Gainesvile - A Bigger, Meaner "Redneck"

A Bigger, Meaner "Redneck" By Garry Parrish - courtesy DRAGBIKE.COM The one hundred thousand-plus fans that flock to this weekend's NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida will get their first look at a "new" old favorite. Chris ...

A Bigger, Meaner "Redneck" By Garry Parrish - courtesy DRAGBIKE.COM

The one hundred thousand-plus fans that flock to this weekend's NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida will get their first look at a "new" old favorite. Chris Hand's enormously popular "Redneck Express" Top Fuel Motorcycle was treated to considerable chassis improvements over the off-season, courtesy of Atlanta Race Specialties in Ball Ground, Georgia.

Gone is the big twelve-inch wide rear racing slick. In its place resides a giant 14x31 Goodyear tire, which has become a necessity for transmitting the nitro methane-gulping bike's 1000+ horsepower to the track. The chassis was stretched four inches longer and four inches wider at the rear to accommodate the huge tire. Hand's crew thrashed around the clock to finalize these improvements in the days leading up to the PROSTAR motorcycle drag racing association's season-opening event, March 3-5.

Despite arriving at the track after the completion of Friday qualifying, Hand was able to jump into the show during Saturday's final session on a safe checkout pass. "Safe", of course, is a relative term in the arena of Top Fuel Motorcycle drag racing, where low six-second runs at speeds in excess of 230 MPH provide pure excitement. Still pursuing the ideal clutch set-up for the new combination on Sunday, Hand fought his way to the finals where he was bested by frequent final-round foe Larry "Spiderman" McBride's 6.16 sec. / 225.73 MPH blast.

Armed with a fresh tire and a weekend's worth of new data, Chris will be looking to avenge that final round defeat this weekend in Gainesville. Close by his side will be the volunteer, yet extremely capable crew consisting of: wife Sharon Hand, Jackie Trett, Steve Rominski, Andy Wall and Britt Lynn.

Hand is proud to have the support of his sponsors: Trett Speed & Custom, Advanced Race Technologies, Red Line Oil, WebCam, Performance Machine, JE Pistons, Ferrea Valves, APE, VP Race Fuels, Fram/Autolite, Mallory Ignitions, Racing Innovations, Belt Drives LTD., Airborne Coatings, and Complete Auto Body.

2000 will be Hand's fourth season running the full NHRA Top Fuel Motorcycle exhibition schedule. This exhibition class is a huge hit not only with the fans, but with other professional competitors as well. Such a hit in fact, that the aforementioned "Spiderman's" 5.99 sec. pass in Houston, the first ever sub-six second run on two wheels, was recognized as "The Run of the Year" last year for ALL professional classes.

That was last year. This year there's a bigger, meaner "Redneck" on the track. And he doesn't like spiders.

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