Jody Sawyer #530 CVMA Round 2 Race Report
Due to work I missed Round 1 but was anxious to get back on the grid for round 2. This round was even more special because my sweet wife was at the track with me this time, we rented a RV as a trial to see how we liked it. We did and will be looking to buy one after the new year. It was great to have her out there with me, she had attended SoCal Trackdays before but had not attended a race weekend.
I attended TrackDaz Friday to get reacquainted with my freshened up SV650. Andy Palmer at AP MotoArts had installed a new front end, body work and had some great looking paint sprayed. It has been quite a while since I climbed aboard my own bike so I expected a small setback lap time wise, I received no surprise there. After a couple good practice sessions Saturday morning I qualified about 2 seconds off my normal qual pace, turning a 2:02. I’ve got to work towards getting back to 2 flats for qual.
Sat Race #1 Formula Twins.
My qual time placed me near the front but on the second row behind Rex Ainsley #789, John Reynolds #619 and Pittman Wallace #40. I had a decent start and ended up fourth going into the first turn. I settled out in third place for most of the race then apparently took a nap and slowed from 2:00 to 2:02s which allowed Pittman to catch up to me, after him running wide earlier in the race, and take third away leaving me with a fourth place finish. It’s happened before, what can I say, I need to get in better shape.
We had a long wait to the next race, #10 Formula 2.
Maybe I ate too much lunch, maybe it was the heat, maybe I need to get in better shape. Whatever it was, this race was not a good showing for me. Most of what I remember about this race was being amazed at how many people passed me, was there even that many on the grid? Seventh place, what can I say, I need to get in better shape.
A short rest and re-grid for race #12, Formula 40 Lightweight.
Because Rex Ainslie is a young (and fast) guy, he couldn’t race with the old guys so I found myself on the front row. I got a pretty good start but Jim Dobson #39 had a better one, went into turn 1 behind him but I was determined to do better than race 10, so I put my head down and passed him back on the outside of the first turn and took third place behind John and Rich Bro Cowboy #31. Most things were going as expected, nothing exceptional then someone got their bike dirty and the red flag came out. Back to hotpit, short pause then another sighting lap and re-grid.
F40LW Take 2:
Although I got an awesome start and led the pack all the way to the entrance of the bowl, John selfishly passed me on the inside followed by Rich Bro Cowboy shortly after and they…left. I tried to keep them in sight but wasn’t long before I was alone in third which is how the race ended. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for me, and it was, part of it anyway.
Race #3 Formula Twins
found me on the front row with Rex Ainsley and Cowboy since John and Sofia went to Paul and Holly’s wedding (congrats you guys!), don’t remember too much about the start but I ended up in second and stayed there alone for quite a few laps. Cowboy got hung up for a bit in traffic and somewhere around lap 3 I took a quick peek behind and saw a blue bike (Cowboy #31) in a distant third. He eventually caught up and passed me on lap 5 I think and we battled closely for second. Try as I may I could not find a pass but I did not let him go and crossed the line .1 second behind him for third, that was a great finish. My confidence was high and I was feeling much better than the day before, I was racing again.
Race #5 Formula 40 Lightweight.
Great start and I think I remember hitting turn 1 first and I was determined to hold on for a win ahead of Cowboy and Jim Dobson. Towards the beginning of lap 2 Cowboy passed me but I was feeling great and aimed to take back the lead. Looking back at the lap times we were not setting the clock on fire but we were quickly dicing our way through middleweight traffic which is always fun. Passing Matt Ray somewhere around the bowl we headed up through 12/11 onto the back straight. Taking tips from John Reynolds I have been working on my drive onto the back straight and this time I nailed it, hauling towards turn 10 I was gaining on him (super stoked!) got in behind close and drafted even closer setting him up for an inside pass going into 10. Oh man!! This is gonna be awesome!!! Hard on the brakes I edged past him, I was a solid wheel ahead and started my turn fully expecting him to check and give me the line, but that’s not exactly how it went. Not sure if he didn’t see me there, or MAYBE (probably) I had misjudged the pass and left him nowhere to go but he tipped into me going for the turn. Somehow I ended up without my bike under me and for a few seconds I was his unwelcomed passenger with my right leg wedged on top/in front of his rear tire headed straight instead of left. Lots of dirt, some sky and more dirt followed until we both ended up about 15 feet apart on the ground. Quick personal inventory showed I was in one piece and not too hurt, I stood up and waved to the corner worker then staggered over to Cowboy who was sitting down, somewhat stunned from what turned out to be a mild concussion. Apparently he had used his helmet as a shovel because when he opened his visor about 2 pounds of dirt poured out and his face wasn’t as dark skinned as I remembered, more like light brown. The ambulance showed up almost immediately and gave a quick assessment of us both, we ended up riding back in the crash truck relatively uninjured. My bike, new paint and all faired pretty well. After I got off of it at the point of impact, it just ghost rode to the nearest muddy area and fell over. His once beautiful bike, unfortunately, did no such thing. It did it’s best impression of an angry bucking bronco and was heavily damaged from all the flopping around. Sorry Rich, never meant for that to happen. Being the true competitors and race buds, we hugged it out and vowed to meet on the track again soon. Note to self, pass him on the outside next time.
So, did I mention my wife was out there with me? Yea, she got to share the crash experience with me, she didn’t care for it much. And as it turns out, she much more enjoys the trackday atmosphere over the race weekends. Too much business, not enough socializing she says. That’s fine, as long as she will come out with me to the track sometimes, I can’t complain.
Thanks to my BigHeadz Racing team for the support especially John for the motivation/pointers and to Sofia for always being the first to offer a hand or lend equipment. #RaceFamily