Rispoli: Historic Lima Half Mile
NEWS June 30, 2009
I did a lot of experimenting in practice with gearing, chain length and tires...it was tough, with little time between qualifying, but Dick and the Weirbach crew got it done and we had some data for the heats. I qualified well, second in free practice, changed things up and did a 10th in first timed and then came back with a second (off by a couple of tenths) in the final Q. I managed 5th overall and was happy with that and the data we collected. In the heat I checked out lines, made some observations on changing track conditions and pulled in a safe second place guaranteeing me a front row start.
In the final I had third pick on the front row and I grabbed a spot that wasn't in a trench. I got a good start and managed to challenge for the lead right away. Vanderkurt took the point and was running his standard Michigan line, right out on the bails, high wide and handsome. I was baking it off in the corners, getting her turned chasing some of the moisture on the bottom of the track. I had seen Vanderkurt get into a little trouble up top earlier in the day and thought if he bobbled and I had some sweet lines I could maneuver on him for the lead and that's exactly what happened. I had three laps toward the end of the race where I was leading and where Palmer came up to challenge. Palmer was running well but made some moves and pushed me out toward the fence a couple of times and I had to wonder; what's up with this crap. I changed up my line a little since where I was running was starting to go away and both Palmer and Vanderkurt followed me to the bottom. Vanderkurt got some good drives down there while I had to continue with Palmer only to lose out the position on the last lap. I was a bit pissed at how he raced me but I'm sure we can pay back the favor some other time. This was the first time I ever raced against this guy, and he seems to be a lot older than most of us new pros. Anyway, I was happy to be on the podium again and get back 5 of the points I needed to close the gap on Baker.
I had an awesome time especially since everyone had a safe day of racing. I have been thinking about Nick Cummings one of the best peagravel cushion riders around and wanted to just ask everyone to keep Nick in their thoughts and prayers as he continues to recover from his Dayton race accident. I also want to shout out to my buds at Bravo Condoms. Boyz the product was a hit, my posters went like hot cakes and it made for some good conversation about healthy life styles and racing. We had a great response, so thank you!!!
I need to thank a lot of people as always! My team Weirbach Racing has done an excellent job in preparing my Honda race bikes and supporting me and all the equipment at the race track. Dad and everyone else involved I want to say a huge thank you.
Last, I head this week to Monterey, California where I was selected for a "one-off" ride with Chris Ulrich's Roadracingworld.com Suzuki race team at the Laguna Seca round in the AMA Pro SuperSport class. I will be riding during the event of a life-time with all the MotoGP stars there to race the same weekend. I can't thank Chris Ulrich enough for thinking of me for this sweet ride opportunity.
I also want to mention that Cycle Dynamics, the team I won the Daytona 300 with last year is completing a one-off custom frame motorcycle for me to challenge the land speed record in the 650 fuel and 650 alcohol class at Bonneville Salt Flats August 30 - September 3rd. I will be chasing a 1961 world speed record on this beautiful prepared machine. Again and big thank you to Charlie Benton, owner, creator and fabricator of the land speed bike and for thinking I'm the guy he wants to break the record with. Please stay tune to some great pictures and the official press release in a few weeks.
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