ROCKINGHAM — Niki Taube Zakrzewski, better known in the bike racing community as Niki Zak, sped straight into the record books Saturday at Rockingham Dragway. She became the first woman in motorcycle drag racing history to record a finish line speed in excess of 200 miles per hour.
A little more than 24 hours later, the native of Sydney, Australia added an exclamation point by beating reigning Pro Open champion and point leader Mark Rendeluk (Oklahoma City, Okla.) in order to join Larry “Spiderman” McBride (Newport News, Va.) and “Super Dave” Stewart (Mooresville) as record-breaking winners of The Rock’s Man Cup Fall Nationals.
Zakrzewski, who has been racing professionally for only three seasons, stopped the Compulink timers in 6.518 seconds at 200.65 mph on Saturday before later improving to 6.450 at 205.82 mph. On race day, she crushed the field with runs of 6.487 at 202.85 mph, 6.490 at 203.65 mph on a single and, finally, 6.487 at 204.85 mph.
Until Saturday, the “fastest woman on two wheels” title belonged to NHRA Pro Stock Bike racer and former world champion Angelle Sampey (Mathews, La.), who attained a speed of 199.76 mph on July 31, 2016 at Sonoma, California Raceway.
McBride extended his Man Cup point lead by besting motorcycle legend and No. 1 qualifier Sam Wills (Edmond, Okla.) in the Top Fuel final. En route to victory, McBride coaxed his bike across the quarter-mile finish line at a fastest ever bike speed of 255.29 mph in the semifinals.
Stewart lowered the national record in the Real Street class to 7.652 seconds and beat national point leader “Turbo Johnny” Dobrin (Sarasota, Fla.) in the money round.
Other winners included Ehren Litten (Louisubrg) in Pro Street, Michael Ray (New Braunfels, Tex.) in Pro Fuel, Ronnie Smith (Pasadena, Md.) in Pro Mod, Broderick Jackson (Atlanta) in 4.60 Index, Pete Chongris (Mentor, Ohio) in Top Gas, Ron Arnold (Bowling Green, Ky.) in Crazy 8s and veteran Jeremy Teasley, the winningest motorcycle rider in Rockingham history, in Super Comp.
Litten beat Terrence Angela (Aruba) to earn the hardware in Pro Street, but that win was anticlimactic after he upset national record-setting Rodney Williford (Rougemont) — a multi-time champion in the old MIRock Superbike Series — in round two.
Williford lowered the Pro Street national record to 6.705 seconds in qualifying and then stopped the timers in an even quicker 6.667 seconds at 225.67 mph in round one. Against Litten, though, he couldn’t maintain traction and slowed to 7.871.
Results of Sunday’s ManCup Fall Nationals presented by Vance and Hines at Rockingham Dragway:
TOP FUEL FINAL – Larry “Spiderman” McBride (5.828, 246.48 mph) def. Sam Wills (6.235, 230.80 mph).
PRO OPEN FINAL – Niki “Niki Zak” Zakrzewski (6.487, 204.85 mph) def. Mark Rendeluk (6.679, 196.90 mph).
PRO STREET FINAL – Ehren Litten (6.786, 215.62 mph) def. Terrence Angela (6.897, 192.41 mph).
PRO FUEL FINAL – Michael Ray (7.354, 166.76 mph) def. Preston Bartlett (7.364, 171.34 mph).
REAL STREET FINAL – “Super Dave” Stewart (7.749, 193.10 mph) def. John Dobrin (7.790, 191.40 mph).
PRO MOD FINAL – Ronnie Smith (4.086m 172.45 mph) def. Travis Davis (4.129, 171.42 mph).
4.60 INDEX FINAL – Broderick Jackson (4.601, 155.44 mph) def. Tony Mullen (4.595 breakout, 153.21 mph).
TOP GAS (8.20 target) FINAL – Pete Chongris (9.486, 114.40 mph) def. Alan Fields (20.952, no speed).
CRAZY 8S (8.880 target) FINAL – Ron Arnold (8.914, 142.24 mph) def. Dusty Brazel (8.964, 149.85 mph).
SUPER COMP (8.90 target) FINAL – Jeremy Teasley (8.961, 149.30 mph) def. Shawn Welch (8.018, 128.64 mph).
SUNDAY PRO ET FINAL – Ted Harvey (.009, 8.125 on an 8.110, 144.94 mph) def. Eric Griffith (.053, 8.906 on an 8.880, 151.20 mph).
SATURDAY PRO ET FINAL – Stephen Knight (.011, 9.054 on a 9.020, 144.42 mph) def. John Markham (.022, 8.736 on an 8.700, 147.04 mph).
SUNDAY STREET ET FINAL – John Fernandez (8.364 on an 8.360, 162.51 mph) def. Ron Arnold (foul).
SATURDAY STREET ET FINAL – Brian Dale (.043, 8.930 on an 8.930, 148.09 mph) def. Spencer Claycomb (.084, 8.920 on an 8.920, 151.53 mph).
SUNDAY V-TWIN FINAL – Vance Houdyshell (.143, 10.101 on a 10.000, 137.95 mph) def. Barry Pryer Sr. (.176, 12.453 breakout on a 12.550, 105.22 mph).
SATURDAY V-TWIN FINAL – Barry Pryer Sr. (.058, 12.887 on a 12.550, 89.71 mph) def. Manny Carrasquillo (.051, 14.740 on a 14.000, 83.96 mph).
STREET FIGHTER FINAL (9.50 target) – Jason Herron (9.545, 140.23 mph) def. Pablo Gonzalez (9.529, 141.91 mph).