Casey Report 7

Round 7 Pueblo September 6th and 7th

 After a great day with Chicane Trackdays the previous Sunday at Pueblo, I was ready to get the weekend started. Holding top 5 in both my Amateur classes, I was excited to step it up and get things done. The weather was looking great, and my teammate Ara had headed out early to ride Friday. I got into Pueblo Friday night to an already set up pit, so it was time to relax and get my game face on.
    Saturday morning was sunny and dry. I headed out and completed my practice sessions. I was on shagged tires so I took my time and tried to really concentrate on my race lines and brake markers. Also trying to keep my head down and eyes up, looking to the exit of the corner as I have been working on with Mark from Vanmar. Feeling really good I decided to swap out for some fresh Michelin rubber just before my Middleweight Supersport race. I also stopped by Faster Motosports for trackside VP fuel. These guys are always there when you need them. The grids this weekend were much smaller then normal, and I had a good starting spot on the grid. Not getting focused on time, I miss the launch setup and drop back to almost last place. I kept my head down, following Michelin rider Glenn Carlson. I was noticing that my pace was a little faster so I started to concentrate on where to pass. Just before the white flag, I got a great drive out of turn 10 and tucked behind Glenn to catch a draft. I was gaining on him quick and out-braked him into turn one. I put my head down and ran my hard, making sure he wouldn't be able to make the pass back. After finishing the race, I checked results and realized I ran my best lap ever, 1:35.8. Next race was Heavyweight Supersport with an even smaller grid. Only 6 racers starting, most on 750cc bikes, I knew I wanted to capitalize on points. I jump the starting light and bet to myself that the meatball penalty is coming. Going into turn 2 I am following racers Crash Lowe and Alan Filar. All of a sudden there is smoke, and the two riders go down. Turns out a coolant line had come loose. Just barely avoiding the mess, I continue on the race. I serve my stop-and-go penalty on the first lap and head back out. With everyone out of site, I just ride a comfortable pace knowing no one is behind me. After another lap, I see rider Mike Applehauns down in turn 8. He gets up so I know he isn't injured. I then realize I'm positioned to finish on podium with only 2 riders left. I couldn't believe I would get my first expert podium in my second year of racing. With that, I move up to 7th overall in the HWSS with my sites on a top 5 championship. I called it a night, and headed over to see Bree with XBAM to get some much needed work on my shoulder and back.
    Sunday, the weather was about the same. Nice sun in the morning to get the track going. Coming off of Saturday with a podium and a lap in the 35's, I am very comfortable and confident. I go out to my first practice just to loosen up and practice my race lines. Wanting to save tires as much as possible, I decided to skip my second practice and get ready for lunch. After eating, we got suited up and turned on the generators. I headed out to Amateur GTU holding 6th overall, wanting to move into top 5. During warm-up lap my bike seemed to lack power. I put my head down and nailed the launch. Going quickly into first from the second row, I immediately knew something was wrong. The bike wouldn't go past 10K RPMS. Very frustrated, I tried to carry all the corner speed I could. Finishing with 1:41 lap times, I could only hold off 12th position. This kept me into 6th place overall. After the race I tried to fix the bike. With the help from my teammates, mechanic as well as many other riders (Jason Leleck #399, Sheila #333, Tony Ross #913, and many more) I was able to swap coils and plugs. The bike was still messing up so we then unplugged my Power Commander. Still no luck, I needed to go another route. This is when fellow racer Clicker #708 offered up his 05 R6 for the race. With no other option, I took him up on the offer. I started the Amateur GTO holding a 4th place overall. The bike felt similar to my 03 R6 and once I started feeling good I managed a 1:39 lap time. I was able to finish in 7th place and that dropped me down the 5th overall. There are still two races left, and I'm confident in bringing up my overall spots looking for 3rd and 5th overall in the Amateur classes.
I have to thank my teammates first of all for the great support, both with breakfast and with my bike, as well as everything else you all do for me and the team. I also have to thank my mechanic Rick from 187HAND for always keeping my bike up and running (which is now fixed thanks to Rick, THANK YOU!). Also, Vanmar Racing for supplying the sick and sticky Michelin rubber, Faster Motosports for helping me diagnose the bike, and for supplying the VP race fuel. Big thanks to Bree at XBAM for helping my injuries feel like they don't exist. Thanks to Brothers BBQ for the continued support in motorcycle roadracing. HUGE thanks to Scott at Chicane Trackdays for setting up time for us to practice. Thanks to Motorex for the great fluids, Spidi and Sidi for keeping me safe, Chicken Hawk Racing for over-nighting a front warmer after mine malfunctioned (THANK YOU DAVID P). Also thanks to Powerstands, LP, Woodcraft and Vortex for the best parts you can put on a race bike. Two rounds are remaining and I'm ready to put my head down and finish strong. I look forward to a great Pueblo race on September 20th and 21st, then finish the season at the infamous PPIR. Keep posted for more updates, or check for full season specs on myself and the entire Young Blood gang.
Casey Dragos MRA #901
*Brothers BBQ*Monster Energy*Faster Motosports*XBAM*Performance Imagery*Vanmar*187 HAND*
*Motorex*Spidi*Sidi*Sharkskinz*Chicken Hawk*Powerstands Racing*Lockhart Phillips*Woodcraft CFM*Vortex*