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February 2, 2009

My First Race….

picture-015.jpg…Was well actually not my first race ever…approx. a month earlier I did a small stint on an endurance race with the VRRA with a friend, where he started and finished and I filled in, in the middle of the race for about 30 mins. or so. But my first flag to flag race was an 8 lap sprint race to the finish. It was on July 22nd & 23rd 2006 and officially the John Nelson Memorial weekend and we were running the Long Track Configuration.

 

So I showed up on Friday morning with my newly acquired race license and got signed up for Novice 600 and Novice Open which are production based racing classes. Friday practice was fairly uneventful just trying to get as many laps in as I could to build up my confidence. Saturday however, was a different story. The skies opened up and rain began to fall creating a wet track.

 

With no spare rims or money for rain tiresrains.jpg I had to qualify on DOT race tires. These tires are basically grooved slicks to make them street legal and are extra sticky compared to your run of the mill street tire. Riding on these tires in the rain creates a very slippery situation and my best comparison would be riding on the ice. I was sliding both the front and the rear wheel through turn slicks.jpg1 at Shannonville which is a third or fourth gear (depending on the rider) pretty much pinned. Yes, it’s pretty fast and the only thing I was thinking was “easy…easy….there Bryan, don’t want do anything to crash” The bike was sliding pretty stable and I didn’t want to change anything until it hooked up again incase I caused it to crash by changing something ever so slightly.

 

picture-001.jpgA friend was watching from the outside of turn one and said that he could see me sliding and wondered every time I went by if this was the lap I’d go down. (Can you feel the faith in that comment??) I’ve got to omit that it was great once I came in and I didn’t crash!!! I actually qualified 5th for both my classes and the fastest guy not on rain tires!!

 

Due to scheduled special presentations on Sunday for the John Nelson plaque unveiling, etc., R.A.C.E. decided to run one Novice race on picture-002.jpgSaturday late afternoon. Too soon it was time for my first official start. I pulled up to the start after our warm up lap on a semi-dry track getting ready to go, the rev’s went up around me and I quickly realized that I was looking at the wrong official…where’s the flag quickly !!! Oh above me as all the bikes screamed by me before corner one putting me dead last…nice. During the first lap there was a huge crash further up the grid in front of me that brought out the red flag (due to injury a highside) caused by too much throttle and a semi-wet track.

 

picture-007.jpgBy the time the track had cleared it was getting too late and we were bumped to restart on Sunday morning. After a good night’s sleep camping out at the track for the pure racing experience and the cost savings of a hotel all weekend it was officially race day !!! With a few butterflies in my stomach and excited about the events to come….I was ready to go racing!!!!!

 

C’ya … Bryan……..To be continued….* Some Photos Courtesy of Flair Photo.

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