Carver: Calistoga to Hagerstown
NEWS August 11, 2010
The last two weeks have been crazy and full of great racing. Thanks again, to the Halberts for hauling my equipment to the west coast. We met them in Sedalia, MO where I raced with the experts and was real happy with a 4th place finish. July 30, my family and I flew out to Sacramento, CA for the race in Calistoga. The track was down in a little valley where we took skinny roads through the mountains and grape vineyards to get there. The coolest part was that there was a big, fast, half-mile right in the middle of town!
My day in Calistoga started off qualifying 12th in the first session. I knew I needed to step it up, so I sat down and called James Hart to talk about possible changes. I made a few adjustments and ended up getting almost one second faster in the last qualifying session, moving me into 5th overall. After making a few more adjustments to my 2010 Yamaha, I went out and won my heat race and was sitting on the pole.
I wasn’t satisfied with my gearing set-up and I decided to switch to shifting for the main event. I thought it would give me the drive I needed out of the corners. After not shifting all day, it took me a few laps to get used to the change, giving Brad Baker and Mike Avila a chance to put a little gap on me - until the red flag. After having to do two restarts, I got a great drive off the line, almost got the hole-shot getting by Mikey. With just 5 laps to go, I got a drive coming out of 2 and passed Brad on the outside going into 3. This was just the beginning of the epic battle Brad and I were having, passing back and forth every corner for the last three laps. I was finally able to make the pass and make it stick on the white flag lap going into 1 and keeping the lead down the back stretch.
One disadvantage with shifting is its one more thing you have to do out on the track. Going into 3, I knew Brad was going to do a slide job on me like he had done every lap in our battle, which meant I needed to get stopped and turned to make the pass coming out of 4 to make it a drag race to the finish. Not anticipating any mistakes on my part I missed the down shift going into 3 (!#*!), ending my chances of making the quick turn to pass him back. Even though I didn’t get the win I was still happy with second place minimizing the points Brad could gain on me.
After flying home on Tuesday and leaving for Hagerstown Friday morning, it didn’t give much time to get ready. After last week in Calistoga we had decided to make a few changes on the bike. I was really happy with the changes Woody and I agreed to make. My fine tuned Yamaha landed me on top of the qualifying board. I went out very confident in the heat, got the hole-shot and put a gap between me and the pack.
Feeling great about the bike set-up we left the bike alone, it was ready for the main. Going into the first corner I was behind James Rispoli and Brad Baker. I got a great drive coming out of 2 and tried making the pass on both of them going into 3. I didn’t drive it in hard enough under them and Brad came down on the lower line and I was to the locks into him trying to get stopped. I almost high sided scattering the pack behind me and drifting to the top of the track in the process. After that I found myself chasing down the two riders at the front when the red flag came out for a down rider. This put me in the same position as the week before in Calistoga. Knowing what I needed to do, I got by Brad first lap then set my sights on James. James had a really good line going low in 1 and 2 and high in 3 and 4 with my line almost exactly opposite. This made the battle intense, pulling up next to him in both corners and down the back stretch before making the pass in 3 and 4. After making the pass, I kept charging - giving me a gap heading towards my 4th win of the year. It was an awesome race.
Woody Kyle really got my Yamaha running great. He’s put a lot of time and effort into our program this year. Here are the sponsors that are helping me stay at the top of the points in the Pro Single Motorcycle Superstore class; Van’s Yamaha, Woody Kyle Racing, Yamaha Motor Corp. GYTR, Carver’s BBQ, Motion Pro, Rekluse Motorsports, PMP Sprockets, K&N Filters, Light Shoes, Kal-Gard Lubricants, Steve Nace Racing, Scott USA, Moose Racing, Arai/Service Pavilion, Leo Welch, Missouri Mules, Durelle Racing and my family.
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