The 10th annual FBR Shop Nationals—round 6 of the 2012 Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series—were shaping up to be a Kawasaki vs. Suzuki battle. But the results show that Suzukis used the best Rockingham Dragway track surface so far this year to great advantage.
Multi-time DME Real Street champ Jeremy Teasley has always conducted his business on a Roger Starrette-tuned, nitrous Kawasaki ZX14, but Johnny “Turbo” Dobrin’s turbocharged Exoticycles Suzuki Hayabusa has dominated the 2012 season. Coming into The Rock, though, it was Rickey Gadson’s Chris Jones-built, turbo Kawasaki ZX14R that was making all the noise. Gadson beat Dobrin in Indianapolis on the brand new bike that just debuted at MIR in July.
But Teasley qualified number 1 on Saturday and ran .001 off of his own overall record on Sunday, laying down a 7.764 in round 1 of eliminations. Suddenly struggling to find power on the big end, Gadson lost to Dobrin in the semis. Teasley’s .055 light in the final left Dobrin’s .131 far, far behind. But the ‘Busa’s turbo power came on quick and strong, propelling Dobrin to a 5.16 eighth mile and 7.765 winning ET past Teasley’s 7.859.
Two time defending Orient Express Pro Street champion Rodney Williford knows a thing or two about hustling turbo ‘Busa power down the track, but current points leader Joey Gladstone did it best on Saturday. Gladstone’s DME Racing Hayabusa qualified number 1, then ran tantalizingly close to giving Rockingham its first 6 second streetbike pass with a 7.007 in the semis.
But despite having lane choice for the final and a .080 to .135 jump on Williford at the tree, Gladstone spun at mid-track and gave up the win with a 7.13 to Rodney’s second straight 7.02. Williford now moves to within a round and a half of Gladstone for the championship.
Like Ted Nugent, Ronnie Procopio refuses to release his stranglehold on the Mickey Thompson Pro Mod eighth mile class. Multi-time champ Procopio qualified number 1 on his Robert Tull Plumbing Suzuki, then ran low ET 4.11 to drive around Billy Vose in the final. Vose and bike owner Mike Thyen made huge gains with the MPS EFI Hayabusa this weekend at The Rock.
Virginian Matt Davies doubled up, winning FBR Shop 5.60 on his ’74 KZ1000 dragbike and Saturday’s Brock’s Performance Street ET on his ZX10R streetbike. Champion Jim Shifflett runner-upped in 5.60 and Eric Griffith did the same in Street ET. Sunday’s Street Et race went to Randolph “Boo” Brown, who beat fellow Virginian Michael Herman Jr. when Herman spun out of the groove and took the long way in an all-‘Busa final round.
Maryland carpenter Steve Moye finally got the House of Speed Crazy 8s win he’s been fighting for on his GSXR1000, taking out MIR winner Travis Boudreaux’s ZX14 in the final. Boudreaux took the tree but broke out.
Barry Pryer Sr. took an all-‘Busa streetbike Trac King/APE Top Sportsman final when perennial runner-up Terry “T-Bone” Singleton redlit by -.002.
Nitrous Express Pro ET races went to “Fearsome” Andy Baumbach over Scottie Keller on Saturday and Chris Clontz over double-runner-up Herman on Sunday. Baumbach and Clontz both rode wheelie-bar dragbikes to the wins.
Saturday night’s Afterdark Underground grudge racing program got off to a raucous start with Lil’ Boss riding the longest, tallest, wiggliest wheelie that anybody could remember in a loss to Tyree on “Optimus Prime.” That mid-track acrobatic showed, along with low ETs in all pro classes, that Rockingham Dragway was prepped and sticky.
The Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MIRock Superbike Series races next on September 29-30 in the Fast by Gast Fall Nationals at Maryland International Raceway at Budds Creek, Maryland.