2002 Season Wrap-Up
2002 Year in review
What an incredible season spanning 12 weekends between March 23rd and October 6th 2002, starting and ending in East St Louis, IL.
From the snow flurries of March, to the 105+ beating down sun of June, the 2002 racing season held more than I ever could have imagined or dreamed of. As the blisters on my hands turned to thick calluses and sunburn to suntan, we pressed on each and every Mid-West weekend.
The miserable weather conditions during the start of the season departed for 6 gorgeous mid-season weekends and 2 'iffy' late season weekends. At times it seemed merely a game of survival, but every lap put in during the cold and rain truly contributed to a faster lap during the next day of sunshine.
To start the season, I had simple goals. Run 3 classes for the ENTIRE season, having consistent top 10 finishes and clocking Sub 1:20 times at Blackhawk Farms. I managed all of these goals to a higher level of success than predicted.
Dedicating a great deal of time and effort to physical and mental conditioning starting in December of 2001, most all of the problems encountered in 2001 season were resolved. There really can't be enough emphasis put on these two aspects of racing. They are more important than anything else involved. When I dropped the transmission at Blackhawk Farms on 6/2, my wife put up a sign (as I kicked, cursed and threw tools) that said "Have Faith & Patience". I was angry, and faced with a potential early end to my season. Yet calming down, and having faith that the situation would work out brought exactly that. I still carry that sign, and will probably have it framed due to the significance it holds.
Early season success soon turned to mid-season woes as mechanical problems and mental barriers ground my success to a screeching halt. The harder I tried, the slower I went. I found myself having the most simplistic problems (when to shift my weight, how to control my lines, etc). After removing the massive stress of purchasing a new house mid-season, and fixing the final mechanical issues, success returned as did confidence in self and bike at Road America Cycle Fest 8/2-4.
With the mid-season woes behind me, I wrapped up the season riding the wave of success. Although a 1st place finish eluded me for the entire season, I managed significant improvements, and stacked up an impressive wall of trophies along the way.
Before the season began, I set a goal to ride consistent sub 1:20 laps at Blackhawk. Early in the season, I found that my fastest times were the easiest laps run, and required the least amount of effort. Running consistent 1:19's, I raised the bar and sought 1:17's. This goal came on the final Blackhawk weekend, when I clocked a 1:17.2 lap, and *know* I could have been at least 1 second faster.
I enjoyed making new friends and seeing old friends once again. It was great to share in the victories of the extended family we race with. The feeling you get when the wife of another racer hugs you because her husband beat you in a fantastically dramatic race is incredible. Sharing the cheers, tears, laughter and frustration with those around us makes it all worth while. Sharing MY cheers, tears, laughter and frustration with all of YOU makes this worth while... I'm glad to have had this season to experience so many things and share it with so many people. Thank you all...
|Vacation days used||17|
|Gallons of Race Gas||232|
|Gallons of Silkolene Racelube||8|
|Pints of Silkolene ProRace 2000 Brake Fluid||1|
|EBC HH-KIT Brake Pads||8|
|Clip-on Handlebar tubes||6|
|16 oz bottles of water||432|
|Crashes (race & practice)||3|
|DNF races (did not finish)||2|
|DNS races (did not start)||3|
|Top 10 finishes||28|
The Lord God above me. Thanks for keeping me safe through all the travels and racing.
Jennifer Kufalk. Thanks for putting up with it all. I couldn't have done it without you!
Victoria Kufalk. Thanks for keeping an eye on your brother, the dog and everything else.
Queue Kufalk. Thanks for all the hugs & not getting in too much trouble.
Jack Beaudry. Thanks for your extreme generosity this season. I couldn't have possibly done this without SliderPhoto.
Ed Kwaterski. Thanks for taking control of my suspension. I never understood it, and you've shown me the light with your support from TrackSide Engineering.
Terry Embury. Thanks for your generosity & speed in getting me stuff when I needed it from Hi-Side Racing.
Phil Caudill. Thanks for your support & Wintex gear from Moto-Heaven.
Kate McMillan. Thanks for the coolest helmet on the track from Katewerk.
Super-Dave Rosno. Thanks for the support of VRS, and listening to my laments and helping me through a lot of trivial issues holding me back.
Andy Wells. The Dunlop Guy. Thanks for all the tires & many changes back and forth on those 'iffy' days (will we run rains or slicks? hmmm)
Kent Jacobs. Thanks for cheering me on & helping me out trackside.
Shane. (hell, I don't even know your last name) Thanks for being the ONLY local wrench that I'd trust my bike with. Lake Country Powersports
DeSantis. Thanks for being a great long-distance wrench (whose
advice I actually trust)
Thanks to everyone who emailed me cheers, congrats and words of encouragement.
Thanks to everyone who sent me used parts! Your generosity is greatly appreciated. (please understand that if I didn't use your part, I may barter or sell it for something else I need!)
Thanks to everyone who bought stickers & shirts! Pretty soon I'll have enough sold to break even!
Thanks to each and every one of you who took the time to read my long and drawn out ramblings... I'm glad I got to share this with you.
We'll see you all in 2003 when I mount up on the NEW 2003 HONDA CBR600RR along with the F4.
In 2002, JEF4Y RACING HAS BEEN PROUDLY SPONSORED BY: