One week after winning back-to-back Professional Drag Racing Association events, GDB rider Brunson Grothus entered the fourth of five Manufacturer’s Cup events at “The Rock” in Rockingham, NC in a tight points battle with veteran pro-modified racers Paul Gast and Travis Davis. Also looking to stay in the pro-mod points mix and improve upon his current fourth place position was GDB rider “Showboat” Shane Eperjesi aboard his barely broke in 2016 Grothus Dragbikes chassis.
The GDB team arrived early Friday on a mission to test and get Showboat some more on track data. And that they did, Showboat clicked off two nice laps going from A to B in the 90 plus degree heat. Early Saturday afternoon Brunson led off qualifying with a little bit of a tire spinning 4.14 landing him in the number three qualifying spot. Showboat followed up with a 4-teen of his own on the 100 plus degree track surface to get into the top half of the field.
As the temperature continued to rise in the heat of the day, Brunson and tuner Ed decided to sit the second round of qualifying out with their number three qualified motorcycle and wait for the sun and track temperature to go down to try and take a crack at the 4.0's. Meanwhile, Showboat made a few changes to his bike and marched it back up there to take another blast down the eighth mile and try to improve upon his qualifying position. Showboat made the right changes and picked up one big one from a 4.18 to a 4.17 to stay in the top half of the field going into the last qualifying session.
As the sun went down, the track temps and the elapsed times for all 15 Pro Mod teams on the property did as well. Showboat picked up another couple numbers running his best of the weekend to that point with a solid 4.159 at 169.89 mph and good enough for the number seven qualifying spot. Having only made one hit at the track but having a good feel for the tune-up in the weather conditions, Brunson ripped off a flame throwing 4.082 at 175.02 mph pass good enough for the number three qualifying spot behind the 4.059 of Matt Prophit and 4.063 of Paul Gast.
After getting both GDB machine solidly in the field, the team felt good about their chances to turn on win lights and collect more valuable points heading into the last Manufacturers Cup race of the year. Showboat led things off for GDB against the quick Kawasaki of Connell Smith. Unfortunately, Connell could not get his bike in gear nor staged giving Showboat the freebee and clicking off a 4.22 in the heat of the day for the win. Up next for GDB was the well running Indocil Art painted pro-mod and number three qualifier Brunson against number 14 qualifier Gerald Smith. Brunson wasted no time letting everyone know he was down to business on race day by running a stout 4.09 for the win in the heat of the day and spinning before the finish line in oil from a previous Top Fuel pass.
In addition to pro-mod duties, Brunson was also running in the Grothus Dragbikes sponsored Ultra 4.60 class. After running under the index twice in qualifying with a 4.57 and a 4.59, Brunson was slated against the number two qualifier Bobby Lovingood and his near perfect 4.605 qualifying effort. Right out of the gate this was a dandy with Bobby drilling the tree with an .011 to Brunson’s right behind .019; however, Brunson would not be out done by running right on the index with a 4.607 and taking the stripe by .010 to Bobby’s just a tick off paced 4.625.
Second round of pro-mod paired Brunson against Lance Hines on another GDB bike owned by Mr. Nawaf Aldossary out of the Perry Performance shop. Although Brunson was favored by about a tenth on paper it wasn’t meant to be as an electrical failure .07 seconds into the run shut the nitrous and fuel system off and then turning it back on shortly after it was off causing Brunson to click through the gears and shutting it off coasting to the finish line and watching Mr. Hines take the round win and advance to the semi-finals. With Brunson out in pro-mod, it was up to Showboat to keep the fight alive, and he did just that in a big way. He was paired against the number two qualifier and number one man in points, Paul Gast. Shane chopped the tree down with a 0.50 advantage on Paul and clicked off a holeshot win with a 4.17 to the quicker 4.14 of Gast.
In the second round of Grothus Dragbikes Ultra 4.60, Brunson was paired with long time legend George Babor of BPM Racing Engines in Brooksville, FL. George showed everyone on the property that he has plenty left in the tank by strapping a .005 light on Brunson and he never looked back for the win, abruptly ending Brunson’s weekend. Although Brunson was officially out of competition for the weekend, Showboat was far from done. In the semis, he was paired against former American Drag Racing League event winner Lance Hines of Dublin, GA. Both rider were anxious to do battle as they both quickly lit their stage lights and away they went. In a close battle Showboat got the slight starting line advantage and ran the slightly quicker elapsed time for the win and punched his ticket to the finals.
In the finals, it was number seven qualifier Showboat Shane out of the Grothus Dragbikes team and bike against number eight qualifier and fuel injection guru Brad McCoy of the Q80 camp. Just as a storm was rolling in they fired the bikes, did their burnouts and pulled them into the beams. Just as Showboat did all day long he left on time and hauled the mail A to B under power and got his fourth win light of the day getting his first pro-mod win under the Grothus Dragbikes tent and amassing 114 valuable points in the chase for the championship. By winning the race and the other three riders ahead of him going out in the semis and quarters, Shane positioned himself with a shot to win the championship by only being a little more than a round and a half behind the points leader with a total of 278 points behind Travis Davis with 313, Paul Gast with 312, and Brunson Grothus with 310.