Mon Jun 10 14:00:12 2002
Spokane was cold and oh so very wet - perfect conditions for Vin-Trash racing.
We had one dry practice session on Saturday, the first since the season began. By the second lap through the hair-pins at turns 6-7, I had the little bike at the real edge: Peg, boot and knee firmly planted on the ground, scraping it all. It was great! The bike was running great as well. Lost one toe slider and one ankle slider in the course of the weekend.
Sunday practice session was wet, but I was passing people pretty hot and the adrenaline got up, fourth lap I was coming out of the hairpin at 7, knee down looking through the turn, good form but the tires let loose and I slid off the track, still on one knee. All good, grabbed the bike up before the corner worker even got there, pushed onto the pit road and bumped it, rode back just as everyone was coming in. Re-teched and ready to go in less than an hour.
First race Sunday was wet, raced hard with a few guys, huge pack of 14 160's. Drafting in the wet, diving in hard three abreast in corners, dicing hard with my closest rival, Brian H. Fourth lap I lost power and two spots but finished.
The get off had stirred up the tank and gotten some guck in the carb bowls because the petcock screen had a hole in it. Replaced that and had a great second race. I was able to keep the leaders in sight the whole way, finished seventh out of 15, a huge tight pack of little angry wasps snarling down the track! More importantly, I diced hard and passed several, keeping my gains and riding fast even in the wet. The announcer was calling us "The galloping Horde" and the "Flintstones Bikes" which was pretty cool.
Six starts this season and six finishes without crashes. Team Ika has now petitioned for expert status, although we will finish this season as Graduated Novice. Rider Mark Etheridge and Pit Betty Lynn Potts were predictably ecstatic. Pit Crew Don Marr was on the injured reserve status but will be back for Seattle.
Team Ika will be at Seattle on June 22-23 and probably in Portland on June 29-30. We will be going to Seattle with overall standings of Seventh with points from every race so far.
With the grid sizes we are fielding, we are a bigger race than lots of the modern grids. Long Live Vin-Trash, Group W racing and Team Ika!!!