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Sears Point Raceway 09-23-01

Click on any photo for a bigger image
Hardly a photo this time :-(
September 11th is something we will never forget. There are a couple of things that happened at the races this weekend that I will never forget.

There was a MOVING National Anthem sung by one of the racers,
"Gabe Ets-Hokin"
The really moving part of it was NO ONE moved or walked away until he was finished, it brought tears to Kathy and my eyes.

Dave Worthington brought a roll of stickers with the American Flag and we handed them out for free. Applied them to our race bikes etc.
We also had some large poster type flags, which were to take for free.

RKA did not have anything to do with this except a place for them to set.
I sure wish we had thought of it first J. It was Dave's idea through and through.

Thanks Dave!!!

Our tech AFM stickers for the helmets were American Flag stickers, COOL J

This weekend we had to pit in the south end of the pits, and actually in the turn 11 area.
We drove the rig out Friday morning and were at a loss of were to pit since they had almost every area coned off for the car school activities.

We decided to pit right across from the 76 pumps, locked it up and drove back to Healdsburg to work.

Saturday Kathy and I got there first and started setting up the tents. Turned out to be a nice place, going on and off the track through the "gonna be old" pit entrance/exit around turn 11 and out onto turn 10. Actually staging ON the turn 10 apex. There was a NARROW river of asphalt connecting to the new turn nine and ALL bikes had to be off before one could go on. We had to enter turn 9 and make a SHARP left hand turn onto turn nine and away to turn 1.

We had a great pit, Kelly (Fast Guy) Winkelbauer, Terry (can't catch me) Cheney, Dave (Mr. smoothie) Worthington, Matt (Matty getting better every time) Sheffield, and newbes Jon (gonna be stink fast) Bawden, Raghu Belur, and Mark Koskinen.

I have decided to move up to practice 2 with Terry so we were not the first ones out this time. Practice was crazy, it was really foggy. We drove up to turn 2 and 3 in the van and you could not see riders coming up into 2 and then they would disappear into turn three! We were SURE riders would go down, but to our surprise no one that we know of did.

Mattie got the fasted lap of the practice!! He was cooking in the wet fog! Great job Mattie!
The sun finally came through and practice continued on without a hitch.

Over a year of racing now and all my goals were met this weekend!

Sure I would LOVE to win a race, but at 54 years old and 210 pounds on a 300 pound 27hp motorcycle. I DON'T THINK SO. If you look back at my race reports I believe by goals were to be able to at least dice with Terry and Dave a little, bet Jack Walshe, Jer Stewart, and of course Terry & Dave.

Well I did ALL of these in one fell swoop! The first race of the day 250 Superbike race!!

250 SuperBike
Terry and Jer were girded ahead of me as usual, and Dave and Jack were girded behind me, I got my usual GREAT start off the line then sucked up in turn one (seven) letting everyone by me except maybe Jack. I finally got clear sailing through 8 and 8A and finally opened my eyes (The first turn is just to scary to watch) Low and behold Dave is IN FRONT of me dicing with Jer, DAMN gonna get dusted again! Well I put my head down went after them.

I actually chased down Jer and Dave, got by them and HOLY SMOKES Dave is right in my sights!! Steady, steady, steady, and finally figure it out and Terry is all mine!! The finish is Richard 35th, Terry 36th, Dave 37th, YES!!! I actually run down and beat my mentors and coaches! During this race I turn in a VERY nice 1:36.403 and 1:36.373 on the fourth and fifth laps with the others being two 37's and two 38's. I would really like to be more consistent.
250 Production
Once again I get my great start and suck up in the first turn, just need to shut my eyes longer ;-) The good part is things seemed to string out sooner than I would think and I have already got by Jer somehow and I am looking at the back of Dave, Now I am not to sure I ever wanted to pass Jer :-). I am following (Personal opinion) the smoothest guy on the track next to maybe Jack. So I am just happy to hang with him and try to learn. On lap two or three there is a three-bike pile up DIRECTLY behind Dave and I exiting turn two, I heard a funny grinding sound but did not really understand it until the next lap when we could see the carnage. Luckily all walked away. Here is the video. helps if you have fast hookups.

Before you go to the trouble of downloading this please note:

Videos one and three are NOT of the crash happening, you can hear the sound of it then see the aftermath in the first video.

MOM, you just download video two of "Dave and Me rocking", you don't need to see crash stuff :-)
1. Turn two crash
(full length .... Hey they were videoing ME :-) ) 37 sec, 9.5 meg
Just Dave and Richard rocking :-) 14.5 sec, 3.5 meg First half of first video
(Crash video only) 21.5 sec 5.5 meg second half of first video

We can both see Terry up in front being held up by a rider that appeared to have motor on him and he could not get by. I am thinking, GREAT! Hold him up, hold him up! Dave and I are coming for you Dude!! ;-)

I continue to shadow Dave and decide I have a chance to pass him. I get the opening and go by him. UNBELEIVEABLE!! I am by Dave again! Now Terry is directly in front of me, although about one turn away, I can still see him quite well.

You cannot see the bottom of turn nine it's literally an blind, right hand, narrow, off camber down hill, (In other words it still scares me :-) )so I try to take this turn very wide on the entrance and CUT over the apex and touch down my knee on the candy strips, hopefully pointing in the right direction down nine's little drop and then up into one.

Well hell, here is a good example from the last race

All the time I KNOW Dave has got to be right on my ass! And on the second to last lap I brake for the new turn nine, get ready to LEAN into the apex and WOOOOOOO I see Dave's front wheel instead of the candy strips!!

My mind is a mess with thought.

"Lean the damn thing over and go for your spot!!",
"Dave knows that's your space and will not do anything to hurt use!!",
"But damn he's to hot into the turn we're gonna hit!!"
"No Richard it's ok, Dave is just showing you a wheel, go on with it stupid!!"

I have a mille second to make a decision and I make the wrong one! I stand the bike up and slam on the brakes JUST staying on the pavement but coming to ALMOST a complete STOP!! At this point I am SURE I will get rear ended, I do not! I play with the gear lever forever to find first gear and take off after them.

I was running 18th at the time! With Terry in sight up in 17th!! This would have been my best finish with the back of the front group actually in sight!! YOU BLEW IT RICHARD, what a squid!

I come across the finish in 22nd and I slow for seven on the cool down lap. Dave is waiting with his head down and his hands in the air. He is trying to apologize big time for almost taking me out.

No Dave, this was NOT your fault; I should have been concentrating more on what I was doing. This was a well-learned lesson in racing.

In my very first race at sears I had a SV650 pass (lap) me in the chicane, I was pissed!! I thought he was almost touching me right into the entrance. The speed difference was so much it really shook me!! Well there was video of this incident, The rider was so far away from me you could have driven my motorhome thru there, lesson learned.

Take a good look at this photo, it was taken about lap 3, Dave is really getting DOWN!!! Look close and you can see the red and white boot of a rider behind him!! Yup it's me! I was on his ass!!



Click on the photo for a little animation I put together using a photo of me taken in the very same spot!! I was close!! :-)





The good stuff was I was consistent! Right off the bat I turned 1:36.309!!, then continued with 1:36.894, 1:36.826, 1:37.326, 1:37.733. Then the incident with Dave 141:512 duuuuuuuuuu. And finally a 1:38.024. Shoulda got faster instead of slower. I'm working on it folks! ;-)

See ya all at Buttonwillow!!

Richard #894 Rookie
"Old fat man having to much fun"

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