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DUNLOP/WERA National Endurance Series, Round 6

Grattan Raceway, Grattan, Michigan

July 16, 2005 by Dan Schmitt

 The weather for the sixth round of the DUNLOP/WERA National Endurance race at Grattan Raceway was very warm but threatening. The smell of rain was in the air as the thirty-three teams took the green flag. Tray Batey on the Vesrah Suzuki and Rueben Frankenfield on the Team Velocity Yamaha R1 charged to the lead. Ben Thompson on the Red Star Yamaha R6 ran third with Bellís ARNCHU Suzuki, Dalke Motorsports Suzuki and Army of Darkness Suzuki followed. The ambulance rolled to the second corner where Ghetto Custom went down with another bike and Cal Swigger was in a daze.

 At the top of the first hour, Vesrah held a thirty-six second advantage over the field as the SuperStock bikes began their first pit stops. Then there was bike down at the top of the esses and this brought out a red flag and the teams returned to the hot pit.

 

At the restart, again Vesrah and Velocity went wheel to wheel for a dozen laps. Check-Out Racing, local heroes, charged to fifth overall on their Yamaha R6. The teammates, Dixie Mafia and Army of Darkness ran together in sixth and seventh.

Red Star and ARNCHU fought for third on this two-mile roadcourse. Honda factory-backed Team HMR charged into the top ten.

 

At the halfway point, Vesrah held a one-lap advantage over Red Star and Velocity, and a two-lap advantage at the four-hour mark, but then things started to go downhill for this Championship team. First there was a loose exhaust bracket and then during a tire change, the front axle got hung up. These lost precious minutes in the pits allowed Velocity to get back on the lead lap.  During the final hour the weather played a part in the outcome of the race.

 

With forty-five minutes to go, the rain finally came to the back-forty section of the track. This slowed the field down and quick decisions were being made in the pits. Velocity held a twenty-five second lead over Vesrah and decided to put a rain tire on the rear. Vesrah quickly changed both ends to rains. With half the track wet, the Velocity set-up seemed to work better for Mark Crozier. Plus, the Vesrah Suzuki was leaking water from a stone-caused leak in the radiator, so John Jacobi had to watch the temperature gauge and the drying track conditions. Velocity led by eight seconds for a few laps and then it stretched to ten. Jacobi made the decision to back off and save the engine. 

 

 

Frankenfield of Team Velocity stated at the end of the race, ďWe held it together, we made the right decision, and as the track dried out, Mark was able to leave Vesrah behind.Ē

 RESULTS

Overall

1.Team Velocity Racing, Yam1000, 2. Vesrah Suzuki, Suz1000, 3. Bellís ARNCHU Racing, Suz750, 4. Red Star, Yam600, 5. Team Xtreme/Maxxis, Suz750, 6. Army of Darkness, Suz600, 7. Dalke Motorsports, Suz600, 8. Four Feathers Racing, Yam600, 9. Apex Manufacturing, Yam600, 10. BP Pipeline, Suz750

 By Class

H S/Bk: 1. Vesrah Suzuki, 2. Bellís ARNCHU Racing, 3. Team Xtreme/Maxxis

H S/Sk: 1. Team Velocity Racing, 2. BP Pipeline, 3. Zyvax

M S/Bk: 1. Red Star, 2. Army of Darkness, 3. Apex Manufacturing

M S/Sk: 1. Dalke Motorsports, 2 Four Feathers Racing, 3. Dixie Mafia

L S/Bk: 1. The Notorious P.I. G. 2. Blue Ridge Performance, 3. Ghetto Customs

 Overall Points after 6 rounds

1. Vesrah Suzuki, 614; 2. Team Velocity Racing, 603, 3.Red Star, 522;  4. Army of Darkness, 510, 5. Bellís ARNCHU Racing, 439, , 6. Darke Motorsports, 436 7. Team Xtreme/Maxxis, 422, 8. Team Eclipse, 406, 9. Dixie Mafia, 358, 10. 5150 Racing, 337.

 PHOTOS BY James Murr,

 WERA

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