2002 Race Report
9/07 - 9/08 BlackHawk Farms
If you'd like to see the track layout and how to ride it, check my 2001 race reports.
Again, I skipped the practice day so that I could have time to work on the bike. I gave the bike a much needed oil change with some fresh Silkolene 10w40 Racelube from Audrey at Silkolenestore.com. While the oil was out, I installed a Factory-Pro shift-kit to see if it would help with my missed shifts.
The shift kit was easy enough to install, but it's funny how things work out sometimes. In taking my spare motor apart recently, I managed to crack the outer clutch drum while removing the inner clutch drum retaining nut. No big deal because it's on the spare motor & I've got an entire clutch and transmission coming. Well, on the race bike I managed to break the INNER clutch drum while removing the retaining nut! Very glad I've got that spare motor. I swapped in the good parts, and also sifted through the clutch plates of the two bikes to make sure I had the best clutch immediately available. The bike went back together with no problem and shifted in the test run just beautifully. The only problem seems to be getting into Neutral. It just wants to jump to either 1st or 2nd without stopping.
With everything loaded the night before, we made it to the track & set up with one practice session to spare. The practice session went great, and again the shift kit proved well worth the few dollars it cost. After practice, I looked at the wearing D208's and determined that they would NEVER make the entire weekend, so I broke down and bought a new pair of slicks for the rest of the season.
I've never gone out on 'shiny' tires before, and was leery about doing so this time, but Andy the Dunlop guy assured me they would be FINE after 30 mins on the warmers and scrubbing the mold-release off on the warm-up lap.
I had a great launch as always, and was 1st through turn 1. With my head down, I headed for T2, and #27 Robert Borowicz motored me for it. I remained on him and looked for a place to pass.
The first 2 laps were crazy-insane fast. They were the best laps of my entire life (at any track, at any time). My second lap I ran a 1:17.2, and I could have been faster, but just couldn't get around Robert. The third lap was a different story...
To back up... Earlier in the day, a racer lost his oil filter through turn 3, and when he entered the bus-stop of 3A (hard right), it dumped a 3-foot wide line of oil through the turn. The track workers tried their best but could not clean it up correctly. I noticed in my first two laps that there was dust flying off of the oil-slick, but I figured it was just oil-dry and everything would be fine like usual. I was wrong...
Lap 3, I ended up putting a wheel outside of Robert's line into turn 3A in an attempt to pass. This put me in the oil line, and down I went. I ran back and picked up the bike, but the right clip-on was bent down to where I couldn't ride. I pushed the bike behind the dirt berm, and desperately searched for something to bend it back, but couldn't find anything!
The race was red-flagged 2 laps later when 4 more people went down in the same spot. NOW WAS MY CHANCE!
I mounted back up and motored into the pits frantically throwing tools to replace the bent bar. Jennifer jumped to action and 2 guys from the Kegels racing team pitted across from me ran over to assist. Before the restart, they had the lever replaced and the tire warmers back on!
They re-posted the grids so I went to see where I was at. Hmmm, I'm not shown on the grids! Hold the phone! I talked to the officials and they said I could start anywhere I wanted in row 10... Oh joy :-)
Well, I launched for the restart and it was a mess. The guys in front of me didn't even have their hands on the clip-ons when I launched past them. Their feet were still on the ground! I passed a good few going into T1. Then about 5 at a time, I would pick people off going into either T7 or T1 because there was no passing allowed in T3-3A.
The race only lasted another 3 laps because yet another bike went down in the oil-slick and ended up laying in the middle of the track. They stopped the race, and canceled all races for the rest of the day while they cleaned the mess up.
In my 3 laps, I went from 31st to 11th, but it was all for nothing because on the restart, they counted the last lap prior the restart as the first lap of the race. I wasn't in that lap which put me a lap down and I scored 30th.
This was my chance at 2nd place in the GTU, and I'm confident I would have won that race had there not been the oil. In any event though, I'm not disappointed because I ran a fantastic race and had a great time. Very good team-work by my wife, and the folks from Kegel's.
A quick change back to DOT's for Sunday's first race, and we called it a day.
My buddy Kent & his wife Christina came up from Cedar Rapids, IA to watch me race today and lend a hand. Today was a day I had to do good, I had special guests watching.
Amateur MiddleWeight SuperSport:
My spectacular launch will do me no good in this race. Andy put a wheel underneath me into T1 for the lead. From there, I pushed the 208's as hard as I could, but the rear just couldn't give me the traction I needed for this race. I finished in a somewhat disappointing 6th place.
Amateur MiddleWeight SuperBike:
Back to the slicks for this race.
Andy again put a wheel under me into T1 for BOTH starts of this race (as it was red-flagged on the 1st lap). I pushed myself to keep up with him, and ran consistent 1:17.4 - 1:17.8 times, but watched him gap me a little further each lap. Talking to him later, he ran a crazy-insane 1:15 in that race.
I held onto 2nd firmly, and on lap 7 of 8, going into turn 6 I saw a wheel come up the inside. I had already initiated my turn so I stuck with it and pinched the line off. It turns out that the wheel belonged to the 966 R6 of Dan Ortega. Dan managed to get around me with the motor of his R6, and I followed him hoping that we could catch some traffic because I knew he sometimes has difficulties in traffic.
On Lap 8, I was right on Dan desperately seeking a place to pass. Turn 7 came up. Final turn, final lap, final race of the day, final race at BHF for the season, final chance..... I knew Dan would pinch off the inside so I had to make an outside move. I ran the F4 in HOT and right next to Dan through the turn, hoping he would leave me an inch on the outside. He left me the inch, and we came through the turn side-by-side, but no good would it do when he cracked the throttle and his R6 pulled away from me for 2nd leaving me for 3rd.
If anyone reading this was watching the race and enjoyed my wheelie, I'm accepting donations. I was fined $50 for it :-(
Another very good weekend. Despite the unexpected costs of new tires and the wheelie fine, we made it through the weekend (and will enjoy Ramen noodles 3x/day for the month :-). I'm extremely pleased that I reached my goal for the year of breaking 1:17's at BHF. I wish I would have nailed a 1st place, but there are still 2 weekends left and at least I made it to the podium and added another 3rd place plaque to the wall-of-fame.
I'm waiting very impatiently for Honda's "Big Announcement" on 9/13. The rumor is that there will be a new 600. The F5 or RR, and I'm impatient because that's what I'll be running next year & I want to see it NOW!
2 races left, come on out and see us at Gingerman Raceway on 9/28-29
Thanks to everyone for your support, life wouldn't be the same without this, and you all help make it happen for me.
See all of my pics at www.sliderphoto.com. Just pick an event and rider #42!
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