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!