Hayden Schultz - Indianapolis Race Report
NEWS August 22, 2014
Another weekend in the books for this season and this round showed some of the best results yet. It was great finally having a home race especially when the track is as historic as Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The weekends activities kicked off on thursday when the team arrived at the track and began setting up the pits and making sure the bikes were all set to go for the day of riding ahead. The crew of Chris "chilipepper" Richardson, Paul Diener, Elvis Johns, Chad Clickner, Dale Schultz, and the principal of my school, Jared Mason made sure the bikes were running at peak condition and had the pits looking great. We also had the pleasure of working with the friendly people from Lucas Oil. They sponsored us with plenty of their top of the line product and displayed it at the pits, giving it a more professional look.
The next day we were scheduled to have a morning practice session to get comfortable with the bikes and the new surface and layout of the track. The first practice went smoothly and I ended up in the top 10 but had issues with the tires tearing up within a matter of laps. With the first session out of the way we worked out some of the suspension issues and set it up to go for that afternoons qualifying. Our mechanics made sure I had fresh tires mounted and all ready to go for the only session we would have to determine our spots on the grid. It began well, with me running in a pack with a few guys and getting comfortable. I was able to put in a respectable time the first few laps out and sat in 10th once I came in to the pits to check pressures and make some set up changes on my nitron suspension shod xr1200. Lenny Albin worked his magic and made a few changes to help the bike finish fast, hard acclerating turns that were so important to getting a drive on to the long straight aways.
I went back out planning on throwing down a fast time but once I came around on my first flying lap behind a few other fast riders I could feel something was wrong. After riding through it for a few laps I pulled in to see if something was wrong with the bike and why it was sliding around so much. It turned out that my brand new tire had already torn up on the new, abrasive surface after only 6 laps. The tire was toast but I decided to go back out on track and make more laps to get comfortable with the track and with a bike that didn't have great grip so I could get the feel of it in case it did the same thing in the race. Though I wasn't able to improve my time I felt better about the race ahead knowing that if I could make a few changes and stay closer to the front I would have a chance at a decent result from the 10th starting position.
We got the Chilipepper Racing XR1200 back to the pits and talked it over with the mechanics on what we could do to make the bike better. It was also a great experience to have the principal of my high school, Jared Mason, at the track helping out as a mechanic. He did and awesome job and was a huge help. It was great seeing him have a great time with the team at the track and was outstanding being able to share that experience with him. After making a few more changes on the suspension we were happy with what we had for the practice and race the next day.
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