B.j. Is back on the bearracing Buell this weekend! Here is a look at the new paint scheme for this weekends race in the MCRA Series at Heartland Park. Thanks to all out sponsors, friends and fans who help support bearracing! We’ll see you at the track! #gofast
bearracing 2013 Season motorcycle schedule
2012 MCRA Class Champions Awards Dinner Banquet St. Louis Mo. (Jan 12,2013)
- March 13-16 2013 AMA Pro Racing Daytona 200 (Pit Crew Service for race team)**
- April 20-21 Heartland Park Topeka Trackday #1 & #2 Weekend.
- April 20-21 Putnam Park Road Course -MCRA Series Race 1 & 2
- May 4-5 Heartland Park-Topeka Heart of America CycleFest -CCS series MW**
- Track Hosted Practice day on May 3rd
- May 18-19 Blackhawk Farms Raceway -CCS series MW
- May 25-26 Gateway Motorsports Park -CCS series MW/ MCRA Series Race 3 & 4**
- May 27 Memorial Day (Monday) Heartland Park Topeka Trackday # 3
- June 23 Heartland Park Topeka Trackday #4**
- June 29-30 Gateway Motorsports Park –MCRA Series Race 5 & 6
- July 6-7 Road America -CCS series MW
- July 20-21 Heartland Park Topeka Trackday #6 & #7 Weekend
- July 20-21 Blackhawk Farms Raceway -CCS series MW
- August 17-18 Heartland Park Topeka Trackday #8 & #9 Weekend
- August 17-18 Blackhawk Farms Raceway -CCS series MW
- September 7-8 Gateway Motorsports Park –MCRA Series Race 7 & 8
- September 21-22 Blackhawk Farms Raceway -CCS series MW
- September 28-29 Heartland Park Topeka Trackday #10 & #11 Weekend
- October 5-6 Gateway Motorsports Park –MCRA Series Race 9 & 10**
- October 19-20 Heartland Park Topeka Trackday #12 & #13 Weekend
- Date TBA Kansas Speedway Trackday (1-3 events possible schedule)
**= Events that we have funding for to compete.
Well the 2012 MCRA season has come to an end. The bearracing Buell was very successful in our first season of racing. After a long winter and spring building our own Buell XB12R Firebolt race bike. We was finally able to take to the track halfway through the 16 race season schedule in the MCRA I-70 Challenge Series. With 8 races remaining in the season we made a goal to try and place at least 3rd in the championship standings. This would earn us a place in MCRA Awards dinner banquet for the 2012 racing season.
Our race season would start out like this as you read our story below.
We showed up July 7&8 at our home track Heartland Park Topeka Kansas. For our first race in the MCRA series. We had a few problems with the bike early in the day getting things sorted and set up for the race. Issues with our chain drive setup proved to be the biggest problem. Also the tuning program in the EMC would cause the bike to not run right. This was to be expected with a newly built bike and we never gave up till it was time to start the race. My good friend professional AMA Pro road racer Walt Sipp even came out to offer his support and guidance. With a fresh set of Dunlop Sportmax Q2 tires we took to the starting grid. The drop of the green and the Buell launched off the starting line! I would quickly move into 2nd place on the very first lap. My inexperience would get the best of me though. I tried to make a bold move on the leader of the race to try and take the lead of lap 1. This would only cause me to run off track and into the grass. I would gather the bike up and get back on track and calm myself down. No need to try and do something crazy in our first race. Just ride and have a strong showing on the track.
None the less we proved just that with a solid 3rd place podium finish for our efforts. We were pretty happy with the results of how the bike ran on its first race. The bike on the other hand was not happy! Ha haha.. it had been put to the test! Although it seamed to hold up just fine in the conditions. We then would get it ready for race 2 of the weekend on Sunday. Again some more gremlins would pop up during the first practice session in the morning. Mainly issues with the chain tension and sprocket gearing. We just couldn’t get a handle on this problem and we done practicing till we could resolve this issue. This would prove costly to us in the race as it took up all of our attention. It didn’t allow bearracing pit crew members time to focus on other issues on the bike.
Not only that.. but a strong pop thunderstorm also blew through Topeka Kansas and soaked the Heartland Park road course. This halted all action for about a hour and we weathered heavy rain and high winds and lots of lightening! We would have a rain race? Luckily may guys got back to work once the rain stopped. Cleaned up the bike and made great adjustments and we was able to ride the final two practice sessions before the race. The bike felt good even on the wet track.. While others changed to rain tires. We still had our Dunlop Q2’s on the bike. They gripped the track very well and by race time a dry line was seen in the racing grove.
As we lined up on the starting grid for race 2 of the weekend. I knew what I had to do in the race to run solid and get a good finish. Stay calm, not be greedy, and be smooth and patience would be key. If I could manage this all in my head and go fast as well, we would have a decent race. The green flag flew and the bike choked off the starting line. I would stay close to the leaders and just plan my passes on my strong points on the track. I was closing in and running 3rd looking for 2nd. Then some thing didn’t sound right. Then bike then started to feel a little sluggish as well. As I poured the throttle on to make a pass for 2nd. The muffler would come lose from the header pipe and lose all back pressure. Or chance to contend for a win or 2nd place was over and I was able to limp it home for 3rd place once again.
Still a good showing on our first race weekend with our newly built Buell race bike though. We knew though that we had more work to do on the bike before the next race though. 2 podium finishes of 3rd place put us in 5th place in the championship standings though. There was now hope that perhaps if we could get the funding to make the next race. We would gain more points toward the top 3 of the championship. The next race would be at Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis Mo. That was now our focus, make more races, earn more points, place in the top 3 of the championship. In order to do this though we had to get the bearracing #12 Buell XB12R Firebolt much better! You can read about the 2nd race weekend for the bearracing Buell already posted here on the website titled 1st MCRA Race Win! Gateway Motorsports Park, St. Louis.
Check back soon for the story of the 3rd race weekend and the return of the MCRA going back to Heartland Park Topeka. Followed by the final race event of the season back at Gateway again.
Our 1st race at Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis Mo. with the MCRA Series.. Also know as Mid West Cafe Racing Association started out rough. We had bike issues in the 1st practice session and where only able to make 3 practice laps all day. Our bearracing team runs a Buell XB12R Firebolt. It has a EBR (Erik Buell Racing) XB race use only motor. Open air box kit and breather mod.
We started the bike to warm it up to head out on the track for practice. After waiting to0 long to go out. I shut the bike back off to keep it from getting to hot and burning to0 much fuel sitting and waiting. Once it was clear we would go out on the track. I restarted the bike. Only this time it would make a loud clanking/ banging noise upon start up. All seemed fine once it got running and I put the bike in 1st gear and rolled out of the garage at Gateway and on to the track. Gaining more speed I shifted into 2nd gear and and then tried to shift to third but the shifter was stuck in 2nd. I then couldn’t shift back to 1st or even get it back into neutral. I pulled into the garage thinking my shifter linkage was out of whack from perhaps the long trip from Kansas. Perhaps some gear, spare tires or some thing bumped the shifter during travel and put it out of whack. Once I got a closer look I knew it was some thing more terminal. We finally got it back into neutral and restarted the bike on our T-Rex race stands. 1st gear was fine… back into neutral just fine.. shifted to 2nd.. BANG! Loud noise.. We shut the bike off and think perhaps a tooth broke off in the transmission gear. We would be done for the day and the weekend of racing.
We ended up sitting in the garage area stumped on what we could do to try and fix the bike. We then guessed it would be too much of a repair job to do in the garage area at the track. I asked fellow Buell racer Dave Myers if he knew anything about what could be wrong. His answer was thinking it could be a tooth from the transmission broke off in there and suggested we don’t start the bike any more.
Dave then realized I was racing for points in the MCRA Am GT Lights race. He offered his very own Buell XB12R Firebolt for me to ride in the race. To collect a few race points towards the championship. Here is a picture of Dave’s #16 Buell Firebolt I would borrow to make the race with.
I would start 1st in the race by time stamp entry form. This would end up not meaning to much as now I was only going to run 2-3 laps of the 25min sprint race to collect a few race points. My competitors on the track also knew of my misfortune of the bearracing Buell race bike. So they knew I would not be a factor in the race. The green flag fell at 4:35pm and we raced into turn 1. I let them all pass by me into the 1st turn. Dave’s #16 Buell felt awesome and had lots of power! It was great jumping on another Buell that was set up just about like mine. Only with top notch race style parts. I completed lap one and ran down into turn 1 again.. got over to turn 2 where I saw the yellow flag waving. (Yellow flag would mean caution on the race track!) As I got closer I saw a bike off in the grass and crashed pretty hard. It would be the points leader of my race class. This would move me up a position in the race! I then came to turn 3 and saw more bike carnage all over the place! I would complete my 2nd lap and knew that I would be pulling in on my next lap on Dave’s bike that i borrowed to make some laps for points.
I came by the front straight one more time to make sure that any crashed bikes that might be in my class. I would be passing them, as they where wrecked. With the thought of wrecking Dave’s Buell. I only raced a respected speed so I wouldn’t fall down and damage his Buell. I returned to the site on the track where the crash took place. I seen now that the ambulance was out on the track during the race! It didn’t matter much now though cause this was my 3rd official lap and would be pulling off the track. Once I made it close to pit road, I seen the red flag come out and the race would be stopped. After all the dust was settled and the clean up from the crash began. I was scored in 1st place and only had to complete 3 more laps on a full race restart. All my class competitors had crashed out of the race on lap 2! I couldn’t believe it! We pulled into victory lane at Gateway Motorsports Park! (Also known as Gateway International Raceway). WOW our 1st win in only my 3rd start in the 2012 MCRA I-70 Series Challenge Race! Dave couldn’t even believe it either! No one has ever seen anything like this happen before during a race. The last bike standing at the end of the day… Was a American Made Sportbike.. The Buell Firebolt owned by Dave Myers with rider B.J. De Jong at the controls.
Here above is the picture of me standing in victory land with all the trophy girls. There would be no 2nd or 3rd place scored as no one else finished the race! The Buell was the only bike to make it to the checkered flag!
This win moves me up the championship points standings to 3rd place for the MCRA I-70 Series Challenge for the Am GT Lights Class! Our goal is to try and finish in the top 3 for the season championship! This would get our team invited to the season ending awards dinner in St. Louis Mo! Giving our bearracing team the chance to thank our sponsors and supporters during the race season.
After the victory lane celebration was over. I went over and talked to the crashed riders to see if they were OK. They all gave me many congrats on my 1st win. As they seamed to be OK, but a little banged up and sore for the most part. We cant say the same about there motorcycles though! Some had been pretty well damaged, we’ll see if they can get them repaired by the next race at Putnam Indiana Sept 8-9 2012.
As for me! I will be working on my Buell as well to prepare for my next race also. Unfortunately it wont be till Sept 29th-30th as we don’t have enough sponsorship funding (Dollars) to make it to the next race at Putnam Sept 8-9. So we will have to make the most of our missed points at our home track Heartland Park Topeka Kansas!