National Endurance Series, Round 8
G.P. Racetrack, Talladega, AL
August 20, 2005 by Dan Schmitt
It was hot and humid
as the thirty-three teams charged off the line with the flip of the green flag
in Talladega, Alabama. Ben Thompson took the early lead on the Red Star Yamaha
R6, but Tray Batey on the Vesrah Suzuki GSXR-1000 overtook him before the end of
the first lap. Mark Crozier took second during the fourth lap on the Team
Velocity Yamaha R1, as Bellís ARNCHU Racing, Army of Darkness, Dixie Mafia and
Team Xtreme Maxxis jockeyed for fourth.
Brandon Griffith took the
start for Team Chicago. It was so hot, I was worried that he may not be able to
finish the first hour. How hot was it? Letís just say this, if you sat in the
shade, with out moving and wearing only a pair of shorts, you would be dripping
within two minutes. Thatís how hot it was.
Batey made his once
in a decade mistake when he tried to pass Ghetto Customs on the Suzuki SV in the
first corner on the non-existent inside line. Tray ended up knocking himself out
and the Vesrah Suzuki ended up laying on the track. This brought out the red
flag and a complete restart.
It was a scuffle for the
lead between Team Velocity, Red Star and ARNCHU Racing as this threesome went at
it for five laps. Finally, Crozier took the lead for Velocity and began to
stretch it out.
Red Star held a one-lap
advantage over their class rivals, Army of Darkness. The boys from Georgia, Team
Xtreme/Maxxis Tires held down a solid fifth as 5150 Racing and Ed Bargy Race
School Endurance swapped positions a few times in their personal battle for
sixth as the cross flags were shown to mark the halfway point in the race.
During my ride in the
second hour, everything went well. I picked up a few spots by catching a few
teams and took advantage of some teams mistakes. It was riding a one-hour sauna
at one-hundred miles per hour.
Bikes began to hit the pits
again and it was not a pretty sight for some of the front running teams. As Phil
Caudill handed the 5150 Suzuki over to Justin Marm, they couldnít decide to
change the rear tire or not. This indecision cost them an extra minute in the
pits and dropped them to thirteenth overall. ARNCHU had a slow pit stop and Army
of Darkness gained a position on the track. Zyvaxís pit stop was so slow
changing both tires and taking on fuel, you could have smoked a cigarette during
their time in the pits. Velocity Crew Racing took advantage of the disarray in
the pits and moved up four positions to run sixth overall.
The final pit stops of Red Star and Team Velocity Racing determined the final outcome. Velocity was spot on with a very quick pit stop for a SuperStock team and gained some on Red Star, who also had a quick pit stop. With this twosome running away with the race, Vesrah Suzuki ran steadily making up a thirty-five lap disadvantage to charge to twenty-third overall and only twenty-two laps off the leaders. With minutes to go, and Red Star only twenty-two seconds shy of Velocity, they had to make a splash and go pit stop, and this move put them one-lap down on Velocity. With the wave of the checkered flag, Crozier wheelied across the line, giving Team Velocity Racing their third overall victory of the year and moving them into first place in the overall point standings. With only three races left in this eleven race series, Vesrah Suzuki will have to win all three to retain their National title. Chuck Ivey of Velocity added, ďAgain, we just did everything right and we were ready to take advantage of any situation that came our way. We got a great crew and we get the job done right.Ē
We finished this race
and got a few points, but we are still stuck in fourth place in the Middleweight
1.Team Velocity Racing, Yam
1000, 2. Red Star, Yam 600, 3. Army of Darkness, Suz 600, 4 Team Xtreme/Maxxis,
Sus 750, 5. Velocity Crew Racing, Suz 600, 6. Wikle Racing, Suz 750, 7 Dalke
Motorsports, Suz 600, 8. Ed Bargy RS Endurance, Suz 750, 9. Dixie Mafia, Suz
600, 10. D & D Racing, Suz 750
HS/Bk: 1.Team Xtreme/
Maxxis, 2. Wikle Racing, 3. Ed Bargy RS Endurance
1. Team Velocity Racing, 2. 5150 Racing, 3. B.P. Pipeline
MS/Bk: 1. Red Star, 2. Army
of Darkness, 3. Velocity Crew Racing
MS/Sk: 1. Dalke
Motorsports, 2. Dixie Mafia, 3. Double Vision Racing
LS/Bk: 1. Blue Ridge
Performance, 2. Collegiate Bookstores, 3. Deals Gap Racing
1. Team Velocity Racing, 819, 2. Vesrah Suzuki, 781;
3.Red Star, 722; 4. Army of Darkness, 649, 5. Team Xtreme/Maxxis, 601, 6.
Darke Motorsports, 597, 7. Bellís ARNCHU Racing, 577,
8. Team Eclipse, 538, 9. Dixie Mafia, 508, 10. 5150 Racing, 484.
PHOTOS by Albert
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