Jeremy Hamilton Race Report: Springfield, Knoxville, & Brainerd
NEWS October 11, 2011
Photo by Dave Hoenig
Blog by Jeremy Hamilton (October 11, 2011)
SPRINGFIELD, IL: Springfield was great and horrible all in the same weekend. The short track on Saturday was a challenge to say the least. We showed up that morning to the track and received a part of our motor from WKR and had to try and put my 2011 Honda CRF450R together at the track before the races that night. After a whole lot of stressing and rushing trying to get it together and run, it still wasn’t running right in time for qualifying. So, I went out for practice on my 2008 Honda CRF450R back up bike and ended up being 9th fastest out of about 70, which was great. We decided we needed to change the gearing and add one tooth, so we did. My dad got side tracked in the middle of the change and didn’t place the master link clip back on, so as soon as I got out onto the track for my first round of qualifying it came off and got jammed up in the cases. It took about 15 minutes and a lot of help from our fellow mechanics for us to get the chain out and then 10 more to replace it, making it just in time for third and final round of practice. I was so stressed out and off of my game that my time was 30th fastest, but since that practice round was slower it was really 34th overall, so I didn’t qualify. That was the first time that I hadn’t made the program since the fluke at Daytona and I was shocked and totally bummed.
We finally got the 2011 Honda running and decided to run it on the mile for Sunday. It ran great, Woody did an amazing job on it and it’s the first bike I’ve had that really runs with the front pack. I qualified directly to the main from my heat thankfully, and was excited to be in the main event! The track was flawless and ridiculously fast. It was so perfect that it was basically easy to ride, and the main somewhat proved that point. It was a 12 lap main with 18 riders in a pack that did not break up at all. It was crazy and honestly all of the weaving in and out, stuffing, and risky passes that were going on was scary, but I still thought it was pretty fun and cool with everyone running that closely. I finished 10th that day on my Al Lamb’s Dallas/WKR Honda…it was a good end to the weekend!
Iowa finally didn’t get rained out, and looking back, I’m happy that it didn’t! I struggled all day, couldn’t get the bike to do what I wanted it to, qualified like 20th something, struggled in the heat race, and worked to get the bike and myself to work together. Finally, in the LCQ, it all came together! The bike started running right after some adjustments and I was ready to race. Qualifying in the 20s had me starting on the back row, but I worked my way all the way up to finish in second, about 0.1 seconds from winning it. I got the track figured out and the bike figured out and was excited to run the main, except for the fact that I was still on the back row. I thought to myself, “That’s okay, I’ve had great starts all night so it’ll be okay.” Boy was I wrong…. I had the worst start that I’ve had in about a year and was dead last by about 30 feet going into turn one. I worked throughout the main to move up, but the track was so hard to pass on as it was a one-line groove. I rode hard and ended up working my way up to 10th, but was a little bummed because my bike and I were definitely fast enough to be running up in the front. Little mistakes man...
At North Central Speedway, I immediately found out that it was meant to be a car track. The track was shaped like a D, sharp pinched banked corners and long straight-aways, and slicker than ice. I couldn’t get anything going for me in qualifying, and was in the 20’s again. I really don’t know what the problem was, but I just couldn’t get the bike to work. I went into the heat trying to have a good mindset, and it must’ve worked for me because I rode great, finishing just one spot outside of the top seven qualifying positions. I knew I could make it through the semi, and I did. After such a rough day I was happy to make it to the final. I got an amazing start from last pick third row, and in the first seven laps worked to be in 9th place. I was catching the pack in front of me when all the sudden my shield started fogging up. I had an anti-fog visor taped onto the inside of my shield that had been working all night, but I guess there was a slow leak or something because within the next lap my entire shield was fogged up, and there was nothing that I could do to stop it. I tried lifting up my visor to let cool air in it wouldn’t work because the fog was between the two plastics. I couldn’t see anything at all, and I dropped 5 positions in 3 laps, bringing me all the way down to 14th. It was really frustrating and I wasn’t happy at all to say the least.
To struggle all day and finally prevail in the main, only to be handicapped by my shield made me beyond mad. I just can’t seem to catch a break, but it won’t stop me; I know eventually it will all come together! I’m glad that my family, friends and sponsors all believe in me and have help me get to go to all of these races this year and have had a great time at each and every one of them!
It couldn’t have happened without my mom and dad, my amazing sponsors – Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda, WKR, K&N Filters, Speedgraffix, Moto Liberty, Durelle Racing, Redroc Marketing, Single Source, Inc., PPG, Spy Optics, and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you so much to all and I hope to finish the season strong for all of us!
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