Racing tales from the great Pacific Northwest

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.....

Pacific Raceways 5/19

Counter clockwise w/ escape route

50 minutes

Two primes

If you were anywhere near the Seattle/Bellevue area last night you probably assumed I didn't race as the weather was insane. On my way there it was raining and really windy. I was hoping, no, praying that since the weather was so bad the race would be cancelled and we all could go home. Within three miles of the exit it stopped raining. You could tell it had been raining hard by how deep the puddles were in the parking lot. The track was actually starting to drying out and the wind had really died down. It was only 48 degrees out but I could take that. Because of the weather we only had a field of about 30 to 35 guys. We have had up to 75 on previous nights. We got to the start and after we told the race profile we were off. Ross asked me how I planned to race and I told him I was going to hang out for a bit to see what happened.

Chris Mahan from 2nd Accent was racing with his teenage kid. He was a skinny guy with a lot of hair who really wanted to do well. It was funny listening to his dad give him pointers and tell him when to gun it and when to sit back. I don't know how much of it the kid actually heard as I'm sure he had a lot of adrenalin flowing through him. They both took off like mad men right out of the block with dad pulling us around the first lap. On the second lap junior took off on a break but we easily pulled him in. His dad gave him crap about working too hard out front. We took three easy laps before we finally got the bell. Dad and junior took off hard. Ross and tucked in behind and let them do the work.
It was a little different finish tonight. They moved the line from the final straight away to just at the top of the climb so you didn't have time to recover and setup for a sprint. The bell went off. The first prime was under way. We were still all bunched up when we hit the hill and everyone took off. Most of the guys died before the line but Ross and I took off and flew by everyone. Of course, I finished 2nd. As we rounded turn 4 we looked back to see no one behind us. We both decided to wait for everyone as we didn't feel the need to try a really long breakaway attempt. We didn't just sit up as we wanted the group to really have to work hard to get back to us. Once they did we realized that about 1/3 of the field had been dropped. Dad and junior were still getting out front and doing all the work.

I looked down at my Garmin and noticed that we were close to being 40 minutes into the race and we hadn't had our 2nd prime. I knew that when we did it would be close to the final lap and that could be a problem if you over extended for the prime. The bell rang an he didn't give the final two lap signal so I figured we had three to go. It was funny to see guys start sprinting right away. Each lap is just over 2.5 miles and takes about five minutes. I don't know what they were thinking but I knew they would blow up by the climb. Sure enough, we hit the climb and guys started going backwards. Junior made a run for the line but Ross and I caught him right at the line. Of course, Ross just beat me out for the money. We rounded turn 4 and we had really realized the we had dropped the field again. I asked him if he wanted to wait again and he said that we might as well as there was no way they were going to out sprint us for the win anyway. I felt good about that. We let them work to catch us again. At turn 2 Dad and junior took off again and the pace picked up. We passed the Masters field and queued up for the final lap. By this time we only had about 12 guys left so there would be room to move around. We hit the down hill and everyone started flying. As we started to climb two guys took off and Ross and I just got on their wheels until they burned out. I was sitting in good position behind Ross when little man made a move to our left that kind of caught us off guard. He was flying. Ross and I were the only ones that could grab his wheel. For a second I thought he would take us but we both flew by him with about 10 meters to go. Ross barely got me at the line. I got 2nd for the third week in a row. I was really happy with my effort but even more happy for the kid. He planned his move perfectly and really only lost out to me and Ross. I think Dad finished right behind him in 4th so the must have had a good night at the dinner table.

I left the lot and within three miles it started pouring rain with thunder and lightning. I can't believe we didn't get a drop on us during the race.

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