Grothus Dragbikes entered their “home race” at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, MI, (just a short 315 mile jaunt from Davenport, IA) in the number two points position & looking to carry some momentum heading into the hot summer months. After shaking down “Canadian Express 2.0” owned by GDB supporter Jean Gosselin of Gosselin Motorsports on Thursday, it was “Ed Honcho’s” turn for first round of qualifying early Friday afternoon. With a new slick on the back of Honcho, Brunson made an A-B lap of 4.19 to put him in the number 9 position of the 10 bikes on the property & currently not qualified for the 8 bike field.
After making a few changes, GDB pushed up to the lanes for qualifying session number two of three looking to pick up a tenth. They got half of what they were looking for with another A-B & slightly off paced 4.14, but it did put them in the number seven position & into the eighth bike qualified field heading into the final qualifying session. After not being satisfied with the performance of the new tire with 60 foot times of 1.053 & 1.047, team owner/chassis builder Ed Grothus said it was time to eliminate the variable of the unknown tire & put the original 2.5 year old tire back on Honcho.
While Ed made the tire change, Brunson went to work on a jet change & the tuneup for the final qualifying session. After being bumped to the bump-spot by Spencer Allen’s 4.07, Ed Honcho laid down one of the most stout runs of the year. Brunson carried the front wheel to an elapsed time of 4.029 at 174 mph (with an overall event low 1.008 60 foot time) to take over the number one spot for a few moments. Ehren Litten quickly snatched the number one qualifying position back aboard his turbo charged Suzuki Hayabusa (Pete Brown built chassis) entry with the first ever 3.99 by a turbo charged PXM. Ronnie Smith also pushed Brunson one more spot down in the qualifying pecking order with his 4.01 660 feet blast.
Heading into Saturday the weather made a significant change with cooler temps rolling in, less water in the air & cloud cover. Brunson was paired up with familiar foe Ashley Owens of Decatur, AL racing & tuning out of the McKinney Motorsports camp. This time Ashley would get the better of the matchup as Brunson turned on the red eye by 14 thousands of a second & slow to a 4.069 to Ashley’s 4.068.
GDB’s next stop will be at the revamped Virginia Motorsports Park for the PDRA Firecracker Nationals June 29-30.
For the second race weekend of the year, Grothus Dragbikes was split across the nation at two different racetracks. GDB team #2 found themselves at the famed Rockingham Dragway with GDB ride, "Showboat" Shane Eperjesi aboard team pro-mod "Lucy". Prior to Manufacturer's Cup qualifying midday Saturday, the team utilized Friday to test "Lucy" and try to refine some power management issues plaguing the bike's optimal performance.
With moderately successful Friday testing, 'Showboat' was able to take 'Lucy' nearly to the pole, but one spot shy and ended up in the #2 qualifying position for raceday Sunday. Eperjesi would end the race weekend in the same number two, runner up position to Grand Island New York native, dragbike racing veteran, Paul Gast. Eperjesi also secured the provisional #2 points position for the season-long points championship with the weekend's performance.
Manufacturer's Cup racing will again commence at the Inaugural Summer Nationals at Dragway 42 in West Salem, OH July 13-15.