Written By: Connie Egan
Fans and racers would both agree if your looking for some great East Coast motorcycle drag racing action then look no further than the MIRock series. Fans have plenty to enjoy throughout the weekend with eight different classes of nonstop motorcycle action, bikini contest, and of course walking the pits checking out all the different hot bikes and meeting the racers. MIRock has grown to become a very popular series with both racers and fans and it was the growing popularity of Sport Bikes that launched the idea of this Super Bike series.
In the nineties Sport Bikes were on a rise. Factory performance & horsepower was increasing, making these bikes way to fast to continue racing them safely on the streets. Riders were getting arrested and even worse injured or killed.
During this same time racers were bolting on turbos and increasing the horsepower even further of their naturally aspirated bikes, kicking the performance to the next level in their quest to build the worlds fastest Sport Bikes.
In 1996 President of Rockingham Dragway Steve Earwood was approached by some riders who asked to rent the track on occasion to hold their own events. With some thinking on the subject and encouragement from Flying Phill Davis, Earwood decided to host a couple of those events, even Dave Schnitz got involved, coming on as a sponsor and is still involved to this day.
Recently, I asked Steve Earwood if he could provide us with some insight on how it all evolved into the MIRock series.
“Royce Miller up at MIR was hosting bike events as well about the same time. Royce and Linda and their two sons, Jason and Chris, would annually attend IHRA national meetings and we struck up a friendship and mutual admiration for our race programs. We hammered out an arrangement during one of these weekends and agreed to pool our efforts and to institute a points series and parallel our rules. Jason was a rider at this time and he became instrumental in establishing our classes and rules, along with Phill. The rest, as they say, is history,” said Earwood.
A motorcycle drag racing series was born in 2003, the idea of the MIRock series was to have a competitive East coast series that would get national exposure with large purse sizes and contingency money.
Jason Miller who is the event director of Maryland International Raceway plays a huge role in keeping the series running at its best, and stays humble when talking about the success the series has had.
“There are many series in the country right now, and each of them are in different markets. It is hard to compare each series to another, and it’s not a contest of who is better like many think. We are just blessed that we have such a huge population of motorcycle drag racers right here on the East Coast and our events are really thriving right now. Our racers are passionate about our series and they really help promote it, which has also helped in its success.”
It’s exactly this combination of all the different classes, the support of the sponsors as well as the racers that have all helped keep the MIRock series moving forward.
As far as the future, Earwood had this to say
“Who knows, the advantage of us owning our racetracks and the series is that we are able to adapt in an instant. The traditional sanctioning bodies seem to get bogged down in adapting and in making immediate changes. One reason this MIRock Series has been so successful is because Royce, Jason and I can discuss any concerns and make a change this afternoon, if the need arises.”
Miller also believes it is hard to see where the series is going to end up, “Right now we are looking to expand to a 3rd track in 2012 and hit a different market. It is an evolving world out there, and you need to adapt to it. One thing is for sure, and that is MIROCK is here to stay!”