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The Midwest’s largest motorcycle drag racing series swelled even bigger this past weekend with the NHDRO Summer Celebration and Big Money ET Throwdown at Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR) in Brownsburg, Ind., on August 5-7. With $5,000 to win in Pro ET and $3,000 to win in Street ET (and bigger purses down the ladder), it was no wonder that racers from all over the country rushed to be a part of this lucrative motorcycle bracket race and NHDRO’s biggest ever stand-alone event.
After Brian and Niki Welch ponied up the 5 and 3K initially, members of the NHDRO family jumped in to add their own support. For Pro ET, Scott Kauffman’s G&G Metal Spinners put up a whopping $1450. MPS Racing, Grothus Dragbikes, and Jeff Jones’ Fast Time Motorsports each offered $250. Oink Johnson and Shellhaas Family Racing put in $200, while Mike Belo’s 1StopSpeed, Ray Mancini’s Xtreme Motorsports, Joe Deck Racing, Ricky Scott Jr., Brett Stoner, and Michael Mathews all chipped in $100.
Street ET saw similar support. Kevin Dennis Insurance, 8 Below Racing and MSP added $250. 1StopSpeed, John Drake’s No Fear Racing, and racer Ron Arnold chipped in $100 each.
It wasn’t just cash up for grabs. Starting with Rudy Sanzottera’s Quicktime Motorsports’ offer of a free Shinko tire to winners and runner-ups in both classes, other vendors jumped in to pile on swag. Bill DeShong’s Port Tech pitched in a VP Fuel container and $50 fuel voucher, M.C.Z Moto a pair of gloves for the winner, runner-up and semifinalists, and Stock Motor Mafia added swag bags and shirts.
NHDRO paid out the entire pot, including bye spots on the ladder. Making it to the last eight pairs of the 100-bike field paid $90, and among those remaining were luminaries of the sport. Dragbike.com BAMF Dustin “Biscuits” Lee, former NHRA Pro Stock regular (and current LOR track champion) Wesley Wells, Ricky Scott Jr., Dustin Burchett, Bob Nugent, “The Chads” Isley and Otts, and two -- count ‘em, two -- entries with John “Spooky” Markham in the saddle.
Both of Markham’s bikes made it to the quarterfinals, where he withdrew one to concentrate on his trusty blue Super Comp bike and the resulting bye to the semis. Otts had a scheduled bye, while Lee had to beat Scott to advance, the only no-bar bike to do so.