MECHANICSVILLE, Md. — The International Drag Bike League’s premier event, the WPGC Bike Fest lived up to its year-long hype with multiple record-setting performances.
Thousands of racers, riders and fans packed Maryland International Raceway to produce one of the biggest motorcycle drag races in the history of the sport.
On Saturday evening, APE and Pingel Top Fuel superstars Larry “Spiderman” McBride and Dave Vantine treated fans to something unforgettable. The duo produced the quickest side-by-side run in the history of the sport with McBride clocking a jaw-dropping 5.74-second pass down the quarter-mile to Vantine’s 5.81. McBride’s 5.74 represents the quickest dragbike run on American soil, and the second quickest motorcycle pass in the world, behind only Peter Svennson of Sweden’s 5.70 world record.
The run was just the second side-by-side five in the history of the sport. Both record runs have come at Maryland International Raceway. Overall, McBride finished the weekend with four runs in the five-second zone to secure the event victory over Vantine.
The magnitude of the event surpassed the expectations of special guests of honor, motorcycle celebrity Paul Teutul Sr. and his Orange County Choppers team. Among the action, Robin Procopio was the big winner in Saturday’s “Paint the 1/4 Pink Breast Cancer Fundraiser, all-female race.”
There were more than a dozen entries in the inaugural Trim-Tex Nitro Harley class. New York rider Peter Geiss took over the points lead with a final-round victory over the upset story of the event, Pro Fueler Billy Hendren. Geiss ran a 6.84 to oust the 7.99 of Hendren.
Hendren, who upset No. 1 qualifier and track record holder Bob Malloycin the semis, collected the runner-up purse and a special Pro Fuelcbonus courtesy of Barry Andrews Homes.
McKinney Motorsports Pro Mod saw a full field of some of the quickest competitors in the world. Iowa racer Brunson Grothus of Grothus Dragbikes made the long trip from Hawkeye State pay off with a 4.04 to 4.09 final-round win over Brad McCoy.
Rodney Williford, called the quickest street bike rider in the world, stayed undefeated in Orient Express Pro Street. Williford went down the track in 6.79 seconds to edge Team DME’s 13-time champion Jeremy Teasley in the final.
In DME Racing Real Street, multi-time class champion Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin followed up his May victory with 7.87 to 8.27 win over the CP-Carrillo team of Del Flores. With the runner-up finish Flores, in his first year with this team, climbed to No. 2 in the IDBL point standings.
Series veteran Eddie Chapman put his new DME-built motor to good use and recorded the category’s quickest turbo run at 7.75 seconds. It was not Chapman’s only achievement of the weekend. Chapman became the first winner of the 1 Stop Speed 600 Supersport class with his beautiful, red Kawasaki.
Vance & Hines 4.60, the world's quickest index category, continues to grow in popularity. IDBL veteran Kenny Cornell outlasted the field, defeating former Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Mike Chongris, who made his IDBL debut. Cornell won by just three thousandths of a second, 4.614 to Chongris.
Series regulars and good friends Jeremy Brown and Courtlan Whiting met in the FBR Shop 5.60 final. Brown won on a holeshot as Whiting at 5.64 to 5.68 was slightly faster down the track.
Another holeshot determined the World Wide Bearings Crazy 8’s final, where Stephen Knight cut a razor sharp .003 light to beat Jeremy Teasley. It was needed as Teasley ran an 8.86 to an 8.89 for Knight.
James Farmer did what few have been able to do in the APE Trac King final, and that was stop Dustin Lee. Farmer was .029 on the tree and ran 8.29 on a 8.28, as Lee went under with a 8.17 on a 8.19.
Michael Herman Sr. won Shinko Tires Pro ET and Shayne Proctor was victorious in Lady Law Street ET. Both racers earn berths into the Tournament of Champions, to be held in Rockingham, NC, Nov. 3-5.
For Proctor, it was an emotional victory. Last year at this event, he suffered a high-speed explosion, caught on fire and was confined to the hospital for weeks. Proctor was surrounded by friends and family in the winner's circle.
Also, the pits were packed as Team Money Cycles, Throttle Life, Garwood Custom Cycles and many others came together to produce the largest bike show in IDBL history, which included the largest ride-in crowd in series history.
“Thank you so much to everyone who came out for this unforgettable event,” IDBL President Jack Korpela said. “This is what we need to keep this sport moving forward. See you all at the next one!”
The IDBL series resumes Oct. 6-8 at Maryland International Raceway for the DME Fall Nationals, featuring Top Fuel, Nitro Harley and a huge Pro Street $10,000-to-win Battle Royale.