Drag Illustrated Issue 175, March / April 2022 - Page 28

Dirt

Top Fuel on Two Wheels

Mid-West Drag Racing Series adds Top Fuel Motorcycle to three events By Nate Van Wagnen

Summit Racing Equipment Mid- West Drag Racing Series ( MWDRS ) presented by J & A Service will add its first two-wheel class when it welcomes Top Fuel Motorcycle to its class lineup at three races in the 2022 season . Pingel Enterprises , a long-time supporter of Top Fuel Motorcycle racing , has signed on as the presenting sponsor .

The nitro-burning motorcycles join the alleighth-mile series ’ headlining classes , Pro Modified and Top Alcohol Funny Car , as well as Top Sportsman , Top Dragster , and Jr . Dragsters .
“ I think this addition is unreal for the tracks because now not only can they say they have Funny Cars and Pro Mods , they can now say Top Fuel on two wheels and that alone will bring more fans to the stands ,” said Keith Haney , series founder , MWDRS . “ It shows that we are always trying to evolve to put on the best show for the fans and to provide a great place for racers to compete .”
Top Fuel Motorcycle presented by Pingel will compete at the Memphis Nationals , April 22-23 at Memphis International Raceway ; the Summer Speed Spectacular , June 17-18 at World Wide Technology Raceway Park ; and the fall Throwdown in T-Town , Oct . 7-8 at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park .
The new Top Fuel Motorcycle class should be a win-win-win for the fans , racers , and MWDRS track partners . The series is providing a premier place for nitro motorcycle racers to compete and put on a show , whether it ’ s for the casual fan or the most passionate motorcycle enthusiasts .
“ Many of these Top Fuel Motorcycle racers that are coming have huge followings . Fans absolutely love these nitro-breathing bikes ,” Haney said . “ I need to thank [ Tulsa Raceway Park co-owner and
MWDRS Pro Mod racer ] Todd Martin for helping put this deal together . The big part is track prep these have never seen . This group runs some of their shows with NHRA at the national level as well , and for them to pick us is unreal .”
While the MWDRS has traditionally been a four-wheeled racing series since it started in 2017 , some of its racers have a background in drag bike racing . The series jumped at the chance to bring the class to its fans while also attracting the motorcycle racing fan base .
“ Their fans are a level of excitement of their own ,” said Ellen Eschenbacher , event marketing director , MWDRS . “ It doesn ’ t matter if its two bikes or 12 , they come and watch and support . Todd Martin and Pro Mod racer Brian Lewis are both former motorcycle racers and their excitement is contagious .”
One of the Top Fuel Motorcycle racers committed to running the MWDRS events is Mitch Brown , the two-time and defending Top Fuel Motorcycle champion . He ’ s worked with Martin , who tunes Brown ’ s supercharged , nitro-burning bike , to organize the Top Fuel Motorcycle class at MWDRS races .
“ We ’ re excited to be in front of a lot of new race
fans and a new racing organization ,” Brown said . “ These bikes make 1,500 horsepower and 1,500 foot-pounds of torque . These bikes run 3.60s at 210-plus MPH in the eighth mile . That ’ s some pretty exciting stuff . It ’ s going to be a lot of fun .”
The eighth-mile format , combined with the MWDRS track prep , will allow the Top Fuel Motorcycle riders to pursue new eighth-mile world records . It ’ s also a unique opportunity for fans to see a wild , outlaw class with big-name riders . The lineup includes Larry “ Spiderman ” McBride , Sam Wills , Chris Hand , and Dave Vantine .
“ There ’ s only several of these motorcycles in the world and only 5-6 active on our whole continent ,” Brown said . “ Some of these guys are legends in the motorcycle racing world . Three of our main guys – Larry McBride , Sam Wills , and Chris Hand – have been racing Top Fuel Motorcycles since the ‘ 70s . This is just an awesome opportunity for fans to see them race .”
Top Fuel Motorcycle presented by Pingel Enterprises will allow both the Top Fuel Harley and Top Fuel “ metric ” combinations . Other than industry-standard safety rules and the requirement to burn nitromethane , the class will use a “ run what ya brung ” format . DI
PHOTOGRAPHS BY GARY ROWE / RACEWORKS . COM
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