Mechanicsville, Md. – The excitement continues to build for the upcoming IDBL DME Fall Nationals from Maryland International Raceway, Oct. 6-8, where world records could fall.
Top Fuel Motorcycle fans were treated to a show for the ages at the IDBL Bike Fest at the same track in July.
Legendary Top Fuel competitor Larry “Spiderman” McBride laid down three runs in the 5.70-zone and one in the 5.80s, including his career best of 5.74 seconds. After a day-long rain delay on Saturday, July 29, McBride and talented rival Dave Vantine blasted down a freshly-prepped MDIR racetrack and posted a sensational side-by-side five second run – only the second time the feat has ever been accomplished. They are the only two riders to have run a side-by-side in the five-second range, with the first coming in 2014.
It has the 16-time champion and his talented colleague looking forward to what they could potentially accomplish at their next stop at Maryland International Raceway, Oct. 6-8. The annual race usually brings record-setting weather to the already record-smashing dragstrip.
“We are very excited,” McBride said. “To get the world record back has always been a goal of mine. I know it won’t be easy. We know we will have a great track for it.”
Vantine is equally enthusiastic.
“I think side-by-side 5.70s are a real possibility,” Vantine said. “There is no reason we can’t do it. We both also want to see the world record come back to the United States.”
McBride’s 5.74 represented the quickest run in the nation and the second quickest run of all-time, behind Swedish rider Peter Svennson’s 5.70 pass.
Vantine crossed the stripe with a near-career best of 5.81. Astoundingly, it was the first run of the weekend for both competitors, with no prior testing.
It was also the quickest run of McBride’s long career, which started in the dirt on a 1975 Suzuki T500 more than 40 years ago.
“I love the nitro gods,” McBride laughed when reflecting on the record pass. “It was a clean run. The thing went a 1.95 back half, which is our best by a long a shot. That is four hundredths better than it’s ever been.”
McBride hadn’t planned to make a full pass. He said it felt too good to lift and the thrill of beating his rival to the finish line was something the competitive veteran could not avoid.
“I’m not going to let him beat me,” said a smiling McBride. “I knew it was a good run but I had no idea it would be that quick.”
Vantine says he could not have been prouder of his mentor and coach.
“For Larry to run a career best is amazing,” Vantine said. “For him to do it on his new motorcycle is something that means a lot to both of us.”
McBride was equally excited for Vantine as their teams work together and share information.
The 5.741 surpasses McBride’s previous best of 5.746, set on his former motorcycle “Blue” in 2010.
“It’s hard to put it into words how much this means,” said McBride, who nearly ended his career in a fiery explosion in 2015.
McBride attributed the performance to hard work by his team and help from sponsors and Top Fuel expert Bill Miller, who has been working with a new fuel system.
Giving fans, even more, optimism for the Oct. 6-8 race at Maryland International Raceway, McBride says the 5.74 was not a flawless run.
“We damaged the motor early. Three seconds into the run, it started hurting itself,” McBride said. “When I shut it off you could see a big puff of smoke. It took the No. 1 piston out.”
After the record-breaking 5.74, McBride capped off the weekend with the most consistently quick performance of his career with Sunday runs of 5.785, 5.782 and 5.836
“As far as I know, no one has ever run three 5.70s back-to-back-to-back,” McBride said. “It says a lot about the team and everyone involved. To do it with this new motorcycle in only the second year means so much. I’m extremely happy.”
McBride got to do it all in front of hundreds of friends and family, including primary sponsor Joe Koenig of Trim-Tex and his old pal, Paul Teutul Sr. from Orange County Choppers.
Perhaps no one was more excited than McBride’s crew chief and brother Steve. After each run, Steve celebrated with several wall climbs and fist pumps. McBride loves seeing his brother adrenalized.
“I think it’s pretty awesome. That’s part of the show,” McBride said. “Andy Sawyer from DME told me he loves it. He never knows if Steve is going to climb the wall or slam dunk his headset.”
McBride praised his other members of his crew, including Roland and Chuck Stuart for all their hard work.
“I’m happier for those guys than anyone. They work so hard,” McBride said. “A lot of guys come back the next morning and fix their motorcycle. My guys don’t go to bed until the motorcycle is fixed.”
McBride has always talked about wanting to make a run in the 5.60-zone. With his 5.74 only five-hundredths away, the possibility seems even more plausible.
“Five hundredths (of a second) is a mile, but it’s definitely possible,” McBride said. “We know that last few hundredths will not come easy, but we will give it everything we got.”
Spiderman fans hope to see the much-anticipated number flash on the Maryland International Raceway scoreboard, Oct. 6-8.
“Conditions are going to be even better,” McBride said. “We are going to make more power, but we have to control that power. Good weather always makes it easier to make the power but it’s up to us to control it.”
McBride expects it to be another fierce battle between Team McBride and Team Vantine.
“I’ll give him one thing,” McBride said with a smile. “I’ll give him the other lane.”
Adding to the excitement, McBride was called out for a special Saturday night grudge race against Trim-Tex Nitro Harley points leader Peter Geiss in a battle billed as “The Thug vs. Spiderman” and “Nitro Harley vs. Nitro Suzuki.”
“It will be a lot of fun,” McBride said. “Please come up and join us.”
Watch the record-breaking side-by-side pass by Top Fuel Legend Larry “Spiderman” McBride!