AMA

Kawasaki Takes Its Pick at Route 66

Gadson Continues to Dominate Pro Superbike and Runs Away with Street ET JOLIET, IL., JULY 10-11 -- It was a classic race weekend at round five of the national AMA/Prostar Drag Race series, held at beautiful Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois,...

Gadson Continues to Dominate Pro Superbike and Runs Away with Street ET

JOLIET, IL., JULY 10-11 -- It was a classic race weekend at round five of the national AMA/Prostar Drag Race series, held at beautiful Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois, July 10-11. Rain delayed the schedule on Friday morning and a fiercely gusting wind forced Prostar officials to halt qualifying late Saturday afternoon, but perfect weather conditions greeted over 500 competitors on Sunday.

Two-time defending Champion and Team Kawasaki Drag Racing rider Rickey Gadson continued to dominate the Pro Superbike class on his NINJA® ZX-7R, qualifying in first position and then taking the final with an elapsed time (E.T.) of 8.49. Gadson also took top honors in the Street ET class after qualifying third.

600 SuperSport competition sizzles

In the popular 600 SuperSport class, all three Kawasaki Team Green™ Drag Racing riders and Rickey Gadson qualified in the top ten, with Chip Ellis taking the number one qualifying spot. Team Green’s Chris Williams went out in the second round while teammate Marty Ladwig advanced to round three but was outrun by reigning champ Keith Dennis. Gadson went up against Dennis in the in the semi-finals, but a missed second gear on Gadson’s run sent Dennis to face teammate Ellis for the final round. Although he was the top qualifier, ran the lowest E.T. and posted top speed in the 600 SS class, Ellis had to settle for runner-up when Keith Dennis used a hole shot to get past him for the win in the final round. (Note: Prostar later announced that Dennis was disqualified for technical violations and would not receive any points or prizes from this event.)

Funnybike

Team Kawasaki Drag Racing rider Steve Rice, who set a national top-speed record in 1998 for Funnybike with a 210.11 mph pass and also earned the 1998 Funnybike Championship for the AMA/Prostar West Coast series, qualified sixth and advanced to round two before bowing out to Keith Lynn. Rice extended his stay in Joliet to take advantage of the excellent track facilities for intense testing and practice on the Monday following the event.

Bruce Sauer, 1998 Sportsman Rider of the Year, took out the Super Comp field on his Star Racing-backed 1997 KZ900 power plant, making it his fifth national win in three consecutive rounds of AMA/Prostar drag racing. He had twin victories in Super Comp and Super Gas in round three in Columbus, Ohio and round four in Rockingham, North Carolina.

Sauer, part of the growing family of Kawasaki factory-supported riders, showed off his hot new red and white NINJA® ZX-11 engine-based Razor bike, built under the banner of Team Trac Dynamics/ Kawasaki. Sauer is confident that he will make his competitive debut in the Super Gas class on the Razor ZX-11 -- one of only a handful in the world -- at round six of the AMA/Prostar Drag Race series in Indianapolis, August 14-15, 1999.

Other race-related highlights

All five Team Kawasaki and Kawasaki Team Green™ Drag Racing riders participated in a dealer open house Friday night at Willy World in Joliet, and then made an autograph signing appearance at a live radio-broadcast fund raiser for the Wish Upon A Star foundation. Rickey Gadson entertained the crowd on Sunday his riding prowess: first on a NINJA® ZX-9R, and then on a tiny "pocket rocket" motorcycle, demonstrating how truly versatile the championship-winning racer really is.

Other Kawasaki’s promotional activities included giveaways of a leather jacket signed by Steve Rice, a helmet signed by Rickey Gadson, and tickets for a limousine chauffeured ride to a local concert by rock legend Ted Nugent.

Coming up: Kawasaki will host legendary hot rod artist Big Daddy™ Ed Roth, originator of the famous Rat Fink™ character at round six of the national AMA/Prostar Drag Race series in Indianapolis, August 14-15, 1999. Roth will be on hand to sign t-shirts imprinted with two new Roth designs – his first ever to be created for the sport of motorcycle drag racing.

courtesy DRAGBIKE.COM

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About this article
Series AMA , Drag
Drivers Keith Lynn , Keith Dennis , Chip Ellis , Chris Williams
Teams Williams