Motorcycle racing helped Blake to get an early start on his Spring Break. He left school Thursday afternoon to get down to Roebling Road Raceway in Bloomingdale, Georgia for a full day of practice on Friday. Before practice Blake and Mike talked about Blake’s need to get his speed up earlier on in his race weekends. His last race at ”Little Talley” his fastest lap was in his last race. It sure would be nice for that to happen earlier in the weekend so he could have better results. With four practice sessions on Friday, Blake worked to push himself harder earlier. In the first session his fastest lap time was 1:28. In the next session, he got down to a 1:26 and in the last two his fastest laps were 1:24. So, it seemed he was pushing himself.
However, when Blake came in from his first practice session on Saturday he was really upset with himself. I asked why and he said he didn’t get a clean lap; he was having to work through a lot of traffic instead of getting to push his speed. I had to tell him to relax and not be so hard on himself and hopefully his next practice would be better. And it was, not a whole lot better but, he did get one clean lap and his time was down into the low 1:24’s. He was feeling good going into his first race.
Regional Clubman Race
Mike told me that this year the Clubman and the D-SuperStock were classes Blake was racing up in. However, the rules very recently changed for the Clubman and there were even bigger motorcycles allowed than he originally thought. So, Mike told me Saturday morning that Blake would finish in the back for the Clubman race but at least it was more seat time. Blake got a good start, he and Damian Jigalov were side by side, another racer was up ahead. Then, a fourth racer came up from behind and got by them. Jigalov was able to get back around him but Blake couldn’t. Blake could get by him in the turns but had nothing for that motorcycle on the straights. Blake kept pushing, getting his lap time down to 1:23 flat and after a few more laps got by him again and just in a nick of time. As Blake was passing him, the racer’s motorcycle blew oil everywhere. Blake stayed collected and finished in third place.
Regional E-SuperStock Race
The E-SuperStock class is the perfect class for Blake on the Yamaha R3. Blake got a clean start but had to spend most of the race trying to keep Draik Beauchamp behind him. It was really fun to watch, their motorcycles have stock motors making them very comparable competitors. Almost every lap coming onto the straight, Beauchamp would use the draft to pull him up to Blake, giving him enough speed to get around him. However, an advantage of Blake being a light-weight was being able to pass Beauchamp back further down the straight. Even though one of Blake’s strengths is his late braking into turns Beauchamp was able to hold off longer than Blake going into turn 4 on the last lap. Blake had to begin strategizing. He thought he must have been getting a better drive coming out of the last turn onto the straight because of how long it would take Beauchamp to get behind him for the draft. So, he set up the turn, came around Beauchamp and decided he was going to have to drag race it to the line. It worked! Blake beat him at the line and took second! All that hard racing pushed Blake’s lap time down to a 1:22:8.
Regional D-SuperStock Race
There was a two-wave start for the D-SuperStock race. The first wave included 21 motorcycles. Blake was starting with that group on the 9th row. When the green flag waved to start the race, this momma got a little nervous. There were motorcycles swerving all over the place, jockeying for position. I was glad to see Blake found a pocket on the inside and shot straight up towards the front without getting too caught up in that mess. Blake’s competition in this race was against a 690cc. Blake would work to catch up to that motorcycle and even pass him through the turns but would be left behind on the straight. Blake finished behind him in third.
Oh, it was so nice being further south down in Georgia at the race track the week of the time change. The days seemed nice and long and sunny and warm! It was wonderful! Blake and the other kids certainly enjoyed it as well. After dinner, Blake was running around playing tag, hide and seek and riding his bicycle. A good ending to a good day.
WERA’s races on Saturday were for Regional points and Sunday’s were for National points. After practice on Sunday, Blake came in and told Mike that the front end was “hopping and wanting to tuck”.
National 300 SuperStock
Blake’s race was the second one so out he went. The race was pretty much a repeat of Saturday’s E-SuperStock race. Blake was trying to hold Beauchamp off for the entire race and Beauchamp was great at drafting Blake on the straight. Again, it came down to the final straight to the finish line. Blake tried taking a different line so that Beauchamp wouldn’t draft him which was smart. But, he didn’t hold that different line he drifted back over which gave Beauchamp the draft and he got by Blake beating him by one hundredth of a second, putting Blake in 3rd place.
As soon as Blake came in he told Mike he knew that drifting back over onto his original line was a mistake. He also, was curious as to why the back end was sliding around. Mike grinned, and said he added air pressure to his rear tire, oops. It always amazes me that one psi can change so much. Blake did get down to 1:22 again which shows me that he was doing his best from earlier on. The first thing Blake wanted to do after the race was go talk to Beauchamp about how awesome their racing was. I love the good sportsmanship you see at the motorcycle races.
We picked up a friend of Blake’s at the track, left and headed to Myrtle Beach for some good times. The boys have already gotten into the freezing cold ocean, soaked in the hot tub, and geocaching. Seafood, arcade, board games, and bike rides are on the agenda as well. I love our time together (even though I’m missing both of our girls). We will end the week at the Herrin Compound for races there. We don’t have another WERA race until April 21 at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway.
It was a good race weekend and I’m counting on a good Spring Break too!