event: NHDRO Mid Season Sizzle and Grudge Reunion
when: July 7-9, 2017
where: Ohio Valley Dragway, Louisville, Kentucky USA
Markham’s NHDRO Win Spurs Bounty
NHDRO—America’s fastest growing motorcycle drag racing series—made its only eighth mile appearance of 2017 on the wall-to-wall concrete of Ohio Valley Dragway, just outside of Louisville, Kentucky, with July 7-9’s Mid Season Sizzle and Grudge Reunion.
But whether eighth mile or the full quarter, one thing seems constant—the Route 21 Street Fighter dominance of Bowling Green racer John “Spooky” Markham, who has won every race in the class this year.
Number one qualifier Markham’s final round victim in Louisville was Anderson, Indiana’s Dusty Bargo. Spooky’s .018 to .164 starting line advantage was really all he needed to cut gas and win yet another one, this time at the eighth mile index time of 6.15.
Riding the same blue Suzuki Hayabusa—this time with a 6.17 dial-n—Markham lost Saturday’s Kevin Dennis Insurance Street ET final against Jeremy England—also on a ‘Busa. Markham redlit by a scant -.001 against West Chester, Ohio’s England.
Markham’s son Dalton also runner-upped on Saturday because of a redlight—an even slimmer -.0008—in MPS Pro ET. It was Joe “Walk Off Home Run” Deck who saw his winlight come on in the other lane.
Deck and both Markham’s are part of the loosely knit team know as Death Row Racing (DRR). Fellow DRR racers Ben “Racing Everything All the Time” Knight, two-time dragbike.com BAMF Dustin “Biscuits” Lee, Wes Brown, and Jerry Turner all took home NHDRO’s Big Checks from Louisville.
Knight beat Lee in Sunday’s MPS Pro ET race, snagging a better light and staying closer to the dial-in on his McIntosh-Grayson sponsored wheeliebar bike.
No-bar diehard Lee took his win in Millennium Trailers Super Comp, taking the tree against Scott Shepard in the final. Former Super Comp champ Spooky was number one qualifier.
Brown’s .003 light did the trick against Knight in the M2.Shocks Crazy 8s final, run at a 5.70 index on the eighth. Painesville, Ohio’s Tom Cooper was number one qualifier.
Turner beat Scotty Mulky in Sunday’s Street ET final, but it was a good day for Mulky—who hot-lapped his ‘Busa to the Rookie ET win over Maegan “Bikerchicc” Bowers. Tyler Moll was Saturday’s Rookie ET winner.
Bradley Shellhaas has done a good job breaking the DRR stranglehold this year. Dave Page took the tree against Shellhaas in the G&G Metal Spinners Top Gas final but couldn’t run the number and Shellhaas took the win. Dino Moran was number one qualifier.
The world’s quickest two-wheeled index class always stops short at the eighth mile. The would be Quicktime Motorsports/Lindeman Performance Pro Ultra 4.60, Chester Lee was number one qualifier on Saturday and took the tree against fellow finalist Les Stimac on Sunday. But Stimac ran 4.605 and took the stripe while Lee must have lost time somewhere in the middle—crossing the line second but at higher MPH.
HMH Motorsports Pro Open used to run the eighth mile, back when it was known as Pro Comp. One guy who’s good at either length is champion Chris Cutsinger. The airplane mechanic from nearby Corydon, Indiana seemed to get quicker every lap, finishing with a 4.19 at 179 mph winning lap over Brad Messer.
Running the eighth mile is very different, though, for the world’s quickest streetbikes of McIntosh/Grayson Machine & Fabrication Pro Street, and certain racers seem to rise to the occasion of getting the whole job done in half the space.
Indy’s Justin Doucet had his Two Wheel Werkz turbocharged ‘Busa running strong on the eighth last year, qualifying number one in Huntsville before juicing it up too much for that final against Doug Gall.
Here in Louisville, Doucet qualified a close second to Frankie Stotz. It was Stotz’s first NHDRO race since getting seriously injured by a drunk driver in a car crash on the street last year.
So perhaps Stotz deserved the easy side of the ladder, vanquishing number six qualifier Brandon Coley in round one and earning the bye to the final.
Doucet, meanwhile, raced past James Hendricks and Muncie winner Gall to reach the final with Stotz. Doucet took the tree with an .028 to Stotz’s .063 and kept it moving to a 4.61 at 167.83 mph for the win.
APE/Trac King Grudge was basically a one-team affair, as Joe Marasco’s MSP stable of Clean Getaway, Venom, and Copperhead seemingly scared a lot of committed players away.
NHDRO rider Whip got one money race in on Copperhead, getting the break and taking the stripe against Tony “Good 4 Nutin” Hines on Hocus Pokus.
It may be tame compared to grudge, but Michelle Curtis took Saturday’s festive pit bike win, beating Chelsey Jones in the final.
To top off the weekend, NHDRO’s Brian and Niki Welch announced a Big Money bracket race next time out August 4-6 at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis—$5000 to win in Pro ET and $3000 to win in Street ET. “This is a way Niki and I want to say thanks to all the sportsman racers that have supported us through the years,” said Welch. “Our goal is to have a total payout of $15,000 for the two classes. We are asking vendors, sponsors, racers, fans, pit crews, shops, anyone that loves this sport to donate either money to the purse or a product to give away.”
Oh, and an extra $50 to anyone who beats John Markham in Street Fighter.
NHDRO thanks McIntosh Machine and Fabrication, APE , Quicktime Motorsports, M2.Shocks, Route 21 Racing Apparel , Millennium Trailers, G&G Metal Spinners, Kevin Dennis Insurance, MPS, and HMH Motorsports Coatings.
This report was prepared by Tim Hailey.
2017 NHDRO Dragbike Point Series
- April 21st-23rd at Muncie Dragway in Muncie, IN
- May 12th-14th at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, IN
- June 9th-11th at Gateway Motorsports Park in St Louis, MO
- July 7th-9th at Ohio Valley Dragway in Louisville, KY
- August 4th-6th at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, IN
- September 29th-October 1st at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, IN