Eddyville’s MotorcycleMania a Field of Success
Promote it and they will come. Only days after the Yankees beat the White Sox at Dyersville’s “Field of Dreams” film set, motorcycle drag racers from 20 states converged on Iowa’s classic eighth mile Eddyville Raceway Park for two full days of intense competition at the inaugural Trick-Tools MotorcycleMania on August 13-15.
It wasn’t hard to imagine racers past—such as Iowa’s own Gary Clark—making their way through the cornfields just behind Eddyville’s grandstands, but it was the stars of today who came through the gates with some of the quickest and best looking motorcycles on the planet.
Grothus Dragbikes Pro Ultra 4.60
No class has better looking equipment than Grothus Dragbikes Pro Ultra 4.60—the world’s quickest motorcycle index class—and it was the cream of the crop that found their way into the winners circle each day.
Saturday’s winner Preston Younie rode a gorgeous Kawasaki ZX14 with a one-off, custom fairing. Runner-up Broderick “Hollywood” Jackson made it easy for Kansas racer Younie, redlighting by -.032 in the final while Preston posted a 4.63.
“It felt great to achieve the level of speed and consistency that I have been working towards as I transitioned over from a naturally aspirated motor to a nitrous oxide system,” said Younie. “Not only was I able to set some personal best records this weekend, but also I was able to achieve the three things most important to racing: have fun, be safe, and look good doing it. Hard work along with teamwork pays off.
“I couldn’t have done it without the support of Webster Motor Sports, The Cycle Shop, and my family.”
Georgia racer Jackson collected Saturday’s number one qualifier cash, courtesy of Duane Beerends and Monster Race Products.
Eddyville’s clear, country skies and the annual Perseids meteor shower might have played a role in turning Jackson’s fortunes around as he gazed heavenward Saturday night and pondered his redlight. “Had a perfect view of the Milky Way and saw five shooting stars!” said Hollywood. “I wished something every time!”
If one of those wishes was a win on Sunday, then mark it “granted.” Number one qualifier Terrence Washington must have been seeing stars himself, as the redlight fell in his lane this time around—by a wide -.400 margin—for runner-up to Jackson in Sunday’s final. Hollywood ran it out to a 4.57.
“I was ready and focused for the final, but as soon as I lit the stage bulb, Terrance cuts out and I’m thinking I’m super late or he’s super early,” said Jackson. ”Terrance was super early and finally a win in 2021 for the J2, HDRP, Leatherneck Express Team.
“I’d like to thank the Van Sants and Trick Tools for inviting all the 4.60 guys to Eddyville Raceway, which is a very quaint, beautiful facility. Also thanks to Grothus Dragbike for sponsoring Pro Ultra 4.60 for this event and many others, and thanks to the sponsors of the number one qualifiers and best first round packages.
“Thanks to my crew members at this event—chief Pinky Bowers, AKA Austin Coil, St Louis Grip, and Danielle for keeping the glue together for us all. Special thanks to the Frierson family for allowing us the opportunity to pilot such a sweet ride—‘Chief Red Cloud’ as Doug calls it. And most importantly, I have to thank my folks at J2 Connect and HDRP for keeping the machine working while I’m on this end making it happen. If it wasn’t for this team I couldn’t do it—thank you.”
Jackson has been riding Frierson’s bike lately, but always has his own on the trailer. That bike was involved in an incident on Friday that had a major impact on the event as a whole.
Race co-promoter and Trick-Tools owner Bruce Van Sant pulled out his leathers for the first time in three years after his son Chase Van Sant was injured in a top end accident while testing Jackson’s own 4.60 bike. Chase scrubbed a good deal of skin off of his arm, but it was stitched back on and it appears that he will avoid grafts.
“The win was a bit bittersweet after Friday’s testing incident, which didn’t allow Chase to run in their home event,” continued Hollywood. “That soon turned around after his return to the track and Bruce stepping up to fill in. Once all the emotions and teams were settled, our team worked hard,
“Thanks to the fans that came out to support the event and also the Hollywood Drag Racing Production fans that were pulling for us.”
C&S Speed Shop V-Twin Ultra Bagger and Cornbelt Dragbike Association V-Twin Pro Bagger
No racer was more successful at MotorcycleMania than Marc Fricke, who vanquished stiff competition to take both Saturday and Sunday’s C&S Speed Shop V-Twin Ultra Bagger wins and Sunday’s Cornbelt Dragbike Association V-Twin Pro Bagger win.
Fricke’s aggressive riding style delivered consistent 5.80 results in Ultra Bagger, winning Saturday with a 5.85 at 120 MPH. On Sunday, Fricke took the tree by a wide margin over Spencer Spitzmiller and the stripe with a 5.82 at 121.
Fricke saved his best lap for Sunday’s Pro Bagger final against Jim Brustman, giving up the tree to focus on a 5.76 at 121 vs. Brustman’s 6.30 at 111.
“We have a lot of good people that help us, it's a team effort,” said former car and snowmobile racer Fricke, who’s only been drag racing motorcycles for three years. “I’m still very new to this sport. I’m just trying to grow the Bagger sport and be the first all-motor Harley bagger in the 8's (quarter mile) at a 66" wheelbase.” Fricke, who was the Ultra Bagger number one qualifier both days, predicts that mark will fall at his next event.
Saturday’s Pro Bagger winner Victor Gotay has been on a tear of his own aboard Patrick Lynch’s 187 Custom Cycles Bagger. Veteran rider Gotay took the tree .051 to .126 against final round opponent Jason Crisp, then ran a 6.22 at 113 for the win against Crisp’s 6.32 at 104.
Gotay was the Pro Bagger number one qualifier on Saturday with a 5.93 while Jeremy Williamson took the honor on Sunday with a 6.52.
Gotay and Fricke ran a $500 Bagger grudge race at the end of the day on Sunday, with Victor getting the back tire but still coming up short.
Despite taking a beating during what has otherwise been a summer of Bagger barnstorming success, the 187 Custom Cycles team left MotorcycleMania with good feelings all around. “Team 187 had a great time, one of the best events we have attended in 2021,” said owner Patrick Lynch. “Beautiful facility, great racing surface all weekend, event very organized and ran by a group of knowledgeable, racer-friendly staff. Felt very welcomed. Thank you Kelly Hefner and Cornbelt Dragbike Association.”
Schnitz Racing Top Gas 5.10 index
The motley St. Louis Top Gas Killers swept both days of Schnitz Racing Top Gas 5.10 index racing, with Heather Wagner winning on Saturday and Kounselor Kenny Schwartz taking Sunday’s honors. Davenport stud Thomas “Turtle” Cole runner-upped both days.
Wagner won her final round at the tree, nailing an .020 to Cole’s .041. Both riders hit the stripe with a 5.11.
“Eddyville was a blast!” said Heather. “I have one heck of a tuner/motor builder combo! I couldn’t be happier with my Dave Page-built machine, and Mike Wagner is one of the best Top Gas tuners out there! It all came together this weekend, and after going to four finals on this new bike, I finally got the winlight that matters the most! The best part, my daughter was there to be my biggest cheerleader!”
Reaction times were very tight in the Schwartz/Cole final on Sunday, with Kenny taking a scant .011 to .012 advantage. He hit the stripe with a 5.11 while Cole broke out with a 5.09. It was Schwartz’s first win since being hit by a competitor in a serious top end accident at an NHDRO race in Indy a few years ago.
“This is my 34th season of racing motorcycles,” said Schwartz, a prominent St. Louis defense lawyer. “The camaraderie and the friendships that I’ve made all those years is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I enjoy racing motorcycles win or lose, but I love it when I win and I enjoy the people I do it with.”
Iowa superstar Bruce Damewood qualified number one on Saturday with a 5.106, and Mike Dunn did the job on Saturday with a 5.12.
Rally at the Valley Hi-Roller Box
Tom Ewig’s .031 light might have been effective in some rounds, but David Primrose snapped to it with a .004 to start off Saturday’s Rally at the Valley Hi-Roller Box final. After that, both racers ran similarly close to their dial: Ewig with a 5.675 0n a 5.66 and Primrose with a 5.314 on a 5.30 for the win.
But it wasn’t an easy day from Primrose. “On the second time trial, the bike bogged off of the line—something that has not happened all year long,” said David. “I thought maybe it was a fluke. First round I had a tough competitor, Bruce Damewood. The bike bogged again off the line and figured I was done, you can't have any mistakes against him. But his bike didn't shift and I won the round.
“When I got back to the pits I knew I wasn't going to do anything if the bogged continued, so I checked the plugs they looked like it was lean. So I put in a new set of plugs and richened the Lectrons a little and that fixed the bogging, and the bike started running the number again.
“We had gotten into the night time and I don't do a lot of racing in the dark, so when I got to the box final against Tom Ewig I knew I really needed to be focused on the tree and had a .004 light and got the win.”
Primrose then went on to win Saturday’s Box/No-Box run-off when opponent Josh DeMoss redlit.
Both Bill Baker and Iowa legend Tom Klemme redlit in Sunday’s Box final, but Klemme’s -.009 was first and worst, giving Baker the win.
“I've struggled with the bike shifting all year,” said Baker. “A big thanks to Paul Gast for finding the problem and Turtle Cole for putting it all together.
The bike was super-consistent all weekend and I was seeing the tree well. Every pass was within .005.
“Gerald Kramer and his team at Eddyville Raceway Park put together a great event. I'm usually not a fan of eighth mile racing, but I could become one!”
Similar to Saturday’s Box/No-Box run-off, Baker won on Sunday when No-Box winner Yan Levit redlit.
Hi-Roller No-Box Bracket
Saturday’s Hi-Roller No-Box Bracket eliminations came down to two Iowa racers. Cedar Rapids’ Brian Moody took the tree with a .049 to Josh DeMoss’ .066, but broke out with a 5.71 on a 5.72 dial-in. DeMoss ran a 5.54 with a 5.48 dial.
“It was just my day,” said DeMoss. “I’ve never had a perfect light before Saturday, and I had two—a .0001 and .0009. The bike was running great and we were able to go three rounds in the 5.60 class on Saturday also.
“Going rounds is something that I couldn’t have imagined even a few days before the race. That’s the first time that I’ve had the bike out since October last year at Indy. Before that it’s probably been five to six years, since my daughter had been born. I got the bike out of storage the Thursday a week before the race and had to replace the rear master cylinder and engine and carb service.
“Helping me pit crew was my dad Danny, keeping the bike on point all day so all I had to do was ride it. Also being able to attend was my brother Mike and his wife Aly. She was able to bring down my kids so they could watch me race, since my wife had family matters on her side that she had to attend to. So over all it was the best race weekend that I’ve had in a very long time.”
Dubuque’s Jeremy Murphy redlit by -.022 in Sunday’s No-Box final, handing the win to Missouri racer Yan Levit.
“Wish I wouldn’t have redlit against the Box winner in the run-off,” lamented Levit. “That's racing. Gotta be aggressive with the light against the bar bikes and sometimes cut it a little short.
“Awesome facility at Eddyville and lots of good, close racing all weekend.”
BB Racing Super Comp 5.60 index
Oklahoma City racer Eduardo Barrios took Saturday’s BB Racing Super Comp 5.60 index win by taking the tree in the final against Ohio racer Greg Mallett. Eduardo’s .044 had the measure on Mallett’s .097, and Greg broke out with a 5.5966 making up.
“I’m really happy with my win,” said Barrios, who like Mallett was on a no-bar Suzuki Hayabusa. “First time ever coming to this track and was really pleased with the event and the facility. It was well taken care of with all friendly people from racers all the way to the staff.
“We made the trip knowing we would have some tough competition in front of us. The bike ran a 5.61 right off the trailer on Friday night, so that gave me high hopes for Saturday. When Saturday came around we just tried to do what we did on Friday and it worked.
“We made it to the finals and that was enough for me, I was going to be OK with either winner or runner up. The bike left good but after the 60 foot I spun the rest of the way. The bike was going left and right but I just couldn’t let off the gas, I had to stay in it and hope for the best and sure enough, we got the winlight.”
Vinton, Iowa’s Jarron Christianson won Sunday's 5.60 final when Davenport’s Klemme cut his second final round redlight of the day.
“It was a wonderful event for the first MotorcycleMania,” said Christianson. “Great people and very tough competition. Everyone was on their A game.”
Klemme was Saturday’s number one qualifier with a 5.607 while Christianson took the honor with the same number on Sunday.
Certified Auto Sales Super Gas 6.00 index
Klemme did claim a win Saturday in Certified Auto Sales Super Gas 6.00 index. His final round opponent “Country Boy” took the tree by a slight .004, but Klemme ran closer to the number with a 6.02 to Country Boy’s 6.07.
“I'm actually disappointed in my performance,” said Tom. “I missed a lot of opportunities this weekend. But it was a good race. I hope it grows.”
Country Boy ran two huns closer to the index and took the tree by a wide margin in Sunday’s final but runner-upped again, this time to Dylan Klinghagen.
“In the finals I took the stripe by .002,” said Klinghagen. “Personally I love the change of pace with index racing, all of my races were pretty tight. The weekend all together was great. Seeing that many bikes in Eddyville was really exciting to me.”
Don Chavous qualified number one with a 6.011 on Saturday while Klemme took the honor on Sunday with a great 6.005.
The Cycle Shop Outlaw No Bar
Fittingly, Saturday’s The Cycle Shop Outlaw No Bar final was an all-Cycle Shop, all-gray primered, all-Kawasaki pairing. David Ellenbecker left second by .056 on his ZX14, but his 4.68 at 154 still took the stripe ahead of teammate Skyler Goepfert’s 5.06 at 144 on a ZX12.
“This weekend was big for us as a team and for me personally,” said Ellenbecker, who also qualified number one both days. “I was coming into this race off a two-race skid, being beat by my own mental errors, so I was putting a lot of pressure on myself the week leading up. That and Eddyville has been a monkey on my back for years. They have a stacked pool of local talent, so you're going up against murderers row every time you go up there. So it was really special for me to have a successful outing at that track.
“It wasn't smooth sailing, though. We broke a chain first round and scavenged a chain out of various brand pieces and were fortunate enough to have it hold together long enough to get us through the day.
“Best part for me was that the team I ride for, The Cycle Shop, had the final three bikes in the class that night and Preston Younie got the win in his 4.60 debut, so it was a great day for all of my teammates and I. We couldn't have done it without Wil Marquardt, owner of the Cycle Shop. He ran 100 miles a minute all weekend for us to have the success we all had.”
On Sunday it was time for Elvis to enter the building—Elvis Kurtovic of Waterloo, Iowa. Ellenbecker again made it to the final and again took the tree—this time by .062. But Kurtovic’s big, loud ProCharged ‘Busa powered around with a 4.96 at 150 to Ellenbecker’s 5.74 at 133.
“I would like to say thanks to Cycle-Shop as class sponsor,” said Elvis. “Also Trick-Tools for organizing the event, Interstate Junction Motorcycles for building a strong motor, and DAS Preformance for the ProCharger set-up. Also thanks to Eddyville Raceway for holding the event and all the hard work.”
Low Roller No-Box (AKA Street ET)
Saturday’s Low Roller No-Box final was another all-Iowa pair, with Altoona’s Carlos de la Cruz taking the win when Tripoli’s Pat Finder redlit.
There were no redlights in Sunday’s final, with NHDRO racers Janie Palm and No-Box runner-up Murphy battling mano y mano. Palm took the tree aboard her gen3 ‘Busa with an .029 to Murphy’s .060. Murphy ran a 5.93 on his 5.91 dial-in to Palm’s winning 6.28 on her 6.27.
“Really happy to have figured out the new bike,” said Palm, who found the gen3’s fly-by-wire throttle to be way more sensitive than mechanical throttles. “I have been struggling a little bit but everything clicked.
“Thanks to Eddyville for hosting the event, and thanks to my sponsors Willis Racing, Schnitz Racing and Dragbike.com!”
Cornbelt Dragbike Association V-Twin Street Bagger
Scott Tomsu came all the way up from Louisiana to win Cornbelt Dragbike Association V-Twin Street Bagger on Saturday. Tomsu took the tree by .053 against final round opponent Keith Evans. Tomsu also had the performance advantage on Evans, taking the stripe with a 6.73 at 106 to Keith’s 6.89 at 101.
Evans bridesmaided again on Sunday, this time to fellow Hoosier Dave Cartwright. Evans had the performance this time around with a 7.02 to Cartwright’s 7.03, but Dave had the tree .159 to Keith’s .201.
Cartwright was number one qualifier both days.
After a busy three days of T’n T, qualifying, and racing, the non-Iowa racers headed back to their 19 other states. Eddyville’s first MotorcycleMania was an unqualified success, and the best news is that Eddyville owner Gerald Kramer, Cornbelt’s Hefner, and Trick-Tools’ Van Sant seem pretty convinced that another wave of MotorcycleMania will spread through Eddyville in 2022.
MotorcycleMania thanks Trick-Tools, Grothus Dragbikes, Schnitz Racing, BB Racing, Certified Auto Sales, The Cycle Shop, C&S Speed Shop, Cornbelt Dragbike Association, and Eddyville Raceway Park.
This report prepared by Tim Hailey. Enjoy everything there is to read, see and watch about motorcycle drag racing and more at http://www.eatmyink.com