Matt Weidman Reports on Springfield
NEWS June 4, 2009
Matt did not qualify as good as he needed to for a front row start, and the struggle began. He finished well enough in the heat to position himself on the front row for the semi. Coolbeth, Russell and Matt were in the top qualifying positions when the red flag appeared. Matt got a good holeshot on the restart and had a few bike lengths heading down into turn one, but took a hard shot to the swingarm and ended up 5th or 6th over the jump. He could not get back to the top 3 and did not qualify for the show. He felt very disappointed, especially for George, who works very hard to put great bikes under him. Double weekends are tough when you don't do as well as you think you should on the first day, but time to brush yourself off and get on with it!
The Springfield Mile is just different. Matt did well last year at all the other miles, but missed this one on both days, both heats and semis, by ONE spot. His times were fast, but getting the draft and racing was tough. The front runners are usually the experienced ones.
This year he opted to race his XR750 that he rode on the 2nd day last year and after mechanic (dad )changed gearing and made chassis adjustments, Matt qualified 5th in the second round. He was feeling a little more confident, but had a stacked heat with Coolbeth, Johnson, Kopp, Smith, and a few other "Mile Veterans". He finished 6th and once again, was semi-bound. Somewhere in the late laps of the semi, the light bulb went on and he felt he had finally figured out "something" about riding the big mile. His semi was an exciting race and he drafted by Mataya at the checkers to put her in the show.
At 17 years old, it is very exciting to know you are going to race your Harley XR 750 on the most famous mile, in front of the energetic Springfield crowd.
He was dead last coming off turn two and it looked like the new tire needed a lap or two to start working. Matt began picking off riders one by one and worked his way up to 8th or 9th when the red flag was thrown. As the AMA reverted back a lap, he was back in 12th or 13th on the restart. After passing again up to 8-9th place, there were a few more restarts and on the final laps the front pack seemed to stay within close range with several lead changes each lap. Coming for the checkered flag, Jethro, Willie McCoy and Matt finished in that order, 7th, 8th & 9th.
After the race, Matthew said it was the longest race of his life, but he was looking forward to coming back in the Fall. Great job as always by the IMDA, the weather cooperated, and everyone left happy with the day's results.
Special thanks to our sponsors: Mack Daddy Racing, Matt's Honda, Silkolene, Shoei, Tsubaki, Saddlemen, Screamin Eagle, SuperTrapp, K&N, Motion Pro, EBC, Tuff Plates, Moose Racing, CP Pistons, Cometic, Chicken Hawk Racing, Boughner Suspension, Honda Pro Oils, Works Connection, Vortex, Mr. Sign, White's Harley Davidson, Bob Weiss and to my race mechanics: George, Shawn and Dad.