2nd Whiplash Race, Page, AZ, 10-8-06
I think desert racing is slang for "kick your ass" racing. I raced in my second whiplash race on Sunday. This race was up in Page, which is a far drive but the scenery is awesome. The course went through the rock hills, down through washes and through the middle of the wilderness. It was really sweet but it was a bit too whooped out for my taste. I wish I had pics of some of the race spots, you race right up into the rock moutains and through the canyon on the hard rocks, it is very weird. THe course was 25 miles long and 4 laps (unless you got lapped by a pro, then you only did 3 laps)
This was my first race in the ATV3 class and I was gridded 3rd which is a good place to start because I knew exactly who was ahead of me. The racers leave in pairs, 20 seconds apart. I passed the two guys ahead of me within a mile and I passed quite a few of the ATV6 and ATV7 riders on the first lap. Those guys are 40+ expert and intermediate and they left a bit ahead of me so I knew I was doing pretty good.
Towards the end of lap one a guy on a white two stroke passed me who was from my class. I stayed on his tail and passed him back when he pitted after the start/finish line. I didn't need to pit each lap so I kept on. He caught up to me again at about the 18th mile and again I stayed on him through the pits. This time I stopped for gas and to mess with my throttle and he passed me back while I was pitted. I caught him at mile 20 and for some reason I thought or at least prayed it would be the last lap, I should have known better because one of the pros would have had to have lapped me for the race to end at 3 laps for me. SO I wasted a lot of energy staying ahead of the guy in my class and alas, when I got to the line and it was only the white flag.
I was dead tired and the guy behind me stopped for gas and still caught me within 5 miles. I was pretty pissed I couldn't win, I knew I couldn't keep up with him. I was so tired I wanted to quit. For parts of the last lap I could barely hang on. During the first 3 laps I had passed quite a few of the ATV2 and ATV1 guys who started well ahead of me and were in the intermediate and expert groups so I knew I was doing well. SO for the 4th lap I just tried to keep up enough speed to stay well ahead of the guys in my class who were behind me. I finally made it to the line and I was pretty sure I got second.
The course was a lot of fun and we passed a major road twice where the police had traffic stopped. It was fun racing past traffic on the highway while going down a dirt embankement at an angle and then flying across the highway. Also on the 2nd lap I bent the hell out of my right front rim. Once I hit the 1/8 mile asphalt part I could see the wheel wobbling badly, it was fantastic. Also the Hengeveldt brothers from the factory honda team (and from dust to glory) showed up and raced in the pro motorcycle class. I am pretty sure one of them one by a long shot.
After an hour of waiting around and trying not to throw up from exhaustion they finally posted the results. They had me finishing 4th out of 22 and it showed I only completed 3 laps. I knew that was way wrong so I brought it up and they fixed it 5 minutes later. THen I noticed the guy they had in second had a 4th lap on par with a pro lap and WAY faster than any of his other laps or anyone else in our class. I didn't want to be a PITA and bring up another possible mistake but a few guys I knew there talked me into saying something. Sure enough it was a mistake and I got second like I thought. The guy who won was really cool and he was just happy his 2 stroke finished the race.
Jeremy and Nick Lovett went up with me and they made this their first race. I will let them tell their story.
Here are some pics and a short vid.