John Reynolds #619 Sept 15 CVMA Round 1 Race Report
John Reynolds Expert# 619
Chuckwalla Valley Raceway CW
Center Valley Ca. HOT 100+
Results for 19/20 Sept 2015:
Class Sat / Sun
Formula Twins 4th / 3rd
Formula 2 2nd / 1st
LW Formula 40 2nd / 2nd
LW Shootout /2nd
Loss Of a Friend
Coming in to the first CVMA round a dear friend and fellow BigHeadz Racer, Joanna Bitter #88, died do to injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash while racing @ Fontana. Her passing left a lot of us numb wondering how the weekend was going to happen with such a integral part of our team missing. We did what we thought she would want. ” Go out and Kick some Butt”. We miss you Jo. #foreverjoanna #foreverjoanna88
It was a hot morning at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway with temperatures expected to hit 100+ and I spent it running around like crazy trying to get ready and take care of my daughter who had ridden up with me the day before. It has been four months since I had raced last and needless to say I was anxious about getting back on the track. My wife was on her way but was not going to be there be for I started racing. When they made final call for my practice group I was so excited that I actually dropped my rear stand without holding onto the bike and watched the bike fall onto its side. I just stood there perplexed thinking” My bike is falling”. Jen Dunstan (#70) came over and helped me get the bike up. I broke the clutch lever but I just happened to have an extra and after a quick repair I was out on to the track. Practices are always my chance to stretch out and mentally prepared for qualifying. I think I was running 2:03’s.
Qualifying Best Lap 2:01.4
Qualifying went as planned. I got out with the first couple bikes behind Kalvin Kwong (#624). I put my head down and gave chase. Kalvin was the bike to beat. He is consistently faster than me and if I could keep him in sight I had a good chance of being on the front row. At the end of 2014/15 season I was able to get my stock SV into the high 1:59’s and after doing a cam swap over the summer I was hoping to get close to that out of the gate. In the end I qualified third with a 2:01.4 just 3 tenths of a second behind Kalvin and a half a second behind Rex Ainlie (#789). I couldn’t complain. It was hot and it appeared that we all were struggling to acclimate. I was sure our times would drop over the course of the weekend.
Race 3 Formula Twins / Placed 4th, Best Lap 2:01.3
“First race after 4 months”
I was nervously excited as I gridded front row left. I hadn’t practiced any race starts and with the CAM swap and new clutch I was a bit cautious. “Don’t wheelie” I told myself. As I watched the board move my focus went to the flag. When it moved I was gone. What a GREAT start. Bham I was out in front as we approached T1 and then, out of nowhere, Christian Readyhoff (#3) comes flying past me. He was gridded !! LAST!! and by T1 he was already out in front. That man knows how to race start. Somebody please video him. I think he is cheating. As we approach T4 Rex comes under me and then Kalvin gets by. I spent the rest of the race following them as they battled for 2nd. Christian was way out in front. Most likely doing long division in his head to keep himself occupied. Kalvin, Rex and I came across the finish line just tenths of second after one another.
Race 7 Formula 40 Lightweight / Placed 2nd, Best Lap 2:05.1
There were only two of us in this race but Jim Dobson (#39) and I were not on the track alone. We were gridded in row 7 behind the middleweights and open class motorcycles. The word came down from race direction that it would be a single wave start. Sweet, I get to mix it up with the middleweights. I remember telling Elaine Carpenter (#242) to watch out. I was coming after her. About halfway through the first lap I realized Jim was dropping back so instead of chasing a bunch of In-Line 4’s I slowed and tried to lead Jim around. Still not sure if he understood what I was trying to do. We all want to get faster and if I could help Jim that means more bikes to mix it up with at the front. Besides it was 100+ and I had this was a back to back race so if I didn’t need to push I could save my tires and body some unnecessary wear and tear. In the last couple corners I slowed so we could race to the finish line together and as we crossed the checkers Jim squeaked by me. I heard later he was stoked to get the win.
Race 8 Formula 2 / Placed 2nd, Best Lap 2:00.2
This race started with me in pit row. Oliver Kho (#170) met me after coming in from the F40 race with some water and shade. I rested as the field did their out lap and as they approached T16 I bid Oliver ado and entered the track backward and went to my grid position, front row left. I got another GREAT start and Rex and I where wheel to wheel as we approached T1. I wasn’t going to let him have it so Rex had a decision to make; hit me, run off or back off. Luck for all of us he choose to slow and I rocketed out front. This time I kept my limes tight and defensive so Rex couldn’t get by me and just kept pushing waiting for him or Kalvin to show me a wheel. They were both on faster bikes so I was surprised when after two laps they had not tried to pass. So as I exited T10 I took a peek back and saw nothing but empty track. WTF. They didn’t crash I would have seen them by now. What happened? Come to find out Rex was struggling but not enough to let Kalvin by which allowed me to break away. He told me by the time he got around Rex I was almost the length of the back straight ahead of him. With four laps left of this eight lap race I started to fade. I was making stupid mistakes and my pace dropped as a result. Kalvin realized he was making gains and put his head down and caught me on the final lap as we exited T15. I was bogging in the wrong gear with no drive as he went by. I had nothing left to challenge him with. Good Job Kalvin. Finished the race 2nd and tired.
SUNDAY September 20 2015
Race 7 Formula Twins / Placed 4th, Best Lap 2:01.7
“The race I could have won form third.”
First race on Sunday and I was ready to build upon my lessons learned and continue getting great starts. Well I think it was also Rex and Kalvin’s plan. Engines revving we waited for the green flag when I saw them move. This in turn caused me to learch even though the flag had not moved. I got the bike stopped but was left flat footed as the flag went up. Rex and Kalvin took off along with James. Damn! So I set off after them I quickly chasing down Jim but by the time I got passed him Kalvin and Rex had already opened up a solid gap. I put my head down but after a couple laps I wasn’t gaining on them. So I slowed. Apparently they both got the meatball. Meaning they jumped the start and would be penalized 5 seconds. I didn’t know it but I was actually in 1st place. Had I just kept pushing and stayed within 5 seconds of them I would have won the race. Damn Rookie! It would have been nice to have someone on the wall to tell me that but my mechanic was in the trailer watching our girls. 🙂
Race 9 Lightweight Shootout / Placed 2nd, Best Lap 2:01.5
“One of the best races of the weekend.”
After a quick rest and some much needed hydration I was back out for the shootout. Unlike the sprint races, which are six laps, this race was eight. I had never done a Shootout and knowing how tired I was after six laps I was interested to see what happens after eight. The start of the race didn’t go so well. Both Rex and Rich “Cowboy” Stampp (#31) got a good start and by T4 had four bike lengths on me. I remember thinking “Holy Shit Cowboy where the hell have you been?” He had not been in front of me in a long time and was tearing it up on his new Fz07. He and Rex were duking it out as I watched which allowed me to keep close but never in a place where I could take advantage. At least not until the fifth lap when Rex got a little greedy on the throttle and threw it way in T9. Cowboy and I got to play dodge the sliding bike and rider with Cowboy almost running him over. Fortunately we both got by him without incident. Now it was just Cowboy and I. We had three laps to go and there wasn’t a red flag so it was still game on. Cowboy and I swapped positions several times. I would past him in T4 (Bitter) or T8 and then he’d pass me back again in the bowl. Damn he was fast there. I finished the race a close second. I knew I had to get faster in the bowl because if not he was going to get me there every time.
Race 13 Formula 2 / Placed 1st, Best Lap 2:01.4
This race was over on the first lap.
It was getting late in the day and because of the heat or mechanical difficulties the grid shrunk to three bikes, Rex, Eric Moore (#768) and myself. Because of the light field race direction asked if we wanted to shorten the race and we all agreed that 4 laps would be good. We also brought Eric up in to Kalvins spot on the front row so we could all start together. It was going to be fast race so I needed to get out front and not let Rex use his HP to get by me. From the start I was in front. I ran a defensive line into T4 trying to keep Rex at bay. When he didn’t go by me into T6 I put my head down and started pushing. I knew he was going to try something but when and where was the question. Back straight no Rex. Bowl? No Rex. Front straight? No Rex. “Hmmmm where was he” I wondered though I was not willing to look back yet. I got my answer as I approached T6. He was off in the dirt getting loaded in to the crash truck. Damn, I hope he didn’t go down again. Come to find out his clutch was bad so he pulled off. I looked back to see Eric was a distant so I slowed my pace for the last two laps and crossed the checkers for the win.
Race 15 Formula 40 Lightweight / Placed 2nd, Best Lap 2:02.4
Believe it or not we had 5 old farts lined up behind the middleweights for the last race of the day. Like the day before they sent us of as a single wave which mixed us up with the tail end of the middleweights as we went through T1. Jim got the whole shot but I was able to go out side og him in T4 and T5 to get the inside line into T6. I was hoping he would block Cowboy a bit so I could open up some space between us. Great plan well executed but flushed down the toilet when we ran up on Rudy Chavez (#627) on a CBR 1000R. I thought I could put Rudy behind me and leave it to Cowboy to get around him but that’s not how it worked out. Every time I would pass Rudy he would pass me back on the straight before the next set of turn, using his horse power and then park it in the corner. I’d have to slow and then Cowboy would go by me. Then Rudy would pass us again. Then Cowboy had to slow and Id pass. As we ran up on him through T15 Cowboy and I passed him at the same time going into T16. Cowboy in the inside and I on the outside. It made for some fun but dicey racing. Especially when you have to contend with repassing someone who is not in your race in every other turn. In the end Rudy picked up his pace and got by Mark Ainslie (#772) leaving Cowboy and I some room to battle. I went under Cowboy in T4 and he cut my nose of causing me to have to check up. So I returned the favor in T8 when he tried to come by me on the inside. This back and forth continued for the rest of the race but I had not been able to block his drive in the bowl and he was able to get by me for the win. What a great F-ing race Cowboy
Over all I was very happy with the weekend. I had 6 podiums several great battles and got to mix it up some first time CVMA racers. I can’t wait until next round with cooler temperatures so we can open up these bikes a little more.
Thanks to my Teammates for always making the weekend fun and exciting. Thanks to my sponsors for providing great support and products that make racing a little easier to make racing happen: Woodcraft, Armour Bodies, , ACT Leathers, Motonation.com, AP Motoarts, Scorpion USA, Lockhart Phillips, Socal Trackdays, Warrior Foundation, Freedom Station, SPY Optics, M4 Exhaust , Shoria Batteries and SiDI.
Lastly thank my wife Kristi for supporting me 100%. Without you these weekends would not be possible.