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McBride Victorious in Atco

Top Fuel motorcycle legend Larry "Spiderman" McBride amassed his fourth victory of the season at the AMA Dragbike U.S. Nationals from Atco, NJ, Sept. 12-13. The coveted event win puts McBride well on track to win an unprecedented tenth championship.

"It's been another great season," McBride said. "It's still hard for me to believe we are on our way to a tenth No. 1 plate. I look at a guy like Rickey Gadson (Team Kawasaki rider and AMA Dragbike veteran) and I have a lot of respect for everything he has done in this sport. He's got seven championships. I'm honored to be a few ahead of him."

McBride's weekend in South Jersey got off to a slow start. On-and-off rain showers forced the cancellation of the Friday and Saturday qualifying sessions. Fortunately the nine-time champ was able to find a way to pass the time.

"We ate a lot of chocolate cake," laughed McBride. "My crew and I got there on Thursday so we were starting to get bored watching the rain come down."

McBride couldn't have been happier when he woke up to sunshine on Sunday morning. Team Spiderman opted to experiment with a new tuning combination and took the pole during McBride's one and only qualifying run with a 6.29.

"We dropped a couple cylinders and got out of the groove and it still went 6.29," McBride said. "The motorcycle shows a lot of power. We've got a new bike coming out next year so we wanted to try a few new things."

The 6.29 on two cylinders was a clear sign of the times. Much has changed since 1991 when McBride ran a near-perfect pass against his mentor Elmer Trett to set the national elapsed-time record at 6.49.

"It's come a long way. The parts are a lot better," McBride said. "Having Vance and Hines behind me is a huge help. Byron (Hines) helps me out a ton."

For the final round McBride went back to his proven combination in hopes of picking up the event victory against Harley rider Bob Malloy. McBride turned on the win light with a strong 6.02 at 218 mph. However the Spiderman revealed the run was not without some costly issues.

Photo by Matt Polito,

"We had a problem with the high-speed lean-out. It's what we use to take fuel away at the top end," McBride said. "We wanted to take fuel out of it at four seconds into the run, but the censor didn't work and we got too rich and dropped a hole. It ended up hurting a motor but thankfully we still got the win."

McBride had impressive eighth mile numbers on the pass with a 3.90 at 195 mph. Spiderman indicated the team was headed for a pass in the 5.90 range if all went according to plan.

McBride's next opportunity to test his machine's limits will come at the AMA Dragbike Fall Nationals from Norwalk, Ohio, Oct. 11-12.

"We are going back to our old reliable combination," McBride said. "Norwalk is a great facility and a very fast track. We'll see if we can't lower this national record (5.793) before the season is over."

The team thanked; Pingel Enterprise, Trim-Tex Drywall Products, Drag Specialties-Parts Unlimited, Red Line Synthetic Oil Corporation, K&N Air Filters and Web-Cam as well as his other sponsors.

Vance & Hines Motorsports, PR Factory Store, Muzzys Performance, Ferrea Valves, Kibblewhite, Precision Machine, World Wide Bearings, Vanson Leathers, Performance Machine, Belt Drives Ltd, Street & Competition, Simpson Race Products, Nitrous Express, APE, EK Chain, Arias Pistons, R/D Spring Corp, Autolite, MSD, Protect ALL, Whipple Industries, Cometic Gaskets, B&J Transmission, Carolina Cycle, L.A. Sleeve, PJ1, Mickey Thompson Tires, Valco, Goodridge, Carlisle Belts and Gates Belts.


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