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Weekend at the Races

23 Nov 2017 08:38
Tom S.
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Weekend at the Races #21

mdscott wrote: So Tom S, I saw you were a Quail 2016. I was at there this year, my Norton club had a display. Might be going next year. Great photos.


It's such a great show. You displayed your Norton? I took bunch of Norton photos because it was the featured marque. I might have one of your bike. Describe it and I'll see if I have a shot of it.

My wife and I went to this show a few years ago, just to watch, and I thought "Man, I've got to get in on this." In 2016 I displayed my '75 Yamaha RD350, and this year we went back again and took my '86 Yamaha SRX-6. Both are nice machines, but not exactly show bikes. I bought the SRX brand new. The best part about the whole thing is the street ride the day before the show, where you get to take a few fast-as-you-dare laps around Laguna Seca Raceway.

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Oh, I also took some vid this year at the race track. It ticked me off when my mirror came loose.


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01 Jan 2018 23:18
Tom S.
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Weekend at the Races #22
They were back at it again at the Oregon State Fairgrounds last Saturday night. There was a good turnout of expert racers as people came from outside the area to tune up for an upcoming big-money pro race in February. There were two pro classes with cash payouts, 450 Pro and Open Pro. In theory, you can run a bigger motor than 450 cc in Open, but no one does. Everyone just wants to be able to race two classes and this is how they make it happen.

There were twenty-seven entries in each pro class, competing for eighteen main event grid positions. Each class had four heat races and a B main to set the grid, and each class also had a four lap dash-for-cash race for the heat race winners.

The first photo shows four of my young friends; Jeremy, Zach, Cole and Austin. I've known these guys since they were children. They are now fine young men and representative of the bigger crowd at these events. Three are in their early 20s, one is still a teenager. Two work at Boeing in Everett, Wash., building jet airliners, one is in college studying engineering, and the fourth is studying HVAC at a trade school. They are also pro motorcycle racers who travel the country on weekends and vacation, competing at the sport's highest level.

One of them wore my Go pro for the evening. Organizers don't allow video at big national championship events, but at little barn burners such as this they welcome any coverage. Here is a vid and some photos. Once in awhile in the vid, you'll see a flash go off in the infield. That's me, taking photos.



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12 Jan 2018 20:58
MotoDave0
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Weekend at the Races #23
Great pics Tom.
I love this one and the first pic of Sammy Halbert.
I try to keep tabs of the NW Boys during the season.
Halbert and Baker are right there to take home the championship!
Thanks for sharing.....

74 MX250 in a Profab frame
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Future rebuilds:
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13 Jan 2018 09:50
Tom S.
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Weekend at the Races #24

MotoDave0 wrote: ...I try to keep tabs of the NW Boys during the season...


Thanks for your interest and kind words.

The One Moto Show and The 1 Pro race are coming up on Feb 9-11. The race usually has a big pro purse and draws riders from all over the country. I'll be there to catch the action.

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03 Mar 2018 11:22
Tom S.
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Weekend at the Races #25
Another summer of fun and travel coming up. Big thanks to the organizers for giving me access. I'm looking forward to seeing lots of races, searching for great BBQ and other neat stuff along the way, and sharing the adventure on a couple of bike forums and on my FB pages. First stop this year is the Atlanta short track on April 7.

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24 Mar 2018 08:19
Tom S.
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Weekend at the Races #26
The local indoor winter flat track season finished up last weekend at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. Victors were crowned and people were all smiles as kids and grownups carried off armloads of trophies at the end of the night. Pro riders received envelopes full of cash. There is a strong 250 vintage class at Salem Speedway. On any night there will be about ten entries in the class, enough to start two rows of riders on the fast, banked short track. On this night there were three old Yamaha enduros on hand, and #161Q in the photos below won the race and the season champion. The rider told me that his bike was a former Michigan ice racer. When the last owner moved to Oregon he brought the bike with him, spiked tires and all, and sold it when he got here. New owner slapped on some ancient flat track tires and off he went. This is really fun and inexpensive racing.

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14 Apr 2018 08:38 11 Jul 2018 23:03 by Tom S..
Tom S.
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Weekend at the Races #27
Last weekend I traveled from Oregon to Georgia for my first away game of the season. It was nice to be back on the road again and to visit a track I hadn't seen before. The Atlanta Short Track was round two of the American Flat Track (formerly AMA Pro Racing) national championship series. I skipped the first round at Daytona Beach, Florida, this year. I'm only able to cover about half of the series. I've been to Daytona several times before and this year I want to visit more places that are new to me.

Dixie Speedway is a D-shaped, steeply banked 3/8 mile oval a few miles Northwest from Atlanta. It is surfaced with red Georgia clay. It's a car track, with lots of fences and walls that are typical of such places. These are generally safer tracks for motorcycles than the horse tracks the series sometimes visits, where there are numerous fence posts and similar structures that present severe impact zones.

These events typically play out in a single day, starting around 10 am with tech inspection and the last race ending at about 10 pm. Because of rainstorms moving through the area, everything stopped midway through the day on Saturday, and the event resumed on Sunday. The organizers were prepared for this and had a revised schedule in place. The clay track, which was soaking wet on Saturday afternoon, shed most of the water overnight and was in fine shape for racing by noon on Sunday. It wouldn't bother me if they ran this schedule every time. It's much easier for me to take photos in daylight than in darkness.

There are two classes. AFT Twins is the top class. The bikes have custom frames and modified twin cylinder street bike engines between 750cc and 1,000cc, depending on configuration. Homologation rules allow purpose built racing engines (e.g. H-D XR750 and Indian FTR750) if a certain minimum number are constructed for sale to the public. AFT Singles is the junior class. The bikes are all modified 450cc motocross machines. Lap times for both classes ranged from 18-20 seconds at Dixie Speedway.

Current and multi-time AFT Twins champion, Jared Mees, won the big bike main event on the factory Indian entry. It took the Pennsylvania racer awhile to get up to speed. He qualified thirteenth-fastest and finished third in his heat race. Things picked up when he won his semi-qualifier and he then went on to win the main event by a large margin and set fastest lap of the race.

"My team's my rock, they're so great for me," said Mees. "We struggled a little bit in qualifying and the heat race didn't go so well. That win came more from the team than from me. We battled back and got it done. The way we communicated was so good, and the Indian motorcycle just excels."

Brandon Price, a Maryland racer, won the AFT Singles main event. A big wreck in the AFT Singles class qualifying race happened when the leader fell in front of the pack at top speed. A few guys got run over, one more than once, and there were a couple of broken bones, but the outcome wasn't nearly as bad as it seemed it might be. Most of them got up and came back for more.

Some of these events will have a third class, the nature of which will vary. Sometimes it's Hooligans - big street bikes. Once or twice at small tracks they've had an 85cc class for really fast kids. At this race they had an invitational class for former national level riders, all on beautiful and nearly identical 360cc Bultaco Astro racers. Some big names from the past included flat trackers Dave Aldana, Davey Durelle, Garth Brow and Charlie Roberts, and road racing champion Jamie James. Durelle won the main event after early leader Roberts crashed.

Here are some photos from the event.

Jared Mees flashes across the finish line to win the main event.

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This is how the track looked on Saturday afternoon. What a wet mess.

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It was cold in Georgia, and racers were bundled up before putting on their leathers. Jake Johnson (L-R), Chad Cose, Briar Bauman, Jarod Vanderkooi, Morgen Mischler, and Bronson Bauman are very pleasant, very brave young men, every one.

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Start / finish flagger Bubba Blackwell is a little bit of a character. When not flagging races he puts on shows, jumping his motorcycle over rows of parked cars and buses, etc.

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AFT singles semi-qualifier crash.

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Riders get to inspect the track during a walk-about before the races begin. The tall fellow in the orange shirt is Dan Bromley. He took second place in the Singles main event.

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14 Apr 2018 08:57
mdscott
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Weekend at the Races #28
Nice photos and what a great job to travel around and photograph motorcycles.

Tom do you plan on going to the Quail motorcycle gathering this year.

Thanks Mark
Roseville, Ca.

'76 Bultaco 143 Frontera
'06 GL1800
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14 Apr 2018 09:36
Tom S.
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Weekend at the Races #29
@mdscott Thank you. No Quail for me this year. It conflicts with the AFT flat track race in Calistoga. I've shown bikes at Quail the past two years and no others are ready. I'd like to go back there again next year w/my RD350. My DT400 is so far away from being a show bike. :lol:

How about you? Are you planning to go?

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14 Apr 2018 12:08
Pillsbury
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Weekend at the Races #30
Nice photo's. Thanks a lot!!

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1966 Triumph Tiger Cub
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