WERA @ Roebling Road Raceway – July 2019

If this weekend was going to be remembered for anything it was that it was so hot rubber melted. Yep, the motorcycle tires seemed to literally be melting when Blake came off the racetrack.

Saturday’s Motorcycle Practice

Blake went out for his first practice on Saturday with the tires from his last race weekend. For the second practice he and Mike decided to put on new tires. When he came in from that practice the tires were destroyed! Roebling Road Raceway is known for having a rougher surface, that is hard on tires. So, you expect to go through tires a little faster, but this seemed crazy. But, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Read more “WERA @ Roebling Road Raceway – July 2019”

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!

WERA @ Road Atlanta – Sept. 9th & 10th

The Double-Edged Sword

You’ve heard of a double-edged sword, right? One thing that has both a good and bad consequence. Well, Blake had 6 motorcycle races this weekend and won all of them, that’s the good side of things. The bad? Blake and I trying to do the race report. At the risk of sounding like an ego-maniac, things just aren’t as interesting when he keeps winning. It’s nice to have to sweat it out and work really hard for it. Blake certainly has races like that, but lately, he has been on a roll and doing well. And the race reports just sound repetitive. I hope I can keep you interested…

Saturday’s Practice

This weekend’s WERA motorcycle race was at Road Atlanta down in Georgia. It was sunny and humid just as you would expect. Blake went out for the first practice on Saturday feeling motorcycleout both his Yamaha R3 and the track. Mike has started giving Blake a list of questions when he comes in from practice to fill out, so Mike can look it over and see if any adjustments need to be made to the motorcycle. It helps them both to think things through and check all the possible ways to make the motorcycle work at its best.

One of the questions has to do with the motorcycle’s chassis. Blake said that the right clip-on felt like it was turned in too much. Mike took some measurements and was flabbergasted to find that indeed the left clip-on (or handlebar for us non-motorcycle people) was off by 3 millimeters. MILLIMETERS people!! From what I hear, racers are OCD about their motorcycles. I guess you can count Blake in on that. And sure enough after the second practice Blake got his lap times down to 1:48:0.

Saturday’s Motorcycle Races

In both the E-SuperStock and D-SuperStock races he got good starts and stayed out in front of his class and most everyone else also. Of course, there were faster motorcycles competing from other classes in front of him and in his mind, he was going to catch them, but the checkered flag just didn’t allow enough time. He took first in both of those races.

The Clubman race was about the same. He got a good start on his motorcycle, he did see his friend Isaiah DeBusk come close a few times, but Blake went ahead and took first in that race as well.

Saturday Night Fun


Saturday night we went with friends who found a fun place to get ice-cream. They use a stainless-steel top cooled with nitrogen and pour the milk mixture on top, then when the mixture freezes they scrape it up with a spatula making it roll up real pretty. Abby, Blake’s sister, was thrilled because she had seen pictures but had never had any. Blake ordered a dessert called Dragon’s Breath. It was a cup with liquid Nitrogen in the bottom and wafer pieces on top. Then, when you put a wafer in your mouth you could “blow smoke” just like a dragon! We all had fun with that.

Sunday Practice


Blake was excited to see both Josh Jovi and Draik Beauchamp at the track this weekend. Both are older guys (I think they’re 18 or 19) that Blake has always tried chasing down at motorcycle races/track days. The responsibilities of adulthood have kept Jovi away from motorcycles this season and Beauchamp who has been competing in MotoAmerica’s Junior Cup had some time to be there this weekend.

In Sunday’s practice Blake, Jovi, and Beauchamp all kind of ran together on their motorcycles and had a good time. When Blake came in from that practice I asked him how it went, he said it was good, and had no complaints.

Sunday’s Motorcycle Races

Beauchamp competed against Blake in the E-SuperStock race. Blake got him off the start but by turn 6 Beauchamp passed him. Then, Blake got him back coming out of turn 7, Beauchamp wasn’t having it and drafted by Blake on the back stretch. Blake did the same on the front. The rest of the race Blake drafted Beauchamp on the front and he drafted Blake on the back. Except the final lap, once Blake saw the white flag wave he chose not to draft Beauchamp until the back straight. Blake drafted him and coming down the hill into turn 10 they were side by side. Blake wanted to brake but was trying to wait until Beauchamp did. He kept waiting and was afraid he was going to blow the turn. Finally, he saw Beauchamp sit up so, Blake quickly braked and got by Beauchamp managing to stay in front of him until the finish line. Woo-hoo, Blake took the win!!

Unfortunately, Beauchamp wasn’t in Blake’s next race, D-SuperStock. Blake got on his motorcycle started, finished, and won without any excitement.

To work on his passing, by choice, Blake started on row 22 in the Clubman race. Off the start he got his motorcycle up close to the front by turn six. By the time he got the first lap finished he was in fourth. However, the first 3 motorcycles still had a gap on him. Coming out of turn 7 on the second lap he passed for the lead and pulled a gap on them. After four laps left he was ahead by the length of the straight. He took his 6th win of the weekend.


On the way home, when Blake was recapping the weekend he said he wanted to learn how to “manage the gap”. Meaning, that when he is in the lead he can figure out how hard he needs to keep pushing to keep the lead. It isn’t smart to take unnecessary risks if no one is threatening your position. However, you don’t want to slow down too much and have someone pressure you at the last minute. He also said he wants to start using his back brake more. The back brake isn’t used a whole lot but can be an advantage to the racer if he manipulates it correctly.

Upcoming Races

This weekend Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the east coast around Virginia and North Carolina. If that is the case Blake will head down to the Herrin Compound to do some training and racing on his Honda CRF100. If not, he may just stay home. The whole idea of being-stuck-in-the-house-because-of-a-ton-of -rain-from-a-hurricane drives both Blake and his dad crazy being that they can’t sit still. So, I’m thinking they’ll head south if things there don’t get cancelled.

Go fast, have fun, be safe. 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”