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Convention main man
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I have had a few requests to do some writeups on my experiences of racing. I am now in my second year of racing as a novice so I am going to break this up into a few different posts because to get all the details it is going to take a lot of thinking and writing.

Let me start from the beginning. I had been doing trackdays since 2003 when I got my first sportbike a 2003 R1. Deal's Gap trips with my friends turned into doing more and more trackdays. At first there was never any intention of going racing. There were times I was asked about it and told maybe I should but the funds and never allowed for it. I also didn't have the real desire to race until I purchased my 2006 R6. I had worked my way up to the Advanced level of trackdays with Nesba on my R1 but it was also my streetbike. When I bought my R6 and sold my Roadstar Warrior things started changing. I still had no intention of racing when buying the R6...that was until I got a chance to ride it on the track.

I got asked to represent the R1 and R6 Forum for the 2006 U.S. press launch for the R6 at Willow Springs International Raceway in Feburary of 2006. It was the first chance to ride this bike on the track. Having 2 open tracks to ride all day long really got my wheels turning about possibly racing. This bike was so good at everything it did and just at home on the track. I still did not make any decisions until I got back home and did another tracked on my personal 2006 R6 at Barber Motorsports Park.

That day at Barber me, Plimmer, Gaprider, my friend Ron (on a Damon Buckmaster's Factory R6) were in for just a normal trackday with Nesba. Pitted next to us was an expert WERA racer also on a new 2006 R6. I got out there on the track with him for a few sessions. We got to talking and he said I should really consider racing and that I would do really well in the Novice class. Well, that was what I needed to really get the wheels turning.

Now the mission was on to get the R6 painted and race prepped ASAP!! www.tobefast.com was already on as a sponsor for me so getting the R6 ready to race was made a bit easier with Shane and Earl's help. There is not a ton of stuff to do to prep a bike to race but there is some. I did more than I needed to do because I was planning on doing several upgrades on the R6 anyway. All that is really needed is race bodywork and removing the lights and safety wiring to WERA's specs. http://www.wera.com/pages/rulebook.htm#ch8

I chose to actually do a full Graves exhaust system, power commander, ignition module, steering damper (required), and quickshifter. I also took it to get custom mapped. All of which was a good idea in the long run because my R6 was one of the strongest bikes on the grid most of the year. Not bad considering it was bone stock motorwise!! Another reason the R6 is such a good race bike.

So, all of that led me up to my first race also at Barber Motorsports Park. I did the Ed Bargy race school to get my race license on Friday before the races. Well worth the money in information. I ended up winning the mock race for the school which was pretty cool. The following day was my first two races.

In WERA regional race weekends they run Solo 20 races on saturday and the sprint races on sunday. The solo races are money races and 20 laps long generally and not for any points. The sprint races are for points and also contingency money. So I raced in the middleweight (up to 600cc bikes) solo and the heavyweight (up to 1000cc bikes) solo. In the MW solo I started in the 3rd wave in 51st positon. I didn't expect much but ended up 3rd in that race! Needless to say I was pumped! The next race was the HW solo. It was with the big bikes. I started in 30th position on the grid and finished 4th in that race. I was absolutely pumped! I also won 400+ bucks in cash! Unfortunately I didn't hang around and race the sprint races on sunday because of horrible weather predicted. I wish I would have stayed because it turned out nice. It was ok because I had a great first race weekend.

I thought this racing thing was going to be easy and I was in for a lot of wins. I signed up for the very next race at Jennings Gp in FL. I will post about it that race weekend in the next post.

I'll try to post up the next post by next week so I can get somewhat caught up to this year racing.

before I sign off, remember racing is fun. It is supposed to be fun and when it stops being fun it is time to back away. Most of us racing will never get a factory ride and if you are not having fun then what is the point? That is the attitude I take, and as soon as you loose that attitude it becomes work. And that isn't fun.

So guys out there racing or wanting to race, remember HAVE FUN!!!!

Stay tuned!!

Chad
WERA #570
 

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Convention main man
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Discussion Starter #2
Race Two year one

So, after my first race weekend at Barber Motorsports Park I was so pumped I decided to do the very next race at Jennings two weeks later. I thought this racing thing was going to be a breeze! Boy was I in for an awakening! So I head get down to Jennings ready to race. I sign up for both Solo 20's on saturday, Middleweight and Heavyweight, both on my R6. And for sunday I signed up for 5 sprint races, A superstock, B superstock, C superstock, B superbike, and C superbike, also on my R6. A=1000cc bikes, B= 750cc bike and C=600cc bikes. I learned at the end of that weekend I almost bit off more than I could chew. LOL.

So, just to make things good and fun it was May in Jennings and a good ol fashion heat wave with temps reaching 95 degrees:scared . And I had 2 20 lap races on saturday. I learned really fast that racing a sportbike you need to be in some good shape. The first race was the MW solo, I thought I was going to clean house, well I finished 6th and I thought it was the longest race of my life! My father-in-law/mechanic told me when I came in after the race he thought I was going to pass out. He said I was white as a ghost! I am not sure how I finished the race but I did. Bad thing is I still had another race to do! The second race was later in the day so I had some time to relax a bit and regain some energy. It was the HW solo, I finished 3rd in it, probably because there were not as many guys in that class, lol. I was learning the track more and more as well so my lap times were coming down too. Actually at the last 2-3 laps of the HW race I honestly was doing all I could to just hang on to the bike. I am probably lucky I didn't crash. I learned my lession that day, no more 2 20 lap races on saturday until you get your butt into a LOT better shape! I did end up winning about 80 bucks though so that was kind of cool.

Sunday I had 5 sprint races. These were my first sprint races because I didn't do any at Barber. I was excited. My first was A SS, I actually finished 2nd in that race:rock. So I am pumped, thinking things may start going good. Well in the next 4 races my best finish was a 4th and worst was an 8th. Decent for my first sprint races but I definately expected to do better. Luckily I survived and learned a lot. I even got a little bit of tire contingency. Which as I will learn later, it HUGE because the tires I was running were pretty much crap.

Overall, my second full race weekend went pretty well considering. I learned a lot and that is all you can really expect when you first start racing. Especially if you don't have much experiance with racing or a LOT of tracktime under your belt. It left me pretty excited about the next race at Road Atlanta, my favorite track! Even though I didn't do as well as I hoped at Jennings I did still think if I could get with the leaders then I could battle with them. Starting in the 2nd wave makes that kind of hard, lol.

Until next time remember, have fun and be safe!!
 

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Nice write up Chad!
 

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Convention main man
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Discussion Starter #5
2006 Road Atlanta Cycle Jam and CMP

As I mentioned I was really pumped about Cycle Jam at Road Atlanta. I knew I could do some good laptimes there and maybe be pretty competative. So I went full bore into it. I did setup camp on Wednesday night for practice on Thursday to get ready for racing saturday and sunday. Thursday practice went really well. I was running my best laptimes ever at RA and got to dice it up with one of the front runners all season in practice. After practice I was excited and ready to race saturday.

I met a really cool guy that was also pitted alone at RA. He is had just got out of the military and was a new racer as well. This is by far one of the coolest things about racing I am was starting to figure out. Meeting new friends that love the same thing you love just as much! It is really cool. And all of these guys will really pretty much do anything for each other, even if they have never met until that day. We headed to Publix and got some steaks and corn on the cob and he had a little grill. Man that was some of the best food I had had in a LONG time. I guess they really show them how to cook in the military! That corn was amazing! haha.

Friday we just chilled out and watched endurance racing. It was pretty cool to see and hopefully something I would like to put together one day. Then saturday was time to ride again:rock I felt awesome in practice once again and was ready to do well racing. Well the last practice about halfway I was going around a much slower rider on the outside and whammo, front end tucked in turn one at RA. I was fine but the bike got to flipping and was damaged well beyond repair for racing that weekend. I think that is still the most pissed I have been to date at a track. To go from feeling so good about racing to not racing so fast really sucked.

I learned a few lessions though. First of all, practice is practice not the race. You get nothing for pushing to hard in practice. Just warm up and get loose, save your risk taking for the race. Second, the tires I was running were 2 years old. I didn't know that when I purchased them. Unfortunately I still had a couple more sets to use before I could try out the up to date tires. Third, I learned if you are going to race and don't want to risk being out for a whole weekend you best have some spares. If i had the same crash now as I did that day I could actually have still raced that weekend. But it takes time, experience, and money to accumulate all the spares you need. It was a good lesson to learn for sure and made me that much more determined to do the next race at CMP.

So, I had to get the bike ready to race in less than 3 weeks time for CMP. I have to give Catalyst Racing a big thanks for getting me new bodywork in such a short period of time. I also have to give my father in law a HUGE thanks for spending such a long time repairing my smashed gas tank back to new condition. By CMP the bike looked brand new again. CMP was an ok weekend. I had only been to the track once before and it was a trackday. Racing takes a whole new meaning than trackdays. Trackdays are fun and you don't get to wrapped up in shift points, gearing etc. If you don't have that stuff right in a race you are going to get smoked. So I was kind of learning the track all over again.

One good thing about the CMP race was that I was going to get to race with one of my best friends, Eddie (Gaprider). We started riding R1's together at the same time and also started racing at the same time and this was our first chance to race together!! Not to mention Zrider was bringing the official R1 Forum Motorhome for us to hang out in as well:rock Nothing like a 1972 popup camper to hang out in:lol It makes a great place to hang out and cook, I love it when Ned comes to the races! We also made some good ol homemade ice cream that weekend as well. See part of the fun of racing is actually not even the racing.

Back to the racing though. CMP was tough for me. The track is kind of weird, the first part I love, it is fast flowing but the second have is point and shoot. I had a rough time with it. Also I was not confident in my tires at all because this was the first time back on the bike since my RA crash. I didn't know why I washed the front so I had zero confidence in the front of my bike. It resulted in my worst finishes so far. My best finish was a 4th and I got my only finish outside the top ten all year in one race where I had to run off the track.

Overall it was really a fun weekend but the racing wasn't so good. I still learned quite a bit though. Most of all is that the mental side of racing is huge!!! I am still learning that today. The ones that are confident in their bike and setup to go are generally the fastest guys out there. Unfortunately my racing partner, Eddie highsided at CMP and broke his collarbone. That really sucked because he was absolutely flying! We were supposed to do Jennings together next but he was out so I had to go it alone.

Ok, Jenning 2 report coming up soon! We are getting caught up here, I hope to get us up to date before long. This season the racing gets better! haha.

Until next time have fun and stay safe!

Chad
 

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Convention main man
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Discussion Starter #8
Well, it has been a while since I posted so I figure I better post up some stuff. I may go through some of this quick but I want to get a little more up to date.

So, Jennings 2 in 06. Nice 95 degree weekend. I learned my lession not to do 2 20 lap solo events in august at Jennings. So I only did one. It was still tough but fun. At this point I am still running the older Racetec tires which are really squirrly on me at Jennings. I finished ok in the race while running 22's I think. Sunday I had 5 sprint races and finally decide to go for some new Pirelli Supercora Pro's...WOW, what a difference up to date tires make! The racetecs were great tires for 2004, but not in 2006, at least not compared to the new tires that were out. I am still learning at this point but my laptimes came down a second per lap with obvious better grip! Another weekend down and another lesson learned.

After Jennings I have the Barber National and the GNF's left for the year. The Barber National was the first national race I had done, it was fun and a little different atmosphere. I finished top 5 in all my races and actually pulled off a podium finish on one race. Pretty cool for me because there were some serious fast Novices racing there. I also got hooked up with Bridgestone tires this weekend. That was huge. Bridgestone tires are very very good tires and their Team Bridgestone program really helps out racers on a budget. I was paying at least 100 bucks per set more for tires before I got into Team Bridgestone. The tires are excellent too!

Now, off to the GNF's at Road Atlanta. This is hands down my favorite track to ride. It was a great weekend of racing but probably much more than the racing for me this weekend was the fact that Eddie and Ned (Zrider) both were there the whole time! WE had a blast! Ned had the official R1 Forum Motorhome, (popup camper):) And we cooked great food and carved R1 Forum pumpkins and had some good racing in between. Can't ask for better than that. For me, racing will never be a career so it is times like that that I really look forward to at the track. Hanging out with friends and people who love the same things you do and being able to talk about it nonstop without getting slapped by your wife, LOL. Eddie and I both finished top 5 in a few races at the GNF's which qualified us both for expert in 07 but we both sent letters to wera asking to stay in novice for another year. It was a good move on both our parts, as in 07 you will see..I learned a LOT more and wasn't ready for expert yet.

That wraps up 2006, my first year of racing! It was a great year, only one crash and no injuries. I had a blast! 2007 coming up!!
 

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The Goldenchild
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Chad, reading about the 06 season is AWESOME!!!:fact It's got me all jazzed up to go racing. Wish I could afford it or even more important, had the speed and skill it takes to be competetive. Can't wait to read about 07.
 

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Convention main man
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Discussion Starter #10
So now I will start in on 2007!

2007 was supposed to just be me with the R6 again in novice...but my good buddy Shane McCoy talked me into getting an 07 R1. I thought I would race it some and then ride it on the street also...yeah right! lol. So I purchase the R1 and got hooked up with Catlalyst racing composites to help make the race and street bodywork for the 07 R1. I sent them my OEM stuff in return I got a set of race bodywork, and street bodywork. Catalyst Composites is hands down the best bodywork out there. I Have tried and seen all the others and no one touches the quality of their stuff. So, off to get my R1 race ready and bodywork mounted and custom painted for the first race of the season at Talladega in Feburary. Now, i picked up the R1 in december so I didnt' have a lot of time to do everything, but I got it all done. Custom painted the race bodywork, drilled all the safety wire holes, gutted the stock exhaust and put race baffles in, (poor man's full exhaust system, lol). BTW, that worked out really well but it was a lot of work to do...but everyone thinks I am running "stock" exhaust:sneaky. I also had to get all the dynojet quickshifter, pc3, ignition module and get it custom mapped by the first race. That may sound easy but no really with a brand new model bike...Luckily my boys at www.tobefast.com were able to hook it up and get me rolling for race one!

Now, Eddie and I are all set to run a full Southeast WERA race schedule in 07..go all in. So we had to start with race one. Well, that weekend was not ideal for racing. We get to Tally, newly renovated and re-configured track, for practice on Friday. It is sleeting, so we pay 100 bucks to do 2 laps around the track. Not what I would say is an ideal practice, lol. The rest of the weekend didn't get much better for conditions..it was overcast and cold all weekend, but it did stop sleeting and raining thankfully.

The solo's were saturday as usual and sprints on sunday. I had high hopes for 2007 because a lot of the super fast guys were gone and I had great grid positions, and things worked out as planned for the most part. I came away that weekend with 4 wins and a 2nd and a 3rd. I couldn't complain as those were my first wins ever on a motorcycle! Plus given the conditions. I look back on that weekend and probably the most fun I had was battling it out with Eddie, were were stuffing each other all over the place! It was so cool. We started riding R1's together and racing at the same time, so to get to this point was really cool.

I took the R1 with no intent to race it and stuck to that. After riding an R6 for a year the R1 was going to take some getting used to...boy did it surprise me how fast it was!!! WOW!! I practiced on it but didn't race it and knew I had some work to do to get up to speed on it. So, off to Jennings, the next regional on the schedule........
 

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Convention main man
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Discussion Starter #11
Chad, reading about the 06 season is AWESOME!!!:fact It's got me all jazzed up to go racing. Wish I could afford it or even more important, had the speed and skill it takes to be competetive. Can't wait to read about 07.

Stu, you will do fine out there. I can't wait to see you out there!

More 07 coming right up! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, Jennings in March was next on the schedule. We go from freezing temps to mid 90's in one month!! CRAZINESS I tell you!! :lol

So, I made my mind up in Feb that I needed to get into shape to go at this racing thing as hard as I wanted to do so I purchased a road bicycle. It was about 2 weeks before Jennings race. I rode it pretty hard for those two weeks, but you can only do so much in 2 weeks, lol. At the time I didn't realize that and signed up for both solos on saturday...one on the R1 and one on the R6. Well, Jennings turned out to be a pretty crappy weekend all around. I crashed the R6 in practice on saturday and couldn't repair it for the solo race that day. So, that was a blessing in disguise...because after doing the solo race on the R1 I was beat! No way I could have done 2 full solo races. I can do them fine now because I am in much much better shape than I was then, but that day there is no way I would have made it.

So, the Heavyweight Solo race was actually pretty fun. I know I wasn't going to be up to speed on the R1 yet but I did practice on it earlier in the month so I did have a little time on the new bike there. I got out to an early lead...albeit pretty crappy laptimes...and set a pretty big gap. Something to remember in racing...stay focused! If you are in the lead, don't do stupid crap, especially with a big gap! I was trying to brake deeper into turn 4-5 section there with a huge lead and ran off the track. I got back on the track still in the lead but gave back 30 seconds to the second place guy...the next turn he passed me...plus it was on the next to last lap. I didnt' have time to gather myself and pass him back. I got second...and a big lesson learned!

Sunday the sprints came up...I was determined to race the R1 still...so I raced in the A superstock race. It turned out well! I won it and battled with Andy Anderson, aaask8tr here on the forum. It was some good stuff and by now I am feeling a little better about the bike.

Next up is 4 races on the R6...they were good but I got 2nd in all but one of them. Bill Drummond, a rookie to wera racing but a Longtime Nesba control rider, was flying! I knew he was going to be my competition all year long...at least that is the way it was looking. I still did my fastest laptimes every at Jennings so I couldn't complain to much.

Another lesson learned, you better be good at tire changes if you are changing wheels with only one race between the 2 races. I thought for some reason I needed new slicks for the superbike classes on the R6 so I had them mounted on my spare wheels ready to go. All was planned out, but it had to go perfect...it didn't. We mounted up the wheels and was about ready to go out and realized the back wheel spacer had fallen out...not good. WE had to take the back wheel off and remount it...by now they are on the 2nd call for my race. Well, long story short I missed the warmup lap and had to start dead last from the pits...on new cold tires. They let me go and I was like a madman charging! I worked my way through traffic pretty good but the closer I got to the front the harder it got...I made it up to 5th by the end of the 6 lap race. Not to bad. The rest of my weekend was uneventful and even with a busted up bike I was able to do well. btw, my bike was pretty torn up from the crash in saturday practice...fellow racers talked me into fixing the leaky tank with JB weld, which worked great! That is the great thing about the race community, no one wants to see anyone not being able to race...even if it is your biggest competator. It was a good feeling and I was able to salvage some points that weekend.

Unfortunatley everyone that pitted with us crashed that weekend. Me, Bill, Chris, and Eddie. Eddie being the worst. My race partner was out and had to go to the hospital. I was really bummed about that. I was also frustated with my results and found myself not having fun. And that is not why I was doing this. I was supposed to race again at Tally in 2 weeks then again at Nashville in 3 more weeks. I took a few days after Jennings to think about things and decided that I am doing this for fun and I am going to do the races I want to do when I want to do them. With Eddie out it will just be me now and occasionally Plimmer. So I backed off my plan to do a full season. I ended up doing some trackdays and talking to Nesba about control riding...that worked out great for me! So my next race wasn't until the Barber National in May. I did Road Atlanta trackdays and Barber in the meantime and worked on gettting faster on the R1. Plus, now I was more relaxed and no pressure when I go to the track for points etc.

up next, Barber National!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So, now for the Barber National. This is my first race weekend without Eddie. So I am not as excited about it, for me racing is about hanging out with friends as much as the racing, so I was already a bit bummed that Eddie wasn't coming. Luckily I had my newest racing buddy Chris "WILDMAN " Vanover there to keep things interesting, and to continue the battle in the 1000 class:) .

Me and my father-in-law...best mechanic ever, setup next to chris on saturday afternoon. At national races they do the WERA/AMA National endurance series on saturdays and sprints on sundays. So I have plenty of time at Barber so we got there later saturday afternoon.

btw, if you have never seen an endurance race, you should check it out! They are really cool being that it is a team event with pitstops and all!

So, at the nationals I only decided to do 3 sprint races to keep the costs and stress down. I only did the Superstock classes. Race one was on the R1 and true to form the Nationals brought out the fastest guys. I got three 3rds at Barber but was not far off the lead at all, the winner was Russ Wikle, a 16 year old! Now my new strongest competition. :) I went away with my head up because I ran decent laptimes...but not where I feel like I should be. Something about Barber that I have a tough time finding the fast laptimes.

The most fun of the weekend was battling with Chris, we were having a great battle and he was catching me and I knew it! WE talk much trash to each other so I really wanted to beat him, lol. All was coming to plan for a battle royal...until he tried to go around me in turn 3 and the back end stepped out and he crashed:( Luckily he was ok. The weekend came to an end with no other issues.

Next up Roebling Regional....this one will be short...

I didn't race it! :lol Nothing like getting all loaded up, heading to the track all ready to race and it raining 5 inches at a track you have never been at. This came back to my decision earlier to have fun and low stress. I hadn't been to Roebing before and was looking forward to it, but not enough to race it in the rain for the first time. Bad thing is we had all the boys there again! Bill, Doug, Ned, Eddie even came down to watch, and Chris were there. I just didnt' feel right about trying to race without practice on the track. I know myself and even if it stopped raining on sunday I had no time on the track but I wouldn't have ridden like that and probably done something stupid. For once I feel like I listened to whatever little wisdom I may have acculated in my life, lol

So, now the Convention is up for an awesome fun weekend of relaxed riding with all my R1 Forum buddies then off to Road Atlanta for Cycle Jam!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
CYCLE JAM!!!!!!!!!!

Whaahooo we are back at Road Atlanta!

Cycle Jam is a unique event because it is a race for all regions, and endurance race and a national all in one weekend...plus for me, it is at Road Atlanta.

This weekend was really cool because Plimmer was back racing on his 07 R1 and Eddie showed up to help us out.

We had races on Saturday and Sunday. Regionals on saturday and nationals on sunday. I just had one race on the R1 saturday and the rest on the R6. My newest competiton, Russ Wikle decided to race the A superstock race with me but none of the others on saturday. We got off together but on the back straight he just out motored me, I made up some ground on the brakes but not enough. He did that lap after lap and I didn't have the speed yet on the R1 to make it up in the turns. He won, I got second and 3rd was pretty far back. The rest of the day was pretty easy, I got out in front and pulled away...it was nice to have some low stress wins for a change, lol. Rob also did awesome! He won his first race in Senior Superbike and did well in his other races too.

Sunday was the nationals so 3 races for me. Wikle was in all three of these because he runs the national series. Unfortunately for me and Russ in race one we both had DNF's with mechanical issues and Chris "Wildman" Vanover won that race. I was excited for Chris. I had two more races with Russ after that. Basically the same story though, we got off together but he pulled me down the back straight and I couldn't make up the difference so I settled for 2nd and didn't do anything stupid...3rd again was way behind us.

So, after this weekend I had a great time at Road Atlanta as usual. I attributed my finishes to a young rider on a built bike with high dollar suspension and 40-50 lbs lighter than me. I guess I was making excuses for myself...but at the time I was ok with it.

Next up, Tally national...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The Tally National was next on my agenda. I hadn't raced since Road atlanta in June and Tally was in August. There were a few regionals in between but I just wasn't up for doing them, but didn't want to wait until September to race again and didn't want to go to Jennings in August:scared .

So, the Tally national was the obvious choice for me. I signed up for it. I knew it was going to be crazy hot but I made sure I was prepared for it...or at least I thought so. As I mentioned earlier, I bought a road bicycle and had been riding a lot all season. I noticed it making a big difference for sure. From the same time the previous year I had lost 22lbs. I was down from 212 to 190 lbs...but even better than the weight loss was my energy level and endurance level. I specifically was riding my bike in the 100+ degree heat to get ready for this race. I also went to ride MX on saturday before the sunday race to prepare for it. A great plan, right? Well maybe but it is all crap if you don't hydrate properly. I thought I was drinking plenty but to hydrate properly you need to drink lots of water for at least 2 days before the event. I knew that but I think I just got lax and forgot about it, and with the bicycling and mx and hot weather I used up a lot of water in my body by sunday...drinking a lot during the day kept me going but when you don't hydrate properly your body can't operate properly and go the full distance...no matter how prepared physically you are.

Ok, now on with the races! In practice I was feeling ok, maybe mx helped the day before but I felt pretty good. My father-in-law had been giving me crap about racing with Wikle again and that I would be racing for second...well that is just what I need to light a fire under me! I went out in the first race and me and wikle got away together and stayed together. I learned from earlier in the year I need to get by him, or whoever for that matter in a sprint race at first opportunity. So I did about halfway through the race I to a better line through turn one than him and got out front! I put the hammer down and pulled away a bit. It was a heck of a fun race for sure!! I was excited...only bad thing is that I had another race on the R6 right away. that is right, back to back races in 107 degree heat. I felt good after the win and was ready for another battle with Russ and that is just what we got! That is why I worked hard on the bike and MX track so I could go 2 back to back races at 100%. Well all was going according to plan until about halfway though the second race...Russ was actually holding me up in a few areas and I was just trying to find a place to get around him. I was about to make my move in the same place in turn one when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn't turn the bike. My energy was gone. Where I was diving in nice and tight before I couldn't make the bike go where I wanted it to go. I was planning my move on Russ but my body couldnt' make it happen. Very frustrating! I sat back and had 2nd wrapped up so I settled for that. The same thing happened in the 3rd race.

Another lesson learned, and that is what this is all about...learning! I knew I had him if I had hydrated properly...or at least had a shot at getting the win. It was a great weekend, it was the first time since the first race of the year that I beat Wikle head to head...plus my father-in-law didn't think I could do it. I am glad he was on pit wall when I crossed the finish line in first! Oh, and the win was on the R1! I was amped and it was also my first win at a National!

Next race, Barber regional.
 

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Convention main man
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Discussion Starter #17

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Convention main man
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13,733 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Next race if the Barber Regional. Road Atlanta and Barber are two of my favorite tracks for obvious reasons. So I was amp'd to run Barber again. Plimmer and I had done a lot of trackdays durning the year control riding with Nesba there and so I was ready to try and get some good laptimes in.

Well, not much to this story...typical to everytime I have raced at barber it was threatening rain and this weekend was no different. I decided to race both solo's on saturday and the 5 normal sprints on sunday. With the track conditions I couldn't really push the envelope much to try and some good laptimes. I was able to pull off wins in both Solo races which landed me some cash. That is always nice!

Sunday the rain came and went all day. No one knew what to do with tires. I didn't have rain types so I was either going to race on dot's or not race. Luckily most of the races I was in at least started fairly dry, but all didn't end that way. I tell you, it is really interesting going from dry to standing water on race tires! I was able to maintain and win all but one race. The one I was riding on race tires on a track that was standing water on half the track and dry on the other half. I had 2 guys in front of me on rain tires so I wanted to prove a point and beat them on race tires in the wet...not good to try and prove a point when you have won every race of the weekend and dont' have a point to prove. I slide down in that race and crashed in the wet. If I could have stayed up I probably would have won because I was staying with the guys on rains and passing them on the dry part of the track, but hey that is just speculation, who knows what would have happened.

Overall it was a good weekend. I didn't run the times I wanted to run but I finished well, won some money, didn't destroy my bike, and got some tire money.

Next up, my final race weekend as a novice at Road Atlanta!!!
 

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Convention main man
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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, last race weekend as a novice.

The WERA Grand National Finals at Road Atlanta is the biggest event of the year. It is invitation only and it is the final round of the Wera National Challenge Series and the Winner take all of the WERA Sportsman Regionals. All regions are invited and the winner of each region is crowned the National Champion.

This weekend was another special weekend because my original racing partner Eddie was back in action. First time since March that he has raced. I was so excited for him to be back out there with us! He did well to, fourth in senior superbike, not bad at all after being off the bike for so long. Also, Rob was back out to race. He did race at Barber and continued his winning ways in Senior superbike at Barber and Road Atlanta. Looks like rob will be joining me in expert next year too. If you finish top 5 in points in any region or top 5 at the GNF's you automatically get bumped to expert.

Ned, Zrider, also was able to make it out again and help us out and watch some races with us. I was able to get a chance to run in the endurance race on Friday of the event and Ned was there to help out. I liked the endurance a lot. I hope I get a chance to do some more of it in the future.

So, now for the races. I knew all the fast guys would be there, and honestly I was glad. I hadn't had much of a battle in a while racing so I wanted to race some with someone. I knew Wikle would be there and I wanted to prove to myself and a few others that it wasn't a fluke that I beat him at Tally. I knew I had a challenge because he is fast, and has a fast bike...not to mention much smaller than me. First race of the weekend, the A superstock on the 1000's with me and wikle right there starting together. We got off together and the battle was on:) I have to admit that was the funnest race I have had to date! I knew I couldn't let him get away from me and more importantly on the back straight. I got by him early in turn 7 and led him down the back straight. We continued the battle the for the whole race. I actually got away a little bit an had a small gap, I relaxed a bit and Russ caught back up. He got back by me. On the last lap I was right on his tail. Down the back straight I was tucked in as tight as I possibly could in his draft. I pulled out at the very end and on the brakes got by him going into turn 10 a...there wasn't much room but just enough to get in there. I was able to hold him off and take the win. I was pumped because all the excuses I made for myself when he beat me earlier in the year there I was able to throw out the window. Like I said, it was as much fun racing as I had all year!

I didn't have anymore sprints until Saturday and had 5 then. Russ entered all of them. Battle was on once again! Unfortunately the first race on the 1000s he fried his clutch and was out after one lap. My clutch ended up toast too but I was able to limp to the win. I didn't have anymore races on the R1 so that was good. The next 4 races were on the R6. I had already sold my R6 so I really needed to be careful on it....yeah right. lol. I am getting to know myself better and better and if I am thown a challenge I am not going to back down. Something in my brain won't let me! lol. Well Russ crashed his 600 in the first race he was in on it. So I thought I would just walk away with the wins...wrong!! As I mentioned earlier, all the fast guys come out at the GNF's. A guy showed up from out west on a super fast triumph triple 675. This dude was fast! and the bike was smokin fast! We had some great battles but I was able to hold him off for the win in the first 2 races. those were the superstock races. I tell you, I have never had someone come up beside me and pass me on the gas on the back straight at Road Atlanta on the R6, and he was doing it routinely! I was better on the brakes and through a few more areas on the track, but I think I helped show him some faster ways around the track. lol. Come time for the superbike races I had nothing for him. I was on the same bike, and he was on a superbike prepped 675...and you could tell! That bike was smokin fast on the back straight! As hard as I rode I couldn't make up the gap he would pull on the back straight. It wasn't worth wadding up my bike so I settled in for 2nd.

Sunday I had 2 more races on the R6. These were the National Challenge series and Russ had gotten his 600 back together and ready to race! Game on again! Race one was just like the race earlier on the 1000's back and forth the whole way! It was so much fun! We also pulled our laptimes down to the best I had run ever at Road Atlanta!! I ended up with the win. So I was really amp'd. I had beaten Russ on the 600 and 1000 at road atlanta. I know he is fast and to do that proved to myself I was able to step up my level of riding to accomplish that. The last race of the day and last race as a novice and on the R6 was just like the others with Russ, nonstop back and forth action! I finally got by him on the with a few laps to go. I knew if I could put the hammer down that I would put a gap on him and get the win. On the next to last lap I was rolling great, until I came out of 10b. As I exited that turn the rearend spun up and stepped out bigtime. It was the 4th race on these tires and at the pace I was running was obviously to much for the tires I was on. I did nothing any different than I had done in the several previous laps on that turn but this time it stepped out and highsided me. Luckily the bike was ok and I was too. Russ avoided running over me by inches, which I am really thankful for! lol. He went on to win that race and I was glad for him. The tires were not in bad shape and could still be ridden fast on the track, but there is a certain pace you can run with the tires you have and on those tires I was on lap 38 on those tires...all at a very high pace so wear wise they were not bad, but traction wise they had had enough. Yet another lesson learned!

Learning lessons is part of this sport, you just hope you don't learn them the hard way. With the Good Lord's help I have walked away from 2 years racing with no "hard" lessons learned. I have had my share of crashes and learned a lot from everyone of them. I can't even begin to share all of the things I have learned in the last two years of racing because each and every time I go out on the track I learn something new. I hope by writing all this it has helped some of you that are interested to go racing. Maybe it was just entertaining, and that is good too. But most of all I hope you all realize that it is about having fun. That is why I do this, and when it stops being fun I take a step away until it becomes fun again. As long as I am having fun and still improving I plan to keep at this. I love the challenge and the thrill of racing and I the guys I meet and friends I make and grow doing this you can't really put a price on.

Next season I will be expert. I am racing the 07 R1 only. I am excited about expert and have high expectations. I need to get the bike upgraded some and I need to get some sponsors lined up, son if anyone is interested let me know! It is going to be a season with a lot of money spent on tires!

Take Care,

Chad
 
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