Japel Heardâ€™s first win in Pro Extreme Motorcycle was remarkable in a number of ways, as he beat Casey Stemper with a 4.16 at 163.91 mph. Of course, that took place earlier this month at the Spring Drags III at Bristol Dragway.
The win came on his birthday and immediately catapulted up the points standings in PXM headed into this weekend’s Northeast Drags II presented by Penske, which takes place at beautiful Maple Grove Raceway.
While it was the ultimate birthday present, Heard’s first ADRL victory also proved to be a great dedication to chassis builder and former ADRL world champion Dan Parker, who was seriously injured in a recent crash.
â€œThis win is for Dan,â€ Heard said. â€œItâ€™s just a blessing to get this.â€
Heard finished as the No. 1 qualifier in Bristol – another first in his ADRL career – and then went as quick as 4.12 during eliminations before gutting it out against Stemper in a final where both riders pulled out all the stops.
â€œI knew I had to go on a run against Casey and our attitude was, â€˜By any means necessary.â€™ When you see that win light come on, itâ€™s well worth it,â€ Heard said.
Now, Heard becomes a favorite in the PXM class headed to Maple Grove, which yielded a bunch of solid times in 2011. Heard has already taken a major step in 2012 and your agent suspects the best is yet to come for the talented, Atlanta-based rider.
“Hopefully it’s another great weekend,” Heard said.
(Photos by ADRL/Richards)