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Sears Point Raceway 08-18-02
Click on any photo for a bigger image
Photos by Gary Rather Photography
The 250SB race was first and we got off to a great start. Jack Walshe and I had one of the best dices of the year, back and forth a couple of times a lap! But Jack gets me on the last lap and pulls off a position over me finishing 26th to my 27th, again turning times close to each other. Jacks best was a 2:01.330 to my best lap of 2:02.874 getting close to the 2:00 minute goal on the shortened track.
Jack got by me through the carousal on the 1st or 2nd lap as did Mike Norman and that was that. But then here comes this Geri Grindle lady again! Who is she and why can't I run away from her? I passed her and put her away at Buttonwillow, I find out later she is coming back from a pretty bad crash in the carousal and is just starting to get back up to speed.
In this photo below you can see just how close it is, Truthfully I am not sure where I am in relation to Jack, Mike and Gerri,in this photo. At one time early in the race I was in front of them, But when Gerri came by the race was on!! For the rest of the race we changed position at least twice a lap sometime more!
Now I know you all think the 250P bikes are kind of a joke, but when you are going through 8, 8a, 9, and then into 10 at redline in 6th gear touching 100mph, HEAD TO HEAD it's a REAL rush!!
I'll let Gerri tell her side of it:
"It's hard for me to believe that I had an equally GREAT time in 250P. . . . but, thanks to Mr. RKA, I did. The first half of the race I was trying to make up for a typical bad start. During the entire race I was able to stay pretty much the same distance from Jack, never losing much, never gaining much - that's saying a lot, for me. Maybe next race I can beat him - eh??
Anyway, on to the good stuff: During the last half of the race Richard and I traded places AT LEAST twice a lap - sometimes 3 times, could it be 4?? I don't know, it was too exciting for me to be able to remember such details. I know for sure that he got me almost every lap in T4 and I got him almost every lap someplace between the middle of T6 and T7.
Last lap, once again I beat him into T7 - ah, ha, gotcha now, you haven't passed me yet between T7 and start/finish. Don't be so complacent, I tell myself, the race ain't over 'til it's over! He snuck up on me pretty good at Buttonwillow, he could do it again after all, he's been following me through these sections for half the race, he knows my lines and my weak spots by now!! Sure enough, coming into the new T11, he daringly shoots up the inside. I have to brake and stand the bike up to keep from hitting his rear wheel, since I had already started turning in. Don't lose it now, Grindle, collect your self and stay on his rear wheel through the corner if I can do that I know I have a shot at the checkered. It's the old weight to horsepower advantage that has allowed me to beat Jack in the past!! Sure enough, I had just enough time to squeek by him at the checkered.
There were only the two of us in the 250P race in August, right? I certainly didn't see anyone else!! I got first place and Richard got second. Hey, where are OUR trophies!!!
I have a hard time describing such excitement - although I'm sure you all have experienced it many times. For me, it's not that frequent to have such a great race - let alone TWO in one weekend - how could life get better than this? This is exactly what we race for.
I gotta tell you, Gerri is not a young whippier snapper she is much closer to being my sister than my daughter. I did not know it at the time but her mother was there to watch her race for the very first time!
We did the cool down lap giving each other the thumbs up sign and shaking our heads in disbelief of such a great battle! Gerri came off the track ahead of me and STOPPED and kinda leaned the bike on a fence post or something. I pulled up next to her pretty close and she REACHED WAY OVER and gave me the BIGGEST HUG and said, That's what racing is all about! I think she may have had a tear or two of joy in her eyes!
Well I finished 19th another top 20 finish! I am starting to think maybe I could get a overall top 20 finish for the year. But some of the riders I have been beating are coming up on me and the new novices are biting at my heals when they don't fall down.
Terry Cheney finished 10th!!!!! Jer Finished 11th and Andy Grayson trying to go for the top novice spot, finished and amazing 13th turning a magic 2:00.659 in the process! Jack was 16th. Lisa was right on my ass, 20th and actually turned a faster time during the race a 2:01.148 to my 2:03.504. Ouch! I guess Gerri and I slowed each other down.
See what I mean they are all biting and scratching for the top 20. Which to me would be like winning a race considering I am Old, Fat, and out of Shape!
My 250 Production finishes this year:
19th Race One Buttonwillow
27th Race Two Sears Point
DNF Missed Race Three Sears Point
26th Race Four ThunderHill
16th Race Five Buttonwillow
19th Race Six Sears Point (Infineon)
So you can see I am hanging around the top 20 but not solidly.