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Old 03-21-2018, 02:06 PM   #1
Smash Allen
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'Smash does NRS' 2018 AFM R1-BW Race Report

Thursday - didn’t want to load bike in rain, decided to miss friday practice (was not budgeted anyhow) and stay dry inside with the wife and dogs. Turned out to be a mistake, only in that the only riding i was able to get in on saturday before my first race was the rider evaluation. The fact that I had only been to buttonwillow once in February when it rained and hailed should have increased my motivation to get there early, it will next time.

Friday - loaded bike and headed out. Rear gas tank runs out at ¼ tank and front gas tank level indicator doesn’t work, so i play it safe and stop twice on the 240 mile trip down to buttonwillow. Arrive at the track at the same time the clouds do and manage to unload the truck as the rain begins. I had stuffed some towels down the intake since the bike was going to be in the rain all the way down to the track in the bed of the truck and also outside all night. Reclined my passenger seat and fell asleep watching Qatar round of MotoGP.

Saturday - wake up and brush teeth, head to registration. Side note: at the end of 2017 I met former AFM Champion Dave Stanton who gave me one of his old Helimot race suits and since then has been an invaluable source of information. One of his suggestions is to complete as many races as i can, as nothing replaces seat time. Because of that i registered for four races my first weekend; formula 40 heavy novice, clubman heavy, open superbike novice, and open superstock novice.

Back in February I completed pre-registration, sent in signed forms weeks before first round, but my tech sheet isn’t in the box with everyone elses, and i didn’t realize it was because i was in NRS. waited through the registration line and got tech slip, not realizing i should be in class. Back in my pit I put all my gear on, balanced belly pan on the bike, and waddled over to tech just as tech was moving locations. Waddle over to new location, now sweating like i had already raced. Fortunately new tech location is in front of NRS classroom, and i see everyone learning important stuff in their sweats drinking coffee. I should be in there, but i would much rather be on the track...i pass tech and waddle back to my pit then hightail back to classroom.

One of the ways to fail NRS is to be late to class, luckily i wasn’t that late. Find out in class that the only riding before my first race is the rider evaluation. Now i regretted skipping friday practice. Classroom portion finishes around lunch and rider evaluation happens after lunch. I am paired up with Sam #787 on his sv650 for rider evaluation. He tells me it’s all about consistency, not speed, and to have fun. I treat it like a track day in terms of passing, keeping it safe but not just putzing around. After a couple laps Sam passes me and wicks up the pace. I do my best to keep up and we do another couple laps, passing one or two other riders. Then he turns around, gives me a thumbs up, aaaaaand he’s gone. Yes, the sv650 pulled away from the Bus Stop through Riverside and was gone by the time I got to Phil Hill. Say whaaat? There has to be a second or so of time i can pick up through there… The session ends with my time at 2:15.8 and I go back to my pits before hearing the call for my first race, Formula 40 Heavy Novice.

I get to hot pits at final call and am one of the last ones around for the warmup lap. I remembered my grid position (5,2) but was confused a bit when i was the only one on my row with second wave board directly behind me. As i was turned around looking at the second wave grid, a rider pointed at start/finish box and as soon as i turned around and looked at the board it went sideways then green flag! The race seemed to go on for 15 laps, and on the last lap Cory Call passed me. I can now say I finished a race less than a second behind Cory Call...nevermind I was a lap behind!

My first race finished out with my time at 2:11.1, over four seconds faster than my last session! Since i was in the clubman heavy race directly after formula 40 i kept my pace up during the cool down lap. Cory rode his cooldown lap pulling wheelies every corner, holding them down the straights….and i barely kept up. I was having a great time behind him in my helmet “are you f&*king kidding me?!” and pulled back into pre grid out of breath and ready for race 2. Unfortunately rain put an early end to the day and pushed my race 2 clubman heavy novice to sunday.

As soon as i got out of my gear i got my umbrella and took an hour long track walk. i would imagine myself going through each corner at speed, looking at markers and what each corner offers. Entry or exit corner? What comes before and after? Turn 2, turn 3, riverside, phil hill, sweeper, all corners that i learned something while walking that i missed every other time riding around. I want to have a bicycle handy next round so that i can take a lap at a slightly higher speed to tie it all together.

One of the riders who went down early on saturday vacated his weekend long garage rental and graciously offered his space to a couple riders and myself and so we moved our bikes out of the rain and i got a good night sleep on the garage floor with my foam pad.

Sunday - i didn’t know that you don’t need to tech or register more than once a weekend unless you crash, so when i showed up bright and early 7am at registration on sunday i was surprised i was the only one there. Since i was there anyway I had a breakfast burrito and heard my practice session call while still heading back to the pits. I decided i didn’t want to rush and missed the practice session.

Got geared up, did some stretching and meditating, and was ready for clubman heavy. This race i was ready and with grid position in memory (6,2) i found my spot without issue. I had a much better start this race since i wasn’t looking behind me, although the rider to my left was rear ended hard when his bike stalled and the rider behind him couldn’t avoid in time, sending both of them to the ground as i noped out of there.

I finished the race a second faster with my time down to 2:10.1. I spent the time before my next race thinking about the track walk, focusing on the back half from grapevine through sweeper. The race was only four laps long, but i improved my time once again from 2:12 lap 1, 2:10 lap 2, down to 2:08.5 lap 3, and 2:08.7 lap 4. With a gap from 12pm to 4pm before my last schedule race, a full day of work the next day, and a five hour drive home, i called an early but successful end to my first race weekend.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:28 PM   #2
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Congrats racer

Nice write up

I am sure the mind was busy recounting the day on your way home and when your head hit the pillow there was a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:00 PM   #3
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Good write up. It was nice to meet you. Thanks for the heads up on that garage.
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Old 03-21-2018, 06:04 PM   #4
Smash Allen
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Congrats racer

Nice write up

I am sure the mind was busy recounting the day on your way home and when your head hit the pillow there was a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Thanks Budman you are right, lots I’ve already forgotten I’m sure but I’ve started taking notes after each session and that has helped for sure.

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Good write up. It was nice to meet you. Thanks for the heads up on that garage.
Thanks Ian nice meeting you too, Daniel told me you might be interested is a thumbup insensitive?
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:04 AM   #5
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Most excellent! Glad you are racing with the AFM. Yes, Dave Stanton is very good man.
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:03 AM   #6
Smash Allen
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Most excellent! Glad you are racing with the AFM. Yes, Dave Stanton is very good man.
Thanks Dave rocks. He is able to explain what I am feeling and why so I can cut out the fat and focus on what is holding me back. Mainly my eyes and where I am on track. Going to wear my glasses at BW trackday tomorrow and see if that helps
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:18 AM   #7
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Allen,

Shoot me a PM so we can get your $$50 to you.

If you have PP please include that. If not shoot me an address please!
Thanks for the report.
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:06 AM   #8
Smash Allen
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w00t w00t

just like my first race - win by default! thanks barf and budman!
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:21 AM   #9
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I did a double take when I saw "Stanton" on the track.

Sounds like you learned a lot over the weekend and will be ready for the next round. I highly recommend the Friday practice. It is underattended and as it's all races, a great day to really get the track down.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:09 AM   #10
Smash Allen
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I did a double take when I saw "Stanton" on the track.

Sounds like you learned a lot over the weekend and will be ready for the next round. I highly recommend the Friday practice. It is underattended and as it's all races, a great day to really get the track down.
You probably had time for a triple take

That's good to know, I will do my best to make Friday practices, thanks for the advice
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:51 AM   #11
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You probably had time for a triple take

That's good to know, I will do my best to make Friday practices, thanks for the advice
I meant to say all racers, not all races. You get the idea. They usually split the groups up into fast, faster and fastest. The slowest group is better than A group at most track days.

Side note: I did a 2:11 on my first race weekend at BW. My second race weekend at BW was much faster. Once you find the line, BW is a really good, flowing track.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:45 PM   #12
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I meant to say all racers, not all races. You get the idea. They usually split the groups up into fast, faster and fastest. The slowest group is better than A group at most track days.

Side note: I did a 2:11 on my first race weekend at BW. My second race weekend at BW was much faster. Once you find the line, BW is a really good, flowing track.
More good info

I am looking forward to my second race weekend at BW in just a couple weeks! Hopefully I can pick up the rhythm on Friday and Saturday and still have energy for racing. My legs are tired...been at the track each weekend since round 1...stretching is helping but i need to increase my stamina...

If I am too tired to ride at a good pace is it still worth it to circle the track at a more subdued pace? Armchair quarterbacking it today I think it would be beneficial, but at the time it seemed a waste of gas / rubber / sweat. Am I just a pansy?! Once I start making mistakes and getting distracted and lose focus I just pull in...feels wrong to push when I feel 'ragged' but it's hard to explain...
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:57 PM   #13
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More good info

I am looking forward to my second race weekend at BW in just a couple weeks! Hopefully I can pick up the rhythm on Friday and Saturday and still have energy for racing. My legs are tired...been at the track each weekend since round 1...stretching is helping but i need to increase my stamina...

If I am too tired to ride at a good pace is it still worth it to circle the track at a more subdued pace? Armchair quarterbacking it today I think it would be beneficial, but at the time it seemed a waste of gas / rubber / sweat. Am I just a pansy?! Once I start making mistakes and getting distracted and lose focus I just pull in...feels wrong to push when I feel 'ragged' but it's hard to explain...
Smash were you out at thill this weekend by chance? If so its a shame we didn't get to run some laps together
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Old 04-02-2018, 01:15 PM   #14
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Smash were you out at thill this weekend by chance? If so its a shame we didn't get to run some laps together
yea i was there 3/30 and 3/31 with FTD, pitted under the second awning next to the power. there were a couple brothers next to me #702? and #743?

where were you? did you see ken hill? i stalked him back to his pits

that's awesome you were out there!! how did it go??
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Old 04-02-2018, 03:21 PM   #15
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yea i was there 3/30 and 3/31 with FTD, pitted under the second awning next to the power. there were a couple brothers next to me #702? and #743?

where were you? did you see ken hill? i stalked him back to his pits

that's awesome you were out there!! how did it go??
We were down by the normal grid area under the trees for all 3 days. Yeah saw ken, and a bunch of other people. Did some riding had some fun, worked on a few things and picked up some speed here and there.
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