National Endurance Series, Round Seven
Prix, Talladega, AL
21, 2004 by Dan Schmitt
Forty-two teams lined up to
take the start on what may be the last national endurance on this very technical
1.3 mile roadcourse. With the Alabama Highway Department taking parts of turns 7
and 8, hopefully this historic road course will be expanded to over two miles by
next year. Under cloudy skies and the threat of rain, the green flag flew at
12:45 pm. Rueben Frankenfield on
the Team Velocity R-1 snatched the start and led for two laps. Tray Batey on the
Vesrah Suzuki moved to the lead with Ben Walters on the Army of Darkness Suzuki
600 in third. Roger Bell had the Bellís Suzuki II SV in fourth as
CherokeeChallenge.net and Neighbor of the Beast battled for fifth.
The hard charging Deals Gap
Resort on the Yamaha R-6 blew the first corner and went down in the mud as they
lost their front brakes at the forty-minute mark. Bellís Suzuki II came into
the pits with a serious engine noise. This class leading team tried to nurse the
bike around, but had to retire after a few more laps. At the one-hour point,
Vesrah Suzuki led, Team Velocity held second, as the teammates, Army and
Neighbor battled for third.
With Bellís Suzuki out of
the race, Dixie Mafia began to pour on the coals. This SV mounted team from
Gray, Georgia, ran eighth overall during the second hour. Team Velocity Racing,
a SuperStock team with a stock gas tank, made their first of three pit stops and
maintained second overall. Army and Neighbor continued on in third and fourth,
although Neighbor had to pit early, again a SuperStock team.
During the third hour, the
SuperBike teams began to move up as they made one less pit stop. Army grabbed
second from Team Velocity Racing. Velocity Crew Racing, Canton Racing and Dixie
got by Neighbor. CherokeeChallenge.net moved up to challenge Neighbor for the
lead in the Middleweight SuperStock class. Running a solid second in the
Lightweight SuperBike class, Blue Ridge Performance crashed in turn four u-turn,
dropping back to tenth in class by the time they got going again.
As the sun began to break
through the clouds, Canton Racing II on the Yamaha R-6 SuperBike upped the pace
and finally got by Suzuki GSXR-600 mounted Velocity Crew Racing, taking second
in class and fourth overall. Vesrah Suzuki continued to lead with a four-lap
advantage over Army. By running consistent 1:02ís all day, Suzuki SV 600
mounted Dixie Mafia came home sixth overall and taking their second victory in
the Lightweight class. Melissa Berkoffís Neighbor of the Beast took their
second victory in a row in the Middleweight SuperStock class. They are now only
sixteen points shy of the class lead and Melissa has proven again that she is
the fastest female roadracer in the country.
When asked about another overall victory for the Nielsen Enterprises sponsored Vesrah Suzuki, team owner Mark Junge said, ďWe like this track, but it is very busy out there, you barely have time to look at your lap-counter. Tray ran flat 1:00ís while John ran 1:02ís all day.Ē
1.Vesrah Suzuki, Suz
1000, 2. Army of Darkness, Suz 600, 3.Team Velocity Racing, Yam 1000, 4. Canton
Racing II, Yam 600, 5. Velocity Crew Racing, Suz 600, 6 Dixie Mafia, Suz 650, 7.
Neighbor of the Beast, Yam 600, 8. CherokeeChallenge.net, Yam 600, 9. Arnchu
Racing, Suz, 10. Team Xtreme/Maxxis, Suz 1000, 11. Eeam Eclipse, Suz 750, 12.
Ellijay Racing, Suz 750, 13. Need a Sponsor, Yam 600, 14. Team Chicago, Yam 600,
15. Legion of Zoom, Suz 750.
HW/SBK: 1. Vesrah Suzuki,
2. Ellijay Racing, 3. Touring Sport Racing
HW/STK: 1. Team Velocity
Racing, 2. Team Xtreme/Maxxis, 3. Team Eclipse
MW/SBK: 1. Army of
Darkness, 2 Canton Racing II, 3. Velocity Crew Racing,
MW/STK: 1. Neighbor of the
Beast, 2. CherokeeChallenge.net, 3. Team Chicago
LW/SBK: 1 Dixie Mafia, 2.
Collegiate Bookstores, 3.Performance Psycle Racing
OVERALL (after 6 rounds)
1. Vesrah Suzuki, 755, 2.
Army of Darkness, 703, 3. Team Velocity Racing, 591, 4.CherokeeChallenge.net,
564, 5. Neighbor of the Beast, 563, 6. B & S Roadracing, 476, 7. Bellís
Suzuki II, 463, 8. Dixie Mafia,
442, 9. Team Xtreme/Maxxis, 426,
10. Blue Ridge Performance, 425, 11.
FDK, 408, 12. Arnchu Racing, 390, 13. Deals Gap Racing, 376, 14.
Velocity Crew Racing, 348, 15. Team
HMR I, 339
Photos by IYFPHOTO@HOTMAIL.COM
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