My crash (and subsequent unconsciousness and concussion) over the Labor Day weekend in 2016 brought with it some mental challenges that have been surprisingly tough to overcome in 2017. As such, I didn't want to go back out onto the track to race until I was back to a reasonable pace, and more importantly, felt safe for not only myself, but those around me on track.
This weekend I went light on the races to make sure I didn't overdo it, and was scheduled for Middleweight Superbike, ASRA Sportbike, and Middleweight Formula40. I did manage to set a new personal best time, too!
Middleweight Superbike felt like...well, I hadn't been racing in almost 300 days! I ended up 13th, but needed to work more on my racecraft, passing especially.
ASRA Sportbike was all my fault. A 3rd lap crash caused a red flag and brought us back into the pits. HUGE thanks to Tyler Humpheys and Andre Lea for the pit lane help!! On the restart, the coolant temperature warning light went on (understandable) but I mistook it for the light next to it, the low oil warning light. By the time I realized what had happened, the field was long gone - I didn't see another bike for the entire first lap! I finally got my head down and passed a few, and ended up battling with Carl Soltisz for most of the race.
Middleweight F40 was promising - I was running 3rd until I missed a 2nd downshift into T7 and had to turn around, costing me 2 spots. I was able to catch up to Nic Pisani and pass him for a 4th, but my good buddy Paul Robson was just too far ahead to be caught.
Despite all the setbacks (and the hot temperatures), the Podium Motorsports Pirelli's stuck like glue, Michael Faillace offered me much needed coaching, and the MDM built Ohlins/Penske suspension felt great. Also thanks to Justin Levy of Trackside Parts club for being there with everything a racer needs, and Woodcraft for the controls and warmers! The Maher Motorsports engine was a BEAST on the VP Fuels MR12, Hazardous Racing leathers & Sidi boots kept me safe and as cool as possible, and the DC Paintworx / DrippinWet.com paint and body was shining as always. Coach Teresa's nutrition advice kept us going through the 90+ degree days!
Onwards to NJMP for Labor Day weekend!!