Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday night racing 5/16

Superdrome Points Series, Frisco, TX

I had the brilliant idea of racing two categories tonight at the track, since I won't be riding on things :)

The question then became which category to add? Of course I do the 35+/Cat4 (old rookie) class, but do I add Masters 30+ or regular Cat 4? The difference is all older guys or younger, fresher legs to compete against.

Then I remembered that guys with the experience and skill of Michael Gacki, Geoff Godsey, etc. race in the 30+. So I entered the Cat4.

6 races in one night...super ouch.

The night got off to a really rough start as Andrew Armstrong and a kid got together on the apron at pretty high speeds and went down hard. The kid was really shaken up, but I didn't see or hear of any real damage to him. Andrew got some pretty good road/track rash, but nothing seemed broken. He went off to the hospital just to be safe (very smart move). His sweet Cervelo has a cracked top tube though...which suck to kill a bike like that during practice.

Back to racing...

My night's schedule went like this:

Race 1
8 lap scratch (35+)
small break
8 lap scratch (cat 4)

Race 2
10 lap snowball (35+)
small break
2 lap Miss-N-Out (Cat 4)

Race 3
32 lap scratch (35+)
NO break
40 lap scratch (cat 4)

The scratch races were uneventful in race 1. I could have positioned better, and I could have been worse.

I got some points in the Snowball, which almost always puts you in the top 4 or 5, as some guys can never get to the front and you have a large group tied at 0 points. If you have even 1 you are ahead of all of them.

The Miss-N-Out was a mess...guys weren't pulling out, we got neutralized, etc. This is the disadvantage of Cat 4...some folks didn't know what to do, and a lot of times just couldn't hear the announcers calling numbers to drop off. I got caught in this group, as I mentally went stoopid and didn't realize I was at the back when I got pulled...good thing Gacki was in turn three calling my name. That helped. Got 6th of 13.

Hung in ok on the 32 lap scratch, probably a top half finish. Immediately to the rail for the 40 lapper in the cat 4, but only made it about halfway before I was falling back and sprinting every couple of laps just to stay on. I decided there was no longer any benefit to staying in it and pulled myself. I'm not chasing any points in Cat 4, and was out of any money (which I give back to the 'drome anyway).

35+ had Tom Ernst in it, and his hypnotic disk wheel...pushed the pace all night, which makes for a really good workout.

Cat 4 had Josh from Kansas and a kid from Tulsa...both fast and full of energy. Cody Holland did really well in the 40 lap race, hanging on for 38 laps. Very nice for a 16 year old.

A great night of racing, and Saturday is a day off the bike. If I ride at all, it will be with my son and his friend who is spending the weekend with us.

Next races: Tuesday night crits, Friday night Texas Cup race: "Track racing on speed" and the State Criterium Championship on Memorial day

Cyclist to pray for: Andrew, and the kid that went down with him.


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