Us Fuel Bike Star ready for Perth challenge

NHRA Top Fuel Motorcycle champion, TV star and lauded bike builder Mike Beland will be doing all he can to snatch a NDRC Christmas Tree trophy from the Aussies at this weekend’s Westernationals.

Beland will be riding a Fuelled Motorsport Dananni Hot Shots Top Fuel Harley alongside championship leader Benny Stevens at the March 2 and 3 event, which will feature two rounds of the NDRC Top Fuel Motorcycle title chase (one each day) plus 11,000hp Top Fuel Dragsters, Top Doorslammers, and the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship.

A long-time friendship with Stevens has led Beland to the event, with plans already underway to make it an annual trip.

“I met Benny in 2017 at Bristol in Tennessee in America and we became good friends and have kept in touch. A while ago he needed an ignition for his motorcycle that they don’t make anymore and I had one, so I put it in a box and sent it over and didn’t take any money for it – the agreement was I get to race on one of his bikes for a weekend,” explained the Mooresville, Carolina resident.

“Now it is time to collect on that! I spent 30 hours on an aeroplane to get here, and right away I have been really loving it here. It is my first time in Australia and after just one day we were planning on making it an annual thing.

“I am very excited about the Westernationals – I have seen it on the TV in America and it clearly is a big event, which is why I asked to race one of Benny’s bikes at this event in particular.”

Michael Beland in action in the US – image supplied by Michael Beland

Beland, who has run A1 Cycles for 21 years building award-winning show bikes, has no shortage of winning experience behind him with two NHRA championships to his name.

His reputation has seen him on the cover of five national magazines, film six pilots for the Speed Channel and be featured on TV shows “Pinks,” “Pinks All Out,” and “Pass Time,” as well as multiple documentaries on the National Geographic and Travel channels.

“I have raced Top Fuel Harleys for nine years now, so I am not worried about anything heading to the Westernats,” Beland said.

“I hope I get to race Benny in the final – hopefully we can push his points program and block some of his competition on the way. We will ruffle some feathers for sure, but I don’t care, I am only here for a short time,” he laughed.

“In all seriousness, I am friends with a lot of the other racers on Facebook so it will be great to finally meet them in person and race against them.

“To get the event win would be pretty cool – I have two Wally’s myself and they have showed me the NDRC Christmas Tree trophy here and it is beautiful, so to bring one of those home with me would be awesome.

“We certainly didn’t come here to lose!”

Stevens is looking forward to racing alongside Beland as he continues his pursuit of the NDRC Top Fuel Motorycle Championship on his own Fuelled Motorsports Dananni Hot Shots Top Fuel Harley – a points chase he currently leads after a very successful season so far.

Benny Stevens (Cackling Pipes)

“It is a really good thing to have him here,” Stevens said.

“It is especially good for the Top Fuel Motorcycle bracket as well to have people of his calibre coming over from overseas to compete, and moving forward hopefully we can keep it going with Mike and also other international riders as well coming over to ride.

“The Fuelled Motorsport Dananni Hot Shots Top Fuel Harley he is riding is a proven bike, so if we can get the tune right on the day he is going to go fast, he is going to go quick, and it is going to be really, really good.

“Our approach is just all about concentrating on doing what we do best at every event we go to – going from A to B and keeping the bike lit the whole way.

“Here’s hoping we can have a good weekend in Perth and keep things moving in the right direction.”

The MacTrack Westernationals featuring Top Fuel, Top Doorslammer, Top Fuel Motorcycle and the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship will be held at the Perth Motorplex across March 2 and 3. For event information and a full upcoming event calendar, visit www.ndrc.tv

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