Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Miller Motor Sports Park, 2009 AHRMA Bonneville Vintage GP

Miller Motor Sports Park, Toole Utah
2009 AHRMA Bonneville Vintage GP

I would like to give special thanks to my dad, Mike Carmody, Gary Swan from Toad town racing, and the Cretins Motorcycle club for helping me get to Utah this year. With out your help and support I wouldn’t have made it.

It was a long ride up to Utah with Gary Swan and his buddy Martin in a cargo van pulling a trailer full of bikes, through the valley of death with no AC blowing, and me lying in the back. We left at 6:30 am and made it to the track around 9:30 pm. I met up with an old friend from Oklahoma that lives in Salt Lake that night which was really nice. I found me a place to sleep along a wall in the garages with my air mattress, that ended up being right next to a huge air compressor that shut on and off through out the night.

Friday, practice day. First practice out was terrible. The bike felt like it wanted to just fall over in every turn. Something was seriously wrong with the front suspension; therefore I came in and disassemble the whole front triple assembly. Ed Milich and I put a 35 mm Ducati front end on the bike in the weeks pre-ceding not knowing the bottom bearing wasn’t seating with the race. Bill Woods took off a piece of his mountain bike, and we used it to shim down the lower race to meet the bearing. We used some ratchet straps to preload the bearing since the upper nut would no longer grab steering stem threads and tighten down the pinch bolt. Ha-ha Cretins Racin!! Well, we got the bike back together just in time to make last practice, and the bike was 90% better. The bike was running rich still, and everyone was experiencing front tire chatter. I played with the tire pressure a little to see if it made a difference.

Saturday-race day 1
Practice went well, chatter wasn’t so bad, but the back tire was sliding through most of the turns.
Dropped my lap times down, but Ari Henning’s time were around a second faster.
Ken Lighthouse and his son Rod made a showing for the Saturday event. I passed Ken just out of the attitudes, took the next turn and down the straight to make another pass on a TZ when just before Clubhouse corner (turn 13) I see Ken coming in on the inside. Ken and Rod are always known for coming in on the inside and fading wide out the turn. I quickly decided not to make my pass and hit the breaks instead. Sure enough, Ken came flying across my line and almost ran off the track. I would have T boned him in practice…. Whateva! I gave him shit for it later in the pits. Haha

I lined up on the back of the grid. Jumped off the line with a wheelie, but then the foot peg popped up when I went to put my boot on the bike. I couldn’t grab second until I could get the peg down. The group took off ahead. I battled my way around the slower guys in the first lap, and Ari and Rod had taken off. I would battle with Chris F. on his CB 450 for two laps and pass him on the last turn. Slower traffic through parts of the track would also slow me down from catching the leaders. 3 laps into the race I see Ari on the side of the track in turn 12. Apparently, rough rowdy Rod Lighthouse had lived up to his name and knocked Ari off the track. Ari, still came back and finished 3rd, and was furious after the race. He was able to settle down and keep his composer, but I warned him in an email the week before about Rod. Haha “Bring it on!”

Close up of me coming through the last turn
Sunday- Race day 2
I leaned out the main jet a little more to try and get the bike to run better, but as many know, when you’re at 5,000 feet above see level, there is power lost. I lined up and got a good start. Ari and I took off in front of the pack out of turn one, but when we go to turn 13, I almost ran straight into the back of him. He told me later that he was having such chatter problems in that turn that he had to break hard. The front brake handle was clinched to the throttle and the bike wasn’t slowing down. Ah, the beauty of drum brakes. Around lap three, Ari and I both ran into traffic, and when we hit the attitudes we both struggled because we couldn’t pass this old slow Ducati. He was able to get around him before I was and made a slight lead. By lap 6, Ari and had stretched farther ahead, and I was sliding around several turns. I decided to keep a smooth line and not push it any harder. Ari would finish first with me behind in second. All in all, it was a great race. I didn’t crash and still got a podium finish; even though, I wanted to reclaim a victory ahead of Ari since our last race against each other, back at Willow, resulted in a crash.

Cretins Racing was in full effect. Wayne Child’s, aka Drunktank, took the podium both days with a 3rd place finish. Eric Orr, aka Dirtygunn, finished two complete races with out engine problems, although he did crater a cam bearing and oil filter/pump cap causing no oil pressure in practice the day before. DG finished 7th on Saturday within a huge field with competitively fast times; great job buddy! I finished second in both days and really wanted to finish first, but things didn't seem to work out that way. Mark Brown of Seattle finished 4th, in the same race as DG and Ari, and had times better than the third racer on Sunday, but electrical issue would result in a DNF. Ari Henning pitted with us as a supporter of the Cretins Racing team and showed ARMHA's veterans WTF is up! He finished with 4 1st place finishes and one third.

So, I would say the Cretins Racing Team showed in style and class, drinking PBRs late at night, podium finishes, and made the AHRMA boys know that we are here to kick some ass. Dirty, Drunk, and High style baby! Bill Woods, Todd, and racing friend showed up to support. They helped me more ways than you could imagine. It was the support of my good buddies from Seattle, which would make my bike able to race plus they let me borrow a pair of race boots. Also, Mark’s good buddy Randy came along with him, and he’s a great guy to have around. Many San Francisco racers were there, Andrew Green, and The Hipp family, and Gary from Toad Town Racing which made the pits feel like a family. I would have to say that I came back from this weekend happy as hell, and it was worth ever more than all the sacrifice and hard work that it took to get there.
Thanks for all of you and your support to the Cretins Racing Team.

Rick Carmody aka Highside

Here are some photo I took of the boys at the track.

Ari Henning in the last turn

Ari Henning making it across the finish line

Ari after finishing 1st in Sportman 350

Eric Orr aka Dirtygunn and his Hond CB 350

Eric Orr coming around the last turn

Eric Orr going down the straight

Wayne Childs aka Drunktank and his Moto Guzzi 500 Monza

Wayne Childs holding a position through the last turn

Wayne Childs flying by

Mark Brown and his Honda CB 350 with a nice trash can lid number plate.

Mark Brown coming down the straight

Mark Brown finish 4th!

Gary Swan of Toad Town Racing

A TZ 750 Flat tracker!!

Barbra and her fancy leathers. haha Got a nice tan!

Here is a video Ari made during practice on his CB 350. Notice the chatter in the turns.