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.
Mike along with Blake’s siblings, Ross and Abby, met us at the race track with Blake’s motorcycle 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.
Saturday’s Motorcycle Races
His first race was E-SuperStock. There was another class racing with him that had several Suzuki SV 650’s. Blake was trying to stick with the SV in front of him but, coming out of turn 9 the racer on the SV tucked the front and crashed. A piece of that guys motorcycle (the spool for his stand) came off, bouncing across the track. Blake hit it with his front tire and almost crashed but was able to keep it on two wheels. After that, there was only one motorcycle in front of him, John Wilkins on an SV also. Blake tried to stay near him but couldn’t hang, Wilkins pulled a gap. So, Blake decided he was going to try and put down the fastest lap time he could. 1:22 was his fastest lap (and happens to be his race number); he finished 1st in his class.
Blake started the D-SuperStock race with the goal of keeping up with Wilkins on that Suzuki SV 650 again. There’s an old saying, “Shoot for the moon. Even f you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Blake missed the “moon”, he couldn’t catch Wilkins but, he landed among the stars, finishing first in his class. Not too bad.
For the Clubman race Blake chose to start at the back of the grid. He got a great start; passing all but 4 racers by the time he was going into turn one. He got by two of the motorcycle racers and eventually got close enough to Owen Fairbairn and Isaiah Debusk to use their double draft and pass them going into turn one on lap two and held the lead for the remainder of the race.
Sunday in practice Blake got his lap times down into the 1:21’s. He reassured Mike that, although his tires had lost a lot of their grip, they were still safe. So, Mike let him finish out the day on those old Bridgestone tires.
Sunday’s Motorcycle Races
Starting from row 13 in the E-SuperStock class with the SV’s on row 1, Blake knew he had his work cut out for him. He surprised himself and everyone else when we was 3rd overall by the 2nd lap. He started to get excited when he’d gain on the two SV 650’s in front of him in the turns. But, just couldn’t get close enough on the straights to get pulled by their draft. The race finished with Blake 3rd overall and 1st in class.
Starting on row 5 in the D-SuperStock race got Blake eager to beat those SV’s on the front row. This time he got to the 3rd overall position by turn one behind Russell Masecar and Mike Copolis. He was catching up in the corners again but this time he was able to close enough to use their drafts on the straights. Blake had so much fun. He’d get up beside Masecar in turns 8 and 9 then Masecar would power in front of him on the front straight where Blake would get in his draft. He was consistently doing 1:20 lap times but even got a 1:19:7! That is fast for a Yamaha R3.
Mike told Blake he wanted him to start the Clubman race from pit lane. So, that’s what Blake did. It was funny because as the announcer was broadcasting the motorcycle racers competing in the race he noticed Blake on pit lane and suggested the possibility that Blake was having mechanical issues. Then, he suspected Blake was starting from pit lane. The green flag flew but Mike told Blake to wait. I asked Blake was he scared he was going to lose when all the other motorcycles took off. He said, “No.” I asked him what was he thinking. With a grin he said, “I just wanted to go!” Once Blake’s competitors made it through turn 1 Mike told him to go. Every lap he was making progress passing people. Then, Blake saw the flags indicating the race was half over. He knew he still had some work to do. He passed by one motorcycle racer in turn 8 and another in 9 and got into Isaiah Debusk’s draft and passed him on the front straight. He made sure to stay in front and finish first and that’s what he did!
Motorcycle Racer Re-Cap
He went 6 for 6 this weekend on old tires and pump gas. By day he worked hard to beat his competitors. By night he had fun with those same people. This kid is awesome. Okay, I know he’s mine, but I love his attitude. He is so serious on the track with winning as his only thought. He doesn’t care what anyone else is doing; he is there to win. When he’s off the track he doesn’t care about what happened on the track he’s just there to have fun. If we all could be a little more like that…work hard, play hard!
Mike is going to MotoAmerica’s race at the Utah Motorsports Campus this weekend to serve as a crew chief for Hunter Dunham on the Tuned Racing team. Blake is so jealous. Unfortunately, for him he will just have to watch the races on the Bein channel at home all the way back here in Virginia.
Blake’s next race will be at Virginia International Raceway the first weekend in August. He will race his normal D & E SuperStock and Clubman classes but he will also compete in the 2nd round of the N2/WERA endurance race. Blake will race with Owen Fairbairn in the 2-hr Lightweight Class as team “Herrin’s Holligans”. It will be close to home so Blake will have a good crowd to cheer him on. With plans to camp and tailgate we are all looking forward to it. Maybe we’ll see you at a motorcycle track soon…