come along for the ride
Tim and I arrived at Thunderhill Raceway on Friday evening. As I stepped out of the truck I was enveloped in 110-degree air. It felt like I was standing inside of a giant hairdryer and all I could think was that sleeping in a tent wasn’t going to be pleasant. I slept poorly and knew that next day was a going to be a scorcher. Of course, all my races were in the hottest part of the day.
My first race was the AFemme race and for me it didn’t go that well. The only other 250 rider decided not to race, so basically after the first lap it felt like I was on the track by myself. I had no one to pull me along and no motivation to stay out front. What was even more frustrating was that Dos Piggot and Logan Hanks, fellow 250 racers, were able to catch up to me from the clubman wave behind me. I pulled off the track feeling frustrated and feeling that I should have been in the clubman race where all the other 250 novices were. Even though I could feel the frustration welling up in me I knew that I had to shrug it off for the 250 production makeup race that was coming soon. Racing is filled with heartbreak and frustrations, but you have to put those behind you to move forward to the next race. What happened in the last race is history.
I rode up to the grid for the makeup race on mission to try for another top ten finish. My start wasn’t particularly wonderful in this race. In addition I have found that I am taking to wide of a line, this allows other riders to get underneath me and gives them the advantage in the turn. All this meant that I had some work to do in order to get to that tenth spot. I put my head down and rode the best I could during the duration of the race. Pushing hard to get around as many people as I could. In all I went around 4 people and did end up finishing tenth. I was proud as I crossed the finish that I was able to bounce back so well from the last race and focus on what was ahead. Not only had I captured the tenth spot, but I was able to improve by four seconds from the last race and I was a second faster than my last race weekend.
Luckily, Sunday was considerably cooler than day before. Unfortunately my start in the 250 production was not all that good leaving me to fight my way around Lisa Kinberger. Then I saw the back marker of the 250 race up ahead, This is the person in last position of the race. I didn’t realize how much slower he was going than I was. I hadn’t down shifted enough and my motor bogged as I tried to push past and lap him. The drives out of the corners are the 250 are so important and I had lost all of mine, which meant I had lost considerable amount of time for my mistake. It was a mistake that led to me loose a position right at the line. This time I finished 13th.
My favorite race of the day was the 250 Superbike Race. I had an ok start, but quickly passed a couple of people to make my way up to the Grice brothers. We spent the last couple of laps going back and forth with each other. On the last lap I could see Mark McKinney up ahead. At this point Nick had made it out in front of Todd and I. Todd got past me in turn 11 because I started to break too soon (general problem that I have). I tried to stay close to Todd through the last couple of turns to set myself up to pass him at the line. Unfortunately, I had a mechanical error on the straight right before the finish line. My bike bounced down to 8,000 RPM and I lost all power. Luckily I was far enough ahead of the rest of the pack that I did not loose a position, but was unable able to gain another one. Even though the end was disappointing I found that I had done 2:14’s the last couple of laps of the race. Just four seconds to makeup to get to the leaders.
Thank you to
Tim for taking pictures and creating the video