WERA @ VIR – Aug 5, 2018

Hometown Crowd

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.

Sunday Funday

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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

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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.motorcycle

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.

Upcoming Races

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…

WERA @ Roebling Road Raceway 07/14-07/15

Sunrise, sunburn, sunset, repeat”…

is a chorus sung by Luke Bryan that completely explains the week Blake and I had sandwiched in between two motorcycle race weekends. After the Herrin Compound races last weekend he and I went to Melbourne Beach, Florida to visit friends. Blake enjoyed the sun and surf. We left the beach and headed to Roebling Road Raceway in Bloomingdale, Georgia for a weekend of racing on the Yamaha R3.

Saturday Practice

Mike along with Blake’s siblings, Ross and Abby, met us at the race track with Blake’s motorcyclemotorcycle and helped him get ready for his practice. Blake went out on his Bridgestone tires that he was on for a full race weekend at Barber. Mike asked Blake how they were and Blake said they were fine. Read more “WERA @ Roebling Road Raceway 07/14-07/15”

Herrin Compound – Scorcher Series 7/8/18

Moto-Fun, Moto-Family, & Motorcycles

Blake was at the Herrin Compound this weekend training and racing. Saturday was a practice day where Blake took a pretty hard hit. The rider in front of him crashed, unable to go anywhere Blake hit the motorcycle. He went over his handle bars and landed on his stomach, on top of the motorcycle. Blake’s motorcycle went flipping, caught up to Blake and landed on him. He got the wind knocked out of him and was pretty sore but all in all was okay. Thank goodness for his RS Taichi leathers he didn’t have a scrape on him. Later we noticed that his Shoei helmet had rubber marks from where the rear tire of his own motorcycle had hit him in the head. Praise God he was wearing all of his safety gear! Read more “Herrin Compound – Scorcher Series 7/8/18”

WERA @ Barber Motorsports Park 6/30-7/1

Bikes, Barber, and Blake

We arrived at Barber Motorsports Park Friday evening for WERA’s motorcycle races and Blake was ready to go Saturday…so he thought. After his first practice, he came in saying he didn’t feel right. The last time he was at Barber his lap times were in the 1:47 range; that first practice he was in the 1:49’s. So, he could have been doing a little better. He began doing some stretching and mind exercises to focus on the motorcycle and the job he had to get done. By the time he went out for his second practice he did much better and got back down into the 1:43’s.

motorcycle Read more “WERA @ Barber Motorsports Park 6/30-7/1”

N2 Track Days & WERA at Pitt Race

Four Days of Racing!

Four days of riding his road racing motorcycles is a dream for Blake and thanks to N2 Track Days, WERA, and Pittsburgh International Race Complex (Pitt Race) that happened this weekend. Friday, N2 Track Days Organization hosted a track day, allowing Blake to get some practice on his Yamaha R3 motorcycle.

N2 Track Days’ Friday Track Day Event

N2 Track Days Track Event Blake had practiced at Pitt Race on his Yamaha R3 one other weekend. He was supposed to race also, but in the first lap he crashed out. So, this track day was giving him some time on the track he wanted. As it seems, he has gained experience because his first session out he went faster than he did previously and by the end of the day he had done a 1:59:7 which was incredible! Right off, Blake’s rear tire was coming off the ground when he was braking so Mike adjusted the front suspension. Blake’s times were improving but he wanted Mike to adjust the gearing as well. Mike knew that would not be good, but wanted Blake to feel how the change would affect the motorcycle. Blake went out for another session and Mike saw that Blake was right, the gearing change was necessary. Once again, proving that Blake is “one with the motorcycle”.

N2 Track Days/WERA Endurance Races

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Saturday N2 Track Days along with WERA hosted their first round of their Endurance Series. Blake and his friend Owen Fairbairn entered the 2-Hour Ultra Lightweight class as team “Herrin’s Hooligans”. The Herrin Compound is where Blake and Fairbairn spend a lot of time racing, training and having fun and wanted to give credit where credit is due. They were going to be racing Blake’s “B” bike, the 2015 Yamaha R3 motorcycle. Read more “N2 Track Days & WERA at Pitt Race”