williford racing went nuts on the starting line and the crowd was treated to the quickest side-by-side race in Pro Street history. Beware the dragon, Ehren Litten.
In the Shinko/WPS Real Street class, with eleven bikes entered, number one qualifier Joey Gladstone knew he would have a competition solo in round one by virtue of his magnificent 7.70 elapsed time. He could have bumped the beam and parked it but no bitch-passes for Joey. He went out and laid down a 7.69 @ 176.90 to let the racers know his 7.70 pass was no fluke run. Joey treated E-1 with the respect it deserves and gave the crowd a run to remember.
Rickey Gadson on his ZX-14 was the number two qualifier with a 7.79 and he was DME hunting this day, so it was game on for these two worthy opponents all day on race day.
Joey took out Jason Herron in E-2 and Eddie Chapman in E-3 to advance to the final round. Rickey Gadson eliminated Johnny “turbo” Dobrin in E-1, Jeremy Teasley in E-2 and with a competition single in E-3, he laid down a fine 7.85 with his killer Kaw and was ready for Joey.
The last round of Real Street was excellent. Joey had an edge with his .026 RT to Rickey’s .061, and then things got interesting when Rickey had to fight a wheel stand. He handled it like the pro that he is, but it hampered him a bit as Joey rode on to victory 7.46 to Rickey’s 7.90 time. Ricky finished fifth in championship points with Man Cup in 2015, Joey was ninth, expect a different set of numbers from these guys come season’s end this year.
Jeremy Teasley who’s wearing the #1 plate for 2015 qualified 5th at this race and was taken out by Rickey Gadson in E-2. Mr. J.T. will have to fight mighty hard to retain that number one plate this year as Rickey and Joey are in it, to win it. The Shinko/WPS Real Street class will be a tough fight all season by the looks of things.
In the Grothus Dragbike Ultra 4.60 class, with 13 bikes entered, low qualifier Ronald Procopio’s 4.61 elapsed time on the 4.60 index earned him a competition single in E-1 in which he ran an excellent 4.64 with an .002 reaction time, serving notice he was ready to do battle.
In E-2, Ronald Procopio was ready for Santi Rodiguez, but Santi developed a problem on his run and coasted through the lights. In E-3, Ronald bested Roderick Sanders with a 4.80 to Sanders, 4.95 earning him a trip to the final round.
Meanwhile, Keith Dennis was slicing through the field to meet Procopio in the last round. His 4.61 pass taking out Chase Morris (4.63) in E-3, was an omen of things to come in the finals. Dennis knew when to “Shine” with his .019 light on Procopio’s .073 reaction to the tree, which put him in trouble from the start.
After that, Keith Dennis was all business and his driving was flawless. Keith added a 4.60 elapsed time to his .019 light to seal Procopio’s fate at this event. On the starting line, no one was happier than Doug Frierson who damn near jumped out of his skin after Keith won the race. Clearly the Grothus 4.60 class will yield great racing action all season for the Man Cup sanction.
Star Racing Top Gas class had 38 entries on Sunday and the 8.20 Index class, which is a great stepping stone to the professional ranks, is home to some very dedicated motorcycle drag racers. Ron Morris, of Springfield, TN, defeated Harvey Hubbard of Sedley, VA for the win after five rounds of eliminations on Sunday.
Their match up under the lights late in the day on Sunday was a good one with Harvey Hubbard’s .015 light getting the better of Morris, but Ron’s 8.21 was closer to the index (8.20) than Harvey’s 8.29, which was good, but not good enough for the win. Match-set-point: to Ron Morris who now leads in points going into the next round of MAN CUP racing at Rockingham on June 11-12.
The MTC Super Comp (S/C) class, running on the 8.60 Index, was well attended with 40 bikes entered. Matt Smith of Cordova TN waded through five rounds of eliminations, as did Gary Russell of VT to meet up in the final round.
Both racers had their “A game” on all weekend and while either racer can run the 8.90 whenever they want to, it was Gary’s red light by .013 seconds that decided the outcome in the final round of racing Sunday night.
There are a ton of all-star racers in the class and any new racer to the sport with an eye on advancing to the professional ranks would do well to spend time in Top Gas before tackling the pro’s.
The World Wide Bearings Crazy 8’s class, run on an 8.88 index is very popular with the sportsman racers and 31 entries clashed in competition on Sunday at the MAN CUP race. Danny Miller of Elizabethtown, KY, fought through four rounds of eliminations, as did Eddie Chapman, of Pocomoke, MD to do battle in the final round.
Danny’s .032 reaction time and 8.88 run forced Eddie to push the stripe a bit too hard and his 8.10 break out cause by his .062 reaction time was his undoing Both racers were just gang-busters all day. Danny Miller only made one race with MAN CUP in 2015, but this year he’s off to a great start in the World Wide Bearings Crazy 8’s.
In Street Fighter racing, with 27 entries, Barry Purnell, of Henderson, N.C. ran closest to the 9.50 index in qualifying and survived four rounds of racing before going out to Chris Roelse in E-4. Chris met up with Duane Schmidt in the final round and the double breakout pass win went to Duane who’s 9.488 got the better of Chris Roelse. Dusty Brazel also won in the process since Duane was on his ZX-14, great day for team work.
In the MPS Pro ET class on Sunday, John “Spooky” Markham took the win over Craig Adams. Spooky went deep in the class every day of racing and he’s off to a great start for 2016.
That #1 plate on his bike from the 2015 season is one he will defend vigorously. It takes no less than six rounds of tough racing to win the ET classes, the racers and bike are stressed to the max. Whomever can lay claim to the #1 plate in ET racing at the end of the season has really had to go the distance to win the big one.
On Saturday Pro ET pushed it to 11:11PM, just after curfew, but Man Cup hung in there and they finished the round of racing which was won by Gary Russell of VT., over the Canadian Legend of Mike Konopacki.
In the C&S/Garwood Custom Street ET class, Roy Johnson of Keystone Heights, Florida, earned the win, running closest to his dial, over Clint Riley of Greenville, Florida. Roy was a top-ten finisher in points for 2015 with Man Cup, and he’s off to a great start in 2016.
Saturday night Street ET was hot-lapping their bikes quick as they could and Street ET class wrapped up at 10:58pm, with the win to Rodney McFarlin, of Florida over Robert Meeks.
In the D&G V-Twin class Duane Schmidt dominated on his 2002 Warrior. With races held both Saturday and Sunday, competitors have two chances to win. Barry Pryer Sr. took the #1 qualifying position both days in the nine bike field. On Saturday Schmidt took the win over Rick ‘Griz’ Smoot and then took a repeat win in Sunday over Barry Pryer Sr.
Fast By Gast Super Eliminator had 10 bikes enter into qualifying with Alex Hughes, of Texas coming out in the top spot with a fine 7.99 @ 159 MPH. Perry Paugh, of Oakwood Village, OH qualified in the number two spot and came out screaming in round one (E-1) of eliminations. His 8.01 @ 161 MPH took out Kevin Hutchinson, then he moved on to trailer Mike Chongris in E-2 and sent Walter Houghtaling packing after E-3.
It must be noted that Super Eliminator bikes do not run on an index but on a standard for that bike in that class, which changes from event to event, is different for each motorcycle combination and the class is run off an handicapped tree that is set to the “Standard” for that specific drag bike at that race. In this way, racers can run any combination of 2 Stroke, or multi-cylinder, chassis or rear tire, and the standard is adjusted to accommodate the differences in the machines. It makes for some wild, but balanced racing! In the final round, Perry faced Jim Chongris of Mentor, Ohio, and came out on top for the win.
WEEKEND VIDEO PLAYLIST
Eldred “Baybay” Yarbrough is recovering from a horrific crash on March 18th, 2016. Thanks has to go out to Tim Hailey of EatMyInk.com for putting together shirts to sell at the event to help fund BayBay’s recovery. If you would like to help, please go to his GoFundMe page and donate today. thanks to all the racers that made a purchase and donation.
In closing, the MAN CUP sanction sends a special thank you out to all the media who attended the race and gave great coverage. Their next race June 10-12 at Rockingham, NC for the second race of the five race series this season.
Until Next time…
– Tom McCarthy
About Man Cup Motorcycle Drag Racing : Headquartered in Safety Harbor, Florida, the 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 North America’s 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
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 – D.M.E. Racing – Daytona Senors – Dragbike.com – Exotic Cycle – Falicon Performance – 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
- April 8 – 10 / South Georgia Motorsports Park
- June 11 – 12 / Rockingham Dragway
- July 23 – 24 / Memphis International Raceway
- September 17 – 18 / Rockingham Dragway
- November 11 – 13 /South Georgia Motorsports Park