Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Soul Brothers 3rd Annual Drag Race - Noble, Oklahoma

Written by  September 30, 2005

Driving down to Noble, Oklahoma, I had several thoughts of who might be the reigning champion of Thunder Valley Raceway. It was a very humid Saturday, and this was qualifying day.

I have seen so many faces of those who have raced at KCIR Speedway in Kansas City. The one thing that remains true for all of them is the racers are very loyal to this sport, and although gasoline prices fluctuate it seems daily, the miles between races never hinder the loyal racing community. Thunder Valley Raceway is only 388 miles from Kansas City, Missouri. It is just south on I-35. The race track is located in Noble, just south of Oklahoma City. When I arrived at the track I was welcomed by my friend Darwin Barnett. He was planted at the ticket booth, and after signing the waiver form, I rolled up to the mighty motor home and was greeted by Darwin’s wife Mary who was at her post selling Soul Brothers race shirts. I did not waste any time getting set up to shoot the qualifying passes, and I went straight to work on snapping photos.

During the qualifying passes #1 qualifier Billy Schonfield showed his true colors on his black and red Kawasaki funny bike, while track-favored Glen Nickel Berry ran a blistering 7 second pass at 189 mph. I was also taken aback by my friends from Kansas City, Carl Criswell and Andre Taylor, who remained consistent in the Pro ET class. I also was glad to see Jay Doleshal make it on his Turbo Katana, launching from the light with style and grace.

Roderick Mansaw was on site and was having electrical issues with his nitrous controller. Later that evening, builder Tommy Bolton gave me the lowdown on the shop that he has in Oklahoma City. I was impressed by the bikes he had in his shop! He truly does beautiful work and the bikes he builds for his customers far exceed anything that I have been exposed to before. Blade, his right hand man and friend, took me out to show me what Oklahome City has to offer for nightlife and insisted that I stay with him and his family. I am grateful to have such friends who truly appreciate what we at Cycle Connections provide for our readers.

During eliminations on Sunday I experienced another humid day of 90+ degree temperatures and 90 percent humidity. Track time started at 12:30 p.m., and all of the racers were eager to come out and kick some serious ass! Knowing that track-favored Nickel Berry was running 7 second times in qualifying, things looked pretty much in his favor to win the funny bike class. But mechanicals plagued him as well as Rod Mansaw.
I knew that these titans would most surely meet again to duel another day. During the eliminations, tables were turned and the #1 qualifiers from Saturday quickly shifted into a completely different direction.

Jay Doleshal of Kansas City, Kansas won the Pro Street class by staying consistent at 8.42 ET at 167 mph. You street guys watch out--this Katana is all Buss, and don’t knock the 80s style bikes because I am sure Jay would race you for pink slips.

Derek Gibson of Independence, Missouri was on site on Saturday and ran true during top gas eliminations staying consistent a running 8.211 ET at 166 mph. I told Derek I am just going to keep changing the date of the photos because he is so consistent. Kirk Reeves of Waxahachie, Texas, ran down Kevin Krott of Waxahachie, Texas with a win in Super Comp of 8.86 ET at 149.25 mph

Super gas winner Charlie Gaither of Ardmore, Oklahoma on his 87 GSXR was proving that old school is still fast by running a 9.90 ET at 128 mph.

Pro ET winner Jimmy Lane of Joplin, Missouri and his 2000 Kawasaki ZRX stayed true by running a 10.54 ET at 117 mph.

Street ET winner Toney Freeman took the flag with 9.98 ET at 129 mph; he also by far had the best wheelies just about every pass he made.

ATV winner riding Quadzilla Mark Gruber from Sarcoxie, Missouri was faster in qualifying but truly dazzled me in eliminations running 11.7 ET at 101 mph. I met Mark and his wife and had a great conversation about his love for this. Keep up the good work because I would not to ride Quadzilla-- guess I am a big chicken. Mark handles this monster with ease and just plain enjoys riding it.

This was another successful race that Darwin Barnett has put on, and I want to personally thank Blade, Renoda and Raymond for putting up with me at their home. You are welcome to stay with us anytime when you are in Kansas City.

Tommy Bolton’s shop in Oklahome City is set up for anything you might need to upgrade your bike, from chroming to nitrous hop-ups. You can contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Special thanks to Paul at IPAS Photo Supply for giving me advanced training on the fine Nikon Camera equipment that I was equipped with to cover this event. Please e-mail or call him for any photography needs at www.reflectionsbypaul.com.

I want to thank all of the staff at Thunder Valley Raceway for giving me a warm welcome and for truly reading the articles we provide to our readers. I have made some great relationships with the racing community, and if your photos are not listed on this article feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I can make arrangements to get them to you!

Story & photos by Dave Miller