Good Times, Good Business at PRI
photos and captions by Tim Hailey
Was there anybody at PRI that was NOT wearing a Worldwide Bearings/Hipster Skipster shirt?? The Worldwide Bearings crew pose with Brad Mummert's badass GS Pro Street Suzuki....continued
MORE from PRI HERE
DME Congratulates All-Star Shootout
Winner Rodney Williford
story, photos and video by Tim Hailey
For the second straight year, motorcycle drag racing fabrication powerhouse DME Racing partnered with Dave and Jason Dunigan’s Dunigan Racing, and Chris Connelly and his Pro Stock Inc., to put on the DME Racing All-Star Pro Street Shootout. This $10,000-to-win event for the world’s quickest streetbikes was run on November 16-17, immediately preceding the 2017 Manufacturers Cup World Finals at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta....continued
MORE about the DME Shootout HERE
Vance & Hines Spread it Around at Pomona
Story and photos by Sandra Alberti, team reports, NHRA and Tim Hailey
Sunday was Andrew Hines' day (photo by NHRA)
Chip Ellis qualified #1 in Pro Stock Motorcycle on Friday, Eddie Krawiec won the championship and took over #1 qualifier on Saturday, and Andrew Hines beat teammate Krawiec in the final for the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona on Sunday. If it seemed like the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance&Hines/Harley-Davidson team ran the field like their bitches at Pomona, it’s because they did. Make of that what you will...continued
MORE from Pomona HERE
Junior Pippin—They Broke the Mold
story, photos (except where noted) and video by Tim Hailey
Junior Pippin in Fight mode, planning to get back on his motorcycle
I first got to know Junior Pippin as a voice on my answering machine. “There’s a message on there you have GOT to hear,” said Nicole, who’d been housesitting and walking the dog for me while I was out of town.
So I did, and out of the speaker came a very southern, melodic and theatrical voice that identified itself with the equally fanciful name of Junior Pippin. I sat in my Brooklyn storefront trying to picture this Pippin guy. Junior’s phone voice is always exceptionally polite and usually a touch higher pitched than his “outdoor voice.” Because of the name I thought of the Hee-Haw comedian Junior Samples. Coupled with the joviality of his delivery, I pictured a chubby man.
I was totally wrong of course. Although not a jockey in the Jeremy Teasley mold, when I met Junior in person he was anything but a chubby man. Fit and wiry, Junior looked every bit the man he was—someone who worked every day driving his dump truck despite the fact that he owned over 30 of them and could have just sat at home while others were out doing all the work. That’s what men who own a fleet of three-dozen trucks generally do.
But Junior Pippin was not like other men. Along with hard work, Junior found plenty of time to play hard—very hard. In his outdoor voice—more gravelly and reminiscent of Foghorn Leghorn—Junior could tell an unstoppable stream of hilarious stories about racing and high living unmatched by anyone I’ve ever met. And that, my friends, covers a lot of people who’ve led exceptionally colorful lives...continued
MORE about Junior Pippin HERE
Another Indy Win for Japan
captions and photos by Tim Hailey story courtesy of IMS and Red Bull
Yoshihide Muroya gettin' vertical
Yoshihide Muroya of Japan flew to his first Red Bull Air Race World Championship in dramatic style Sunday, winning the season-ending event with a track-record run in the final round at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Muroya erased the four-point lead that Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic held entering this event to edge Sonka, 74-70, in the final standings. Muroya, 44, become the first Japanese champion in the world's most prestigious aerobatic racing series. "Let's go have the biggest party tonight," said Muroya...continued
MORE Red Bull Air Race HERE
NHDRO Finals are Big for Litten and Champions
story and photos by Tim Hailey
NHDRO Big Money winner Ehren Litten
NHDRO—America’s fastest growing motorcycle drag racing series—packed two-race weekends into one at their DME/Prostock Inc. World Finals on September 29-October 1 at Brownsburg, Indiana’s Lucas Oil Raceway. Because eliminations from the August race were rained out, racers, NHDRO and LOR staff had to fight through oildowns, big fields and a dramatic crash to complete the hectic double schedule and determine season champions, and they did just that.
Headlining the event was McIntosh/Grayson Machine & Fabrication Pro Street and a special $5000-to-win purse. Twenty-six of the world’s quickest streetbikes showed up to claim the prize, especially 6.66 world record holder Rodney Williford and his teammates, including recent Man Cup winner Ehren Litten...continued
MORE about NHDRO's Big Money Finals HERE
Krawiec Cruises, Savoie and Arana
Nearly Come to Bruises
photos by Tim Hailey, story by Hailey with a lotta help from the NHRA and team reports
Eddie Krawiec and LE Tonglet in the Maple Grove final
Eddie Krawiec and the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines/Harley-Davidson team continued their run through the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle field with their third straight win, this time at the Dodge NHRA Nationals at rural Pennsylvania’s Maple Grove Raceway.
Krawiec and teammate Andrew Hines weren’t that impressive in qualifying, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, in the order. “We didn’t start out as strong as we had hoped in qualifying, but we put it all together today and we’re pretty pleased with these results,” Krawiec said after the win. “Things are definitely on the upswing since we switched back to last year’s chassis, it’s been huge for me and my team at the exact right time,”
Qualifying in fact was a see-saw battle, led in Q1 by Scotty Pollacheck, Q2 by Hector Arana Jr., and again by Pollacheck at the end in a last-gasp nip of Jerry Savoie by .002 with a 6.822...continued
MORE Maple Grove NHRA HERE
Curious Case of the Countdown Comeback
story and photos by Tim Hailey
Andrew Hines' "Evil Empire" helmet with Eddie Krawiec in the zMAX winners circle
It would be impossible for any journalist to write about the last two NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle races without addressing the elephant in the room—the uncanny ability of the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines/Harley-Davidson team to find its mojo in the Countdown to One championship playoff series. It’s familiar, it’s real, it actually happens, and—much like politics in the U.S.—it divides the fan base. Where some see the sport’s most experienced, successful and well-funded team preparing itself all season for when it really counts, others see sandbagging and manipulation to keep NHRA rules-makers off their Bates Leathered backs...continued
MORE Curious Case of the Countdown Comeback HERE
Summernationals at Santa Pod
story and photos by Steven Moxley
Three qualifying sessions for the 2017 Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway were completed on Saturday. There was a minute silence on Sunday for former Santa Pod track crew member Ben Butler who passed away recently. Rain fell at midday and then there was an incident in a car class, which involved a big clean-up and the race was called. We had reached the semifinals. There were a few personal bests set over the weekend...continued
MORE from Santa Pod's Summernationals HERE
Grimes Blows, Lund Goes at Alastaro
story and photos courtesy of Remco Scheelings
The Finnish Hot Rod Association (FHRA) Nitro Nationals at Alastaro are always special, and with an all Finnish final in Super Twin Motorcycle, a Finnish runner-up in Pro Stock Motorcycle, and Finnish winners in Super Comp Bike and Super Gas Bike, the home crowd had plenty to cheer for.
Two weeks after the season opening Tierp Internationals, the EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship had its second round at Alastaro Circuit during the FHRA Nitro Nationals...continued
MORE explosive Nitro Nationals HERE
Kahne Wins Crashfest 400
story and photos by Tim Hailey with help from IMS and press releases
Jimmy Johnson came out with the short end of a 3-wide battle into turn 3
Kasey Kahne passed Brad Keselowski on the final restart in overtime to win the 24th annual Brickyard 400 on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The whole ordeal started at 2:44 p.m. and finished at 8:58 p.m., just eight minutes before sundown. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was halted three times for red flags for a total of two hours, 31 minutes, including a rain delay of one hour, 47 minutes after the first 12 laps were completed.
"The history here, winning at this track is unreal," Kahne said. "This Farmers' Insurance Chevrolet was great out front. I just had to get there. Man, I'm exhausted. To win at Indy is unbelievable." After being interviewed by NBC after the race, Kahne sat on the ground next to his No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, dehydrated and cramping from a long, taxing day in the cockpit. The effort to win was so demanding that he needed intravenous fluids at the infield care center after the race....continued
MORE Brickyard 400 HERE
Travis Davis Wins 4th Straight
video, captions and photos by Tim Hailey, text by PDRA
Watch this video interview with chassis builder Walt Timblin and the Davis family
Travis Davis continued his winning streak that began in March when he won the second race of the season. He used his best pass of the weekend, a 4.029 at 174.64, to beat Chuck Wilburn’s 4.116 at 170.62 and win his fourth consecutive final round aboard his Walt Timblin-built Suzuki.
“They were all tough,” Davis said of his four event wins. “You have to be changing and moving and doing something different at every race. We’ve won rounds where we were down on performance. We struggled some when we ran in the heat of the day, but I felt like the numbers would come back when the cool conditions came back, and they did....continued
MORE PDRA from Indy HERE
Tharpe, Millican Big Bristol Winners
photos by Tim Hailey, story by Hailey, NHRA and team reports
brought to you by Ben "Treating Media Right" Knight
Watch the interview with Tii Tharpe, Jay Turner and Mark Conner above
Epping winner Tii Tharpe is on a roll, qualifying number one right off the trailer at Bristol and beating teammate Jay Turner in the final. Tharpe's Dixie 6.549 at 205.01 was one of his slowest of the weekend but good enough to defeat Turner, who dropped a cylinder and ran 7.603 at 134.20.
Turner and the team were responsible for three bikes in the semis, including Coon Ass Randal Andras. Turner let Tharpe pick out which of his two bikes he wanted to ride this year—every regret that decision Jay now that Tii has two straight? "Nah, it's good business," grinned Turner, who has enough championships under his belt—including this years'—to focus on business...continued
MORE from NHRA Bristol HERE
The 101st Indianapolis 500
Sato clearly fastest at the end of the day
captions, video and photos by Tim Hailey, story courtesy of IMS press releases
Second row starter Alonso's McLaren orange Dallara gets swamped at the start of the Indy 500 by row 3
Takuma Sato capped off another thrilling Indianapolis 500 that featured a record number of drivers leading the race. The driver of the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda edged three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves to the finish line by 0.2011 of a second to become the first Japanese winner of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
Sato passed Castroneves for the lead on Lap 195 - the last of 35 lead changes in the 200-lap race on the historic 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and the seventh straight year that the decisive pass for the Indy 500 lead occurred in the last six laps. Sato held off aggressive charges from Castroneves, the driver of the No. 3 Shell Fuel Rewards Team Penske Chevrolet, in the sixth-closest finish in Indy 500 history....continued
MORE Indy 500 HERE
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