Reno Results, Photos, Saturday

Reno was crazy, stressful, hot, and fun. Mike picked me up Thursday after work and we headed straight to the track without incident. We dropped everything off at the track around 10PM and got back to the hotel after doing some late night grocery shopping to eat some dinner and collapse into bed.

Friday morning we got back to the track around 8AM and started prepping for practice. Mike and I lifted the body off the CSR and the first thing Mike notices is that the rear body pin has snapped off of it’s mounting plate in the body during the drive out and is still sitting in the body mount on the rig. Mike screamed, yelled, and swore for a few minutes. Something he tends to do when unexpected things like this happen. Once he had settled his nerves we ran back into town to the hardware store and picked up a carriage bolt, an aircraft nut, and a couple nylon fender washers. Back at the track Mike drilled straight through the steel mounting plate fiberglassed into the body and was able to drop the carriage bolt exactly where the body pin used to set. Everything was secured with the nylon washerrs and aircraft nut, and Mike epoxied the rubber body bumper cone back to the body. With some minor adjustments and the surgical application of a sponsorship sticker over the head of the carriage bolt on the outside of the body you would never know anything was any different.

Practice went well and I started to really pick up speed on the short configuration 7 turn 1.2 mile track. It was mostly high speed lefts with one fast turn three right, and a right hand chicane kink between the gravity bowl and turn seven that you could practically draw a straight line through. Our Translogic snapped an Allen bolt on the bottom of the bellcrank, and Mike had to swear at it a bit and fit a new Allen bolt. He then proceeded to re-assemble things in the wrong order which caused him to panic a bit as he thought the shifter had failed or maybe we’d bent a shift fork, when in reality he’d mounted the top of the Translogic one mounting point too high.

Sometimes, it’s the simple things.

The race was staged at 2PM and we went out for our warm-up lap. I was gridded mid-pack left right behind Bill Becker with Roy Janes behind me. The flag dropped and I didn’t have the bike in gear, so I had to slam it into second and light up the rear for the dash into turn 1. This allowed Roy to pass me on the outside during the start. I was able to stay right with Roy for the next five laps, trying to determine where I could set him up to make my pass. I was faster down the front straight than he was, and I could carry more speed through 1, 2, and into 3 than he could. But he would pull away into the gravity bowl. On the exit I could see that he was pushing the front badly and had to reduce his exit speed. The CSR had no such issues and I could reel him in every time on the exit of the gravity bowl into the chicane. While trying to get around Roy Sean passed us both. Down the front straight we got the white flag and I was determined to get both positions back. I started my drive to get by Roy and Sean, pushing the CSR as hard as I could through 3 and into the gravity bowl high so I could turn down as late as possible and get WFO to draw a striaght line through the chicane and carry high corner speed into 7 to beat them on the brakes on the inside of 7 or get them with brute force on the front straight. I dove into 7 with more speed than I’d carried all day and got on the throttle hard, the CSR pitched out sideways under power as the rear wheel lit up, I corrected, it pitched back left, hooked up, and I pinned it and shot for the checkered flag in 8th position, my hopes of making a move on Roy and Sean shot with that mistake.

It was then I noticed that the chair felt ‘bouncy’ and I looked back to see that Mike was gone. I got hard on the brakes and tiptoed around 1 and 2 gently, and looked over towards 7 once I was headed back towards 3 to see Mike walking along the edge of the track with his hands up in the air.

I’ll let Mike describe things from his point of view.

Driving out of the last corner on the last lap onto the front straight Sarah lit up the rear tire but good and the rig stepped out a good three feet. I didn’t have my weight in the right place at the right time, and I was using a new grip for left hand corners. Next thing I knew I was asphalt surfing at 100mph and Sarah was heading for the checkers without me.

I just tucked my arms in the old cross-your-heart fashion and proceeded to do breakdancing flairs down the track till things came to a full stop. I popped up, made sure nobody was coming down the track at me, and then started walking down the side of the track with my thumb out. Luckly Redneck Racing gave me a ride in.

Here’s the damage to the gear… Lost my buttpuck, luckly I have a spare puck. My helmet is toast, the Helimot F108’s held up good.

Back of the suit

Puck velcro shredded

Right shoulder torn up

F108's held up very well

Front of Scorpion exo 400

Back of Scorpion exo 400

Mike was uninjured, not so much as a scratch. I think he’s just developed a talent for crashing after all these years. Our finish was ruled a ‘mulligan’ since it was the last corner of the last lap and I gained no tactical advantage by unloading 200 pounds of excess baggage before going WFO for the checkered flag. I’m sure if I’d actually caught and passed Roy or Sean without Mike on the back there would have been an issue. I’ll take the 8th place, I’m just glad I noticed Mike was missing before cranking it over into turn 1. I could have flipped the CSR if I didn’t notice he was missing. It was an exciting day with Frank and Dennis getting the win, followed by Wade and Xtine, and Mark/Bobette rounding out third.


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