Bajan Cyclist Blazes Track in US
KELVIN “BIRD” DANIEL set a career-best time for the quarter mile and notched up five wins at the recently-held East Coast Nationals at the Maryland International Raceway, Washington DC.
“It was a blazing 8.806 seconds for the 1/4 mile at a speed of 154 mph, which is a career record and I notched up some personal bests, such as a .008 reaction time and a 1.391 seconds timing for the 60-foot dash,” Daniel said.
Competition was decided over 12 starts in the Street ET and Crazy 8 classes, and the Barbadian recorded five wins before being eliminated in the Crazy 8 competition.
He rode a well-prepared 2015 Kawasaki ZX14R, which was lowered, stretched and fully prepped for drag racing. It was also equipped with Kawasaki’s traction control system with a “thumb air-assisted shifting system” for gear-changing.
Top drag bike racers
The East Coast event is one of many on the international Drag Bike League’s calendar, which attracts the top drag bike racers from around the world contesting Top Fuel, Pro Street, Crazy 8s, Grudge, Street ET and Pro ET classes.
The invitation for Daniel to contest the prestigious event came from Richard Gadson, the ten-time World Drag Racing champion, who got him to join his Team62 at the event.
“It is undoubtedly one of the best raceways in the world, fully prepared with a track-bite surface, water box burnout areas, return pit lane and over a half mile of deceleration run-off,” Daniel said.
But he was quick to point out that it was not all easy going as he had to battle with temperatures in the 90s, which made racing in a full leather suit exhausting.
However, Daniel said it was an honour to compete alongside the fastest riders in the world, including Gadson, Joey Gladstone and Larry McBribe.
“There were countless words of encouragement coming from the guys and it was a personal joy to return to the trailer and be hi-fived by a champion, such as Gadson, after he witnessed one of my runs. The racing atmosphere was ecstatic, the entire team spirit high and very motivational,” Daniel said.
Apart from thanking God for good health and strength, he had high praise for his sponsors, Automotive Art, Demario’s Cycles, Keep InTouch Inc., Wow Displays and OP’s Garage for their continued support and making his presence at the event a reality.