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Soul Brothers 2nd Annual Drag Race at KCIR

Written by  July 31, 2004

July 3rd and 4th brought the best drag racers in the Kansas City area and beyond to KCIR for the Soul Brothers 2nd Annual Drag Race.

The qualifying was supposed to start at 10 a.m., however, due to the morning rain things didn’t get under way until around 12:30 p.m. I arrived early enough to watch the teams do last minute tuning and computer diagnostics on their bikes. The weather was cloudy and the humidity was around 82 percent. If you have been exposed to this kind of elements before, you know this is not the ideal race conditions for drag racing.

Early on, I hooked up with Rod Mansaw of Mansaw racing. He and I go way back, and have not seen each other for more than eight years. It was almost like a reunion of Mr. B’s Performance Shop from years ago. During the qualifications, I watched Glen Nickelberry run an awesome 7.08 at 191.40 mph on his first pass. As I watched people show up at the staging lanes I knew this was going to be a weekend of fun and really fast times.

Scott Hermreck from Baldwin, Kansas was riding a 1984 Suzuki GS 1150 E that was the exact same color as the bike I had in high school back in Minneapolis. Derek Gibson of Independence, Missouri was riding a small-tire GSXR, and his first qualifying pass let everyone know he was there to win the 8.20 class. I talked with Don Plesser of Plesser Racing in Raytown, Missouri after an impressive qualifying run, and will be keeping my eye on Don in the future.

Andre Taylor of Raytown, Missouri was riding his Suzuki GSXR 1000 in the 9.90 class, and won the 9.90 class against Janie Palm of St. Louis, Missouri, who was riding her ZX9R Kawasaki. Andre Taylor also won the Best Wheelie contest and let me tell you; if there was more road, he would have kept going and going and going! Great job, Andre; keep kicking ass! During the Races, Rod Mansaw and three other racers broke their crankshafts, and Rod also broke his engine. His response was a simple “That’s the way it goes.” Rod is a true sportsman and an asset to Soul Brothers race team.

While oil and other debris were being removed from the track following a couple wrecks, KC’s Most Wanted stunt team took center stage. Johnny Seals, Grant Sunday, Mike Hysom and Gregg Sunday put on a show that was truly incredible. These guys are top notch riders and are the best showman of wheelies and endos I have ever seen! Mike Hysom and I spent his downtime talking about his team, which is under the care of Smithers Customs of Olathe, Kansas. Great job to your team, Steve Smithers!

We also had two Harley Teams join the racing fun. Rob Lewis, Mike Lewis and Morgan Lewis of Joplin, Missouri where running a Harley-Davidson V-Rod and did low 10’s. They also exhibited a great burnout bonanza; hats off to you Morgan. Rob informed me that he has special plans for his V-Rod next year, and I look forward to seeing “Project V” run in the 8 second class.

The people who didn’t make it to this event really missed out on an action packed weekend. After both days of being at the track, I am truly back in the groove and have plans to attend the Soul Brothers race on Sept 4 and 5 at Thunder Valley Raceway in Noble, Oklahoma. All of the racing this weekend was a Prostar event and was just like watching ESPN2, only better!

Below are the actual ET’s of the final times for this event. There were a lot of teams that excelled in the cars as well, and I was truly impressed with all of the nice people and the positive attitudes everyone exhibited at this event.

Quick 16 Final:
Glen Nickleberry (OK): 7.538 ET at 184.88 mph
Troy Surney: 7.736 ET at 173.98 mph

Street Quick 16:
Scott Hermreck (KS): 8.360 ET at 174.21 mph
Clint Feldhacker: ET Not Posted at 176.50

Street Bike:
Rickey Rudd (CO): 11.42 ET at 115.62 mph
Mac Mcknight (OK): 11.041 ET at 127.60 mph

8.20:
Derek Gibson (MO): 8.286 ET at 141.48 mph

8.90:
Johnny Rocker: 9.143 ET at 141.42

9.90:
Andre Taylor (MO): 9.99 ET at 125.08
Janie Palm (MO): 10.118 at 135.56

Wheelie Contest:
Andre Taylor: Winner

I want to give special thanks to all the unfortunate racers who had mechanical trouble as well. Everyone at this race was a true sportsman and definitely has a Need for Speed. Darwin “Mr. B” Barnett deserves a special hats off for putting on an incredible two-day race and I'd really like to thank his wonderful wife, Mary, who kept an eye on my son, while selling 2004 Soul Brothers race apparel. Great job to all racers and their families!

Soul Brothers Race Team is racing again on September 4 and 5 in Oklahoma. Darwin ensured me this will be another event of great magnitude, so if you’d like more information on the event, feel free to e-mail Darwin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a list of events and payouts for each race.

Story by Dave Miller

Photos by Dave Miller and Wayne Thompson