AMA Flat Track Racing
I was very excited to return to Springfield because the tracks are always awesome and I have been racing there since I was on an 85 back in the Amateur National days. The short track this year had long round straights and tight corners. We initially struggled with bike set up and gearing in qualifying and I didn’t feel like I was going all too fast but I still managed to pull of 7th overall.
In the heat race I got a great start and came out of turn one in the lead and never looked back and gapped the rest of the field to take the heat race win. The bike had come around and I was feeling really confident for the main. Brad Baker had pole on the inside and I was lined up next to him.
There was a lot of drama in the first corner and it took several restarts to finally get a clean lap in with no wrecks. Baker and I got a good jump going into turn one, I knew I had to keep my line as close to the inside as I could or else another rider would take advantage and push me off of the racing line to take the position. So, I held my line close to Brad and was right on his back wheel the first couple of laps, but he just slowly started to pull a lead on me. When they showed the 5-to-go board I put my head down to try and make up some ground on him at the finish, but it wasn’t enough and I crossed the checkered in second. I was still happy with the finish, it’s my best finish of the year and it was definitely a confidence booster going into the mile on Sunday.
I was really excited to get to the mile after my good result at Indy. I felt that after getting more mile experience under my belt I was going to be one of the guys to beat. The times in qualifying were so close with 1st through 12th place separated by less than half a second. I was in 8th. In the heat race I made a mistake going into turn one and slipped off of the groove and got passed by four or five riders coming off of turn two, but I dropped right down into the draft and used my line going into three and carried the momentum and drove right past them. However, I didn’t get a good drive at the drag race to the finish and ended up fifth. It was a direct transfer to the main, but it meant I was on the second row.
I got a good jump from the second row and was running with the lead pack, but the track had gotten really slick since my heat and I fell off the groove two laps in a row going into turn three. The leaders pulled a little distance over me, but I slowed down to go fast through the corner, and kept the wheels in line to keep my momentum up. Around lap five or so going into turn one, Jake Shoemaker tried to make a move to the inside in the middle of the corner and made contact with me. I went down and slid up the track to the air fence. I kept the bike running and got back on to finish the race in 18th.
It was an extremely frustrating situation because I knew I had one of the fastest bikes out there, and had a good chance to be there at the finish to win the main. But that’s the way it goes sometimes, and I learned a lot and was able to walk away from the weekend so overall it was good.
After this weekend even with the bad result Sunday, I moved into third place in points with the season winding down with only three races to go. The team and I are all getting ready for the mile this weekend in Minnesota, and looking for another good result, and put Mack Daddy Racing on top of the box.
And I would really like to thank the guys at Arlen Ness who make my leathers, they make an awesome suit and it saved my butt Sunday when I fell.
Mikey Avila #33E