ROCKINGHAM — Every now and then, age and experience will trump youthful enthusiasm in sports.
That was the case Sunday at Rockingham Dragway, where 62-year-old Chris Hand of Nauvoo, Alabama upset reigning series champion Larry “Spiderman” McBride — riding his Redneck Racing Harley to a Top Fuel victory in the D.M.E. Nationals ManCup Motorcycle Series.
Hand, who has been on Top Fuel bikes for three decades, crossed the finish line at 186 mph — a drop from the 225 mile-per-hour speed that was recorded in the qualifying round — to beat Korry Hogan of Golden, Colorado in the finals. That was all he needed after his younger rival had problems.
As for Hogan, he took out No. 1 qualifier Dave Vantine of Hamilton, New York in the other semifinal.
While Hand was taking care of business in the featured category, three riders managed to double-up in the two-day event — including former MIRock Series regulars Joey Gladstone of Lewes, Delaware and Bob Carlson of Torrington, Connecticut. Gladstone won the Saturday Street ET race before scoring Sunday in Real Street. Carlson won in Street Fighter and Crazy 8s.
The third double-up winner was John Markham of Bowling Green, Kentucky, who was the Pro ET winner on Saturday before winning Super Comp on Sunday.
Among the others celebrating in the winners’ circle were Grothus 460 winner Ronald Procopio of Wake Forest, Top Gas champ Boo Brown of Potomac Falls, Virginia, Pro Street titlist Mark Paquette of Howell, Michigan and Pro Fuel king Johnny Vickers of Millers Creek.
The Pro Open final was especially unique, seeing that it included female Australian racer Nikki Zak who fell to reigning ManCup series champ Mark Rendeluk of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.