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Josie Brooks Wins Pro Bike & Sled Series Event at Empire Dragway

Photos by Steve Embling

Josie Brooks rode into the winner’s circle at the Pro Bike and Sled Series (PBSS) event on Saturday, at Empire Dragway in Leicester, NY.  Brooks, from Arkona, ON led the field of first-rate participants after qualifying run number one, with a 4.78 second pass, at 147.01 mph on the eighth-mile drag strip. 

“Our team had a fantastic day running the PBSS race this weekend at Empire Dragway. Many thanks to Bruce Mehlenbacher and Jerry Scaccia and their officials.  Everyone was really terrific and the facility is amazing” commented Josie Brooks. “This bike is new to us this season and we couldn’t be more pleased with its performance. My thanks to Dan and Jaymie for keeping me and the bike on track,” Brooks added.

In the final round, Brooks, running 4.82 seconds at 141.83 mph, on her 1640 cc 1997 Suzuki GSXR 1100, defeated a red-lighting Bill Pippard from Ransomville, NY, running 5.07 seconds at 132.31 mph on his 2003 1507 cc Suzuki Hayabusa.  “Not bad after a thirteen-year hiatus,” said a pleased Pippard.

In the semifinal round, Pippard ran 5.08 seconds at 134.85 mph in a bye run, while Brooks ran 4.84 seconds at 135.71 mph and defeated a well-running Josh Costa from Retsof, NY, on his 2009 1340 cc Suzuki Hayabusa, who ran 5.43 seconds at 130.13 mph.

Quarterfinalists were Dick Nearhoof from Wheatfield, NY, riding a 1990 Kawasaki ZX10 and Bob Salerno riding a 2013 Arctic Cat from Utica, NY.  Eighth finalists were Jason Stewart from Port Dover, ON, on his 2004 GSXR Suzuki, Darrin Johnson from Cayuga, ON, riding his 2011 Kawasaki, Mike Peters riding a 1980 Kawasaki from Derby, NY, Mike Nearhoof from Youngstown, NY, riding a 1986 Kawasaki ZX10 and Owen Burdick from Depew, NY, riding a 2008 Suzuki GGXR.

The Pro Bike & Sled Series (PBSS) was organized early in 2011.  It was established for motorcycle and snowmobile drag racing teams to compete on a regular basis, in an organized and professional racing environment.  The Series is comprised of a qualified field of 16 quick motorcycles and snowmobiles and presents the best in E.T. style, dialed-in drag racing. This Series competes on a Sportsman ladder.  Contestants race in the four second range, at speeds reaching 150 mph and above. 

Competitors in this exciting Series adhere to the technical and safety rules as outlined by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) and the World Drag Racing Alliance (WDRA).

Visit the Pro Bike and Sled Series (PBSS) at and the Empire Dragway at for more information and event updates.

This story was originally published on September 25, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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