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Tough Crowd Racing #167
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Ok, I'll start off with Thursday morning, the day I headed down for Friday Practice. I got up at 0400 and ran a half marathon then hit the gym for some weights and then an hour of aerobics. Training for the Marine Corps Marathon next month, so by the time I got on the road to head south at 2 in the afternoon I was already smoked and getting sore. So off I go, headed to the races for the first time without my trusty pit crew. I already actually have a bad feeling about the weekend and kept going over things in my head on what I have to do. So Im headed south half asleep when I notice this nice State Trooper pulling me over. Hes all excited for me that Im going racing and tells me how he used to have a bike and all that good stuff....the gives me my ticket for 73 in a 60. Anyway, I finnaly get to VIR at around 6:30 and start to set up my pit area. My plan was to sleep in the trailer and save some money on hotels. That lasted all of 1 hour. I layed on a half inflated air mattress and my back was not liking that, the bugs were eating me alive and I was sore as hell from the whole morning, so off to the Sleep Inn.

Friday morning, great weather outside. Its supposed to be a perfect day. I try to get out of bed and realize I am so sore it hurts to walk or stand up. Feeling really good about that whole half marathon thing about this point. So I head off to the track, get the bike through reg and tech and go wait for my turn to go play. First up I head out and turn a few laps in the 1:44s. My fastest there at this point is a 1:41 but ever since I had my forks serviced I havent had any confidence in them at all and have been chewing front tires off like crazy. Luckily GMD is there and I pull right up to them coming in from my session. Kent goes to work and tightens up the steering head bearings which were loose and resets everything to where they set it earlier this year. I miss two session becasue of this and when I go back out after lunch I immediately pull off a 1:39.9, my fastest ever and now Im getting pumped up and got my confidence back in the forks. Next session I go out and am running a good pace, but this time as I come into T1 I grab the brakes at the 5 brake marker and the lever is super spongy, like I could pull the lever all the way to the throttle. My WTF meter pegs into the red immediately as I zip by brake markers 4..3..2..1... I decide I'll just keep it up and ride off into the grass, great plan until I hit the grass and found the bike on top of me. I jump up grab the bike, stand it up and jump on. It fires right up
. I see all the important parts are still attatched so I get her back up to the track and take it around to my pit area. As I roll up Scott and Rachel, who were pitted next to me, they are with the Fast Lanes crew all the time, came running over and immediately went to work on the bike. I had a nice half inch gash in my radiatior hose that was just spewing water and my belly pan was full, my right rearset was bent back, lost the right frame slider and my fairing stay was bent in. We cut the hose and moved it up and it fit so that was solved, I bent the fairing stay back, no problem, I decided if I dont crash again on the right side the slider shouldnt matter much, so the real problem was the rearset. Now I got to say, this is the second time Ive crashed on Sato Rearsets and they are worth the money. The foot peg bent back but totaly saved my pipe. We bent some things back into working order and poured some high quality Aquafina racing water in the radiator and headed back off to tech. I passed and got back out without missing a session. I went out to try and get some confidence back and was turning 1:42-1:43s and sat out the last session of the day.

So I start going over the bike, wishing Todd was there, he usually takes care of all this bike stuff, I usually just have to ride the damn thing. You just dont know how nice that is to not have to worry about the bike and only to focus on riding. So I start playing with the brakes. They are real spongy and I can still pull the lever all the way to the throttle. I bleed them twice and cant get it any better, so now I have that in my head as well. Not the way I wanted to start my first race. I call it a day and head back to the hotel, hoping everything will be better tomorrow.

Saturday morning, the only thing I have going today is two practice sessions and the GTO race. I go out and do my practices, still dont have my confidence back yet, the brakes are screwing with my head. I keep hitting the #1 barke marker at my turn in speed and that is pissing me off but the lever feels so spongy I dont want to brake any later. So I finish up my practices and bleed the brakes again with no change. So Im waiting for my race a little frustrated about the whole thing. The give 1st and 2nd call for the GTO race so I get my gear on , get the warmers off and head out for my warm up lap. Im gridded about midpack of 26 riders. There are a few super fast guys out here pulling 1:35s so I know I have no chance of running with those guys. We get the green flag and I get a decent start but Im checking up early into T1 because of my brake issue.


The race is 25 minutes and after around lap 10 Im getting real tired. I work my way through the field here and there and am starting to get some confidence back in the bike and myself. I feel like Im really pushing and doing some good times. I never see a half way flag and Im starting to wonder how long this damn race is going to be, by lap 12 Im praying for a white flag, a red flag, hell I wanted to get black flagged at this point. As I come off 17 on lap 13 I see Charlie Coleman fly by me as if I was an innocent bystander and I follow him by start finish and see the checkered flag. Thank god its over, first time I'v ebeen lapped in a race but I was ready to park the pig and get something to drink. He was doing 1:33s and I get in to find out the best I could muster was a 1:41. I end up 12th overall and am quite pleased with that.

Sunday arrives and Im up and ready to go to work, most of my soreness from running is gone but now Im sore from that damn bike falling on me from Friday. I get to the track and start looking at the bike. Im checking my tires and start to wonder if I should change them. I ran my old DOTs in the GTO race and they are starting to look a bit ragged as they have seen some serious laps now over the past few months. I kow Todd would have wanted to change them just because he like to change tires. I go out for my 1 practice and do a wopping 3 laps before we are red flagged for three crashes. I pull in and decide if Im going to change them now is the time since Im race #2. So off they come and I run over to the Pirelli guys and throw some slicks back on her. I have 1 hour to get the tires changed and be ready to race. I have time to get the tires on and off but Im worried about the getting the warmers on them with enough time. It works out and I wait for them to call my race. They end up combining the 250gp race with the Ex/Am Supertwins race so I am gridded way back on row 12. They also make it a 10 lap race vice 7 becasue of the GP guys. Im so far back I feel like barely see the damn starter. I checked to roster and see that all of us in the top 6 for points at least are out there on the grid. This is the biggest grid yet for a supertwins race Ive been in, there were about 20 guys in Am so I am happy I will finaly get to see how I do. I am on the third row of my wave and when the green flag flies three guys in front of all stand their bikes up, one guy almost coming down on someone, I take off with the front wheel off the ground through 1st and 2nd gear and am set up third going into T1. I am looking to go inside the guy in front of me through T1/T2 and make a run early to get away from everyone but that just didnt work out. The guy in front of me on a Duc 916/996 carried no speed at all through the corner and hugged the inside line all the way through leaving me trapped right on his back wheel as I watched 8 guys go around him on the outside. It takes me two turns to get by him but now Im way off the leader. Im sitting in about 15th place at this point and just put my head down and go to work. I start working through the field and find that I am easily running people down. I have a few scary moments running right up on people and have 1 huge rear wheel slide when I pass two guys at the same time between T10 and T12. I got the bike real sideways but made it stick and kept running. By lap 5 I have worked my self back up around 7th place I think and am now into the experts and have to deal with more traffic.

I keep pushing and the bike is feeling real good at this point. I start to see some of my rivals up ahead (Ducatis) Todd knows who Im talking about. I chase them down and just power by them in the kink on the front strait wide open on the gas. I come up on another RC about Lap 8 going into T3. I dont know who he is but I knew he was turning fast times, Im closing on him pretty fast when I see him run off and go down coming out of T3 about 1 feet in front of me. When I get up on the back side, I dive into the roller coaster and see yellow plate SV in front of me about two turns up. I reel him in and coming off of 17 on lap 9 he is only about 5 feet infront of me know and I know I'll pass him through the kink or going into T1. About this time, this 250 GP bike whips by me coming out of 17 and as we cross start finish they throw the checkered flag on him and that ends out race too.

I feel pretty good as I cruise through the cool down lap. I look down at my lap timer to see I was running consistant 1:39s the whole race. I was totally fired up now as I see my best is a 1:39.3. I come around having no idea where I finished after my crappy start and park the bike and walk down to the results area to find I finshed 3rd. I was happy. I knew I could have easily gotten second after looking at the times and had I not got caught up in T1 but the winner on a Aprilla was doing 1:38s and I couldnt have run with him the whole race.
 

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Tough Crowd Racing #167
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I hang out in the pits waiting for my last two races, Heavyweight Superbike and Unlimited GP. I check the grid for the Heavyweight race and see that there are 30 people gridded for the race and I am dead in the middle of it. I only hope to survive T1 and suit up and get ready to go. The green flag dropps and off we go again, I get a good start but once again, check up a little early into T1 from all the traffic and my brake issue. We start to thin out a bit and I start to run people down in front of me. Once again, I find myself feeling really good and I slide the rear several times going into and coming out of turns. Going into T10 Im side by side with a guy on a GSXR 750 and we are maybe a foot apart, he is half a bike length in front of me and I see him lowside go off the track, I stay focused ahead and keep running up the field. Once again I see that I am running 1:39s and continue at this pace the entire race. We get the checkered flag and I head in and get the warmers back on the tires as I am do ing the Unlimited GP race right away. I jump off get some water and almost as soon as Im in the pits we get 1st call for the GP race. I fully expect to get killed here as all the 180hp bikes are out there ready to win some money. There are 17 of us on the grid and once again Im in the middle of the field.

The green flag drops and off we run down to T1. I find that I can get off the line just as good with the big bikes but once they are settled down they run away easily. We all run into T1, suprisingly I survive T1 all 4 races without incident. I start to chase people around and find that once again I am working through the field. Every time I run up T7/8 I see Adam(Mulishi) over there with the crash truck giving me the hurry the fuck up wave, sort of like Todd always does. I have a pretty good race with 1 guy on a red bike, thats about all I could rememebr as I was more fucused on not killing myself. I get by him on Lap 5 but cant make it stick in T1 and he comes back out of T2 in front of me again. I stay on his rear wheel and go hard on the gas into 17 hoping to keep it on two wheels but if Im going to pass him this will be it. I close on him and have a great drive out of 17 and pass him in the kink at 150mph+ about 6 inches off the grass on the inside, which I noticed has a nice little pothole there to where the track surface drops away into dirt and grass. I go deep into T1 and stay on the gas as hard as I dare to not give him the opportunity to come back aorund me. I keep telling myself "dont quit riding" and push hard all the way through the lap. I go just as hard into 17 again and run by start finish to see the checkered flag. I come off the gas and look back to see I had about 200 feet on him, I figured he checked up when he realized he wasnt going to repass me coming out of 17 but it was a great race within the race.

I go around the cool down lap and see Adam give me the 7th place sign:rockon :rockon This fires me up since I didnt expect to be anywhere near that far up with these guys, and it also gets me $80. Even though it aint much, money won is an awesome thing:twocents

So that was my weekend. Now I have to get the bike fixed up a littl and get ready for Summit in two weeks for the last round of the year. Going into this weekend I was 6th over all in Supertwins and it doesnt look like that will change any for the end of the season. What Im really happy about though is Heavyweight Superbike, I was 19th over all going in to the weekend and there are a lot more guys in that class, that and Ive only races 3 weekends on the season, so next year Im feeling pretty good about my chances overall everywhere.

Get ready for Daytona Todd:rockon
 

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Nice wright up!!!! I sure wish I was there!

I'm sorry I could not make it! Cisco class is kicking my ass too! :banghead

What do we need to get done on the pig before the last race?
 

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Tough Crowd Racing #167
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I need to get me a new set of frame sliders, I actually snapped the bolt head off this time too so Im hoping we can get it out without too much drama. I want to maybe bent the rearsets back a little more and I need to sort out this brake issue.
 

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That is a very good write up, and you got me all pumped up to go ride VIR again. As you are describing the turns I felt like I was right there too. Was the guy on that RC51 that went down ok, or what happened to him.?

Anyway, cool pics. Too bad your pitworker Todd couldn't be there this time. Was Yo... with you?
 

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Tough Crowd Racing #167
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
#31, the guy in the picture is WERA 31 on here I believe. He didnt go down, great guy actually. I believe he is first place in CCS Supertwins rightnow.:rockon


I dont know who the other guy was but I saw him later and he looked fine.
 

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Rookie, it was good meeting both you and Adam this past weekend.
I suspect it was one of those rival Ducatis of yours that pushed me off the edge of the track at the start of the Supertwins race:wtf . I'm sure he didn't mean to do it, but just wheelied of the line too much. Anyway, you and Eric (Aprillia) were moving right along out there.

Good luck @ Summit.
 

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Tough Crowd Racing #167
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah it was nice to meet you Ennis, I think I spelled that right.

Yeah I noticed all those Ducatis sky the front end at the start too, then one of them parked it right in front of me going into T1:mad:

Man you need to come up to Summit and protect that 1st place lead you have:rockon
 

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Rookie said:
Yeah it was nice to meet you Ennis, I think I spelled that right.

Yeah I noticed all those Ducatis sky the front end at the start too, then one of them parked it right in front of me going into T1:mad:

Man you need to come up to Summit and protect that 1st place lead you have:rockon
Actually, Gary and I would now be tied for first place in the MA region. I race in the Southeast region and was only @ VIR in case Tony Diaz showed up.
I'm tempted to go to Summit, but I've never been there before. I guess I would still get points even though that is not in my region. Do you know if that is correct?

BTW, Ennis is correct.
 

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I would compliment you but I am jealous. Ah nah good job and get some money at summit. I am sure being in near marathon shape didn't hurt either. Great job getting the pics and vid up so soon.
 

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Darin, in the 2nd picture, what is the black X on your front number plate for? It isn't there in the 1st picture.:confused:
 

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Tough Crowd Racing #167
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
WERA 31 said:
Actually, Gary and I would now be tied for first place in the MA region. I race in the Southeast region and was only @ VIR in case Tony Diaz showed up.
I'm tempted to go to Summit, but I've never been there before. I guess I would still get points even though that is not in my region. Do you know if that is correct?

BTW, Ennis is correct.
Well they have you in 1st in MA so I guess youre getting points when you race those events.

Next season I am going to do the full season. I only got out to three weekends this year. Do you plan to go expert next year?
 

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Tough Crowd Racing #167
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
glockem45 said:
Darin, in the 2nd picture, what is the black X on your front number plate for? It isn't there in the 1st picture.:confused:
There were 2 #161s there so they had me put the x on mine so they can tell whos who
 

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Those were combined region races for SE & MA. Once CCS updates points, Gary & I both should be @ 535.

Certainly, do the full season. You will do very well. I believe MA will be doing one Roebling in Savanah, GA & one CMP in Kershaw, SC, with the SE (as with VIR & Birmingham). Most do not like Roebling, but it's not that bad. It's an easy place to ride at. CMP is a good track. It's one of my favorites. If I see you at either of those next year, I'll be glad to help you out as I go pretty good at both (unlike VIR). But I'm sure you will get up to speed very quickly.

I don't think Kevin will allow me to stay as an amateur next year. I've met the points requirement and a class championship. The other two requirements are 5 wins (I have four) and a top five in the ROC. I do not plan to go to the ROC (today is the early reg. cut-off), but Eric said I could share his garage if I do decide to go.

If you need some hard-compound Perilli DOT's (rear) for Daytona, let me know.
 

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Darin, When are you going to be Racing at Summit Next? I would like to come up and help you in the pits as an assistant to Todd of course.
 
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