Sunday, July 1, 2007

Short Track Racing at the Southside Speedway

Popped up the road to the outskirts of Richmond for the Go Fast Turn Left #2 (was actually the first one since the GFTL #1 was cancelled). Held at the Southside Speedway - dubbed "The Toughest Short Track in the South". It was a good setup to watch the entire race since the track is .33 miles.

This maybe my last 5 race since all my other teammates have CAT'd up and left me solo in this race. I qualified for an upgrade last race but haven't gotten around to submitting my request yet.

Lined up, back row again. Made small talk with Keith from Fat Frogs talking about the Poison/Ratt concert tonight that he's working at the Ampitheatre. Chat consisted of BIG hair and spandex - hopefully that will be in the crowd and NOT on stage.

Officials take roll and do their thing - didn't mention any primes.
We roll out and I'm not where I want to be, inside line about 2/3 back. Like every other CAT 5 race on a speedway, some people do not realize that there are people on the inside on a banked turn and treat the turn like a 90 turn with an apex - ie, start wide and cut in. Within the first 3 laps, I saw (and was almost part of) several close calls. I was behind JB when one of those close calls happened and we both sought safety riding on the outside line. A few laps later, I'm sitting inside again and some idiot dive bombs from the outside into the turn and forces me on the rumble strips. Hitting those mini speed bumps at 25 is not a good feeling.

Just when I finally feel like I'm settling in, I look up at the lap board and it's 10 laps to go. Cory (3 Sports) and AJ (Fat Frogs) take off. I'm sitting about 10 wheels back as I witness nobody from another team is chasing them. Richmond Ciclismo had about 6 guys and they just sat in. 3 Sports and Fat Frogs did a good job of slowing the field down. I got close to the front and decided that with Cory and AJ out there (1st and 2nd in BAR points, respectively), nobody was going to reel them back. I decided it work for the field sprint.

At 3 laps left, the bell sounds - huh? Since we've NEVER had a prime in the 5 races this year, I take off thinking the lap board must be wrong. I'm sitting about 2-4th wheel in the pack as we cross over the line thinking I got a top 5-6 finish. I was about to sit up when everyone keeps the throttle down. Dang - a stupid $10 prime and I wasted energy for that. I'm now mid-pack recovering and the real bell lap rings. The pack stretches and I'm holding the guys wheel in front of me until the 3rd turn where I manage to pass about 3-4 others and held off another at the line. I sit up thinking I at least got a 10-12 place.

Results posted showed that I got a 16th. One spot out of the all crucial 1 BAR point.
I think we averaged about 25-26 and my 'puter said I maxed at 33. The race lasted about 12 minutes.

Changed in my civvies and watch the 4 race. They did 30 laps and it last less than 20 minutes. Big field with several guys getting lapped. One guy should have been pulled as he would jump on the lead guys wheel everytime he would get lapped and then get dropped only to be bunch up the front of the field. 2 laps later, this guy does it again. This time he almost causes a wreck in turn 3 as he failed to move to the outside and sat inside as the pack had to manuever around him. Shawn, Amos and Mike were in the race but not sure how they finished.

Between the races, the track guys hit the course. The 1km TT was fast. An A&F rider decked out in the fashionable A&F skinsuit showed how it's done. He made all the other A racers look slow. In the B race, AJ picked up 2 wins on the track bike. He ended up with 3 W's for the day with the win in the CAT5 race. I kidded him again that this sandbagging has got to stop and to upgrade now.

I think I'm done traveling 2 hours to race 12 minutes. Next time I head up to the Southside Speedway I'll have a track bike so I can get 4-5 races in that day and/or have my upgrade so I can do some 40+ and 4 racing.

Although I love riding and racing, that wasn't the best part of the day.
2nd best part of the day was hitting Pierce's BBQ on the way back. I think my car automatically takes the Lightfoot exit everytime on 64. Shawn and Amos showed too.

The best part of the day - getting home, kissing the wife and bambino and spending some fun afternoon time at the Y's Pool. Oh how life changes - 5 years ago I would never have gone to a pool to hang out with mom's in swim skirts, overweight dads and about 50 screaming kids. Now that tops off a great day.

What a fun day.


JB said...

That's a pretty good description of what those "turns" are like. People looking for the apex that isn't there. Hah. Glad to have survived another one. Good seein' you out there.

chris d said...

I had fun racing at the next level. A little less sketchy. See you there soon.