My wife and I left Beaumont Friday mid-day, and thought we would go the I-10, Bltwy 8, 290 route, and save some time. It seems over the years, there is no time to catch light traffic or no construction across the H-town area. But we weren't really in a hurry, because there was no Day Track practice as they were getting it ready for the race Saturday morning. But I was a little anxious to get there just to ride the Night Track.
This time we were going to stay in Lockhart instead of Bastrop, for just a change of scenery. We rolled up to our Motel that evening, and didn't even bother getting out of the car. There was what I figured were deals being made on narcotics and women. I wasn't gong to leave my wife there by herself while I went to the track that night. So we headed about 1/2 mile South to a considerably more expensive stay, but much better atmosphere. I gave the manager the sad story about being a racer, and only getting so much sponsorship money, and that anything he could do to help control cost would be much appreciated. He drop the price by 60.00 dollars for the two night stay. That was enough for two moto classes.
I got my wife settled in, and headed to Murphy's for some night time riding. William had changed the track design yet again, and it did not disappoint. The yellowish, sandy clay dirt will let you roll on some heavy throttle, and some step lean angles. John Horn was there, and he was really blitzing the track. There was this one section that I was just going double double, but he was railing the outside berm, and tripling into it. It was cool to watch, but not in my best interest to give it a try. I was having to much fun at my speed. That evening when I was done, William let me store my bikes in his shop. If you have never meet William, next time you are there, just go up to him and say hi, then set back and enjoy the show. I think he may a little more of a souped up Chihuahua than I am, and may very well out yak me too. He and his wife Michele are the nicest folk around.
Race day, me, my wife and Nigel McKee, meet for breakfast at a place in Lockhart called Henrys. Their breakfast was excellent, and I was feeling like a tick on a hound dog. We waddled out of Henrys, and rolled into the track with plenty of time to get ready; but my wife Teresa was late to the scoring tower for work. I'm sure Mike whined and complained, and probably tried to dock her pay, but that's a battle he won't win, or if he does, he regret it later lol. Practice that morning was probably as much fun as the races. It was deeeeep, and thick. I went out for first and Vet practice, and it was so fast. It was a flat-tracking paradise.
First moto 50 Open, I got the hole-shot, but Perry Rawlinson #7x was quickly on me. I was able to hold him off until we came to the split lane option section, and that's where he made his move coming out of the left U-turn corner, and tripling the downhill. I think Chris Erzal #766 got around me too, and I followed them across for a 3rd.
50 Open moto 2, I managed a hole-shot, and held on for a 2nd, as Perry got past me again. Not sure where he made his move, but it may have been the big table after the triple step-down. I did finish in front of Chris, but not sure where he was at the finish.
In the first 55 open moto, I got the hole-shot, but I was run down by Perry Rawlinson 7x. Although he was a bit faster than me, I was able to keep him at bay until the split lane option. I would go inside, and he would go outside. I could see him in my peripheral pulling past me in the other lane. About the second lap, he had the run out of the left u-turn corner, and tripled the downhill and got out front. I was able to pace him, but could not mount a challenge, and followed him across the checker.
Second moto of the 55 open, I got the hole-shot again and ran as hard as I dared. It wasn't long he was on my rear fender again, but was still able to keep him in check. The section where he was faster, and passed me in the first moto, was coming up, so I knew I had to do something different to keep the lead coming out of the left hand corner. As we entered the split lane option again, I dropped into the gulley jump, and this time instead of landing on top and rolling off into the whoops, I launched hard enough to land into the first roller. With just that little bit of extra speed and distance, was quite a surprise on how the whoops affects your bike. I got my attention, and I think I may have been 'rocking the whoops'. My shoulders were traveling full range I'm pretty sure; but I could hear him in the next lane, but this time he was not in my view. As we made the left hand U-turn, I kept the lead. So then I got to thinking, I may be able to pull this off. I tried to stay focused ahead, and just tweak a little bit of speed here and there. Well, it worked. He was all over me, but I pulled it off. We chatted afterwards, and had just as much fun talking smack we couldn't back up as we did racing.
Ironman is now 12 laps, but one moto. One the gate was my friend, but yet nemeses, Nigel McKee. Also saddled up was John Horn. Me and Nigel know we have noting for John. He is considerably faster than us. Although we can go hard for the entire race, so can he. We are just practice for him, so we just have our own race within a race. Nigel has been practicing quite a bit lately, and has increased his speed quite a bit. Before the gate dropped, we all talked John into starting backwards on the gate. Not that it would matter, we just wanted to play with him. Heck, he could have set there for 2 laps and still won. When the gate dropped, I got the hole-shot, with Nigel in tow. For about 8-9 laps, I gave it a pretty hard charge to try and put a gap on Nigel, but he stayed very close. After about lap 10, I noticed he fell back just a bit, so I eased up a bit too and we cruised to the checker.
After the races that day, me and Nigel were talking about his small bore 2-stroke TM, that he has been running so well on lately. He asked if I wanted to take it for a spin, so I mounted up. It has been a long while since I rode one, and I forgot how underpowered they are. Initially, I was shifting way too soon. After a couple of laps, I begin to twist and hold the throttle, and work it between 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear, with an occasional 5th gear. It was a 6 speed, but don't think I ever made it that high up into the box. After a few more laps, I begin to feel that grin developing on my face. It's actually pretty fast as long as you are willing to set on the gas cap and flog it. It is super light, and easy to move around with it, or independent of it.
After the races, my wife and I eased on back to the motel in Lockhart, and settled in for the night. The next morning we headed just down the road to a new track called Spoaks. We had heard people talking about it while at Murphy's. I'll try and share about the ride there tomorrow when I get home from work. Fly was there along with some other vendors, and they had trails too.
Where there is to much, something is missing.