After an almost three-year absence from the sport of drag racing, the American Drag Racing League (ADRL) made its return and hosted one race in preparation of a full eight race series in 2017. On November 4th, the ADRL rolled into Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL and hosted none other than Dragstock XI. After winning the last ADRL Pro Extreme Motorcycle (PXM) race in the 2013 season in Houston, TX, Brunson and the rest of the Grothus Dragbikes crew were excited to make their return to the ADRL.
In the chilly November conditions with a track temp near the 70 degree mark, GDB rolled their PXM out of the trailer and put their A to B tune-up in it and made a silky smooth 4.12 lap at 172 mph to go to the top of the field ahead of the only other bikes to show up to do battle, the Jones racing team of T.T. and son Chris from Huntsville, AL. Second round of qualifying Friday night was under the lights and under extremely cool temperatures, some of the coolest the GDB crew has ever raced a PXM in. GDB really hopped up the tune-up in an effort to try and lay down a career best and stay solidly in the number one qualifying spot, unfortunately the track conditions didn’t allow for the power GDB tried to put to it and spun the tire extremely hard a few feet off the line forcing Brunson to quickly shift the gears and abort the run. Both Jones bikes made improvements of their own but weren’t enough to overtake the number one qualifying spot from Grothus.
The decision was made Saturday morning by the ADRL officials to give all entrants in all classes two more qualifiers instead of the scheduled one qualifying lap. With temps back near the 60 degree mark, Ed and Brunson wanted to make another A to B lap and that they did by running their second 4.12 with q thousandth of a second improvement. This lap was again good enough for the number one spot ahead of T.T.’s 4.14 and Chris’ 4.15. After reviewing the on track data and feeling confident with their setup, Ed and Brunson made the decision to sit out the fourth and final qualifying session and watch the Jones racing team from the bleachers. Their decision worked out in their favor by saving wear and tear on their equipment and staying in the number one spot as T.T. did improve but not by enough to eclipse Brunson as he stopped the 660 feet clocks with a 4.13, and Chris unfortunately hurt his motor.
After opening ceremonies, PXM was called to the lanes for pairing; however, Chris Garner-Jones was unable to make the first round call against teammate and father T.T. who blasted down the eighth mile with a career best and low elapsed time of the weekend with a 4.064 at 172.23 mph. Running right behind him was Brunson on his earned bye run with hopes of dipping into the 0’s himself. But little did he or anyone in the GDB camp know, the wire to their PXM’s fuel pump had come loose causing Brunson to abort the run shortly after leaving the starting line and losing lane choice to T.T. for the Dragstock XI final.
After successfully diagnosing the loose wire and getting fuel pressure back, Ed and Brunson were ready to put the beautifully painted Indocil Art Grothus Dragbikes nitrous huffing machine back into the lanes for their second Dragstock final of 2016. T.T. took the preferred right lane where he had just ran a 4.06 but in warmer track conditions than the night time final. For the first time since October of 2013, Brunson and T.T. pushed their PXMs into the staging beams of an ADRL final and with the flash of all three yellows they were both off and running with green lights. Brunson had the advantage with an .024 to T.T.’s 0.69 and had just enough for his second Dragstock holeshot win of 2016 with yet his third 4.12 of the weekend to T.T.’s quicker 4.08. With another ADRL season ending win, Grothus Dragbikes is excited to see what the 2017 ADRL season has in store.
Rider Brunson Grothus posing with one lucky young fan
before the winner's circle ceremony