Rispoli: Springfield Report
NEWS June 10, 2010
I have been on the road for several weeks between road racing and dirttrack racing being home just one week; its been just crazy. I worked with my team and sponsors to get together with all the best components and manufacturers to challenge the two key disciplines Springfield has to offer the mile and TT. And, if that wasn't enough we prepared two full on AMA Pro SuperSport bikes to chase the podium at Road America the following weekend. It's been a crazy couple of months since Daytona but I am really ready for the challenge ahead. I have so many people to thank that were involved and all I can say is thank you to each and every one for your products, labor support, help and technology. Without each of you this dream could not continue to be stoked. Thank you!
On the trip out with Dustin my mechanic we were trucking along and about half way to Springfield the van didn't want to start. Its a diesel so I was lost so I gave one of my crew chiefs over at Team Hooters a call and found out what the problem was. I was given a procedure to get it started that worked and was told not to shut it off till I got to my destination. As it turns out the van made it to the door of the Ford dealer near Hall's H-D, where we rented a U-Haul truck, made the transfer and was ready to go again. The U-Haul was bigger than the van so that was cool but because of the long weekend I needed to wait till Tuesday for them to start to work on the van. The fix tuned out to be a standard problem and the Ford dealer had the parts in stock so I wasn't worried except for the hit on my racing budget. I'm a grand less which means a fight for more sponsorship in order to complete my season. The rest of the night we grabbed a hotel and then went to watch the amateur race giving me a sense of what the track was all about. It was all worth doing for sure.
On Saturday we prepared our TT bike which was purchased by my mechanic Dustin and included a hand ported and flowed Cycle Dynamics CRF 450 head. Charlie's sponsorship and his magic hand porting created a motor that came ripping off the corners hard getting us the most power to the ground. I was the only rider using a Cycle Dynamics built head and Bazzaz electronic combination and I have to tell you it worked awesome. The bike pulled so hard felt confident I could win the race.
In the time trials our bike was oober fast. I made a few mistakes but when I let her run it all went perfect. My new Boughner suspension for the TT bike and the new D&D Performance pipe did their jobs beautifully and I was ready to get it on. In my heat I drew a few riders such as Carver and Beach but my times were telling me I could beat them. Turned out I got the hole shot two out of three times but made a mistake and let a couple of riders by and had to settle for third place in the heat race. It still got me a front row start..
In the final I got the hole shot but hooked a hole going up to the jump and missed the stinking thing. It cause me to go the long way around wide open and then poke my way back into the group in 7th position. I fought hard, banging bars, banging wheels doing what every I had to do to move some riders over to gain positions. I was able to get through to 5th place and almost snatched 4th place from Baker who was having an off night. I was really not happy knowing I had the bike, and team to win here and was a bit frustrated but took the experience in for the next time when I move up to the expert ranks. For now this race was over and I now needed to get my heard around the Springfield mile the next day. All and all a good safe time on the TT.
Springfield Mile a test of speed and courage
I got a chance to take a deep breath on Sunday and take a look at the legendary Springfield Mile. I love this track and can't wait to ride it on a big twin. I'm still convinced the 450 should not run the miles but people only see the close racing. We do it, all searching for that one opportunity to make it big, ride the big bike in the future and sit her on top of the mighty podium.
We broke out our second motorcycle for the first free practice. All my sponsors chipped in and provided all the parts needed to make it a GNC caliper bike. I couldn't be more thrilled with the results. We had Saddlemen with a custom seat, K&N, MotionPro, Vortex, Bazzaz, D&D Performance pipes, Boughner suspension, Dustin supplied all the labor and muscle getting it apart and back together and in minty condition. We also had a new engine totally built by Vadnais Machine who always wanted to build me a big track motor that we would debut on the Springfield mile track.
The day started off great. I took to the track and slowly opened up my Cycle Dynamics, Vadnais machine powered miler and she really took off. I laid down four laps and when I came in I was 8/10ths faster than anyone. I looked a Dustin and called my dad. That was cool. In the next two timed sessions, I made some changed and both times I was unable to better my times, and actually I was down around 10-13 position after the sessions were over. Some of the biggest reason was I had no one to draft with so I was out there all alone where some of the fast times were from guys who were in single and double drafts.
I was a bit nervous for the final, called my dad a few times for advice and eventually went back to my original set up and crossed my fingers. In the race I had a second row start but that didn't bother me. I managed to make my way up front with the top five and traded paint with a few riders as we went four wide through the turns. I knew I had to hang in there and make my move at the end and did just that. I made sure I wasn't pinched on the inside and took a line with a wide-open throttle and did what I could to make the tires stick through turns three and four. It worked. I came off of turn four in a great position and really thought I was going to catch the 22L bike at the line but is was not to be. I did manage to get second place off the leader by 6/100ths of a second. It wasn't what I wanted but it was wicked cool! I gave Bazzaz Performance their first ever flattrack podium and made Leo at Vadnais Machine a happy camper.
I want to thank all my sponsors for all their help. To my crew chief Dustin who put in incredible hours preparing my equipment and being with me at the track to make it happen. To Charlie Benton at Cycle Dynamics who built an awesome head for my TT bike. To Leo at Vadnais Machine who built me a killer mile motor. To Bazzaz Performance for having the faith in me to become a sponsor and to give them a their first ever dirttrack podium. To the entire group of sponsors, friends and family especially my dad who couldn't be here. I love you!
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