Frederick Leads NHDRO Gateway Winners
Extra tall Pro Street racer Gabe Frederick always has one of the prettiest motorcycles at the track and sometimes one of the quickest. Still pretty, Frederick left no doubt who was quickest this past weekend at NHDRO’s Schwartz & Schwartz Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis. Frederick took number one qualifier and the McIntosh/Grayson Machine & Fabrication Pro Street win.
Sponsored by St. Louis defense attorney and Sportsman racing superstar Kenny Schwartz, the event was NHDRO’s annual trip west, the weekend when America’s fastest growing motorcycle drag racing series sets up it’s circus in the sunset shadow of the arch. The weather was perfect, the racer count strong, and the list of winners long.
It was a relatively short trip from Prairie Home, Missouri to Gateway for Frederick and his turbo Suzuki Hayabusa, and he started treating the track like it was his own from the get-go with a 6.82 at 212.93 mph in the first qualifying round that held up for number one.
Chicago’s Mike “Kavos” Kovacevich bolted to number two with a 6.96—the first 6 on Nemecio Beltran’s “Lucky” bike, followed by Indy’s Justin Doucet with a 6.98.
Frederick had the first round bye, while Doucet beat Drew Tolliver and Kavos knocked off William Santana. Running consistent low .90s on raceday, Frederick next trailered Al Mart. Doucet dispatched Memphis Man Cup number one qualifier Ryan Hable, but Kavos went -.004 red against Texas racer Brandon Mitchan.
Mitchan’s day ended against Doucet in the semifinals. Frederick was able to overcome an .099 light in the other semi and race around former Californian Gaige Herrera in the other semi.
Doucet took a .033 to .042 advantage at the tree in the final, then both bikes overpowered the track. A pedal-fest ensued, and although Doucet was coming on strong at the end, it was Frederick that took the winlight. “Got lucky and hit a good tune-up in Q1 and was able to stay just ahead of everyone all weekend on a hot, very challenging race surface,” said Frederick.
It was a bittersweet weekend for St. Charles-based Quicktime Motorsports and team boss Rudy Sanzottera. A failed electrical connector ended Rudy’s Pro Street bid early. He also retired his late father Marty “Pops” Sanzottera’s beautiful Pro Open bike, making one last, slow pass in Marty’s honor on Sunday morning.
The loss of the Sanzottera machine contributed to a depleted HMH Motorsports Pro Open field. Champion Chris Cutsinger took his big tire ‘Busa Funnybike to number one with a 6.47, but without enough bikes to make a field, no eliminations were run.
Like Frederick in Pro Street, class sponsor Jeff Lindeman qualified number one right off the trailer with a 4.61 in Quicktime Motorsports/Lindeman Performance Pro Ultra 4.60.
Champion Chase Morris arguably had the rough side of the 4.60 ladder, racing past May winner Smokin’ Joe Rodney and Muncie winner Dan McCarten to earn a bye to the final. Once there, he got away from the tree .010 quicker than Lindeman and held on for his first win of the year in the world’s quickest two-wheeled index class.
The world’s quickest two-wheeled index class USED to be G&G Metal Spinners Top Gas, and May Pro ET winner Bradley Shellhaas took the Gateway Top Gas win over Joe “On” Deck in the final. St. Louis Top Gas Killers Heather Baldi and Mike Wagner went out early, as did perennial Top Gas champion Greg Mallett and number one qualifier Heath McQuinn.
Kentucky racer John “Spooky” Markham likes to grab hold of a class and not let go. In the past it was Super Comp, but this year it’s Route 21 Street Fighter. Markham qualified number one and picked up his third straight win in the 9.50 no-bar index class, this time at the expense of Tennessee’s Jeff Smith in the final.
Ben “Expanding My Resume” Knight added a wheelie bar win to his CV—the first for his beautiful new McIntosh-Grayson sponsored bar bike. Knight beat May M2.Shocks Crazy 8s winner Wes Brown in the Millennium Trailers Super Comp final, paving his way with an .013 light. Former champ Markham qualified number one but lost to Brown in the quarterfinals.
Dustin “Biscuits” Lee picked up two points-paying wins, and three on the weekend when you include Friday night’s “Running of the Bulls” heavy hitters race. Lee won the MPS Pro ET final against “On” Deck on Saturday, then picked up the M2.Shocks Crazy 8s win on Sunday. He beat Kenneth Selner in the 8.88 index final went Selner went way -.231 red. Number one qualifier Mitch Pennington lost early.
Sunday’s MPS Pro ET win went to Jim “Put it on the Underhill tab” Underhill, who beat fast-rising second generation racer Courtnee McCarten in the final with the help of his .013 reaction time and McCarten’s subsequent breakout. McCarten beat Scott “Gummie Bear” Kauffman earlier in the day.
Kevin Dennis Insurance Street ET wins went to Brandon Teasley in a close win over John Resatar on Saturday and to Nick Stewart on Sunday. Stewart beat young Texas racer “Money Mike” Turman in a double breakout final.
APE/Trac King Grudge was a full and rowdy four hours on Saturday night. OG St. Louis Chaos stars MSP brought “Clean Getaway,” “Venom.” and “Copperhead” to see what’s what, but the big win of the night might have been -8 Below’s Big Debo’s beating of Wiggle. And Keith “Shine” Dennis did indeed come up from Memphis, lapping on the mean, black “Jesse James” ‘Busa.
And since this was an NHDRO race, there was fun of all kinds—big man foot races and kid races on vehicles of every kind. If you brung it, NHDRO’s Brian Welch can find a race for you.
Brian and Niki Welch look forward to seeing all the Grudge ballers and the whole NHDRO family on the wall-to-wall concrete of Ohio Valley’s eighth mile just outside of Louisville, Kentucky for the big “Grudge Reunion” on July 7-9.
Find out more about the NHDRO at http://www.nhdroracing.com/
NHDRO thanks McIntosh Machine and Fabrication http://www.mcintoshmachineandfab.com,APE http://www.aperaceparts.com/ ,Quicktime Motorsports http://quicktimebikes.com ,M2.Shocks https://www.m2shocks.com/ Route 21 Racing Apparel http://www.route21.us , Millennium Trailers http://www.milltrailers.com , G&G Metal Spinners http://www.ggmetalspinners.com , Kevin Dennis Insurance http://www.bettercoverages.com ,MPS http://www.mpsracing.com/default.asp , and HMH Motorsports Coatings https://www.facebook.com/HMH-Motorsports-Coatings-427240650798192/.
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