Road America, Wisco
The trip to Road America started off a bit rough. Just before we left we were put into a bit of an awkward situation. Because of a sponsor backing out of their agreement we were forced to find a new race rig. I wound up buying a used Ford diesel 3⁄4 ton pickup and pulling a 30 foot trailer. The truck was purchased on Friday and the next Monday we packed up and left town. Well as expected you should never buy a vehicle and immediately leave town with it. After driving only 125 miles from my house the transmission went out. We had to call a town truck and have the entire truck and trailer towed to my house back in phoenix to have any hope of getting in done in time to still make it to Road America. The next morning we started getting everything organized to get the truck fixed. The used car lot where I purchased the truck would not pay for the entire repair. However they did agree to cover the labor and get the truck done that day if I supplied the transmission. So I ran down to the local Ford dealership and purchased a rebuilt transmission. At 7 pm that night we were back on the road again.
After driving straight thru from Phoenix to Elkhart Lake Wisconsin we made it to the race track by Thursday morning. We spent the rest of the day getting the pit set up and doing final prep on the bikes. Friday morning began the AMA weekend. First practice we were a good bit off the pace as were struggling with grip. When qualifying came around it rained. Because there was a large change in weather between the first and second sessions they put the first group first on the grid and second group second. We were somewhere around the second to last row on the grid, we had our work cut out for us. After superbike qualifying we were 22nd on the grid. For the superbike race this weekend we were riding our superstock bike since out superbike was in the middle of an engine rebuild and was not complete yet.
Saturday afternoon brought superbike race 1, after working our way up to 12th we ran out of gas on the last lap finishing 15th , the superstock bike didn’t have a large enough gas tank to make the entire race. Sunday the weather was off and on raining. The superstock race was pushed back until after the superbike race due to lightning. Superbike ended up being a completely wet race, we ended up 12th.
By time the superstock race kicked off the track was starting to develop a dry line and it looked like the rain was done. So now began the tough decision of tires; rains, intermediates or slicks. We went back and forth a couple times but we ended up with a slick on the rear and an intermediate (which is basically a cut slick in a soft compound) front. The race went green and by the end of the first lap I found myself drafting past Ben Bostrom down the front straight. By the second lap I new things were going to go our way. The track was getting drier and drier and the intermediate front was working better than I expected in the dry portions. I worked my way past Aaron Yates and several other top riders. Shortly past half way my pit board was showing P4 (Position 4) and I was catching 3rd. Pretty soon I was able to see 3rd it was John Haner. I made a conscious decision to do everything I could do to catch him. Two laps later I caught and passed him for 3rd!!! Seeing my pit board change from P4 to P3 was an unbelievable feeling. After passing him I put my head down to try to gap him as soon as possible. After half a lap I had put about 3 seconds on him already so I backed it down a bit and brought it home. 3RD PLACE!!!