ZDR Does VIR – It’s Gonna Get Hot!

Discussion in 'Race Reports' started by Parr, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Parr

    Parr Well-Known Member

    ZDR Does VIR – It’s Gonna Get Hot!

    Zero Dollars Racing rolled into beautiful Danville, Virginia late Friday afternoon and headed to the picturesque Virginia International Raceway. We dropped the trailer, popped a fresh set of ties on the bike and then headed to the hotel to cool off. Being August in southwest Virginia it was steamy, with Saturday slated to be even hotter. After our usual fabulous dinner at Joe and Mimma’s in Danville we caught some Zs.

    We were up in first practice Saturday morning, so we rolled in, plugged in the warmers and headed to registration. Having actually pre-registered we got in and out quickly, zipped through tech, slapped the warmers back on and suited up. With high 80s and high 80s humidity by 8:30 am it was a sticky day, so much so that the visor was fogging in practice. That, combined with varying coloration on the track that suggested random damp spots, led to a tentative first practice. I got off the bike wringing with sweat and thought “this will be a long, hot day”.

    Before second practice I learned that the coloration on the track was actually a grippy sprayed sealer, so in second practice I got my head down and things felt pretty good. It was still pretty swampy, so after practice Robin and I retreated to the shade of a small grove of trees near the concession stand, where it is typically 10 degrees cooler than the open paddock. A mild breeze helped ease the temperature, and the humidity thankfully began to fall. By the time our races were up late in the day the temp was 95 degrees but the humidity was only 35%; hot but not unbearable.

    Our schedule had us in three nearly back to back races – 11, 13 and 16. Having had heat exhaustion issues in VIR at the past we were glad that clouds began to roll in and blunt some of the direct sun.

    First up was 125s and Clubman. I gridded up on the outside of the first row of Clubman. Two cats on EX 500s were beside me, including Jason Padilla. Jason and I launched hard. Now Jason is a good sized fellow, and I anticipated out dragging him into turn 1. Turns out Jason must have a little motor, because we were side by side all the way into T1. This kept me on the outside so I tried to take it in deep and steal the line from him, but he kept coming and kept coming. The only problem was he wasn’t turning, and we were headed off course together (I later learned he couldn’t get the bike to downshift). I tightened up on the brakes that last little bit, flicked in behind him (missing his rear tire by an easy inch) and put in two hard laps to secure a gap. In fact my second lap was my fastest of the race. Then I set it on cruise and rolled home with about 9 seconds to spare for the win.

    Back to the pits for a quick splash of gas and water and back out for the main event – D Superbike. I lined up on the front row of our class along with Chad Hinton and his monster Duc and the ever gentlemanly Scott McKee on his built FZR. Scott and I have been racing a long time, generally pretty evenly matched, each winning a few a season. However, this year, in an attempt to step up to Chad’s Duc Scott has built a real firebreather of a motor, and when it is running right he walks me pretty hard. Fortunately, this motor is harder for him to launch, and if the jetting is off I can sometimes beat him into the first corner.

    At the Beaver event I had managed to do that and stuck a few bikes between us and had the pleasure of actually leading him for a lap and a half before he worked through traffic and blew by me on the back straight. I thought I would try it again, and got a strong launch from my inside grid spot. I then slithered my way up the inside and passed about half of the SV pack that had gridded ahead of us as we went into Turn 1, and passed a couple more on the first couple of laps to try to complicate Scott’s life as much as I could. With Scott on my heels and Chad in my sites I was running about 3 seconds a lap faster than in Clubman, into the low 1:42s. Katie Bladon and I had our usual entertaining braking battles, and with her limited track knowledge and gearing issues I managed to best her. On the white flag lap Scott drafted me into turn 1. I stuck it back underneath him into turn 3, and he drafted back by me into the right hand uphill “bridge turn”, turn 7. I stuck on his tail hoping to take a shot at him into the bus stop turn at the top of the roller coaster, turn 14, a sharp right hander that you come into hard on the brakes and then pitch it into the steep downhill of the ‘coaster, and a favorite inside passing spot of mine. Now, I knew that even if I led him onto the straight that he would motor me to the checkers, but I wouldn’t want him to get it too easily! Unfortunately I was about 5 feet too far back to really make it work, so all I did was outbreak myself, which let Scott get a bit of a gap. He finished 2 seconds ahead of me, with Chad 2 seconds ahead of him. I must say the thought that I might actually beat Scott for the first time this year had me grinning inside my helmet.

    With most of my energy used up I headed back to the pits, gassed up and hydrated and went back out for my last race of the day, D Superstock. I got a decent launch and then just motored around about 2-3 seconds a lap slower but fast enough to have a little fun. Eric Asbaugh on his Buell came by me into Turn 1 a couple of times only to have me outbrake him and take off, until he got tired of that and dropped back. Katie had apparently fixed her gearing and I never managed to catch her draft. On the fifth lap 3 SV riders, including Brian Kcraget and I believe Kris Wall, came together into Turn 14 at the top of the roller coaster and folks were still trying to get on their feet as I came through. That red flagged the race, and I finished 40 seconds ahead of the #2 rider in my class.

    So, all in all a good time was had. A little beat up from the heat, but no mechanicals or face plants, and we left with two wins and a third. See you next time at the track.
  2. Kris87

    Kris87 Friendly Smartass

    good read. it wasnt me that crashed in t14 though.
  3. SmokeSignalRT

    SmokeSignalRT Fat Member

    +1 good read. I do have a little motor and I am a "good sized fellow" :D

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