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Check here for progress updates during the 2009 Race Season.

 

 

 

WERA Round 7 @ Jennings, last race weekend of the season: 

Saturday; LWT SOLO 20. My race stategy was “follow the leader” until the last few laps. I didn’t get a very good start and ended up a few riders behind my main competition. I cleared those riders, caught the leader and we settled in at a comfortable pace until lap 8. Coming into T-13 I was behind the leader and another rider was showing a wheel on the outside of me. The leader blew the turn and ran off just at the turn in point. At that point I put the hammer down and kept on trucking to a my first ever Solo win!!!

Sunday; Race 2 HWTSB. I lined up with 2 other bikes, a 1098 and a 675 (the one I battled with at Roebling). Another not so great start and I was third heading towards T-3. At this point I saw the 675 was entirely on the wrong line and I was able to easily motor around him by letting off the gas way late. After this, I never saw the 675 again. Unfortunatley I never saw the 1098 either as he had checked out on both of us!!

Race 9 HWTSS. This was a 2 wave start, with me and the 675 on the 2nd wave. There was a looong delay between the waves. I was abel to get a decent start and out brake the 675 going into T-1 for the lead. I never saw him after this.

Towards the end of the race the C Superbikes began lapping me. They had caught me going into T-1, I hung with them mid corner, but they literally smoked me coming off the corner. As one of them was pulling away, I saw the smoke pouring off the tire as the rider power slid his way out of the corner!!

I brought home another 1st place in HWTSS only to find the rear tire had some serious issues. I got with the tire vendor. He agreed it was a bad tire, but I would have to get it credited later. We quickly went about pulling the rear wheel and I forked over the extra $$ to get another tire to continue my championship quest in LWTSB.

Race 16 LWTSB; Coming into this race I was 2 points behind the 99 bike. I thought I had to finish 1st with the 99 bike 3rd or worse for me to win the Championship. Of note, I had yet to beat the 99 at Jennings. We gridded with the experts in front and the 5-6 novices in the back.

I got an awesome start and outbraked the novices and a few experts in T-1 to get into first. I put the hammer down and worked my way to 2nd overall in the race. Not knowing where the 99 was I told myself “Go big or go home!” I continued to chase the leader, but he was slowly slipping away. Meanwhile my pit crew was on the wall giving me the “rider on your tail” signal. I still didn’t know if it was the 99 or not until I saw a wheel going into T-1. I saw it was an expert as I outbraked him and stayed in front. Coming into T-10 I missed my mark and went a little wide and the expert rider got by on the inside of me.

The expert rider got a couple of lengths on me, but I reeled him back in over the next lap or 2. The white flag came out and I still didn’t know where the 99 was. I again outbraked the expert going into T-1 for the pass. I was able to hold him off for 2nd place overall in the race and 1st in the novice class!!!

As we slowed after the start/finish line I still didn’t know where the 99 finished. It wasn’t until after coming off the hot pit that I was able to get with him to find out he finished 4th… Meaning I had just WON the 2009 WERA North Florida LWTSB Novice Championship!!!!!!!

Reflections from the season…

In the begining, we started with a near stock bike, just hoping to finish races and maybe see a podium. We ended with a Championship in HWTSS and LWTSB!!! I believe we also finshed 2nd in the Championship points for HWT Superbike on Mike’s bike.

All on a bike that nobody expected to win races.

I would like to thank Buell Motorcycles, all my sponsors and all those who helped me along the way throughout the year. A special thanks to the following, as without their help I would not have been racing this year;

Paul Lytle at Gainesville H-D/Buell for getting me started. The whole ball of wax got rolling in the VIP Box at Road America last year.

Mark Gainer (Wolfrider) for the inspiration. By following Mark in his racing exploits I was able to realize I might be able race myself!

Mike Cobb (Xopti) for all the pit help and work on the bikes. His help with the engine mapping was crucial in getting my bike running in top form.

My dad for travelling with me throughout north Florida and south Georgia.

Eveyone who helped along the way!!!

and my Wife!! Without her understanding, none of the above would have been possible!!

 

WERA Round 6 @ Roebling Road:  Saturday;

 Practice. Wow! Lots of decreasing radius and double apex turns. During practice, I was able to go from pathetic to podium times.

Red Buell; Broke another front muffler strap. No spare. We did some serious safety wire engineering and got it ready for the 20 lapper.

Mikes Buell; Practice for tomm. The bike ran good and when in the right gear, it was hard to keep the front end down. The gearing was off, but we didn’t bring any extra sprockets. So, we have what we have. Overall, Mike did an excellent on the bike!

LWT SOLO 20. Game plan; follow the 99 for most of the race and then work on him in the end. I Started 3rd, in the back of the pack and went that way into T-1. During the second lap, the 2nd place rider took first and later I took 2nd. We hung on the back of an expert rider for the next 7 laps. About Lap 4-5 I had a good run and took first. I immediately thought “why did I do that?”. Next lap around I left the door open on the inside of 3 and let the 99 get by. I fell in line and we contiuned to hang with a slower expert until I had some tire slip issues. After that, I contiued to fall back.

At this point I decided to try different lines for tommorrow’s races. Finished 2nd, about 1/3 of the track behind first and nearly lapping 3rd.

Day 2: Sunday; 

Practice; Went well. Practiced some different lines, worked on some passing. On this one particular pass on the last turn (100 MPH +), I had built up enough speed it pushed me wide onto the rumble strips. I kept the throttle pinned, but I wasn’t able to bring it back before the rumbles ended. I went in the grass, let off the throttle just a tad and brought it back on the pavement without missing a beat!

HWTSS (Duc hunting and Triump stomping!!), My bike; I started on the front row with a Duc 999 and a Triump 675. They both got the jump on the start down the front straight. By T-3 I had caught up with them and was able to pass them both!! Never saw them again and held on for the 1st place win!! The Triump support team couldn’t believe when I came around the first lap in the lead. The 675 was still stuck behind the 999. I talked with the 675 rider and he said the 999 held him up bad and by the time he got around him I was no where to be found!!

LWTSB, My bike; Again started on the front, along with a Duc. The Duc got me off the line, but I was able to pass him on the straight on as we came around for the 1st lap. I held first until lap 6 or 7. I ran a bit wide in T-3 and the Duc was able to get inside of me. He went wide in 4, but I was not able to take advantage. He slowly pulled away until the finish and I came in 2nd. I talked to the Duc rider afterwards. He told me he was working on me for quite a while to get around me and when he finally did, he thought I was gonna get back by.

HWTSB, Mike’s bike; Another front row start!! The Triump got ahead of me, along with some faster riders in a different class. On lap 3 I got around the 675 in T-5 and made it stick. I pulled him from 6-7 that he had fallen back. As we came to the line the red flag was out. Another bike had blown an engine and dumped oil on the race line in T-1. Since we hadn’t made the halfway point, they sent us to the pit to wait for a restart.

On the restart, the 675 again got the jump down the straight (along with 1 or 2 faster bikes from a different class. Going into T-1 I ran across the oil/stay dry and wiggled both tires. At this point I Knew I had to adjust me line in T-1. The faster bikes cleared the 675 by T-3 and it was clear I was faster in the corners than the 675. For the next 7 laps I chased that 675.

I pulled inside along inside, I pulled along outside, but I just couldn’t get a good run on him. Twice on the last turn I got around him on the outside, but as soon as we stood the bikes up, he got by me and left me down the straight. I wasn’t able to close up by T-3 like earlier because of changing my line in T-1 (due to the oil), but I still was able to catch him by T-4. On the last lap, I was on him pretty tight, but he got me just a bit in the short straight between T-6 and the last turn. I knew he would check up going into the last turn, so I just kept the throttle pinned and planned to get him on the inside. The 675 kept it tight and I checked up and tried to get him on the outside. I was hoping to get around him and make him check up.

The next sequence of events happened in less than 1 second. I ham-fisted the throttle and the rear slid wide. I checked up ever so slightly and the rear caught, causing the bike to buck me out of the seat and my right foot to slip of the peg. As I cam back down to the bike I pinned the throttle, touching my right foot a bit and kept it truckin!!! Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to catch the 675 so I had to settle for another 2nd.

I spoke with the 675 rider and his crew again. The rider said he heard me back there and was expecting a pass at any time. The ride and his support crew said they knew if I got around them he wouldn’t be able to get back around me! When I told them my suspension was stock except for springs and a heavier weight fork oil, their jaws about hit the ground!!

Sunday was some of the best racing action I have gotten into so far this season!!! It was great fighting for lead! I learned a lot and hope to bring some of it with me for the last race.

I should note, there was another Buell there. It was a built XB9R. Unfortunately he was never on my pace so I never got to race him. I ended up lapping him in HWTSB.

Overall results from the weekend

LWT SOLO 20; 2nd

HWTSS; 1st

LWTSB; 2nd

HWTSB; 1st until the red flag. 2nd after the re-start.

One more race weekend left, Jennings in September

WERA Round 5 @ Road Atlanta: Friday;

We arrived Thursday night for Friday practice.   Having never been to Road Atlanta before, I was just hoping to gather some points and head home.  After the first session there, all I could think was WOW!!  Elevation changes, blind corners, FAST back stretch… this is going to tough.  I was able to hook up with a racer friend who has been there and by the end of the day I was turning some respectable lap times.  It was hot in the pit area

Saturday;

During practice I conituned to lower my lap times and also get in some practice starts.

 LW Solo 16.  I was gridded front row, in the middle for my wave.  I got a decent start and was 3rd going into turn one.  We then went up the hill and into a tight chicane.  I lost my line and rode off into the grass, watching as the pack went on by.  I got back on the track, got to business and was able to come back to an 8th place finish!  It was hot in the pit area!!

Sunday;

Only 1 practice session.  I again worked on my starts.

 HWTSS.  I was again on the front row.  I got another decent start and maintained 3rd throughout the race to the finish.  I also managed to pass a few of the expert riders.  Upon returning to the pits, I noticed I broke a front muffler strap and the belly pan was taking a beating.  I was able to replace the muffler strap and make some metal plates to help hold the belly pan on.

LWTSB.

Started again on the front row and grabbed third heading into turn one.  During this race I got behind some slower traffic and slowly picked them off.  Nearly missed turn 12 as I came down hill into it, only to find 2 extremely slower riders.  I was hard on the front AND back brake and was forced to downshift an extra gear.  This caused the rear tire to hop and it looked like I wasn’t going to make the turn.  At the last minute I was able to throw the bike into the turn and dive under the 2 riders.  I later saw the 2nd place rider go down in turn 10a.  I kept on the gas and finished 2nd!!  Got back to the pits and found the rear belt drive was missing some teeth!!

Many thanks to my dad and Mike for helping out.  Also thanks to Mike2, the 3% crew, Tim and all those who helped or stopped by to show some support.

Overall it was a great race weekend.  No crashes, no race ending mechanicals and a whole lotta fun!!  Did I mention it was really hot in the pit area? NEXT: Roebling road in July.

 

WERA Round 3 @ Jennings:  Friday;

Along the way, we stopped at Gainesville H-D/Buell to see Paul and I was pleasantly suprised by some addition sponsor support!!! Big thanks to you Paul!!!

We arrived late in the afternoon hoping to get a concrete pit. Upon entering the track, we found…. pit road was like a ghost town!!! There were only 4 pits taken and we had our choice. After setting up, I went for some practice time. As luck would have it, I was hanging the rear end waaaay out in turn 13 and ended up putting it down in the sand, the pit bike that is!!!

I decided to switch to Bridgstone tires. With the additional support from Paul, I was able to round up three sets.

Saturday;

RDGlider and his wife showed up to cheer me on.

With the new tires, a slight tweak in the suspension system and the warmer weather I didn’t know what to expect. I went out for my first practice with the 750s and was feeling OK, but I got jammed up behind another rider for most of the time. My best time from this was session was a 1.29, but I felt I could have done better.

My second session I went out with the 600s. The bike felt great, the tires were sticking and I had clear track in front of me. I was hoping to crack into the 1.26 range. I was really suprised when to learn I clocked a fast lap time of 1.25.7 (my best so far)!!!!! I skipped the remaining practice sessions and waited for the Lightweight 20 lap Solo.

Race time;

I am lined up against built SV650s, 1 expert in front and 2 other novices in my row. I nearly got a holeshot,but ended up 2nd behind the expert rider into T-1. For half the race I was able to hang with him pretty good. He was slowing me in a few corners, but I was not able to capitalize. About lap 13 I was getting pretty tired and let the second place novie around me. My plan was to keep up, but I was wore out and resigned myself to finishing the race in 2nd place. The really good news is unitl I got tired, my lap times were in consistent 1.26- 1.25!!

All in all, it was a great day, filled with a great day of racing!!

Sunday;

For both pratices I chose to work on my starts, thus my lap times were nothing close to normal.

Race 1 HWT Superstock;

Since I was the only rider who signed up for HWTSS, WERA Lined me up with the C Superbike (modified 600s) experts and novices. This was a 2 wave race with the experts in the first wave and the novices and I in the the 2nd. I was 2 rows back from the C group. The 2nd flag waved and off we went. I got by 1 or 2 going into T-1 and 1 or 2 more coming out of T-1. I was hanging with them for a couple of laps, then remembered all I had to do was finish the race. I slowed slightly and flagged some of the them by so they could get in the mix for points against their class. I did my best imitation of Danny Eslick as I took T-13 super tight and found out that a knee slider does not slide too good over sand/grass. Got lapped by the experts (the top 4 were running 1.17s!). Finished the race 1st in HWTSS with average lap times in the 1.26/1.27 range.

Race 2 LWTSB;

It was rather warm (90 some degrees for the start); My main rival is in this class. I led him for half the Solo20 the day before and was hoping I could hold him off for a mere 8 laps. They line us up, 2 rows back from the 4-5 LWTSB Experts. Green flag drops and I came from the back with a pretty good head of steam. About halfway through T-1 I find myself behind the leader!!! I keep on him and hope that my rival got stuck behind the other guys. Cross flags come out and I am still 2nd overall, 1st in my class. The tires were sticking and I was running good so I decided to try and brake a little further into T-1. Unfortunately, this threw me off the race line and slowed me down. The leader began to slip away and next thing I know my rival passes my in T-7. Then they both began to slip away. I was never able to reel them in, and they got about 5-9 seconds ahead of me. The tires only slipped once when I was off pace in a turn and tried to get on the gas just a bit early. The rear then let me know it wasn’t happy!! I didn’t crack a 1.25 in the race, but I was consistent with 1.26/1.27s.

We packed up, grabbed the trophies early and headed for the steak dinner I promised!!

Overall, not a bad weekend. We switched to Bridgestone 003s, did some very minor suspesion tweaks and posted my personal best lap time for Jennings.

Many, many, many thanks to Paul @ Gainesville H-D/Buell for sponsor help and to Mike, Paul from Ocala, Joe and my dad helping in the pits!!! You guys were invaluable!!

 

April 20, 2009:   WERA North Florida Series Round 2 is now in the books!!!

I showed up with crew chief Mike about mid afternoon. Turn out was light and we scored a concrete pit in front of the classroom building. Being this was a combined WERA National, there were a couple of “big boys” there including the VESRA Race Team. They took up four pit stalls with their NASCAR style tractor trailer. They fielded 4 bikes on both days!!!

Later in the day, we found out Taylor Knapp (raced the Latus 1125r at Atlanta was 2 pits away! As Mike said, we put a new front tire in preperation for Sunday racing.

Sunday morning registration and tech went smooth. Then they announced there would only be 1 practice session. So much for getting the suspension dialed in BEFORE the races. We got some stuff done, then I lined up on the pole for HWTSS. Green flag drops and off I go, then opps… missed 2nd gear. Made up for it pretty quick and kept going. During the race, the rear was wallowing a bit and I fell back as far as last place but still managed a 1st place finish. The down side was, nobody else signed up for the class. The good side was we were able to use the race for suspension adjustments.

My second race of the day was “C” superstock, aka the meat grinder. A class full of 600s and 1 675. I started dead last out of 12. I got a decent start and was running good into T-1. Coming off of T-1, still hanging off the bike, I was running the race line when I felt something hit my back (kinda like a lead pipe!). I got pushed wide, but stayed on the track and held my position. Never did find out who or what hit me. I was battling a 600 and the 675 pretty good for last place. I was a little faster in the corners, but they would kill me in the straights. At some point the 600 crashed out in T-10. I was able to pull even with or just behind 675 out of the corners, but my rear was way loose in the left hand turns. I finally managed to pass him. But it wasn’t over yet!!! With the white flag showing, the 675 came up on the inside heading into T-1 and was able to pull just ahead of me. I decided I could out brake him and pass on the outside, then realized the 675 was not turning in!!! I grabbed more brake and tipped it in just behind him as he headed off the track. I managed a 10th place finish.

During the long break before the LWTSB class Mike teaked on the suspension more and the results from the previosu races were posted. I dropped 1 second from the races in March for a best time of 1.27.4.

LWTSS. Lined up with other classes, but only 1 other rider on a SV650 in mine. I was holding with him pretty good for most of the race, but the rear was now loose on every left hand turn (11 of 14 turns on the track). At this point it dawned on me that I hadn’t flipped the rear from the last race day. DOH!!!! I still mananged to finish 1 second behind the SV in the 1.27.5 range.

The learning curve is more like a verticle line, but we continue to learn a lot!! We still have a lot more to learn!!! All in all, it was a good weekend and we had a good time!! I didn’t crash or run off. I felt what it was like to be bumped and I am getting quite good at handling the bike with a loose rear end in the left handers! We probably still have some tweaking to do on the suspension, I need more practice time and new tires for evey race weekend are probably a must to become competitive.

Thanks to Mike in the pit, adn Joe and Peter for showing up to cheer me on!!

Looking forward to round 3 coming up at Jennings the last weekend in May!!

Pictures soon!!

 

 April 15th, 2009:  Mike Cobb of Xoptimized.com has agreed to donate his time as crew chief for PaintShakerRacing.  Thanks mike!

 

April 3rd, 2009:  ATTENTION:  My scheduled race bike appearance at Gainesville’s Rock N Wheels for Friday April 3rd and Saturday April 4th has been cancelled!  I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone.  Look for me to be back in WERA racing action Sunday April 19th!!

 

 

March 08,2009:   I would like to preface this with the following… We started the race weekend with a suspension mess!!!  The settings were all wrong, but by Sunday we were on the right path!!
Sat Race Report;  No real issues during practice.  Started 6th (dead last) for my 20 lap LWT SOLO.  Managed to get to fourth and stay on the tail of 3rd and 2nd for quite a while.  The bike started feeling a little “loose”, kinda like low PSI. A short time later while leaned over with a knee down in turn 8, the front slid on me.  I managed to save it and keep going.
Meanwhile, 3rd and 2nd were slowing pulling away.  SO I get back in the game.  But something just wasn’t right. The tires were not sticking, or were losing grip where I should have had grip.  To top it off, I came in too hot in turn 3, ran off and re-entered turn 5.  No harm, no foul as Nobody was near me when this happened.  I stayed in the race, but with my confidence shook, I resigned myself to finishing the race.
I finished my first race 1 lap down overall, with a 4th place finish in my class.  I also managed to pass 1 expert.
After the race we turned our attention to the suspension.  We consulted with the Pirelli guy, made some phone calls and ultimately ended up with the new settings.  We also put a new rear tire on (thanks BuellGator & Gainesville H-D/Buell).
Sun Race Report.
First practice;  With new suspension settings and fresh rear rubber, we came in after 4 laps to make sure the tire PSI was correct.  It was and we had no further PSI issues.
Second practice;  The front tire slid on me once in 13.  This was NOT a tire issue, but caused by 2 slower riders side by side and both checking up.
1st Sprint HWTSS;  I started on the pole for my class and finished 1st (no other entries, ha!).
3nd Sprint LWTSB;  I started 4th and worked my way to 2nd.  Got passed, but was able to keep on his tail.  Got caught up in lap traffic, that the 2nd place rider was able to get around and finished 3rd.
The bike handled well on Sunday, it was mostly the knucklebrain attached to the throttle!!!
I would like to thank Gainesville H-D/Buell, Cody’s Roadhouse, Paul, Mike and my dad in the pits.  Also to Mark for tracking down Henry Duga (of Buell Racing) in Daytona and locating a part for me and Tim for getting the part to me!
All in all, not bad for my first weekend 2 Podiums, 1 near podium and a whole lotta fun!!!
Can’t wait to do it again!!

March 05, 2009:  The race van is packed and I’ll be off to the track early tommorrow morning.   Look for results posted here Sunday night!!

 

March 04, 2009:  After much ado, the final parts for my Buell XB12r Firebolt racing machine have arrived!!  But they’ll have to wait until Friday when I arrive at the track before they go on.

 

Feb 24, 2009.  I arrived a tad late for practice on Sunday Feb 22 and immediately had to set about pulling the wheels for new tires.  I spoke with the Pirelli Rep and determined it was time to step up to a Race DOT tire.  The Pirelli Rep mounted and balanced the tires for a decent price.  Unfortunately I needed to leave the tire warmers on for an hour, so the Buell XB12 Firebolt race machine wouldn’t be ready for the first session.  Not to worry.  I prepped the street bike and took it out for the first session (http://paintshakerracing.com/pictures ).   I quickly learned it’s not a good idea to start at the tail end of a large intermediate class (I later made sure to start at or near the front of the class).  Meanwhile, Mike from Xoptimized tuned on the race machine suspension.

 

By the time the second session rolled around, the race machine was ready to go!!  Between the tires and the new suspension settings, I immediately noticed a dramatic difference in handling.  The bike felt faster and more stable.  As the day progressed on, I managed to post a best time of 1:26 (which should put me mid pack in my race classes).  I was able to work on passing and also starts with positive results. 

 

I did have a run off in turn 11.  I had been working on passing 2 bikes for about a lap and a half when the checked flew in turn 7 (meaning last lap).  I closed in and poised for the pass.  I was able to pass the first bike on the outside going into 11 and was in the process of passing the 2nd bike on the outside coming out of 11 when the rider decided to slow up and drift to the outside.  This forced me off the track.  I managed to keep the bike up, not hit anything and get back on the track.  It was nobody’s fault  and I later spoke with the rider.

 

For my last session of the day, I asked and was allowed to run the expert class.  I learned quite a bit and  feel confident going into the races March 7-8.  See you at the races!

 

Feb 21, 2009.  What a beautiful day!!  I had the #544 Buell Firebolt machine set up at Gainesville H-D/ Buell.  A few familar faces stopped by to say hello and several other folks came over to check out the bike!  The plan was to mount the Buell Race/ Ohlins steering damper that had arrived.  Unfortunately I found out after I had the front end tore down that it was sent with the wrong fork brackets.   More unfortunate news came while attempting to install the race springs.  With the forks ready to come off, an issue came about  with the race springs so I am still on stock springs.  I am confident I will have the damper and springs installed prior to race day. 

Hey, if it were easy everyone would do it! 

 

Feb 18, 2009.  The #544 Buell Firebolt machine is finally ready for the racing season!!!  Come check it out Sat Feb 21 at Gainesville H-D/ Buell for their 16th anniversary patry.  On Sun Feb 22 we’ll be off to Jennings for a final practice day before the Mar 7-8 race weekend.  Again feel free to come out and check things out!!

 

Feb 1, 2009.  The #544 Buell Firebolt 12R race machine is 98% ready to go.  I am awaiting a few parts and completion of the safety wiring.  Then its off to the races!!  The 544 machine will be in full race trim for the track day at JenningsGp on Feb 22.  Come check us out, you may be in for a suprise announcement!!

 

Jan 16,2009 ***SPONSOR UPDATE***   I am pround to announce Cody’s Restaurant in Crystal River, Florida as a co-sponsor.   Thanks for the support and welcome aboard!  If you want great streak, eat here!

 

Jan 14, 2009.  I will be at Jennings Gp on Saturday  Sunday February 21st  22 practicing for the upcoming season.  Feel free to stop by the pits and say hello.  Please note the change in dates.


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