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.