Manufacturers Cup World Finals

Cecil, GA

To say Grothus Dragbikes (GDB) was busy at the 2018 season finale at South Georgia Motorsports Park (SGMP) would be putting it quite mildly. GDB was setup on Manufactures midway assisting customers & fans with their world class product along with a wide variety of apparel. Known throughout the motorcycle drag racing community from the business side of the house, GDB is just as well known for being racers themselves. They brought a total of eight drag bikes (yes 8) between five total riders & a very large support staff. To make sense of all of the ontrack results of the GDB riders, each will be broken down into a short summary.

Tom Klemme, owner & operator of Klemme Performance Motorcycles, attended his second Manufacturers Cup race of the year despite being under the weather & brought his two orange hot rods. His three time NHRA E.T. Motorcycle “Champion Bike” that he only entered in Super Comp & not Pro E.T. due to how he was feeling & his newest creation, the car tire big CC Suzuki GS named “Sweet Potato.” Tom successfully battled his way through the first couple of rounds in both Super Comp 8.90 Index & Top Gas 8.20 Index before losing two tough races at the finish line. The first in Super Comp was by just a few thousands & then going too quick in Top Gas & farther under the Index than his opponent.

Shane “Showboat” Eperjesi of Lake Dallas, TX was back to do battle in Falicon Pro Mod aboard “Lucy.” Now with a stout motor between the frame rails, Shane & GDB had big expectations for Lucy for the weekend. With cool temps setting in Friday evening over SGMP, Eperjesi netted a tire spinning 4.192 at 156.19 mph. Day time Saturday brought more “normal” type race temps but Showboat was unable to improve upon his previous 4.19 & found himself in the number 11 qualifying position heading into the third & final session Saturday evening. The final qualifying session saw no improvement for Eperjesi as he managed a 4.199 at 167.07 mph and slid to the number 14 qualifying position.

First round Showboat was paired with number three qualifier, Paul Gast, owner & operator of Fast By Gast. Gast was the current points leader & fresh off his PDRA World Finals event win & career best 3.979 elapsed time. Both competitors left together, but it was soon over after the start as Showboat had to double button third gear & that was all she wrote as Gast turned on the win light with a 4.05 at 178 mph.

Also competing in Falicon Pro Mod & fresh off a PDRA #2 points finish was the first of two Grothus boys racing this weekend, Brunson Grothus on his GDB/Indocil Art backed Honcho. With very cool temps for the first round of qualifying on Friday evening, Brunson elected to sit the first Pro Mod lap out & focus on the other class he was entered in, the GDB sponsored Ultra 4.60 Index class. Brunson rolled “Chuck” off the trailer to a solid 4.646 at 148.23 mph to get solidly into the top half of the record setting field of 37 4.60 bikes on the property! Brunson sat out Ultra 4.60 qualifying session number two but made the third & final session with a slightly improved & consistent 4.638 to head into first round of eliminations Saturday evening. Brunson was able to get a first round win in Ultra 4.60 against David Tibert but was unable to get past Wes Hawkins in the second round when the bike did not take high gear & knocked Brunson out of the $5k to win race.

Switching back to Pro Mod, Brunson got in the Pro Mod action by making the second qualifying session Saturday with a conservative off the trailer 4.151 at 172.98 mph to land himself solidly in the field. In his second look at the track with Honcho & the third & final qualifying session he picked up a tenth a great 4.051 at 175.62 mph for the number six qualifying position.

Heading into the last day of eliminations of 2018 for Honcho, Brunson was more focused than ever trying to avenge his 2017 Man Cup World Finals Pro Mod event runner-up. He got off to a great start with a winning 4.048 at 174.84 mph over long time Louisville, KY standout DeShawn Wheeler. Brunson then got monstrous win over Mr. 3.97 himself, Paul Gast by a scant .002! In one of the best Pro Mod races of the year Brunson was .011 on the tree to Gast’s .015, the backed with a 4.026 to Gast’s 4.024 giving Brunson the tiniest of hole shot wins. Keeping the momentum rolling against the world’s best, Brunson clicked off another win in the semis with another improved 4.020 at 177.16 mph over 2017 PDRA World Champion & local standout Travis Davis. This set Brunson & GDB up with an opportunity they come for, to avenge the final round & take good vibes into the long cold off season. Brunson was paired with the first man to ever put a Pro Mod into the three second zone & winner of countless national events, Ashley Owens of Decatur, AL. Both riders killed the tree, Brunson with an .014 & Owens with a .016, then a half second into the run it was all but over for Brunson as Honcho went into a nasty tire spin & he had the best seat in the house to watch Ashley cruise to an impressive 4.008 at 174.98 mph earning himself the 2018 Man Cup Pro Mod Championship with the round win.

Brody Grothus, the younger of the two Grothus brothers in competition at the World Finals was set to do business in GDB Ultra 4.60 Index on the 30th Anniversary year of “The Governor” & in Top Gas on the GDB revived old school Joe Koenig Top Gas bike. In addition to the regularly scheduled GDB Ultra 4.60World Finals event, GDB hosted the first annual Grothus Dragbikes Ultra 4.60 $4k to win Shootout comprising of the top four in points in 4.60 in the big four all Motorcycle series of the Manufacturers Cup, NHDRO, I-65 & the XDA. Brody entered the Shootout representing the Man Cup as the #3 seed taking on Broderick “Hollywood” Jackson the #2 seed from the I-65 series. The two left together with great lights in the 20s & then Brody pulled away for the win with a shutoff 4.648 at 145.44 mph to Jackson’s 4.722 at 154.10 mph. Round two of the Shootout Brody squared off with NHDRO representative Johnny Bond of Peoria, IL. Brody left with a sizable hole-shot advantage and was able to secure the round win advancing to the semis when Bond broke out by a mere .008 of a second gifting Brody the round win.

In the semis of the Shootout (& third & final round of qualifying) Brody was paired with I-65 Series Champion Smokin Joe Rodney. The two left together & marched side by side down the 660 feet of track before Brody stuck the index for the win with a 4.605! The finals of the 4.60 Shootout paired two families with long racing backgrounds but two relatively young riders in Brody & Rock Sanders, grandson of Doug Frierson. Sanders left just before Brody but the chase was on as the Governor started to flex his Vortex II Kawasaki muscle. Brody was closing at a rapid rate & the pressure of the charge was able to push Sanders under the 4.60 Index turning on the win light for Brody giving him his second national event win of 2018!!

Brody then carried his hot hand into the $5k to win GDB Ultra 4.60 regular World Finals race with wins over Durwood Rawlings, DeShawn Wheeler, Jeff Lindeman, an earned bye run, before a semi-final matchup with defending Man Cup GDB Ultra 4.60 Champion & current points leader Tony Mullen of Bradenton, FL. This would mark the third meeting between the two riders having split the two previous meetings. Mullen flexed his national Championship muscle & chopped the tree down with a .003 to Brody’s .040, then ran just a few ticks over the Index with a 4.627 for a total package of .030 to Brody’s .085 package.

Rounding out the GDB stable, last but certainly not least, Jean Gosselin of Romouski Canada. Heading into the weekend Jean was the current Nitrous Express Pro Open points leader & was trying to hold off a host of competitors with the nearest being long time Pro Mod standout Rick Perry aboard his renewed BPM powered nitrous Suzuki GS.

Jean got the weekend off to a good start with a 6.86 at 185.03 mph for the number four qualifying. Jean was anxious to get back on the track early Saturday afternoon in qualifying session number two as he dipped his Canadian Express 2.0 into the 6.70s with an improved 6.787 at 193.93 mph but slid to the number six qualifying spot. After making two solid licks at the smooth SGMP surface, Jean again improved in the third & final qualifying session with a 6.77 at 192.58 mph. 

Looking to secure his first National Championship, Jean knew he needed to go rounds & keep pace with those chasing him. First round he was paired against Larry Hayes out of Alabama on his 750 turbo charged entry just as he was at the first race of the season. Jean did what he needed to do and turned on the win light with a shutoff 6.87 at 169 mph to Hayes’ 8.74 at 150 mph.

Looking to go more rounds Jean was matched against Jason Gearman of Aruba aboard his turbo charged Suzuki Hayabusa. Jean was on another good lap & headed for mid 6.70s until his Canadian Express 2.0 wouldn’t take high gear & was just nipped by a mere .003 at the finish line by Gearman’s 7.022 at 205 mph. Now Jean would be forced to watch from the stands with his family by his side to see if the points he amassed overt the season would be enough to hold on. As fate would have it, Rick Perry fell to event winner of Rob Garcia in the third round officially making Jean the 2018 Man Cup Nitrous Express Pro Open Champion!! Congrats toJean & his entire family!

Grothus Dragbikes would like to thank their partners Indocil Art of Rock Hill SC, Sentry Industries of DeWitt IA, Klemme Performance Motorcycle of Davenport IA, Robinson Industries of St. James NY, Gosselin Motorsport of Romouski Canada, & Schnitz Electronics for a great season.