JD Beach - Race Report
NEWS June 8, 2012
So after a long trip and a lack of updates here is a race report for my past three races. We had one dirt track in Little Rock, AR and two AMA Road Races in SLC and Road America. All in all it was a great time. It started off a bit slow and poor result but blossomed into a fantastic trip and a great time. I’ll just hit on the good and funny parts, if not I would have to write a book.
We started off going to Little Rock for a Steve Nace All Star Race. James Hart was driving down to take my bikes so Kerri and I drove her car. It was the hardest thing ever for me. Every dirt track race I do no matter if I take bikes or not I always drive my van. On the way in the car I was freaking out a little bit, the van is kinda like a baby blanket. It just didn’t feel right not taking it. We did make the trip in the car and it ended up saving some money. The race was Saturday night, it was the third year I have raced here
and last year I walked away with a few grand. This year maybe $200. It wasn’t a great night we really struggled with bike setup and there were some super-fast guys there. That race was behind us though and it was time to get ready for the next two road races.
After Little Rock we were home for a couple days before flying out for Salt Lake City. I was really looking forward to going there. Not only do I really like that track but we were going to have a mini vacation after before heading to Road America the next weekend. This weekend was a little different since we were running with World SuperBike we only had one race and only two days of track time. It started a day later going Sat-Sun-Mon. The weekend started off maybe a little bit better than the past weekends have. I was still around the 5th-10th range. I wanted to be higher though. We had a good plan for the race but it all got thrown out the window after a poor start. We got off the line bad then made a few mistakes and didn’t ride hard enough the first couple laps. Once we got some open track I ran some of my fastest laps of the weekend and pretty close to the leader’s times. I knew if I got off the line with them I could run there times. Even though we finished 7th we had an amazing battle with Dane Westby. He is a great racer and we passed each other a lot. He is so good on the brakes too, so I learned from him. He has won and ran upfront in DSB races so it was cool to ride with him.
Even though our weekend was over we still went to the track Monday to watch the SuperBike races and so the mechanics could work on bikes to get them ready for Road America. I watch all the World SuperBike races on TV so it was cool to really get to see them ride and see some of the riders I became friends with during the years I spent in Europe. After the race weekend we had about a day and a half in SLC. I watch Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives a lot of Food Network and there are a lot of places in SLC that Guy has been to. Kerri and I really love trying different food when we go different places instead of just going to TGI or Ruby Tuesday because we can get that anywhere. We tried two places Moochies and Red Iguana. They were both amazing. Moochies is like a sub place and Red Iguana is Mexican, so I loved that place no matter what. Even FLG and Jon gave those two places the thumbs up. During the day we went to this huge outdoor mall in SLC and FLG talked me into getting some shoes. The shoes I wear
are what they all call “Boats” I have always wore them but FLG and like the whole team wears shoes like Vans that are real small. So I finally folded and got a pair of Etnies like them. It was tough for me to make a change but I did. We also saw Men in Black 3 in 3D which was pretty cool.
Next up was our trip to Road America for a normal AMA Road Race weekend. I was really looking forward to this weekend after Miller. I knew I could run with the front guys if I could just get up with them. Every time on track we were pushing hard. I’ve shown I could run the pace but it always takes me too long to get up to speed. We started the weekend out a lot better. We were up in the top 5 a lot of the time until the end of the session and got bumped down to 7th for qualifying. We had a good starting spot for both races. Dave and Scott had been working really hard on getting the bikes setup good. One thing we messed up with in Miller is we didn’t do any practice starts so in Road America we made sure to do a few. Saturday we got a great start and were up to P2 but that was the only great thing about the race. I broke real early for turn one and got pushed back to around P13 or so. We worked our way up to a clear track and did faster laps so that was good but could only make it up to 9th. I was ready for Sunday to come and try over again. After morning warm-up and a few more practice starts we were
ready to go. For race two I was going to go all out in turn one and not get pushed back. I would have rather crashed than get pushed back again like in race one. We did it right and came out of turn one in fourth and never really dropped from there. We got as high as second and as low as fifth I think. At the beginning of the race the lead group was pretty big but I knew if I started with the front couple guys the group would thin out. Lap by lap went by and I was still with the lead group. By this time I was just happy to be up there and where stronger than a couple of them in a few spots. The next thing I know there was 3 laps to go and not only was I in the spot for a podium ,I could possibly win. Then my front tire really dropped off and I was losing the front a lot but I wasn’t going to stop pushing.
On the last lap I was sitting third with Martin leading, Cameron second, Jason 4th, and Tommy 5th. I was trying to get by Cameron but every right hand turn I would lose the front so I was just trying to push hard enough to stay with them and keep Jason and Tommy behind me. The lap was almost over and going into Canada corner I lost the front 3 or 4 times and almost got passed by Jason. Then going into the last turn I tried to brake a little early so I could get my turn done faster and pick the bike up and get a good drive. The next thing I know I see Cameron run wide and I was in second. I didn’t know but he went down but coming out of the last turn I just got as small as I could. Jason passed me before the line and beat me by .009 but I didn’t care I finally got on the podium. I was so excited, people watching probably thought I just won the World Championship. I was fist pumping and backing it into every turn. I
was so excited.
My crew (Dave Presler and Scott Jensen) have been working so hard it was nice to finally get a good finish for them too. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I have been working so hard and I’m not going to stop but it was so great. I can’t thank Dave and Scott enough and the team for really standing behind me.
Now it’s time for a little bit of fun, I’ll be doing a couple of dirt track races before our next Road Race at Barber. Sorry for such a long report. Hope you all enjoyed it.
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