Baker: Elkins Hot Shoe and Hagerstown
NEWS August 4, 2009
From a press release issued by Brad Baker:
ELKINS, WV - JULY 24TH - 1ST PLACE
For this week of racing, dad and I would be flying for a change. The first race took us to Elkins, West Virginia for a Hot Shoe national on Friday night. We met the Weidman family there - they are transporting our bikes. The track was pretty awesome. It was a banked half-mile with dark clay, so it really let you hang it out. I ended up second fastest in the scratch heat behind Colt Chebultz . In the main, I didn't get the best start and I found myself in fifth place coming out of the first turn. Before the second lap was over, I had already picked off Jeffrey Carver, Jeremy Higgens, and Mike Toon and had my sights set on Kayl Kolkman- who was the race leader. I spent most of the race less than three bike lengths off his back wheel, but just couldn't seem to make up enough time to make the pass. I came out with second place and some good feelings about the grand national in Hagerstown, Maryland the next night. To my surprise, I actually ended up with the win after Kayl got DQ'd because he had the wrong tire compound. Not exactly the best way to win, but I'll take it!
HAGERSTOWN, MD. - JULY 25TH - 1ST PLACE
This day turned out to be a long one. The weather forecast showed scattered showers and that's exactly what happened. It seemed like every time the track was almost ready, there would be another downpour. After about four hours of delays, the program got started. Since there were more showers coming, the program was shortened, so hopefully, we could get the races in. In qualifying, things were going great - I had fast time. My heat race was a wild one - with several restarts. My biggest rival - James, the rocket, Rispoli - found a new line and took the lead away from me. I quickly regrouped and took the lead back coming into turn one on the last lap. James had a bit more motor than me, so he always seemed to try to make his moves coming into the corner. Coming into turn three, he tried squeezing his way underneath me and ended up rubbing my swing arm - he was the verge of going over the high side. I never like to see someone crash hard just because I couldn't ease up and help them out - especially on a big track. Therefore, I steered it up the hill to keep him from going over the bars. This lost me my drive out of the corner and the heat race win. It didn't bother me much, because I wasn't going to let that fly in the main. When main time came around, I ended up nailing the start and getting out to an early lead. From then on, I kept my head down and put in the smoothest, fastest laps that I could. James and Mike Labelle kept me in their sights and James even got close enough to try another stuff move, but I wasn't having any of that. Finally, the checkered flag flew and national win number three was in the books. This meant that I would retain my points lead, but not by much, as James ended up close behind in second. Next weekend, we will be heading to South Dakota for another hot shoe and grand national double header. I want to thank my sponsors: Mike Velasco, Brothers Powersports, Celorie Bros.Trucking, JG Photowerx, Lightshoe, Fusion Graphix, Maxima Oil, Micah Racing Services, Nymo Plates, CHM Exhaust, Powersports NW, Acerbis, Scott USA, MT Racing, Schenk Racing Ent. and EBS Brakes. I would also like to thank the track crew - they worked really hard in order for us to get the races in. Last, but certainly not least, I would especially like to thank the Weidman family. They are going to be transporting my bikes and I will be traveling with them for the next month. I am really looking forward to this and I am proud that I am going to be a part of their race team!