N2 Track Days Motorcycle Track Day Event
Friday N2 Track Days held a track day event at Virginia International Raceway (VIR). This worked out perfect for Blake since WERA was hosting their races there for the weekend. Although the N2 Track Day staff worked hard to give everyone time on the track the weather wasn’t as cooperative. It rained off and on all day. Some of Blake’s sessions the track was dry in places then other sessions the track had water all over it. Rain doesn’t deter Blake from getting on the track, just as long as he gets to ride. In fact, when I asked what went well he said, “I got good rain practice in and was reminded how the track went.” Despite Mike trying to nonchalantly encourage Blake to park it for the day, Blake rode through to his last session.
N2 Track Days/WERA Endurance Race
Saturday N2 co-hosted the 2nd Endurance race of the season along with WERA. Blake and Owen Fairbairn teamed up once again as “Herrin’s Hooligans” (a nod to their time spent training on motorcycles at the Herrin Compound) for the 2-Hour Ultra-Lightweight competition. After finishing 2nd at the first event, their hopes were high for another podium finish.
Owen started on the motorcycle first, the race got red flagged and we learned Owen had crashed. Another racer had crashed in front of him, he had nowhere to go, hit that guy’s motorcycle, landed in wet grass and crashed pretty hard into a tire wall. Thankfully, Owen was okay and was even able to drive the motorcycle back to hot pit. The only fix on the motorcycle was to straighten a clip-on (one side of the handlebar). Owen got back on the motorcycle and was only one lap down at that point. This time while Owen was racing he was just too wore out, his lap times started to drop and he crashed again. This time both clip-on’s along with another one or two minor fixes had to be made before Blake could begin his stint on the motorcycle.
Once Blake got on the track “Herrin’s Hooligans” were 2 laps down. With only 20 or 30 minutes left in the race Blake managed to pass 8 racers; finishing 11th. It wasn’t podium but it sure was a valiant effort. Fortunately, Owen had no major injuries and will be back on a motorcycle in time for the next WERA race. UN-fortunately after going over the motorcycle better the frame and forks were bent so it will need some work before it gets back on the track.
Saturday night, we, along with some friends went over to VIR’s kart track and rode go-karts. Man, those things will fly. The only time I’ve ever ridden the karts all the guys we were with, including both of my sons and husband, gave me a hard time about driving like a granny. So, this time I had to show them what I was made of and…I got the 3rd fastest lap time in my group. Maybe Blake got his speed from his momma…ok, maybe not. We had a great time. Patrick Eagen runs great programs out at VIR’s kart track including go-kart and Supermoto races.
VIR is right near Danville, Virginia, about an hour and a half from our house. Various friends and family asked for details so they could come see Blake race. Boy oh boy, the hometown crowd sure did show up. Besides our immediate family there were 40 people that came to support Blake; at an amateur race, that is a lot! After everyone going to the Raceline Chapel Service with us, we had lunch. Hotdogs, watermelon, and fans (it was so hot I pulled 3 electric fans outside) at our campsite with anyone who wanted to join in to try and thank friends and family for coming and to show them a good time at the race track.
Sunday’s Motorcycle Races
Off the start in the E-SuperStock race Jared Trees got in front of Blake but not for long. Going into turn 1 Blake was able to get by him. As he was coming up on a lapped rider, Isaiah Debusk was catching up to Blake. He and Isaiah split the lapped rider going into a turn and Isaiah got in front of Blake coming out of the turn. Blake managed to get in his draft and pass Debusk going into turn 1. From that point Blake was able to stay up front the rest of the race and win!
Blake got a good start in the D-SuperStock race and passed a bunch of motorcycles in front of him. For a good part of the race Blake could see a Suzuki SV a short distance ahead of him. Blake was slowly gaining on him; on the final lap Blake kept coming up beside the SV in the turns. But when there was a short shoot (a small straight section in the track) or a straight the racer would pull ahead of Blake. Even though Blake had his sights set on beating that racer and was unable to he did get 1st in his class.
Blake took off at the start of the Clubman race and Heather Syzmanic got up beside Blake left her behind once he got by her going into turn 1. The rest of the race he was up front and brought home a 1st in that race as well.
Food, Family & Fun
Cornhole, grilling, go-karting, camping, tailgating, and watching motorcycle races with friends and family made the race weekend even better than normal. I’m so thankful that God has given us a church family, moto-family, biological family, and friends that are family who are supportive and happy for Blake and his motorcycle racing.
This weekend, August 11th & 12th, the professionals are racing at Sonoma Raceway in California. Mike is their as a crew chief for Tuned Racing. Then, Talladega Gran Prix Raceway will be where WERA hosts Blake’s next motorcycle race on August 18th & 19th. It’s a busy time of year. School will start for Blake and his siblings August 22nd. Until next time…