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Author Topic: Dakota’s 2009 Race Reports – Daytona  (Read 7047 times)

DakotaCBR

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Dakota’s 2009 Race Reports – Daytona
« on: March 02, 2009, 10:18:48 AM »
CCS at Daytona International Speedway – FL Amateur #308

Finally, my time for Daytona had arrived. I kept having to push back my first time there because of finances and a broken collar bone, so I was very excited to get some seat time at the Big D. My dad flew down from Pennsylvania to come to the race and be pit crew for us. He’s not really familiar with motorcycle racing so it was cool for him to be here and see what I’ve been doing with my life (and money) for the past 3 years. I live 5 minutes from the raceway, so on Wednesday night we packed the trailer and on Thursday morning we went in to set up for the Team Hammer trackday.

Team Hammer – 2-26-09

Josh Hayes was doing registration in the morning along with some of the CCS and Team Hammer crews. He’s always around the Daytona races and USGPRU with his wife Melissa Paris, so we’ve seen him around the paddock on many occasions, but it’s still cool to see him hanging out with us club racers. Afterwards, we got our passes and went under the tunnel to the infield to get to the paddock.

Daytona is BIG. It is quite intimidating to anyone hoping to ride there just by its history, reputation, and sheer size. Standing next to the track and seeing the top of a rider’s helmet up on the banking going 160+ MPH and not even leaned over is quite a sight to see. I’ve been inside the speedway on several occasions to be pit crew for my buddy Eric but this was my first time actually riding it myself. The circuit is the same one you’ll see them riding the Daytona 200 this Friday. It uses both outer banks, the tri-oval, back chicane, and a portion of the infield, making about 3.55 miles of track per lap. AMA Pros and ASRA guys like Josh Hayes and Jason DiSalvo are doing mid 1:40’s on Superbikes. We set up in the paddock along the fence looking towards the International Horseshoe.



Team Hammer was going to do four groups: School, Lightweight, 600, and Open. We would get four 30-min sessions to practice. I rode the bike over to tech and got in line behind a few other riders. When it came my turn, I heard a tech guy say “You 600 or School?” I replied “600” and without looking, handed him my blue tech sheet. Then I looked up, and it’s frickin Josh Hayes doing tech on MY bike! I’m thinking, “Just don’t say anything stupid, Jon!” He’s been my favorite AMA rider since I got into this motorcycle thing so it was really cool to talk to the guy and have his ‘blessing’ on my motorcycle!

I suited up and went out for the first 30-min session. I was on a PRC and PR5 for the trackday, and was just getting warmed up to learn the course. I was hoping that I could do a 2:45 the first session to get acquainted and then work my way down from there. Eric and my dad pulled off the warmers and I went out to ride.

HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!                                HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!! 

I have never gone that fast in my life. You see the banking coming up and it looks like a wall that you’re about to ride on. I thought I’d need some time to get up to being full throttle on the banking, but after 3-4 laps I was keeping it pinned coming down the super stretch. On the banking, the undulations in the pavement makes your head bobble around and you get forced down into the tank, you feel the suspension compressing as the centripedal force pulls the bike down, and you are freaking MOVING. As my head buffeted around, it would get sucked back by the wind force so my neck is pretty sore today. I came in and found I did a 2:34 my first time out, which was much better than I had been hoping for.

The second session I went out, and on the second lap, getting ready to go up on the west banking, I was black flagged by a corner worker. He pointed right at me and gave me one of those “Get the F off of the track!!” kind of waves. I signaled and immediately pulled off into the grass and turned the bike off. I didn’t know what was wrong, so I was sitting on the bike for 20 minutes waiting for the session to end so the truck would come pick me up. I didn’t see any oil in the pan or anything wrong with the bike, so when I got into the paddock I walked over to see why I was black flagged. The race director told me they made a mistake and called off the wrong bike! Eric went over to talk to John Ulrich and they graciously gave me a session with the Lightweight group to make up for the time.



At the end of the day my times improved to a 2:30, which is better than I hoped but not where I wanted to be at the end of 2 hours of practice. I was kind of disappointed in myself, but I still had an absolute blast and was improving up until the last checkered flag. Eric and I changed the oil, brake pads, and wheels and then headed home.

Michelin Team Challenge – 2-27-09

My buddy Eric is graduating college this semester so we figured it would be fun to do the Michelin Team Challenge together before he moves. The Team Challenge is a 2 hour, 45 lap endurance race where the team uses one bike and the riders must change atleast once. We decided to ride my bike under the name Team DucSauce and both of us were pretty excited. I had a bunch of friends coming to help in the pits, some coming to watch in the grandstands, and there was even an article about us racing in the school newspaper. It was a big event for us.

Eric went out for both morning practice sessions to get used to my bike. On the 3rd session I was going to go out and do 2 laps, then come in and practice a pit stop with him taking the remaining time to become familiar with the bike and track again. He did pretty well on the practice laps, doing a 2:15 his second session. I think he’s faster than that, but he was still working out the braking markers and getting used to the bike (The last time he rode Daytona in October it was on his TZ250). We were on Pirelli SC3’s for the race (Thanks to Rob at Lithium!!) and I was pretty excited to try out a new brand of tires.

I suited up and took the bike out for the 2 laps, and immediately got black flagged again by a corner worker. Man! I’ve never been black flagged before and that makes 2 in one weekend! I signaled and pulled off, then rode up to a corner worker’s station. They told me the bike was smoking from the exhaust and they wanted me to go to tech to get it checked out. I rode the bike to tech and had it stall on me a few times before I even got there. I got to tech and the bike was smoking pretty bad and making a ticking noise, so I killed it and pushed it back to the paddock with 20 minutes before the race was to start. There was no way we were going to make the grid on this bike.

We threw out a few crazy ideas of going to get Eric’s TZ250 or a friend’s GSXR750 to ride the race, but after thinking about it we decided it wouldn’t be safe for us or the other riders to start the race on a totally different bike. Unfortunately, our race was over before it even started.

Disappointed but optimistic, we made light of it, decided it was a good decision to call it off, and just enjoyed watching the race. We even pushed my sick and dying bike over to Victory Circle for a few smiling photos. Everyone has bad days at the track, and Daytona is especially disappointing to many riders but it was yet another experience of a lifetime and I’m glad I got to do it, especially with my buddy Eric and the rest of my friends from Team DucSauce there for help and support. That’s racing. Jason DiSalvo won the Team Challenge.



Afterthoughts / Notes:

- I was using the stock 16/43 gearing and pulling to about 14,500 RPM in 6th gear on the tri-oval before shutting off for T1. That RPM comes from a bad drive out of the chicane, because Eric said he was getting near the limiter before he was shutting off at about the same brake marker. The gearing calculator puts me at almost 162 MPH and him at about 167 MPH.

- I learned a little about harder braking and trail braking and I think I’ll be a little more confident using the brakes at other tracks now.

- I know this is already pretty long but I could write a book about my thoughts of the actual track itself. So much info to take in, it was awesome!

- It’s disappointing that we didn’t get to race but we are both uninjured and happy and the loss of entry fees is better than being injured and unhappy. It sucks but like I said, that’s racing. Besides, every racer I’ve talked to about Daytona has their own disappointment story. Just a part of the game.

Thanks:

Very, very special thanks to Rob Oliva at Lithium Motorsports for working his butt off to get us tires for the weekend. We were in quite a pickle and he really came through for us. I can’t thank you enough for helping us out like you did, Rob!

Thanks also to my 2009 sponsors: Lithium Motorsports, ScorpionEXO, Woodcraft, Vortex, and TrackdayMag.com. Without their support I literally would not be able to do this. I very much appreciate everything that they do for me and I’m glad I’ve got their backing and help. Thank you all!!

Also, thanks to my friends that came out to be pit crew and moral support: Dad, Eric, Tim, Kris for taking all of the photos, Francesca, EC and Eric’s Mom, and Art. You guys made the weekend!

Also thanks to CCS, ASRA, and Team Hammer. CCS runs the best events and formats I’ve ever seen and has the greatest group of riders and personnel I’ve ever met. I’m very thankful that I am able to race motorcycles with them. They put on a great show and at a venue like Daytona it is quite incredible. Thank you!


CCS FL #308

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2old2fat2slow

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Re: Dakota’s 2009 Race Reports – Daytona
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2009, 05:49:45 PM »
Sweet write up Jon! Hope your bike is not totally fubared. Let me know if you need anything. I still have a perfectly running spare 2005 cbr600rr engine I am not using. Make you a sweet deal on it if you need one. Are you doing any races that pair up with CCS mid Atlantic this year? Let me know so I can look for you in the pits Bro! 2o2f2s 
Let there be Mirth

DakotaCBR

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Re: Dakota’s 2009 Race Reports – Daytona
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2009, 06:18:41 PM »
Hey Dale, Yeah I was thinking about that motor you've got before we even left the track! I'll have to tear this one apart and see what the trouble is. If it turns out to be too much of a hassle I just might claim yours!

Art has been trying to talk me into going up with him for the MA races that he'll be at. Eric is also an MA rider so I'm sure I'll be up there atleast once this summer. I'll let you know!
CCS FL #308

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2old2fat2slow

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Re: Dakota’s 2009 Race Reports – Daytona
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2009, 05:17:58 AM »
I think Art is coming up my way in March for a wedding. I know he is coming up for my neices wedding in May. That would save you a bunch on shipping!
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Supergirl

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Re: Dakota’s 2009 Race Reports – Daytona
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2009, 04:47:39 PM »
I didn't realize how big Daytona is going to be, so I didn't even try looking for you.

Next time for sure :) I'm glad to hear it was overall a good experience.
I wasn't riding myself...

Back in the midwest again, and i wish i was still in FL..
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Re: Dakota’s 2009 Race Reports – Daytona
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2009, 09:00:44 AM »
Let us know about the motor. Good to see riding solo again :P. I guess a smoky motor is better than a broken collar bone, cause money can fix a smoky motor
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DakotaCBR

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Re: Dakota’s 2009 Race Reports – Daytona
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2009, 10:48:09 AM »
Good to see riding solo again :P.

LOL there was nothing like riding on the pillion of that bike...
CCS FL #308

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Paulred/black

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Re: Dakota’s 2009 Race Reports – Daytona
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2009, 11:12:00 AM »
very nice write up, main thing is you had an excellent time and met your favorite racer.

nice one  :thumb:

PHIL53

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Re: Dakota’s 2009 Race Reports – Daytona
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2009, 01:43:48 AM »
great write up Jon. I have been to Daytona for the 500 Nascar race. It is really a sight for a motorhead to see. Maybe one day I will make it up for the 200.

now you know what you will need next time. 
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Jason748

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Re: Dakota’s 2009 Race Reports – Daytona
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 08:10:18 AM »
Great write up Jon  :thumb:  good read while I was sitting in the Ft Lauderdale airport yesterday morning.   Wish I could have been there.
Suck you didn't get to race  ::) but you got a taste of D!
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"A lot of people go through life doing things badly. Racing’s important to men who do it well. When you’re racing, it... it’s life. Anything that happens before or after... is just waiting."  -S