ROCKINGHAM — Reigning series champion Larry “Spiderman” McBride (Newport News, Va.) will face an international field of 240 mile-an-hour Top Fuel motorcycle riders this weekend when he tries to repeat as champion in the ManCup Fall Nationals at Rockingham Dragway.
Although favored, McBride is expected to face strong challenges from Hall of Fame designer and rider Sam Wills (Edmund, Okla.), 63-year-old Chris Hand (Nauvoo, Ala.) who won last year’s spring race, Dave Vantine (Hamilton, N.Y.) and 10-time European Top Fuel Bike champion Ian King (Litlington, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom) — who is on tour in the U.S.
In addition, champions will be crowned in 13 other categories including Pro Fuel, Pro Modified, Pro Open, Pro Street, Real Street, Top Gas, Super Comp, 4.60, Street ET and Pro ET.
Friday’s test-and-tune session will lead into pro qualifying on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday. Adult tickets are $20 Saturday, $20 Sunday or $35 for the two days. Children 10 and under are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult and parking is free in the main lot.
After the first three races in the 2017 series, a lot of familiar names appear in the point standings including former MIRock Series champions Rodney Williford (Rougemont), Jeremy Teasley (Orient, Ohio) and “Turbo Johnny” Dobrin (Sarasota, Fla.).
Teasley, who has won more Rockingham motorcycle races than any other rider, presently leads the points in Pro Street despite strong challenges from Williford, Justin Doucet (Brownsburg, Ind.) and Ehren Litten (Louisburg).
However, the most competitive category may be Pro Fuel where point leader Preston Bartlett (St. Augustine, Fla.) and defending Fall Nationals champ Michael Ray (New Braunfels, Texas) are likely to face challenges from Rockingham regulars Johnny Vickers (Millers Creek) and Tyler Wilson (Walnut Cove) — who were the finalists in last spring’s race — and Janette Thornley (Statesville).
Current point standings in the ManCup Motorcycle Drag Racing Series presented by Vance and Hines:
1. Larry “Spiderman” McBride, Newport News, Va. (267)
2. Sam Wills, Edmund, Okla. (262)
3. Dave Vantine, Hamilton, N.Y. (182)
4. Ian King, Litlington, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom (178)
5. Mitch Brown, Wichita, Kan. (155)
1. Preston Bartlett, St. Augustine, Fla. (249)
2. Michael Ray, New Braunfels, Texas (173)
3. Rocky Jackson, Youngsville, La. (129)
4. Tyler Wilson, Walnut Cove, N.C. (76)
5. David Larson, Topeka, Kan. (71)
1. Brunson Grothus, Bettendorf, Iowa (249)
2. Jeff House, Humble, Texas (216)
3. Paul Gast, Grand Island, N.Y. (209)
4. Brad McCoy, Cleveland, N.C. (192)
5. Charlie Prophit, Indian Lake, Fla. (160)
1. Jeremy Teasley, Orient, Ohio (250)
2. Justin Doucet, Brownsburg, Ind. (222)
3. Rodney Williford, Rougemont, N.C. (188)
4. Ehren Litten, Louisburg, N.C. (184)
5. Terence Angela, Oranjestad, Aruba (146)
1. Mark Rendeluk, Oklahoma City, Okla. (180)
2. Brunson Grothus, Bettendorf, Iowa (172)
3. Jean Gosselin, Rimouski, Quebec, Canada (136)
4. Travis Davis, Douglas, Ga. (89)
5. Keith Browne, Semora, N.C. (77)
1. “Turbo Johnny” Dobrin, Sarasota, Fla. (253)
2. Luis Hornedo, Orlando, Fla. (188)
3. Marcus Hylton, Eden, N.C. (154)
4. “Super Dave” Stewart, Mooresville, N.C. (109)
5. Joey Gladstone, Lewes, Del. (89)
Larry “Spiderman” McBride, reigning series champion, will have his hands full this weekend at the ManCup Fall Nationals at Rockingham Dragway. McBride is favored, but is expected to face strong challenges from Sam Wills, Chris Hand, Dave Vantine and Ian King.