Ray, Rendeluk, Eperjesi, Eden’s Marcus Hylton Also Prevail at ‘The Rock’

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Larry “Spiderman” McBride of Newport News, Va., beat Sam Wills of Edmond, Okla., in a battle between motorcycle drag racing legends Sunday and repeat as Top Fuel champion at the Manufacturers  MTC Engineering  Nationals at Rockingham Dragway.
McBride was one of only two riders able to successfully defend his championship although there could have been more had torrential rain not ended the event prematurely with only 13 races remaining on the docket. 
When it was determined that the track surface had been compromised to the point that it would take several hours of work to make it race-ready, those remaining in competition opted to split the purse and points. 
The only other repeat winner in the featured classes was veteran Mark Rendeluk of Oklahoma City, Okla., the reigning Man Cup Champion, who again prevailed in the Pro Open category.
The second of Rockingham’s two Man Cup events, Presented by Vance Hines, attracted an international field of riders representing 19 states, Aruba, Puerto Rico and Australia. 
Among the first time winners was Michael Ray of New Braunfels, Texas, once a regular on the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle tour, who powered his way past many-time series champion Rocky Jackson of Youngsville, La., in the Pro Fuel final.  Ray was a three-time winner on the NHRA Mello Yello tour in 2012 and 2013.
Another Texan, Shane Eperjesi of Lake Dallas, used a starting line advantage to get past another legend, Paul Gast of Grand Island, N.Y., in the second round of Pro Mod racing en route to a final round victory over Brad McCoy of Cleveland, N.C.
Eperjesi’s .019 reaction time made his 4.173 second time a winner over Gast’s slightly quicker 4.146.  He then narrowly beat Lance Hines of Dublin, Ga., before cruising past McCoy in the final.
Perennial Rockingham winner Rodney Williford of Rougemount was one of those frustrated by the Sunday afternoon rain.  A multi-time winner in the old MIRock Superbike Series, Williford was set to oppose Aruba’s Terrence Angela for the Pro Street title.
Chad Otts of Olive Branch, Miss., also was victimized by the weather.  After winning Pro ET on Saturday, Otts had raced his way into one final and was in the semifinal round in another category when the rains came.
The host state’s only winners Sunday were Marcus Hylton of Eden in Real Street and Michael Thyen of Mooresville in the Grothus 460 class although Williford and Robin Procopio of Wake Forest both were in a position to win had the weather not cooperative for only an hour longer.
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Results from Sunday’s Manufacturers Cup Fall Nationals motorcycle races at Rockingham Dragway:
Qualifying – 1. Sam Wills, Edmond, Okla., 5.988, 224.36 mph; 2. Larry McBride, Newport News, Va., 6.007, 235.72 mph; 3. Dave Vantine, Hamilton, N.Y., 6.025, 230.72 mph; 4. Jim Doyle, Chicopee, Mass. 7.350, 192.85 mph.
Semifinals – Larry “Spiderman” McBride, Newport News, Va., 10.423, 72.23 mph, def. Dave Vantine, Hamilton, N.Y., foul; Sam Wills, Edmond, Okla. 6.316, 203.52 mph, def. Jim Doyle, Chicopee, Mass., 7.588, 180.94 mph.
FINAL – Larry “Spiderman” McBride, Newport News, Va., 6.201, 228.42 mph, def. Sam Wills, Edmond, Okla., 8.120, 144.94 mph.
Round 1 – Janette Thornley, Statesville N.C., 7.423, 172.19 mph, def. Preston Bartcett, St. Augustine, Fla., no time; Tyler Wilson, Walnut Cove, N.C., 19.186, 67.17 mph, def. Cliff Holley, Sun City Center, Fla., no time; Rocky Jackson, Youngsville, La., 7.392, 169.02 mph, def. Jordan Cruz, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 7.601, 167.99 mph; Michael Ray, New Braunfels, Texas, bye.
Semifinals – Jackson, 7.355, 168.32 mph, def. Thornley, 7.343, 163.67 mph; Ray, 7.346, 155.27 mph, def. Wilson, 7.549, 170.54 mph.
FINAL – Michael Ray, New Braunfels, Texas, 7.182, 168.43 mph, def. Rocky Jackson, Youngsville La., 7.425, 167.80 mph.
Round 2 – Lance Hines, Dublin, Ga., 4.182, 171.73 mph, def. Brunnson Grothus, Bettendorf, Iowa, 4.549, 141.42 mph; Shane Eperjesi, Lake Dallas, Texas, 4.173, 170.19 mph, def. Paul Gast, Grand Island, N.Y., 4.146, 175.27 mph; Travis Davis, Douglas, Ga., 4.131, 174.21 mph, def. Frank Christian, Elkridge, Md., 4.345, 160.52 mph; Brad McCoy, Cleveland, N.C., 4.142, 173.14 mph, def. Matt Prophit, Indian Lake, Fla., 4.097, 175.52 mph. 
Semifinals – Eperjesi, 4.172, 170.41 mph, def. Hines 4.187, 169.51 mph; McCoy, 6.856, 65.96 mph, def. Davis, foul.  
FINAL – Shane Eperjesi, Lake Dallas, Texas, 4.213, 168.91 mph, def. Brad McCoy, Cleveland, N.C., 6.578, 69.00 mph.
Round 2 – Terrence Angela, Aruba, 7.862, 198.61 mph, def. Jordan Haase, Irwin, Pa., 8.001, 174.01 mph; Rodney Williford, Rougemount, N.C., 6.852, 213.60 mph, def. Brandon Mitcham, Selma, Texas, 8.051, 153.65 mph; Joey Gladstone, Lewes, Del., bye.
Semifinals – Angela, 6.814, 213.16 mph, def. Gladstone, 6.922, 211.00 mph; Williford, bye.
FINAL – Race canceled due to rain.
Round 1 -- Jason Herron, West Columbia, S.C., 8.096, 177.81 mph, def. David “Super Dave” Stewart, Mooresville, N.C., no time; Marcus Hylton, Eden, N.C., 16.683, 61.25 mph, def. Anibal Merced, Harrisburg, N.C., no time; Luis Hornedo, Orlando, Fla., 18.787, 47.62 mph, def. Joey Gladstone, Lewes, Del., foul.
Semifinals – Hylton, 8.074, 165.99 mph, def. Herron, 8.154, 181.37 mph; Hornedo, bye.
FINAL – Marcus Hylton, Eden, N.C., 8.034, 166.46 mph, def. Luis Hornedo, Orlando, Fla., 8.068, 184.07 mph.
Round 1 – Niki Zaki, New South Wales, Australia, 6.831, 188.33 mph, def. Kevin Clarke, Virginia Beach, Va., 7.583, 169.53 mph; Tommy Saxon, Bogart, Ga., 6.749, 191.16 mph, def. George Whitaker, Glen Burnie, Md., 6.786, 191.32 mph; Marc Inguersen, Sandusky, Ohio, 7.245, 183.54 mph, def. Keith Brown, Semora, N.C., 10.761, 76.72 mph; Mark Rendeluk, Oklahoma City, Okla., bye.
Semifinals – Saxon, 6.873, 174.77 mph, def. Zaki, 6.821, 190.06 mph; Rendeluk, 6.717, 194.24 mph, def. Inguersen, no time.
FINAL – Mark Rendeluk, Oklahoma City, Okla., 6.771, 189.60 mph, def. Tommy Saxon, Bogart, Ga., no time.
TOP GAS (8.200 target)
Round 3 – Ricardo Marte, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 8.323, 149.95 mph, def. Brian Bolton, Fulton, Ky., 8.466, 151.43 mph; Chad Otts, Olive Branch, Miss., 8.243, 158.80 mph, def. Ron Morris, Springfield, Tenn., .8.255, 153.81 mph; Matt Smith, Cordova, Tenn., bye.
Semifinals – Otts, 8.233, 161.30 mph, def. Smith, no time; Marte, bye.
FINAL – Race canceled due to rain.
CRAZY 8s (.888 target)
Round 3 – Danny Miller, Elizabethtown, Ky. 8.950, 132.62 mph, def. Eric Griffith, Riner, Va., 9.002, 145.06 mph; Wade Smith, Dudley, Ga., 8.761, 150.43 mph, def. Barry Pryer Sr., Chesapeake, Va., foul; Bob Carlson, Torrington, Conn., bye.
Semifinals – Race canceled due to rain.
SUPER COMP (8.90 target)
Round 3 – Chad Otts, Olive Branch, Miss., 9.009, 141.22 mph, def. Charlie Bishop, Fairhope, Ala., 8.994, 138.26 mph; John Markham, Bowling Green, Ky., 8.896, 143.43 mph, def. Spencer Claycomb, Rockford, Tenn., 8.862 breakout 144.06 mph; Dusty Brazel, Norman Park, Ga., 8.968, 139.72 mph, def. Harvey Hubbard, Sedley, Va., 8.994, 143.80 mph; Matt Smith, Cordova, Tenn., bye.
Semifinals – Race canceled due to rain.
SUNDAY V-TWIN – Clint Riley, Greenveille, Fla., .197, 10.921 on a 10.840, 114.13 mph, def. Eric Knowles, Wilmington, N.C., .150, 12.581 on a 12.430, 108.46 mph.
SATURDAY V-TWIN – Vance Houdyshell, Vero Beach, Fla., .061 reaction time, 10.445 on a 10.300, 125.15 mph, def. Manny Carrasquillo, Clearwater, Fla., .029, 10.117 on a 9.900, 131.41 mph.
GROTHUS 460 (4.60 target) – Michael Thyen, Mooresville, N.C., 5.992, 100.17 mph, def. George Babor, Brooksville, Fla., foul.
STREET FIGHTER – Wade Smith, Dublin, Ga., versus Dustin Lee, Morristown, Tenn., canceled due to rain.
SUNDAY PRO ET – Robin Procopio, Wake Forest, N.C., versus Ricardo Mante, San Juan, Puerto Rico, race canceled due to rain.
SATURDAY PRO ET – Chad Otts, Olive Branch, Miss., 027, 8.185 on an 8.200, 161.04 mph, def. Calvin Mason, Mobile, Ala., foul.
SUNDAY STREET ET – Thomas Lagasse, Sarasota, Fla., Eric Griffith, Riner, Va., and Stanley Russell, Stanley, Ga., still in when competition was canceled due to rain.
SATURDAY STREET ET – Eric Griffith, Riner, Va., .067, 9.054 on an 8.900, 149.68 mph, def. Roy Johnson, Keystone Heights, Fla., foul.