Monday, March 8, 2010
Donzilla Goes to the Races
Daytona AMA vintage Report.
My wife, the dogs and I were very happy to leave the "Snowacaine" that hit our area. The trip down was good. The arrival into the Daytona Motor Speedway was electric. After all this is holy ground for any motorsports racer. We worked our way over to the track. It was smooth as smooth could be and bright white. After we settled in, I went to walk around the track. Quickly a security guard put the kaibosh on that. As we stretched our legs, there was many people putting up grand stands and signage. Pretty nice signs, I may add.
Saturday AM came along with a constant rain. They called the race and would run it with Sundays program.
Saturday night the AMA had a meeting at the hotel. I was floored when Joe Bromley spoke up and said "Seeing as how Don put in so much work on the vintage program and the vintage bikes will be the first program ran. I think he should be the first one out there before practice. All by him self" Thanks Joe, I was all for that.
Ken Saillant gave me the nod and I was on my way. The starter held up 6 fingers and gave me the green flag. It was the coolest in my opinion. I was on my favorite bike. My wkr Bultaco Astro and I had on a replica helmet of a dear friend that we lost a few years back, Jeff Cole. I could hear him the whole time I was out there. "Just hold it WFO you can make it!" The laps went down quickly. I didn't want to stop.
Prior to that we had a tech line to make sure everyone was in their proper class. It was hectic, but I was happy with the turn out. 40 + riders made the show. I unfortunatly had to turn quite a few away.
We ran practice with everyone in their class. I went out on my Sonic Weld DT1 250 Yamaha first. It was a blast. Then came the 250 practice. I took my HD MX 250 out as David Aldana was on my Bultaco. It felt good, even though it was a bit slippery. The chain came off cutting the first practice short. The track was getting rougher after each practice. We went out for a second round. Again the Yami felt good. The HD was also performing well. That was until some one choked up in front of me. I did everything I could to avoid him. I did manage to get around him, but the air fence was coming up rather quickly. I was heading straight for it. Luckily I got it to slide sideways and hit the bags dead on side ways. Believe me when I say the work great! The only bad part was, due to the previous days rain. The top of the bags were covered in water. That stuff had me soaked. It went up inside my helmet and all. A little water was better than hitting a concrete wall though.
The heats came up and it was time to get to some racing. I went out on the Yami first. I got a mobster hole shot and led all 8 laps. Close to the end Mike Metzler started to gain on me. It was almost down to the wire. On the last 2 turns I got a bit carried away and got on it a little to hard. My left foot got stuck under the frame and wouldn't let me lean to the left. This resulted in me driving Mike into the grass. Sorry Mike.
In the 250 heat I think I got a 3rd or 4th. It was very rough and slippery. I did everything I could to hold on.
Before the finals they groomed the track. It was way smoother, but even slipperier. Mike Metzler got his revenge. He got the hole shot and pulled way ahead of me. I couldn't do nothing with the Yami. It just spun and wouldn't co-operate at all. I finished 3rd.
In the 20 final. I got a huge hole shot, only to be passed by 3 riders in the first turn. It wouldn't turn at all on the slippery surface. I just rode around, happy with a 4th place finish.