Coming off a season opening runner-up finish in the Professional Drag Racing Association, Grothus Dragbikes headed to Huntsville Dragway for the 2018 King of the Crown. In addition to Brunson racing "Ed Honcho" in Pro Extreme Motorcycle & "The Governor" in 4.60, Multi-time National Champion & owner of Klemme Performance Motorcycle (KPM), Tom Klemme made the trip for his 2018 debut in Top Gas (5.10 index). Tom started off the race weekend & Friday afternoon test session by making several laps on his "Sweet Potato" 1570 Suzuki GS gathering valuable data & making minor adjustments to dial into the 5.10 index. While Tom was busy wearing out the right lane groove, Brunson made a couple hits on GDB's first ever in house built Pro Mod, and newly update "Secretariat." In the off season Ed & Bradley updated the Secretariat with a state of the art GDB rear beadlock wheel & GDB billet grip set. After a couple nice shakedown passes in the 4.20s Brunson handed her back to her Nashville owner & operator, Big Boss Racing. Brunson also made one shakedown hit on Ed Honcho in preparation of the one day Saturday event for the King of the Crown. After a 1.00 60 foot time & a 2.66 330, Brunson clicked high gear & coasted through the finish line at 4.08 at 158 mph.
Bright & early Saturday morning the racetrack went hot & classes were called to the lanes for their first of two qualifying laps. Tom started off the day by busting off a Sweet Potato career best & slightly too quick 5.05 at 134 mph. Brunson led off 4.60 qualifying with a throttle chopping 4.63 for the number one spot after first round. Then he jumped on Ed Honcho & went .989 in the 60 foot before knowing something was wrong & quickly clicking the gears & chopping the throttle to a 4.42 at 125 mph. After doing a quick download & looking for a diagnosis, Brunson & Ed discovered the fuel pump had abruptly quit working at 1.25 seconds into the run. Luckily carrying a spare fuel pump, Ed went to work & successfully swapped it out before the final qualifying session. In the second & final qualifying session Tom made a smooth de-tuned pass with an elapsed time of 5.12 & Brunson made a slightly too quick 4.60 pass with an elapsed time of 4.57. Then finishing up the qualifying efforts Brunson clicked off a stout 4.05 with a near career best .989 60 foot.
Tom led off eliminations in the 16 bike Top Gas field with a solid .022 reaction time & a throttle chopping 5.17 for the win. Brunson followed suit with a great win by breaking out by one less thousandth of a second in a side by side race in 4.60 with always tough Chester Lee aka Rat of the Nashville area. In the main event, Brunson drew track owner & surging Pro Extreme Motorcycle rider T.T. Jones. In what would be the best PXM race of all of eliminations, T.T. took the tree but then Brunson threw down the quickest E.T. of the event with a 4.025 at 173 mph & a career best .979 60 foot!
Round two Tom continued his text book lap making ability with a solid 5.11 against a slightly red lighting Dalton Perry. Brunson then kept the momentum going by turning the win light on in 4.60 against former Pro Mod rider Bo Jones. Pro Mod was down to three, fairly new 4.0s members Terry Wynn of Jacksonville, FL & DeShawn Wheeler of Louisville, KY. DeShawn drew the first chip from co-track owner Angelia Jones & played it to his advantage as he drew the bye run into the final. That left Brunson & Terry to battle it out for the right to run for the King of the Crown. Brunson & Terry left close together before Brunson pulled away for the win with a 4.08 to Terry's game 4.12.
Tom & Brunson we're both down to the semis in Top Gas & 4.60 looking to punch their respective tickets in the Crown finals. Tom got a freebie when Joe Deck turned it red but Brunson wasn't so lucky as he lost a close one to defending I65 Series 4.60 champ, DeShawn Wheeler.
Tom started off the finals for the GDB/KPM team against young gun Deboris Jones. "TK" did what he does best when he tree'd the young Deboris & had plenty of room at the other end & chopped the throttle to his first Top Gas win of the young season becoming King of the Top Gas crown. That left Brunson & the rest of the GDB crew to go for the other end of the GDB/KPM double up in Pro Extreme Motorcycle. Brunson got an opportunity to get one back against DeShawn Wheeler aboard his Wheeler Machine backed PXM entry. DeShawn killed the tee with a .007 reaction time to Brunson's right behind .013 & that was the last of DeShawn's lead as Brunson clicked off his 4th sub 1.00 60 foot time & a stout 4.045 elapsed time to DeShawn's runner-up finishing 4.17.
Grothus Dragbikes would like to thank Huntsville Dragway, the Jones family & the entire Huntsville staff for putting on a great event & one they look forward to coming back to. As always, GDB would also like to thank Indocil Art, Sentry Industries, Klemme Performance Motorcycle, Robinson Industries, Schnitz Electronics, Trick Tools, & Roemer Machine.