NMRA Round Five - 29/30 June 2002
Pat's Acres, Canby OR

Team Spawn Race Report

It seems strange to call it that, because this meeting marked the end of an era of sorts, as
I sold SpawnIII this weekend to Scott , who will be keeping it in the area and racing with us!
Congrats/thanks and welcome, Scott!

Saturday practice was fun though unremarkable, but I turned a couple 41's on the Moriwaki
which was at about 8/10ths so I was satisfied with that - the new track is done, and
will open for racing on the 5th of July - where Turn Three used to be the track shoots straight
on now, over a rise and down to a wide lefthand sweeper that has at least 4 lines through it, all
converging before entering the new Turn Four, a decreasing radius lefthander that exits onto
a short straight then the new Turn Five - a righthand hairpin back onto the old course again,
overall a fast and tricky addition to an already busy layout! Looks like the first time we'll race
on it will be the Invitational...

Sunday I skipped the morning practices as usual, and showed up just as the last bike practice ended.
Many of the regulars didn't show this time and we dropped the Novice races off the program as a
result. My 50GP qualifying run put me in my usual 5th place, but I took pole position for the 80GP
heat even after almost highsiding in Two.
I don't remember anything amazing about the 50GP heat except that I didn't crash and came in 5th
place again for a second row grid for the Main.
In the 80GP heat I got a good start but Steve on his TZ got a better one and led into Turn One,
and we held that order for several laps until I outbraked him at the end of the straightaway and
held on for the finish! My best race laps were a couple of 41's again and really had to work for
the win as it was wheel-to-wheel for most of the race and one mistake would have cost, (as we
will see)...

For the 50GP Main I got a mediocre start, but as everyone lined up on the left side of the track
going into One I did the old James-Hunt-at-Monte-Carlo trick and went around the far outside,
and picked up I think 4 places before Turn Two! Things sorted out pretty quick after that and
I ended up fifth again I think. Ty did a great block pass in Two that made my heart jump, heh!

In the 80GP Main I got a decent launch but Erich got a killer hole shot followed by Steve and
Ralph on my RM80 which he borrowed for the race. I passed him in the first couple laps and
caught up the to Steve, and did another pass on braking in One, I think, for second place.
I put the hammer down and was catching up with Erich when coming out of Three I missed
yet another shift and while I was foundering both Steve and Ralph passed me back, argh!
I made my best times of the race catching up, a pair of 40s (!) back to back, and was once
again in fourth place behind Ralph. At this point I noticed that the Fox shock on my RM bike
had come loose, and was bouncing around the rear wheel and swingarm - though post-race
inspection would prove differently, it looked like it wasn't binding up on anything but it was
incredibly distracting as there was no way to let Ralph know and as I rode up his wheel it
was hard to ignore. Ralph put his all into it, and it wasn't until the last lap I was able to
squeek by at the line for a third place finish, what a race!

On inspection, the shock proved that Ralph lives a charmed life as it had actually wedged
between the swingarm and the wheel and ground away a bunch of the shock body, but
hadn't breached the pressurized chamber nor wedged in solid, either of which would
have resulted in a _nasty_ crash as we were going all out! So check those shock mounts,

No photos at all this time, if anyone has any I'd love to post them here...
Next race in Monroe on July 28th, (double points!), followed by the WCI!

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