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Author Topic: dub's AFM round 1 Race Report  (Read 789 times)

Offline dub

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dub's AFM round 1 Race Report
« on: April 02, 2014, 09:14:14 pm »
I had never been to Buttonwillow Raceway before, so I took advantage of the open test day on Friday to learn the track. I thought the track was very fun; itís bumpy, itís technical and itís fast. After a full day of riding on Friday I had figured out the line, learned how to avoid most of the bad bumps and was ready for some timed AFM practice on Saturday morning before my first race Saturday afternoon.

My first race was Race 1 on Saturday, Clubman Middleweight. The grid positions were done based on points from the 2013 season; I was gridded in position 2. On top of the butterflies already there for the first race of the new season, this was the highest I had ever started. Starting from the back is no big deal, all you see are the back of the bikes in front of you that you are going to try and pass; you have no where to go but up. But being on the front comes with a bit of pressure. And in the back of my mind was, god forbid I stall it and have to sit there while 25 other newbie racers go by and try not to hit me. Well, that didnít happen, in fact quite the opposite, I got a great start and came through Sunrise first. It was my first ever holeshot! I was expecting someone to come around me in the Off Ramp, not one of my best corners, but I kept the lead. By the time I was through the Cotton Corners I was thinking ďIím leading my first ever AFM race, THIS IS AWESOME!Ē. However, I knew it probably wasnít going to last as there were some very fast riders behind me who were gridded further back due to having less points last year. Sure enough, my friend Tom Kuchno (898), a very fast rider, came by me on the front straight. Shortly following him was Stephan Anatiychuk (380), who must have put on a passing clinic that first lap since he started dead last. I knew these guys would be pulling away from me, but I was going to try my hardest to keep them close, and hopefully fend off anyone else from overtaking to hang on to a podium spot. On the penultimate lap, Stephen contacted Tom trying to overtake before Phil Hill and ran off into the dirt. I wasnít quite close enough to pass him, but I was right on his rear wheel after he re-entered the track hoping to capitalize on another mistake. That mistake never came and I followed him around the last lap and crossed the line about 5 seconds back for 3rd place. My first AFM podium!

My first race Sunday was race 2, Novice 750 Production. Not much action to report here. I was gridded in position 2 again. I had another good start for my second holeshot of the weekend. I put my head down, focused, and had checked out by the second time past the tower for a flag to flag victory and my first AFM win!!

Next up was Sunday race 5, Novice 600 Production. Coincidentally, I would be starting from position 2 yet again. On the out lap my low fuel light came on. Uh oh. But not to worry, I was comforted by the voice of my friend Greg Olson (911) in my head saying ďyou can do a whole race with your fuel light onĒ. Again, I came off the line well and was first through Sunrise.  I led the first lap then I thought, if I have as large a lead right now as I did in 750 Production earlier this morning, I can back off a bit and try to save fuel to ensure I make the full race distance. I tried to keep the revs down a little lower than normal and that put me about 3 seconds off my normal pace. Sure enough, Carl Hudson (186) came by me on his Kawi near the end of lap 2 and led across the line. I followed him for a bit, then picked the pace back up and re-passed to lead across the stripe on laps 4 and 5. Coming through the esses on the final lap the bike began to sputter. Uh oh. Then driving down towards Sunset the motor died completely. I pulled in the clutch and coasted through Sunset off the racing line, then found neutral and put up my hand to let the other racers know I was not at full speed. I watched most of the field go by me before coasting across the line for a 7th place finish. It was definitely disappointing to know I gave up my 3rd podium and 2nd victory of the weekend to a true rookie mistake. I learned that lesson the hard way and you can bet that wonít happen again.

After making sure to refill my tank with enough gas for 6 flat out laps (I had to bum some more gas from my pit mate Michael Christian #775, thanks again buddy) my last race of Sunday was race 7, Novice Formula 1. I was gridded, amazingly, yet again in P2.  Tom Kuchno was on Pole to my left and another of my pit-mates Joe Brown (822) was directly behind me in P6. This was my worst start of the weekend with Tom and Joe both beating me through Sunrise. Stephen came around me exiting Sunrise and around Joe entering Off Ramp. I followed Joe around in 4th place for the first lap until he made a mistake and ran wide in the Sweeper allowing me to sneak up the inside and take his line away at the late apex. From there I put my head down and tried to make clean laps, not giving Joe a chance to capitalize on any mistakes from me. Once again I watched Stephen and Tom slowly fade into the distance before crossing the line for the final time of the weekend and another 3rd place finish.

Overall it was a fantastic weekend. The AFM event was well run as always, thanks to all the workers that make it possible. The weather was perfect and winning one trophy, nevermind three, was beyond anything that I expected.

Thanks so much to my supporters:
Woodcraft/Armour Bodies
LeoVince USA & SpeedMob
Lockhart Phillips USA
Precision Trackdays & ARC Trackademics

Thanks to Oxymoron Photography, @fuptyphotography, and #offthecouchproductions for the images.
Thanks to Sidi|Motion Pro|Vortex|Carters|Shoei for the support in 2019

Offline KKM

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Re: dub's AFM round 1 Race Report
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 05:46:55 pm »
Holy Shit. Very cool. Dam, I wish I was 50 again as would be right there as that really looks like some major fun.
2009 Aprilia RSV1000R
2012 KTM990R ADV
2013 KTM 500XCW

Offline Mel

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Re: dub's AFM round 1 Race Report
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 03:40:38 pm »
Damn, I just saw this Wiles!! Congrats with that outstanding opening round performance over the weekend 8)!! I never did get to roadrace, but I do know that feeling of fighting for victory back in my dirttrack days, and trust me, you'll never forget it ;)! It looks like I'm going to have trouble keeping you in sight now on the goat roads!


Offline GreenMachine

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Re: dub's AFM round 1 Race Report
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 08:01:55 am »
Nicely done Dub!  If you had a crew chief, you could focus more on the riding and less on the logistics.  That last race would have certainly been a  :hbang
It's about taking in the most corners to your destination, not about the shortest, quickest route.