Though a couple of others merely had to enter and pass tech to seal the deal, Pro Extreme Motorcycle’s (PXM’s) Eric McKinney arrived at the Texas Motorplex as the only ADRL racer to have already clinched a 2012 championship at the previous event a few weeks earlier in Ohio. That didn’t stop the Hamersville, OH, rider from putting on his game face for the ADRL World Finals VIII, though, as he led the 14-bike field into eliminations with a 4.051 qualifying pass at exactly 175 miles per hour aboard his Ashley Owens-tuned 2012 Suzuki.
“We always come to race and we always want to win,” McKinney declared before eliminations began. “Otherwise, why bother?”
McKinney made a first-round single of 4.042 seconds at 175.14 after Charles Seaton’s bike broke, then made a scheduled 4.060 at 174.53 competition bye run in round two before dousing the hopes of Shane Eperjesi with another 4.063 at 174.21 mph in the semis.
That left only second-place qualifier Shane Norris and his 2011 Suzuki between McKinney and his seventh win in 10 ADRL starts this year. Norris left first, though only by three thousandths, and McKinney ran 4.032 at 176.03 to handily get the job done against the 4.130 at 171.97-mph pass posted by Norris.
“It feels great to finish like this; it feels like we really put an exclamation point on our year,” McKinney said after his fifth-straight event victory and his seventh in 10 races. Only Owens, riding for Paul Gast in his 2011 championship-winning run, has more single-season wins at eight.
“That’s some pretty elite company and I’m honored to work with Ashley so close this year,” McKinney said. “He’s made a huge difference to our race program, but I also have to thank my mom and my dad and my uncle for everything they do, too. I know I say this all the time, but they really are the ones who make this happen. I’m just the rider.”
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