PAUL GAST STILL CHASING
MAN CUP TITLES AT AGE 72
New York Rider
Bidding for Third Straight Pro Mod Bike Win at Rockingham
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – At an age at which most of his contemporaries are
content to ride nothing more exotic than a lawn mower, 72-year-old Paul
Gast will straddle a 170 mile-an-hour Suzuki this weekend (Sept. 24-26) at
Rockingham Dragway and resume his pursuit of a third consecutive Pro Mod
Championship in the ManCup Motorcycle Drag Racing Series presented by
Vance and Hines.
Gast, whose “Fast by Gast” brand is one of two-wheel racing’s most iconic,
is heavily favored in the 40th renewal of the 190hookup.com Nationals in
which he has hoisted the trophy the last two years.
The Grand Island, N.Y., rider, who began racing motorcycles in 1964, was
unbeaten in ManCup events in 2019, a year in which he also won the Pro
Nitrous Motorcycle title at the PDRA race at Darlington Dragway in which
he lowered the world record to 3.949 seconds at 179.34 mph. He repeated as
champion a year ago and currently leads Connell Smith of Ashburn, Ga.,
rider of the world’s fastest nitro Kawasaki, by a whopping 129 points.
The two-day event will crown champions in 13 classes including Pro Street,
Pro Open, Pro Mod, Top Gas and Ultra 4.60. Pro ET and Street ET will be
contested both days. There will be Saturday qualifying for the previously
mentioned categories along with Real Street, Street Fighter, Super Comp
Defending series champion G.T. Tonglet of Metairie, La., who was the
original developmental rider for the Vance and Hines Screamin’ Eagle Pro
Stock program, will try to chase down current leaders Herman Myers of
Orlando, Fla., and Sydney Marshall of Altamonte Spring, Fla., in Pro
Former series champ Rob Giard of Ware, Mass., is favored in a Pro Open
class in which Cleveland, Ohio pro Perry Paugh and a couple of Alabamians,
second generation standout and former PDRA event winner Chris Garner-Jones
of Harvest and Larry Hayes of Dothan are expected to challenge.
In Ultra 4.60, Charlotte’s Curtis Griggs Jr. and last year’s Rockingham
runner-up, Ronnie Procopio of Wake Forest, will try to track down current
point leader John Schwartz of West Seneca, N.Y.
Also expected to return is last year’s biggest winner, Pablo Gonzalez of
Carolina, Puerto Rico, who not only won both the Saturday and Sunday Pro
ET titles but also got the cash in Street Fighter.
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Current ManCup presented by Vance & Hines point
standings. Hometowns are North Carolina unless otherwise indicated:
PRO OPEN – 1. Rob Giard, Ware, Mass., 198; 2. Perry Paugh, Cleveland,
Ohio, 155; 3. Chris Garner-Jones, Harvest, Ala., 109; 4. Larry Hayes,
Dothan, Ala., 102.
PRO MOD – 1. Paul Gast, Grand Island, N.Y., 317; 2. Connell Smith,
Ashburn, Ga., 188; 3. Jeff House, Keller, Texas, 170; 4. Tyron Lemons,
Atlanta, Ga., 167.
PRO STREET – 1. Herman Myers, Orlando, Fla., 173; 2. Sydney Marshall,
Alamonte Springs, Fla., 110; 3. Ramon Collins, Liberty Hill, Texas, 78; 4.
G.T. Tonglet, Metairie, La., 57.
ULTRA 4.60 – 1. John Schwartz, West Seneca, N.Y., 260; 2. Curtis Griggs
Jr., Charlotte, 166; 3. Joey Brandgard, Norwalk, Ohio, 163; 4. Jeff House,
Keller, Texas 130.
THE ROCK TO HOST NATIONAL
NMRA/NMCA EVENT IN 2022
All-Star Nationals Features Xtreme Pro Modified, Street Car Drag Racing, &
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Rockingham Dragway has been confirmed as the newest
host of the elite NMRA Muscle Car Nationals and Holley NMRA Ford Nationals
championship street car and drag racing series, crowning champions in
Xtreme Pro Modified, Street Outlaw, Factory Super Cars, Renegade/Xtreme
Street, Coyote Stock, Chevrolet Performance Stock, Factory Stock, N/A 10.5
and Nitrous Pro Street classes, among others.
The NMRA/NMCA All-Start Nationals, featuring drag racing, a Manufacturers’
Midway, and massive, two-day American-built car and truck show, will debut
April 22-24, 2022 as one of three events in the joint NMRA/NMCA series
which also includes stops at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison,
Illinois (just outside of St. Louis) and US131 Motorsports Park in Martin,
“Becoming a part of this prestigious series has been on our bucket list
for quite some time,” said Rockingham owner Steve Earwood. “We’ve had many
inquiries from racers and fans about the possibility of bringing an NMRA/NMCA
event to the Carolinas and we’re excited to finally make it happen.”
The All-Star Nationals will bring even more distinction to a schedule
already considered among the most diverse in the country.
“You have to cater to the customer,” Earwood said. “Some folks would say
that’s ‘old school’ but, trust me, it still applies. If you look at the
events we were producing when we first bought the track, they’re entirely
different from the races on our current schedule, but that’s what make’s
this business so interesting and so competitive.”
Rollie Miller, National Event Director and General Manager of the NMRA/NMCA
championship racing series shared, “Rockingham Dragway has a long, storied
history in drag racing and we are honored to bring our series to this
legendary facility. The region offers so much to our segment of drag
racing and we are excited to create a new home in Rockingham.”
Significantly, the series brings professional Pro Mod racing back to The
Rock for the first time in several years and Roxboro’s Chip King is
expected to be one of the prime contenders in an All-Star field.
“We have a history with Pro Mods at The Rock,” Earwood said, “going back
to the days of the original ADRL. The most questions I get from casual
fans are ‘when will John Force be back’ and ‘when are we going to run Pro
Mods’? Well, Force may not be back next year but now we can say that Pro
Mods will run in April.”
The drag racing portion of the event, which also includes a Stock/Super
Stock combo class as well as Open Comp, Super Stang, Modular Muscle,
Nostalgia Super Stock, Street King, Nostalgia Muscle, Rumble, Truck &
Lightning, Dodge/Mopar Hemi Shootout, Bracket Open and True Street
classes, share billing with an all-American car show.
Not only will judges identify winners in 22 GM, 22 Ford and six Chrysler
classes, there also will be awards for Best GM Muscle Car, Best Ford
Muscle Car, Best Chrysler Muscle Car, Best Late Model, Best Street Rod,
Best Traditional Hot Rod, Best Truck, Best Race Car plus Best Engine, Best
Interior, Best Paint and Body and, of course, Best of Show.
According to Earwood, there will be an announcement on ticket pricing and
availability in the near future.
DOUBLEHEADER WEEKEND AT ROCKINGHAM DRAGWAY
Oil Series Titles on the Line October 23, Final NHRA National
Open on 24th
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – The schedule for racers to double up on the
participation points used by the NHRA to determine eligibility
for future national events was released this week.
The Weekend Double, October 21-24, again is expected to lure
some of the nation’s most prominent sportsman racers to
Rockingham Dragway for the doubleheader featuring the season’s
final Lucas Oil Series divisional event and the year’s last
NHRA National Open.
One day of open testing and two days of racing on The Rock’s
quarter mile course for championships in eight Lucas Series
categories will be followed on Sunday by an NHRA National Open
contested on the eighth mile. Both races award series points
along with the valuable grading points the NHRA will use to
determine who will and won’t be eligible to file entries for
specific events next year in the Camping World national
The Lucas Oil Series event will crown champions in Super
Street, Super Gas, Super Comp, Stock, Super Stock, Top
Sportsman, Top Dragster and Competition Eliminator. Sunday’s
National Open will award trophies in the same categories with
the exception of Competition Eliminator.
Thursday’s test-and-tune on October 21 will be followed by a
full day of qualifying the following day featuring sessions in
Competition Eliminator, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman at
11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Time trials for Jr. Dragster
League racers will kick off the Saturday program at 9 a.m.
followed at 9:30 but the start of eliminations in Super
Street, Stock, Super Stock, Super Gas and Super Comp. First
rounds in Top Dragster, Top Sportsman and Competition will
begin at 11:30 a.m.
National Open qualifying will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday with
eliminations starting at 11:30.
VIEW NHRA WEEKEND RUN ORDER SCHEDULE