N2/WERA Races @ Roebling Road Raceway

May 20, 2019

This weekend’s WERA motorcycle races were fun ones for Blake. Wish I could have been there. Unfortunately, I missed it…again. This momma’s heart is always torn when I can’t be in two places at once. Blake’s siblings Ross and Abby had things going on at home so, I stayed behind to be a part of those. I did have fun though. Ross had his final lacrosse game of the season and Abby invited a bunch of girlfriends over and officially became a member of our church. Mike hates to miss out on what the other kids are doing but, since I can’t handle crew chief duties, off to the races he goes. Ok, enough of that.

Three Days of Motorcycle Fun

Mike and Blake arrived with his Kawasaki Ninja 400 motorcycle in tow to Roebling Road Raceway late Thursday night. One thing that is great about Roebling Road Raceway is you can get into the track 24/7. So, when they got up Friday morning they could just begin prepping for the weekend.

N2 Track Days was hosting the track day event Friday. Saturday, N2 Track Days along with WERA were hosting a 2-hour and 4-hour endurance race. Then, Sunday was WERA’s regional competitions. It was set up to be a fun-filled weekend.

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Jennings GP – FMRRA Motorcycle Races April, 2019

Blake loves being on his motorcycle and he loves motorcycle racing. Unfortunately, this month the schedule was looking pretty light. WERA only has one race weekend for him and it happens to be on Easter weekend. Easter is like Christmas for our family; we cannot miss Easter. And you know Blake just can’t get rusty so, Mike found a race.
It was one of Florida Motorcycle Road Racing Association’s (FMRRA) rounds being held down at Jennings GP in Jennings, Florida. Blake had been to the track once before when Josh Herrin came and worked with him at a track day. But, we had never raced with FMRRA. Mike and Blake said it was great; it was well organized, registration was simple, there was a podium, and the awards ceremony was quick.

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Roebling Road Raceway – WERA March 2019


Blake had a Spring Break he won’t soon forget! It was full of friends, family, motorcycles, training, and racing; all the things he enjoys!
Last weekend we went to a family wedding in Alabama. Before coming home on Sunday, we drove to Georgia and dropped Blake off to ride motorcycles with Ashton Yates. Blake and him did a lot training on his Honda xr 100. Based on videos they’d send, they’re was a ton of fun happening too.
Originally, we planned to pick Blake up Thursday on our way to WERA’s second round at Roebling Road Raceway near Savannah. Josh Booth, a friend and fellow racer, offered to pick Blake up as he passed through. That would save us 3 hours and we’d all get to the motorcycle track about bed time. That was until about 8:30 pm. On interstate 95 there was an accident and we literally put the truck in park and did not move until 3:45am! Besides it just being a bummer for us, Blake was at the track and we weren’t! But, with an awesome motorcycle family, we made a few phone calls, had several people offer beds for him and thankfully Josh took him in for the night.

Blake Being Trusted with Josh Booth’s Woman & Truck


Okay, okay, I know all of you motorcycle fans want me to shut up and move on because this was Blake’s first time on his new Kawasaki Ninja 400! Blake hadn’t even sat on the motorcycle since Mike was able to get all the race parts on; which included an M4 exhaust, Dunlop slicks, Nitron suspension (that Fast Bike Industries sent already set-up), Woodcraft clip-on’s and rear-sets. We didn’t even have the Armour Body-work on yet; just had some primer gray back-up bodywork that we picked up off a friend. So, when Blake went out for his practice session Friday, Mike told him to check out how the motorcycle felt and just take it easy.
Apparently, it felt pretty good, because as Abby and I watched him through turns 4 & 5 I asked her, “He knows he’s not racing, right?” Blake came in grinning and during his second practice session he was at his fastest Yamaha R3 speed, and by the third session he beat it. Needless to say, the “breaking in” of the new Kawasaki motorcycle was going pretty well.
Saturday, he got two practice sessions before the motorcycle races. The track was cold and chewed up Blake’s tires making for a lot of tire changing. Even so, Blake said the grip of the Dunlop’s were awesome especially with such a cold track.

Saturday: Motorcycle Races for Regional Points

The first race was D-Superbike, they were racing with the Lightweight Twins SuperStock class. That class was gridded first, then a 5 row gap, then Blake’s class. He started on row 13. By the end of the first lap, Blake had passed a bunch of motorcycles. By the end of the second lap he was racing back and forth with the overall leader from the other, faster class, Tracey Church. As the race went on, Blake knew he was going to get passed by Church and his SV650 on the straight away, every lap. But, he also knew he could pull a gap through turn one and again through turn 4. Blake’s idea was to get those gaps wide enough so the 650 could not catch up to him, on the straight, before the finish line. However, 3 lapped riders threw a wrench into things. Blake knew he had to get by them fast and in turn 5 he got by one motorcycle on the inside and 2 on the outside all in one sweeping pass. It was awesome! Blake managed to stay ahead and finished first overall!
With another big grid, the D-Superstock (the only class really intended for Blake’s motorcycle) race got under way. There was some action going into turn 2. The racers had their motorcycles leaned over and, like a domino effect, something went wrong for one racer causing the one beside him to set his motorcycle up onto the racer beside him, which happened to be Blake. Blake got pushed over into the grass, and saw a motorcycle sliding towards him, he gave his motorcycle gas, kept it on two wheels and got back on the track. Looking behind him he saw a racer lying on the grass and then the red flag. The race was re-started. Again, Blake started in the second group, behind another class. Blake worked his way through the motorcycles, getting in front of the some of the SV650’s but there were 4 of them he couldn’t catch. So, he kind of rode the rest of the race by himself. He got first in his class and 5th overall. Not nearly as exciting but we’ll take it!
Blake’s last race Saturday was Formula 2. This time Blake started on the front row and he was racing against some crazy fast motorcycles. Chris Parrish on his SV650, caught up and passed Blake right their on the front straight. But, in an awesome chain of events Blake passed Parrish going into turn one. Of course, Parrish (who won the MotoAmerica Twins Cup Championship last year) got back in front of Blake soon after. Blake did pretty good staying close for a bit but after another lap or so he was pretty much riding by himself. It started to sprinkle in that race. When a raindrop hits a racers visor, it can give a racer an exaggerated fear of the track condition. That must have happened to Blake because his lap time was a lot slower the lap the sprinkles started. With the fast motorcycles ahead of him he managed to pull a pretty good gap on everyone else and finished fourth.

Sunday: Motorcycle Practice

The sun set and rose and it was Sunday morning. These races were going to be for points in the National Challenge Series whereas Saturday’s races were for regional points.
In the first practice session, Blake was coming into turn 3 and crashed. He had 5th gear pinned, hit a bump on the track, lost the front end, slid on his stomach, and started rolling. After taking a tire to the face, he finally stopped near the sand berm.
The Black Hawk Racing team invited us to join them in their garage for the weekend. When seeing the crash truck return with Blake’s motorcycle that whole team, along with Jared Trees, and Blake’s sister Abby, all jumped in helping to get the motorcycle back together in time for the first race.

Sunday: Motorcycle Races for National Points

And it happened! Blake was on track in time for his first race, Lightweight Twin SuperStock. In another battle with Church, Blake chased him down. With a lap time of 1:18:7, Blake caught him! He went for the pass and Church shut it down hard, blocking Blake. Church tried again in the next turn but Blake got by him on the outside of turn 8. He passed Blake on the straight a few laps later, but Blake was able to use the draft to get by him in turn 1. One lap, Blake noticed Church didn’t pass him on the straight. He thought, “I got the gap big enough; gotta keep it.” He did, and he won the race.
Off the start of the Formula 2 race, Blake got stuck behind Jared Trees and then another racer got by Blake, putting him in third. On the outside of turn 3 he got by one and passed the other on the outside of 4. Unfortunately, they both passed him back on the straight. In turn 1 he got back by Trees but the other guy got a little bit of gap. Blake has a very fluid style when riding his motorcycle. You could really see it when it seemed like every lap he was passing that other racer coming out of 3 into 4. It was so smooth; he made it look effortless. That pass would help Blake to get the edge he needed to cross the start/finish line before him. It didn’t work for the last lap though. That super-bike crossed the finish line first, putting Blake in second place.

Blake and Sister Abby

Blake Doing an Interview with Mike from Bellistic

Wrap Up

All in all, Blake’s inaugural weekend on his Kawasaki Ninja 400 was great! He finished with three 1st place finishes, a 2nd place, and one 4th place finish.

Now, to get the motorcycle all finished up. The motorcycle will get painted and Mike will do some fine tuning. Then, we’ll get to sticker her up showing thanks to our sponsors! Go get ya’ some… *LUCAS OIL * MOTOLIBERTY * RS TAICHI * DUNLOP * SHOEI * N2 TRACK DAYS * HARRIS TIRE * COMMERCIAL STEEL * SELECT AIR *

MotoAmerica’s race at Road Atlanta is coming up April 5-7. Blake will be there working with the younger kids doing demonstrations with the “Mini’s at MotoAmerica “. Can’t wait to get there and see some good racing!

2018 WERA Grand National Finals

WERA’s Grand National Finals were held at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama from Thursday, October 25 – Sunday, October 28. The best amateur motorcycle road racers converged on the premises to race one last time and take home some championships. Mike and Blake left early Wednesday morning they were able to set their pit up, relax, and get to bed early.

Thursday’s Motorcycle Practice

Thursday Blake only got one practice in on his motorcycle and he was still on those raggedy tires from the previous track day weekend and the two previous race weekends. Blake used the practice to check out the track. The rest of the day WERA hosted a 4-hour endurance race. A crash happened with only 45 minutes or so left so they called the race. Mike was on a 4 man team but never got a chance for his turn before the race was over. But, his team took first, which was awesome anyway!

Friday’s Motorcycle Practice

Friday morning Mike and Blake were trying to strategize what to do about practice. It was raining but according to the weather forecast it would be stopping. So, why practice on his Yamaha R3 motorcycle in the rain if the race conditions were going to be dry? But, as Blake’s practice session got closer it seemed that the rain was going to ease up so he went out for practice. The track was wet but, the rain had stopped. By second practice it was drizzling. Blake had rain tires on his motorcycle for both sessions but just took it easy.


As Blake was getting ready for his first race, E-SuperStock, the track was still wet. But, was the rain going to start again? Or was it finished? And mist? What is that? Barely wet but wet enough to mess the track up. Was the sun going to come out and dry the track out? Or was the track going to be full of puddles? These are all questions you want to answer so you can decide what kind of tires to put on your motorcycle. You must choose between rain tires, slicks, or a street tire. Mike and Blake chose to go with rain tires on the front and back. The race got started, Blake was all bunched up in a group with Tyler Freeman, Isaiah Debusk, a racer on a KTM, and Josh Jovi. About half way through, Blake started working


his way through the group of motorcycles and by the last lap, was in front of them all except for Josh Jovi. Blake was on a mission to get in front of him, FINALLY! It seemed like it took forever for him to get going. That’s when he went 2 seconds faster than everyone else the whole race and got close enough to Josh Jovi on the last lap to draft him down the front stretch to the finish line but it was too late. Blake took second behind a Jovi’s well-earned first.

Friday’s Motorcycle Races

Before the D-SuperStock race the track was starting to dry. Again, the dilemma of what tires to put on the motorcycle. The track still had wet spots so Blake chose to run a rain tire in the front and a street tire on the rear. This race, Blake’s competition was Dallas Daniels, Damian Jigalov, Tyler Freeman, and Jamie Austadillo. Blake and Damian pulled a small gap off the start and were passing each other back and forth allowing Daniels to catch up and then, all three were passing each other taking turns leading. Coming to the finish line Blake had a good drive coming out of the last corner but there was no way he could get in Jigalov’s draft; Blake finished second behind him.

Awards were held Friday evening and some time he and Greg Reisinger, another motorcycle racer, got together and decided it was a great idea to have Blake race his Suzuki SV650. The Suzuki SV is a much bigger and faster motorcycle than Blake’s. But, Mike gave Blake the green light.

Saturday’s Motorcycle Practices

It was chilly waking up Saturday morning. Mike and Blake didn’t feel like it was necessary to go out on the cold track with Blake’s Yamaha R3 motorcycle; there was no need to take a risk of crashing when the track conditions would be warmer for the race besides, Blake had already had seat time on the track. But, because he had never ridden a SV650 before he did go out and ride around for both the first and second practice sessions on Greg’s motorcycle. Blake liked how fast it was but didn’t like how big, stiff, and heavy it was. None of which was a valid complaint about the motorcycle; the off-kilter geometry was simply the ratio of rider to motorcycle! Blake was a small guy on a big motorcycle that was set up for a lot bigger adult.

Blake only had one motorcycle race on Saturday, the Clubman class and he would be up against Jigalov again. Blake knew Jigalov had a quick motorcycle so he wanted to get a good start and just go and put as much pressure on Jigalov as he could. I don’t have a clue whether Jigalov felt the pressure but he crashed out in the final turn on the first lap of the race. Thankfully, he jumped right up and Blake continued pushing but couldn’t keep Adrian Jasso and his NSF 250 behind him. Once Jasso got in front of Blake he was gone; pulling a huge gap. Jasso took first and Blake second.

Mike Goes the “Extra Mile”

Mark Merical is a chaplain that travels to all of the WERA races to support riders when they need him whether it be physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Mark used to be a music pastor before being called to witness to the motorcycle racing community. He and his wife Dawn are Race Line Ministry they sing the National Anthem before races, they spend nights in the hospital with racers who have been hurt, they cry with families through their hurts and rejoice with those in good times. They truly are servants to the motorcycle racers. That is why it was so ironic that they created an award to honor someone who has gone the “Extra Mile” with their service to others, when they are the ones always doing that. Mark and Dawn got approval from WERA to begin this new tradition and honor someone each year at the Grand National Finals. This year they couldn’t choose one person. So, they chose two! Jim Roth and Mike! Mark spoke very nicely about Mike all of which was true. That’s why I married him!

To add even more to the excitement Saturday night, Stickboy, Blake’s Bridgestone tire guy, and his wife Lori hosted a Halloween party in their pits and encouraged the motorcycle racers to give out candy to the little ones at the track. Blake didn’t dress up nor did he do a very good job at staying at our pit to hand out candy. But, he had fun visiting people at their pits including Stickboy’s. A great time was had by all.


Sunday’s Motorcycle Races

Practices Sunday were uneventful. Before the American Motorcycle Association’s 300 SuperStock race I asked Blake where I should go to watch the race and he told me to watch from the turns in the back (14-17). He loves going through 14 and wanted me to see how good he was on his motorcycle through there. Turn 17 is the turn I like the least at this track. Really because I have seen so many crashes coming out of that turn, onto the final straight, before the finish line. I think all the racers are pushing so hard knowing they can go fast on the straight that sometimes they’re too excited and push too hard. This momma wants to yell, “slow down, be careful” but I guess then it wouldn’t be a motorcycle race. Blake got a good start and pulled a gap in front of Josh Jovi and Hunter Dunham. Blake did good, awesome in fact, through those turns he likes; so impressive. He maintained and even enlarged his gap, finishing first.

Blake saved the best for last. WERA’s 300 SuperStock race was so fun to watch. Off the start Blake was thinking he would race the same way he did in the previous race but then, Josh Jovi passed Blake going into Charlotte’s Web. Oh, and that was all it took, it was on! Blake passed him back then Jovi got him; they were passing fast and tight. motorcycleJovi had some impressive lines and late braking into some of the turns; blowing by Blake. Then there were turns that little ol’ Blake would show Jovi how it was done. Those boys had the crowd going crazy; what a show! On the final lap of the race Jovi and Blake went into turn 14, out of sight from the top of the viewing area. Everyone was holding their breath waiting to see who would come on to the front straight first; it was Jovi! Blake was now in the perfect position to draft Jovi to the finish line. But, Jovi knew it and dove to the inside to keep Blake out of his draft, Blake didn’t follow Jovi, kept his line and was able to maintain his drive onto the front straight and took the win!!!! Blake won by 8 hundredths of a second. Wow!

AMA Youth Road Racer of the Year Award

We packed up our pit and went to the final awards ceremony. The representative from the American Motorcycle Association said he had a few special awards to give out, one of which was the AMA Youth Road Racer of the year. He talked about how the winner must work hard and show good sportsmanship. Then, he told a story of a kid knocking on the door in the timing and scoring area that had a sign saying, “Authorized Personnel Only” and waited until he was told to come in. The AMA rep said, “I thought, I like this kid already.” Then announced that that was Blake and he was the AMA Youth Road Racer of the Year. What a surprise! I must admit I was cheesing a bit; this is one proud momma.

First, my husband gets an award for going the “Extra Mile” then one of my children gets recognized for his hard work and sportsmanship. I would take those two things over first place finishes any day.

Thank YOU!!

Thank you to all of you have followed Blake this season. Some of you have come to a race or two, others have watched live timing hundreds of miles from the race, others share/comment/like Blake’s social media posts, some of you have gone to Blake’s sponsors to buy products. We’ve had gifts given to us, money stuffed in our pocket to help with expenses, we’ve been given words of encouragement, and been told stories of Blake being caught being kind; all making this journey even more exciting. Without your support, Blake’s hard work, the grace and mercy of our heavenly Father we could not do this. Thank you for a great season!

WERA @ NJ Motorsports Park – 10/9/2018

Enduring to the End

It’s been a week since Blake was in New Jersey racing his motorcycle with WERA and now we are at Barber Motorsports Park so he can do a track day with Sportbike Track Time. This week went by fast!

N2 Track Day Motorcycle Event

This year Blake has really been pushing and getting his lap times faster. Surprisingly, he hasn’t had any crashes…then, there was last week at New Jersey Motorsports Park. During N2 Track Days track day event on Friday. The first half of the day went well but after lunch as Blake went into a corner he felt the front end make some movement, he managed to get it under control but as soon as he did, the back end slid out. Blake came off the motorcycle and was sliding across the pavement for quite a while, adjusting his gloves, taking in the sights, and watching his motorcycle slide. But, when he saw his motorcycle starting to lift up he was saying, “No, no, no.” but the motorcycle wasn’t listening and it started tumbling. Ugh, now there was going to be some work for Mike. Thankfully, after the crash truck brought the motorcycle in, the damage wasn’t too bad. There were no brake levers and the plastic was all beat up but after Mike did some “sewing” on the plastic he got it looking pretty good.



N2 Track Days & WERA‘s Two-Hour Endurance Motorcycle Race

N2 Track Days partners with WERA to host endurance races periodically throughout the season. This was the final endurance race for Blake. This time he partnered with Tyler Whistle to split the 2 hour race. They chose not to go out in the morning practice because it was raining and they had had the day before to get to know the track. By not going out it meant that they would have to start in the last row.

It was still raining at the start of the 2-hour endurance race so they put rain tires on the motorcycle. Blake took his turn first, starting the race for their team, Herrin’s Hooligans. Off the start he got into third place and by the end of the first lap had moved into first. By lap three he had a pulled a pretty big gap on those behind him when he saw that the team’s pit board was telling him to come in, he didn’t think that could be right, so he shook his head no and kept racing. However, when he came around again and the pit board still said to come in, he tapped his helmet acknowledging he saw the board and came into hot pit. As he was coming to a stop he saw Mike holding the transponder, they had forgotten to put it on! What a bummer! When he got back out on the track he was in last position but was able to get back up into fourth.

As he was riding the track was drying out and at the half way mark when he came in to let Whistle finish the race, they took off the rain tires and put on his normal tire. BUT, as soon as Whistle went out it started to rain; things got slippery and he crashed. He came in and had only lost a clip-on (for us who don’t know motorcycle lingo, that’s basically one side of the handlebars). The dads got it fixed, Whistle went back out, rode a while, then high-sided. This time when he came in another clip-on , a rear set (the pegs for your feet), the wind screen and a clutch lever needed fixing. The dad’s managed to fix it all and Whistle was able to get another 15 minutes or so back in the race before the time was up. Herrin’s Hooligans finished last but, hey, at one point it didn’t look like they were going to be able to finish at all.

WERA‘s National Challenge Motorcycle Series

Sunday were the races for WERA’s National Challenge Series. Blake entered three races. But, first there was practice. Blake was on top of his game, he was one second faster than the day before. Things were looking good going into his races.

The first race was E-SuperStock Blake was chasing SV 650’s and got TWO seconds faster and finished first in his class! After about half way through the D-SuperStock race Blake was able to get out of the traffic he had been in and take the lead to the finish. Clubman was the last race. Blake was third off the start but was able to pass up to first and pull a gap. Again, he rode his race, maintaining his first place position.

After Friday and Saturday’s luck I was starting to get worried about how the motorcycle races would go. But, everything turned out pretty good. Three races, three wins!

Upcoming Motorcycle Races

Like I said earlier, we are at Barber Motorsports Park down in Birmingham, Alabama for a track day with Sportbike Track Time. There is a ton of motorcycles out here. I wish more of these people would come race, they would get hooked, and how awesome would that be for the sport? We had not planned coming this weekend but it certainly doesn’t hurt for Blake to get some more seat time here since WERA’s Grand National Finals will be here in two weeks. Hopefully, Blake can come home with some Championships for the season!

Until next time…have fun and be safe!