Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 09:02:22 AM EDT

Velocity Racing

Defending Champ Regains Points Lead
By: Jack Korpela

Velocity Racing's Barry Henson is in position to collect his second straight Rockingham Dragway Street Bike Shootout championship, after overcoming a weekend of adversity from the Schnitz Summer Sizzler and regaining the points lead.

"We had an unbelievable weekend," Henson said. "We worked hard and it paid off big."

Henson's weekend did not start as ideally as he hoped as he failed to get into the seven-second zone during qualifying with an 8.02 at 178 mph.

"Rockingham had just repaved the track so there was no rubber beyond the eigth-mile mark," Henson said. "The way my bike is set-up, with the weight distribution and all, it was very difficult to get into the sevens. We just decided that we were going to try to run consistent low 8.0s all weekend."

Henson's strategy paid off in round number-one as he defeated Jason Coff with an 8.07 at 180 mph. In round two Henson used a holeshot and an 8.089 to edge out Lee Shierts' quicker 8.088, in the closest race of the day.

"Me and Lee had one heck of a battle," Henson said. "We ran almost identical passes and we were side-by-side the whole way down. It was awesome. We couldn't even tell who crossed first."

In the final, Henson picked up his first event victory of the year after beating David Stewart to the finish line with an 8.13 to Stewart's 8.24.
"I had my work cut out for me in the final," Henson said. "I blew the tire away off the starting line and David got out to a huge lead on me. Fortunately, I put together a good back-half pass and was able to pass him."

With two races left to go, Henson now enjoys a 19 point lead over Alphonso Thompson Sr. in the championship series.

"It's very important to me to win the Rock championship again this season," Henson said. "I sponsor the class and I am a big supporter of Shootout racing, so I want to generate some interest from these Prostar guys to come down and race at the Rock. I also am out to prove how well the Velocity Turbo systems work for the drag racing application."

A major difference in Henson's racing program from last year, is that this season he has made the switch from his old Suzuki Hayabusa to his new Honda CBR1100XX. Despite the different rides Henson's goals remain the same.

"I've adapted to the Honda pretty quickly," Henson said. "The bike is running great so my plans are the same as last season. I want to go to every race and win. I think if we can at least make it to the finals for the next two races, we've got the championship."

Henson's next race at Rockingham Dragway is scheduled for September 27th-28th for the Fish's Custom Bike Fest.

Henson thanked his dedicated sponsors for all of their support;

  • Honda Riders Club of America
  • Stotz Street Extreme
  • Velocity Racing
  • Honda Pro Oils
  • Star Racing
  • Pingel
  • Falicon
  • RC Components
  • Shaumburg Honda
  • JE Pistons
  • Garrett Turbos
  • Joe Rocket
  • HyperPro Suspension

Velocity Racing is a manufacturer of premier turbo chargers. Velocity Racing can be reached at 1-866-41-SPEED.

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