XDA 2021 Comes Out of the Gate Quick and Fast
This past weekend 691 motorcycle drag racers ran down the Maryland International Raceway (MDIR) quarter-mile for the 27th annual Platinum Fleet Repair Spring Nationals with the XDA.
The weather forecasted rain for Saturday and Sunday, but the XDA racers know that when the Miller Brothers say they will get the race completed despite the forecast, you can bank on that statement. And with a short 2020 season and a long winter, racers were ready for this year’s battle and a few sprinkles on Saturday night wasn’t going to damper the competitive spirit.
This event saw records and personal best performances across the board. We saw more new racers debut at XDA than any other season opener, Jason Miller presented the “First to the 40’s” award in Real Street, and the MaxxECU Pro Xtreme entered the 80’s, making the PFR Season Opener an event to remember.
Event Video Coverage
Orient Express Racing Pro Street
Winner – Rodney Williford
Runner-up – Rickey Grayson
MPH Track Record – Justin Shakir – 234.29
Orient Express Racing Pro Street once again delivered with the typical first race highs and lows. With winter rule changes and yearly upgrades, many teams were all over the board.
In the first round of qualifying, Real Street veteran Caleb Holt came out on his DAS Performance ProCharged Hayabusa and took the number one qualifying spot a 6.612. He then improved on that in the final round of qualifying with a 6.451. This ET puts him on the Orient Express Racing GOAT list, and he is now one of the top five quickest racers in the country. Unfortunately, his weekend did not have the storybook ending he wanted. In round one of eliminations, he had problems at the water box and could not take the tree.
Justin Shakir has a list of goals this year, and he was more serious at this event than we have ever seen him. In the final round of qualifying, he put the biggest MPH number on the scoreboard that MDIR has ever seen on two wheels, 234.29!! While he could not back this number up for the official Pro Street record, it is a track record, and he is now the ‘Fastest No Wheelie Bar Motorcycle’ in the WORLD! “If you think that is the last time you will see that number on the board, think again!” said Shakir. On Wednesday before the event, Ehren Litten said that it would be a sad year if no one broke his MPH record of 232.59 from 2019. It’s not going to be a sad year Ehren.
Curtis Brown made his debut on his Williford Racing Hayabusa, and even though he isn’t 100% with his new setup, he made it to round two, where he took a loss to Jordan Haase.
Last year at the season opener Gaige Herrera ran a 6.667 to become the World’s Quickest Nitrous Hayabusa in Pro Street, but this past weekend he failed to qualify for the event, shocking the entire class.
Jamie Lopes returned to Pro Street after 2020 Covid-19 restrictions kept him from racing last year. He qualified his liter bike with 6.984, but ended his weekend in round two when he couldn’t get the bike to fire at the starting line.
Jason Dunigan ran a personal best of 6.536 and 230.72 mph during pre-race testing at MDIR, however his weekend went in the other direction with a profusion of issues that held him back from having the stellar weekend he was looking for.
The DME Racing GSX-R1000 debuted with a new rider, Real Street and Grudge standout Rickey Grayson. Grayson tested the bike for the first time the Wednesday before the event and all eyes were on him on Friday when the first qualifier rolled around. He came out swinging the best he could, qualifying number two with a 6.691, by Saturday night he improved to a 6.644 landing him at the number five qualifying spot on his first event.
The 2018 Pro Street Champion, Rodney Williford, showed up in true Williford form with his tail section cut out to a square edge. You never know what you will get in the looks department with him, but one thing you DO know you will get, is performance. He qualified number two with a 6.528 and went on to eliminations picking the competition off round after round. Williford took our Keith Correia, Jamie Lopes and Justin Shakir with 6.581, 6.597, 6.788 runs on his way to the final.
On the other side of the ladder Grayson held his own and remarkably made it to the final at his first event. In round one, he outran Darion Payne with a 6.711. In round two Greg Wallace struggled in his lane while Grayson ran a 6.641. In the semi-final he ran his best of the weekend with a 6.637 to take out Jordan Haase. This 6.637 will put him in the top fifteen of the GOAT List.
So now we are back to where we have been many times, Williford Racing vs. DME Racing. With a brand-new rider at the helm, the outcome of this race was gravy to DME Racing either way. With Williford showing proven performance round after round, he was the favorite for the final. But how do you not love the underdog? Williford stepped up his reaction time game cutting a .060 to Grayson’s, worst light of the event, a .059. As both bikes launched, Grayson was out in front of Williford in a flash. And just as quick, the tide turned, and the DME liter bike wasn’t going into second gear. Williford flew by him to take the win with a 6.55 at 232.87. That 232.87 is Williford’s fastest MPH in Pro Street competition. It’s going to be a FAST year with XDA. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss any of the action.
DME Racing Real Street
Winner – David Stewart
Runner-up – Jeremy Teasley
ET Record – David Stewart 7.449
MPH Record – Rickey Gadson 195.76
First in the 7.40’s – Rickey Gadson 7.482
The DME Racing Real Street class loves to create drama on their group page, but this past weekend the drama was on track too. Announcements went out over the PA on Friday that hiding ballast would not be tolerated, which sent the class talkers into rumor mode.
Rickey Gadson showed up on a mission for this event when he qualified number one with a 7.554. He then went on to run a 7.482, resetting the class ET record, winning the coveted ‘Miller 40’ award and putting him on notice for an end-of-event teardown.
Gadson would go on to win the first two rounds. In the first round he had a bye run and he used that to his advantage breaking the class MPH record with a 195.76. In round three, he had problems at the line and would not make it down the track to send the 2019 class champion, Jeremy Teasley, to the final. Gadson would not leave with a win, but he had the class ET record, or did he?
On the other side of the ladder, number two and three qualifiers David Stewart and Mark Hylton would fight it out in the semi-final in one of the closest races of the day. Both riders cut almost identical lights with a .060 for Stewart and .064 for Hylton. Stewart got the win light with a 7.577 to edge out Hylton’s 7.580 with a margin of victory of .007 seconds.
And then the drama hit the class in the final. With Gadson readying for a tear down to claim a record, Stewart would snatch it out from under him. In the final, Stewart and Teasley would cut their worse lights of the day with a .155 and .167, respectively. Teasley ran his quickest pass of the day at 7.593 but it would not be enough against Stewart as he outran Gadson’s new 7.482 record with a 7.449 pass! The MTC Engineering Summer Nationals at VMP will be on fire with this type of competition.
MaxxECU Pro Xtreme
Winner – Chris Garner-Jones
Runner-up – Shane Eperjesi
ET Record – Chris Garner-Jones 3.897 (First in the 3.80’s)
The MaxxECU Pro Xtreme 1/8 mile heads-up class has been ignited for the 2021 motorcycle drag racing season when XDA class newcomer Chris Garner-Jones obliterated the ET record. On Saturday morning Steve Nichols with MaxxECU announced that he would be putting up a $1,000 bounty for the first 3.899 or quicker run. That bounty was short-lived as it was collected on the very next qualifying run. Mike Chongris’ ET record of 3.933 was sent out to pasture with Garner-Jones becoming the first Pro Xtreme rider to enter the 3.80’s with a 3.897 on his DTM/WarpSpeed Racing Suzuki.
Rob Garcia also ran a sub-four-second pass, qualifying in the number two spot with a 3.967. However, Garner-Jones would be the only competitor to run a three-second pass in every round on Sunday.
There is always a lot of carnage at the first race of the year, with winter upgrades not always being agreeable. Ronnie Smith and Kevin Clarke would be no-shows for the first round of eliminations advancing Shange Eperjesi and Rob Garcia to round two. John Collins had issues mid-track giving Bobby Lovingood a pass to round two. Chris Garner-Jones had a bye run, making round one a layup for the new record holder.
In round two, Rob Gacia would go red to give Shane Eperjesi the win light on his 4.044 pass. And Bobby Lovingood didn’t have the power to outrun the 3.908 monster pass from Garner-Jones ending his weekend.
Shane Eperjesi qualified with a 4.015 and would be looking to make some ground up at the tree to have a chance against Garner-Jones in the final. And he did just that, hitting the tree with the best reaction time of the class on Sunday with a .015 to Garner-Jones .0686 light. They both blasted off the starting line, hungry for that win light. Eperjesi struggled to control his monster as the bike wanted to launch into space and repeatedly forced the wheelie bars into the track surface. His struggle gave Garner-Jones the edge as his bike sailed smoothly to a win light running a 3.903 to Eperjesi’s 4.040 ET.
MaxxECU Pro Xtreme is presented by Ace Mechanical, Billy Vose Racing, Dallas Flat Glass, Dunigan Racing, DME Racing, Grothus Dragbikes, Harley Haul, Rob Bush Motorsports, Robinson Industries, Schnitz Racing, Timblin Chassis, and Worldwide Bearings.
HTP Performance Super Stock
Winner – David Fondon
Runner-up – Mike Davis
ET Record – David Fondon 8.660
In HTP Performance Super Stock, new XDA competitor Zachary Applegate from Dallas, TX, took the #1 qualifying spot with an 8.719. Applegate would make it to round three of competition. However, he couldn’t run the number that round giving Derek Sobiech the win and ending his hopes of a winner circle finish before making the twenty-one-hour drive home.
Another new XDA Super Stock competitor is Mike Davis from Ohio who made it to the final to face the 2020 class champion David Fondon from Puerto Rico. Both riders qualified in the top five out of thirty bike field. Fondon ran a 166.50 MPH pass in qualifying to reset the class record he set last year at 163.57 MPH. So, Davis would have his work cut out for him going into the final against the class champion. Davis’ ET dropped off in the final round running a 8.909 while Fondon improved his ET for the overall weekend to a 8.660, grabbing him the win light and resetting his own ET record. The tone has been set for the 2021 season; the champion is not going down without a fight.
HTP Performance Grudge
The HTP Performance Grudge racers were out in force with sixty-seven no-time racers despite the poor weather predictions for Saturday night. The teams adjusted and made shake-down runs on both Saturday and Sunday.
APE Nitrous Bulls
Winner – Russell Dennison
Runner-up – Jeremy Teasley
Russell Dennison on ‘Jimmy Hendrix’ faced Jeremy Teasley on Chris Connelly’s ‘American Xpress’ in the APE Nitrous Bulls final.
Both riders left the starting line with powerful hits, the front wheel on American Xpress came up right past the tree, forcing Teasley to lift and throw out valuable ET. However, Teasley recovered and quickly caught up to Dennison like he wasn’t even moving. They went through the finish line in what must have been only a few inches apart as the win light came on in Dennison’s lane. Both riders have already locked in for a future re-match.
3 Sixty 5 Transport Monster Bulls
Winner – David Page
Runner-up – Dave Martin
Spencer Claycomb debuted his latest build ‘Tik Tok’ with rider Jason Herron in Monster Bulls. Unfortunately, ‘Tik Tok’ threw off her chain at half track in round one sending Dave Martin on ‘Unkown’ to the final. And Howard Gerken on ‘Son of Sam’ sent to David Page on ‘Pickin Pockets’ to the final when his bike started dropping oil on the track after his burnout.
The 3 Sixty 5 Transport Monster Bulls final was action-packed, with both riders hitting the tree hard, and they stayed side-by-side even as Page fought a wheelie mid-track. Their two monsters were flying towards the finish line. ‘Pickin Pockets’ got the win light giving Williford Racing its third win of the weekend!
Tommie’s Motorsports DMV Bulls
Winner – Duane Jackson
Runner-up – Chris Edwards
The Tommie’s Motorsports DMV Bulls is the ‘Up‐And‐Coming’ Grudge Racers class. But even with the greener riders, the action is still on point. In round one Geoff Godfrey and James Culbreath had performance issues that sent Duane Jackson on ‘Miss Behavin’ and Chris Edwards on ‘Hulk Smash’ to the final.
In the final ‘Miss Behavin’ didn’t have to work hard for her money as ‘Hulk Smash’ tore off the chain, leaving the starting line.
Boosted Bulls is back for the 2021 season! However, Chris Moore was the only entrant on the shaker can yellow ‘Melania’. Moore made Shakedown passes all weekend, but nobody else stepped up to see if ‘Melania’ is fact or fiction. There are many Boosted Grudge bikes out there and we want to see others man up so someone is actually earning that trophy and cash in the winner’s circle.
Vance & Hines 4.60
Winner – Boo Brown
Runner-up – Jim Jordan
Vance and Hines 4.60 is the quickest and most popular 1/8th-mile index class in the country. Thirty-six competitors showed up for the PFR Spring Opener, but only thirty-two would make the field for Sunday competition. The 2020 class champion, Ron Procopio took the #1 qualifying spot with a 4.602. Procopio would not go on to defend his title in the final; in the semi-final, he went red and ultimately sent Boo Brown to the final round. Dystany Spurlock on the ‘new look’ Marks Racing Suzuki would also go red in the semi-final, sending Jim Jordan to face Boo Brown. In the final Jordan would cut his worst light of the event with a .154 to give Brown’s .083 the advantage at the starting line. And while Jordan tried to make up for his light running closer to the index with a 4.611, Brown’s 4.675 would turn on the win light with a margin of victory of .007 seconds, that’s only eighteen inches of track surface.
1 Stop Speed 5.60
Winner – Dustin Lee
Runner-up – Carson Fields
The 1 Stop Speed 5.60 saw one of its best turnouts ever with fifty competitors in the 1/8 mile index class. John Capuria and John James sat at the top of qualifying with a pair 5.600 qualifying times. When it finally got down to the wire, the 2020 class champion sat in the left lane ready to face Carson Fields and defend his championship title.
Field’s was cutting good lights all day, but they were no match for Lee’s .027 hit. With Dustin Lee getting the starting line advantage, he stayed out in front and never took his eyes off Fields as he made the right call to lift off the throttle as he came upon the eight-mile speed sensor to run a 5.608 to Fields’ 5.604.
Mickey Thompson Tires Top Sportsman
Winner – Jeffery Santin
Runner-up – Nate Koito
#1 Qualifier – David Fondon 7.290
Mickey Thompson Tires Top Sportsman features the quickest ET racers on the property. The 2020 Super Stock champion David Fondon lead the field with a 7.290 ET, and Gary Clontz held the bump spot with an 8.137 ET. In five rounds of competition, we saw nine red lights and five double-0 lights as racers pushed the tree hard for that starting line advantage. The final featured a close match with Jeffery Santin dialed an 8.16, and Nate Koito dialed an 8.15. Santin would cut a .033 light, and Koito would nod and put up his worst reaction time of the weekend with a .198 light. The reaction time would cost Koito as Santin took the win with an 8.195 despite Koito running closer to his dial with an 8.161.
MPS Racing Pro ET
Winner – Nick Hamlett
Runner-up – Dale Hamilton
The MPS Racing Pro ET class had a tremendous turnout for Sunday competition, with one hundred and thirty-five racers. The semi-final was full of regular victors like Nick Hamlett, Stephen Knight, Dale Hamilton, and Dustin Lee.
With the best series racers still on track after the sun was long gone, the finish line wins were measured in fractions. Ultimately Hamlett and Hamilton would move on to the final race with the last competition pass of the weekend to close out the PFR Spring Nationals. Hamilton dialed a 9.49 and Hamlett a quicker 8.55. Both riders cut good lights with the edge going to Hamlett’s .029 over the Hamilton’s .045. with Hamilton leaving the tree first, it would take the entire length of the track for Hamlett to catch up and when he did, he stayed in the throttle until his win light came after Hamilton who also never lifted and broke out with a 9.482 pass.
Brock’s Performance Street ET
Winner – Barry Pryer Sr
Runner-up – John James
The Brock’s Performance Street ET class had close to a hundred racers in competition over the weekend. After six rounds of competition, heavy hitters Barry Pryer Sr. and John James would face each other in the final.
Pryer dialed a 9.23 to James’ 8.83. Pryer left first and also got the jump with the better reaction time, hitting the tree with a .073 to James’ .180. James caught up with Pryer at the thousand-foot mark and both riders stayed side by side until the finish line. Barry Pryer Sr got the win light running closer to his dial with a 9.176 to James 8.908 ET.
VooDoo Components Bracket Bash
The VooDoo Components Bracket Bash started on Saturday afternoon with one hundred and ten racers. Unfortunately for these competitors, they would only get one round of eliminations before mother nature put an end to their day. First-round winners split the $4,500 purse and will look to compete at the next event.
Hard Times Parts & Service Gamblers Race
The Friday night Hard Times Parts and Service Gambler’s race featured a full field of hungry racers. But in the end, no winner would be crowned as finalist Boo Brown, and Ronnie Procopio opted to split the purse and forgo the final round of competition.
For complete qualifying and round-by-round results of the event, visit www.xdaracing.com.
The XDA will head to Virginia Motorsports Park for the 35th annual MTC Engineering Summer Nationals May 21-23, 2021. There will be over 700 Professional, Sportsman, and Grudge motorcycle racers in competition battling it out for over $80,000 in cash purse. Make plans now to watch the best drag racers in the country put on the premier horsepower show the East Coast has to offer.
2021 XDA Schedule
- Platinum Fleet Repair Spring Nationals / April 23-25 / MDIR
- MTC Summer Nationals / May 21-23 / VMP
- FuelTech Superbike Showdown / June 18-20 / MDIR
- WPGC Bike Fest / July 23-25 / MDIR
- Bike Bash / August 20-22 / VMP
- Bike Brawl / September 10-12 / VMP
- DME Racing Fall Nationals / October 8-10 / MDIR
About the XDA – The Xtreme Dragbike Association (XDA) is an east coast motorcycle drag racing series with 700+ motorcycle racers competing at each event. Every XDA event hosts professional classes, sportsman classes, grudge racing, and a vendor midway. Lifestyle activities such as bike shows, bikini contests, DJ and live bands are also held at select events. For more information on the XDA, please visit XDAracing.com or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
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