End of another year.

Well, I haven’t posted on here for quite some time. Been a busy last year of high school.

Since Laguna, I was not able to make any more of the events with neither MotoAmerica or the CRA. Football started early in August and school started a couple weeks after that. I have a busy class schedule my senior year and opted to spend more time on schoolwork and football instead of racing. Got to keep the GPA up for scholarships!

I still have the KTM 390, trying to sell it to fund the new project sitting in the shop, a new 2014 GSX-R 600. It needs to be fully race prepped by spring and the 390 needs to go to fund all the “go fast” parts.

As of now, the plan for next season is to attend the CRA events early in the year, along with some CCS events, and then finish off the season with maybe the last 3 MotoAmerica events competing in the 600 Superstock class.

suzuki

 

Sponsorships for 2016 are responding and I am proud to welcome Vortex and Yoshimura R&D as great supporters of Team Drewster for 2016!

Incidentally, just a week before Christmas, I finally had surgery done on my shoulder, again, not tore up near as bad as two years ago, but, was still hard to get through football season with my shoulder dislocating at least once per game………

Christmas is coming up on us, and I hope the holidays finds you and yours blessed with family and friends. Merry Christmas from Drewster Racing!

 

Laguna Seca round 4

Loooong drive out to California to Laguna Seca. Even longer drive home!

Only on race on this weekend. Learning the track in a short weekend was definitely demanding. Qualified in 20th, was having issues in every corner. The corkscrew is like a carnival ride!

Went out for the one and only race on Saturday. Got a great start and was moving up in the ranks. Couple riders crashed in front of me, which we expected when talking about a plan for the race. Was right behind a fellow CRA racer for 6 or 7 laps, and could have passed him early on in the race, but, knew from experience in past races that I should wait till the last lap so I wouldn’t have to battle back and forth for numerous laps. White flag and started to make my move on Mason. decided to take him in Rainey curve (turn 9) because I could tell I was quicker through T10 and the final corner. In turn 10 I was control sliding the rear all weekend and went in a little faster ( 8mph faster to be exact from the data) and the rear set into the same slide it had been all weekend. This time it was just a little too much and the rear cut loose. Off in the gravel trap I went. Jumped up to get back on the bike to try to finish the race but the right handlebar was bent forward an couldn’t finish the race. Bummed. would have finished 12th if I could have made her stick!

Month off now. Much needed R and R! Looking forward to the end of August and racing with my CRA family at BIR!

Round 3, Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, UT

Well, Barber was hot and muggy. Utah, just plain HOT!

Track is hard to read and find the fast lines. I struggled with turn 15, the last corner into the front straight, all weekend long. Was having front chatter through that turn and a couple others. Tried some suspension changes(again), and got it as good as it could be. I would just have to change my body position to adapt and to turn quicker laps.

Qualifying 1 was ok, was still trying to find the right lines for me and ended up 24rd.

Qualifying 2 was better after some tweaks, and was able to move up the grid a little to 21st.

Race 1 I had a bike behind me jump the light and rolled up next to me. I caught the movement out of the corner of my eye and glanced over to see what was going on, and in that split second I missed the light and the rest of the grid left me sitting there. Valuable lesson there, NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE LIGHT! Had a lot of ground to make up. worked my way back up the pack and finished 20th.

Race 2 was going well. I was still having trouble in T 15 and I decided to push a little harder on the second lap to try to get a better drive out of the corner. Not a good idea. Lost the rear and was out of the race with a broken rear set.

Laguna Seca in 3 weeks. Hoping for 1. Good. Weekend.

Round 2 at Barber!

Back home from Barber, not missing the humidity!

First off, Barber is an awesome track. If you ever get the chance to go, definitely go!

As far as my 2nd round with MotoAmerica​ in the #ktmrccup, not so awesome.
Friday morning practice was ok, wasn’t pushing, just out to learn track and find the right lines. Q1 Friday afternoon was sketchy, the rear was sliding all over the place. Could not push at all. Ended up P22 out of 31 riders.
Saturday morning put on fresh tires hoping that would cure the rear grip issues for Q2. Nope. Still sliding everywhere. Didn’t improve times much. Decided the rear was bottoming out and I went and got a heavier rear spring, KTM told me that everyone else went back to a lighter spring, but, with me being 35# heavier than the biggest kid we decided to give it a try.
Race 1, went out and the rear was getting grip again, but, that in turn caused the front to not want to finish the corner and run wide. Fought it and was doing everything in my skillset to keep it on track for 7 laps, frustrated and not wanting to crash the bike, I pulled in with 3 laps left, wasn’t in the points so it wasn’t worth staying out.
Left everything as is for the night to cool off and think about what needed to be done.
Sunday morning we decided to drop the front 4mm to get some weight on the front and did so before the morning warm up. Went out for the warm up and the bike was 100% better than the previous day. Got in a good rhythm and was getting faster each lap. Ended the warmup session 2 secs faster than the best session the day before! Finally! A set up that will allow me to push and run in the top ten!
Race 2. I’m comfy with the bike, confidence high, and in the right mindset for a great finish! Red lights go out, and the race is on. I got a good launch, worked my way through the pack a bit, come to T5 and tipped in on the bottom line, and a kid behind me, rails into the side of me causing the bike to go out from under me and into another rider that was on the outside of me. Left rearset broke off, left bar end bent, and, my visor is gone. Great. Just when I was ready to salvage a crappy weekend, luck passed me by.

Road America, the inaugural KTM RC 390 Cup round.

Got to Road America (RA) Thursday morning at 10 am. We were sent off to the staging area and sat there till 1:30 and decided to go to registration to get our credentials. Hour and a half later we moved into the paddock and unloaded. Got to meet a lot of the other 390 riders, fun guys to be around. Went to the tech barn and got the bike ok’d for the races. Beautiful weather on Thursday!

Friday, rain, clouds, wind, more rain……..meh. Moved into our hotpit and got ready for the 1st practice. Track kinda drying. Decided to go out on DOT’s. Wrong choice. First lap out, riding in front of Chris Fillmore (KTM Factory Superbike rider and a super cool dude!) who was on a 390 to watch the rest of us, I hit a patch in turn 12 that was wetter than the rest of the track surface and the front went out from under the bike. By the time safety got the bike and me back to the tech barn, the session was over. Crap.

Friday afternoon the weather was ugly, Raining pretty hard and forced track officials to red flag most of the afternoon sessions. By the time of my first qualifying session, it had been shortened and changed to a 15 min free practice instead. At least got some track time in.

Spent a lot of time tweaking the suspension, gearing to get the best out of the bike. Still looking for a perfect setup.

Saturday morning, “oh look, its raining again”. Went out on rains for the Q2 (2nd qualifying session). Was just getting comfy with rain, wind and cold, and getting a little faster, when the rear stepped out on me in T13. Crap again.

Saturday afternoon, first race. Wet, still. Due to my crash in Q2, I was gridded dead last. 26th spot behind a lot of fast and much smaller kids than me. Knew I had my work cut out for me. Red lights go out, and we are off. I had a great launch, but with 25 other riders darting back and forth, I had no good line through the pack. “Head down and run my race” the words I kept telling myself. Couple bikes went down here and there, but I kept my head down and focused on the task I had set out with in the beginning of the weekend, get a top ten finish. As the race lead on, 6 laps total, it seemed like it took forever to complete a lap on the little 390. I worked my way through the pack and finally crossed the checkers in 10th place. Goal accomplished! Time to get some food and a nice, hot, shower at the hotel. Long day but an awesome one!

Sunday, race 2. THE SUN IS SHINING!!!!!! Nice day but cold. Temps only in the low 50’s. But, it is dry. I head out on the parade lap, relaxed and hoping to have a top ten finish again. Get on the grid, Gabe Blevins, my race coach for the last 2 years is waiting for me at #26. Talks to me about how I reached my goal and the rest of the weekend is just the icing on top. Red lights go out and race 2 is under way. Like race 1, I get a great launch but get held up in the middle of the pack. Again, head down, run my race. It’s hard to go fast on a 38 horsepower spec bike when you are my size. It’s worse when you are out of the draft. I stayed in the pack till T6, there I was run wide and off track by a couple bikes that were trying a lower line and drifted up into me. Off in the sod I go and loosing valuable time and places. Head down again. Pick them off decisively. Was consistently getting quicker as the race progressed. Passing riders and moving up the rankings. On the 4th lap one of the riders from Mexico tried to take me on the inside of T5. He ran up into me and I had the entire weight of my body laying on his tank as we barreled through the corner together. We both made it through T5 with me in front and on the rumble strips! (I think with my #200 laying on him spooked him some, cause I never saw him till we got to the tech barn. I went over to him, smiled and gave each other a “Bro Hug” and laughed at the battle we had for a brief moment!) Slowly worked my way up the rankings and a crossed the line in 16th place. Not a top ten but still passed more racers than anyone else did in that race. On the white flag, Ezra Beaubier had a 5 sec gap on me. By the time we crossed the line I got him by a tenth of a sec!

All in all, I was pleased with my results for the weekend. For only being my third year in racing, gridding up with the top 14-22 year old racers in the U.S. is a great accomplishment. And beating half of them is the cherry on top.

Barber Motorsports Park in AL is next on the schedule and we are leaving for it on Tuesday. Hoping for a better qualifying and better grid spot with it, and a podium finish is the main goal.

Thanks for following along.

Drewster

RA Team

Ready for the first round at Road America

Tomorrow morning we head off to Wisconsin for the first round of the #MotoAmerica  KTM RC 390 Cup Series. Truck loaded, bags packed and gear sorted and ready.

loaded

It’s about 650 miles from home to Road America, unfortunately it is also the closest! Getting excited to get on the track with the top young talent in the USA! Time to give 150% and bring home a podium finish!

Shake-down weekend

CRA’s first race weekend starts in 2 days!!!!! Anxious to get out on track with the RC 390 Cup bike. Will only run on Friday practice however…….still no suspension springs that are heavy enough for me and my aggressive riding style. So, will just do a break in on the engine and make sure all controls are adjusted to where they need to be. Will still be a great time getting back to my CRA family and seeing great friends that I haven’t seen in quite some time!

loaded

7 days………

7 days until the first race of the season. This one will be with my CRA family in Brainerd, MN at the Brainerd International Raceway. Haven’t been there since September of 2014, and it will be great to re-kindle old friendships and rivalries!

The CRA is the best, friendliest and closest knit club in the nation. Yea, maybe the trash talk gets rough at times, but, everyone stays good friends.

You see it most when a fellow competitor has a bad day of racing, crashed, blew a motor or is just having issues and the guy he was racing wheel to wheel with, is elbow deep in the bike repairs with him, trying to help get him back on the grid with him the next morning. Great club, great people!

Television debut!

KELO Land TV came over to Empire Motorsports for the unveiling of my 2015 KTM RC 390 Cup Series bike. Was a great day getting to talk to people and spurring interest in #MotoAmerica and motorcycle road racing here in the rural plains of eastern South Dakota. Hope we can do it again. Maybe I will be in the run for the MotoAmerica SuperStock Limited Championship and have something to brag about!

KELO Land doing an interview about myself, Empire Motorsports, MotoAmerica and the KTM RC 390 Cup bike.
KELO Land doing an interview about myself, Empire Motorsports, MotoAmerica and the KTM RC 390 Cup bike.