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Ok, I finally have some time to tell all about the weekend-heres the story...

We left at 3am from KC and rolled into the gates at barber a scant 13 hours later :eek: We were worried about getting there early enough to get in and get all the kc freaks pitted in the same spot...it worked because we were second in line to get into the track, that was only open from 7 to 9pm, and if any of you guys have ever been at the gates before a race weekend you will know it is beyond insane. Within an hour there were probably 30 rigs lined up behind us with more pooring in. We finally were pulling into the pits and setting up by 8 or so and got everyone situated.

Wed night it rained like a sumbitch. I swear I thought I was going to wake up the next day with the camper in the hot pit lane. When we did get up it was a dreary cloudy cold morning, but it dried up by noon or so. I didn't mind riding in the wet the first couple sessions because it forced me to ride conservatively and learn the track. This place is CRAZY twisty with killer elevation changes and blind corners all over the place. After it dries up I start running up the speed little by little. Luckily one of my riders who now lives in Atlanta (David) has been to Barber a few times so I have a good guide to show me the fast line and help with my setup as he and I have the same bike. I break the 1:50 mark that day so I was pretty happy, but I knew I needed to drop about 10 seconds to have a chance to hang with the big boys. Briar ate it pretty good on turn one trying to stay with David. His bike looked like it was shot with a shot gun! It went into the gravel traps and it really banged it up. It was fixable, and other than a scraped up hip and banged up shoulder he was OK, but sat out the last session to start zip tying and duct taping the R6 back together.

Friday rolls around and its beautiful. Upper 70's and clear-it doesn't get any better! We have a couple practice sessions and I feel good. I get down to a 1:46 so I am making progress. We have our first race which was Heavyweight Supersport. We had pre-entered for these races...but we were one day late so we had to register at the track again. This means we were gridded ALLLLL the way back-in fact me, and my buddies Briar and Rich were on the last row..of the second wave...all amatures (normally the experts and amatures run together, but because this is a zillion region event, there are a zillion riders in all the classes). There were 48 riders in front of us, so we had some work to do. I told briar that if he got in front of me, I was hitching a ride and we would rip through all the guys together..and it worked. He got a 10th, and I placed 21st. I was only about 10 yards behind him on the finish..that shows you how many guys there were out there as we never got out of traffic.

Saturday was just as nice out as friday-we couldn't believe our luck with the weather. For those who dont' know, I actually have a curse with rain and track events, so apparently God was being nice for once and let me have a couple good days in a row. We have one practice session and head into the races. First up is Middleweight Supersport-the biggest race of the weekend. Again we had stellar grid positions :gay I think we were second to last row, again of the second wave. Briar and I get rocking off the start-I actually got a VERY good start and was second (of our wave) coming out of turn 2...but we got red flagged because someone crashed real good in turn 1 so we have a restart. Of coarse I get a shitty start but I pass about 3.2 million riders and get something like 28th or something. They kept taking down the results because of protests, so I actually never got any of my other results of the weekend-more on that later. My buddy Curt went down in turn 2, but other than filling his belly pan with rocks (they have gravel traps there) he was fine and got back on the bike. I did get down to a mid 1:43, and my arch nemises Briar, who usually smokes my ass at all events is just 2 thousandths faster than me..game on mofo :twofinger

Race two was Unlimited supersport. This was fun because we were out there with the R1s and gixxer grands..on our 600's. Again, I think I was on the last row, with my buddies on the row in front of me. Luckily Barber is not a horsepower track, so it was very gratifying passing some of the big bikes. Unfortunately 3 laps into the race a TLR wads it in the corkscrew which red flags the race...and ended it as we passed the half way point. I was 2 spots behind Briar and I was bent on getting by him for like the first time ever, but that ended my dreams. I have no idea how we placed because they never got around to actually posting results, and I also dont' know my times since my timer was having issues picking up the transponder.

Race three was Middleweight Superbike. To stay with our trend, we were gridded somewhere near the last turn onto the front straight. My buddy David eats it in turn 2. He lost the front and had a nice lowside. Bike was fixable, but not rideable out of the track, so that was it for him in that race. I again don't know my finishing position, but I felt good.

On to sunday-3 days in a row with absolutely perfect weather. Briar and I are bent on breaking 1:40 so we go out in practice and are railing it. They usually post up your fastest laptime from the practices, as with the race results, so we hoped for the best. We have just one race on sunday, Middleweight GP. I was in the last row on the start (this is sounding repetitive isnt' it??) and I got an OK start, but I am bent on staying with Briar and David because David is running 1:38s there and I know if briar gets someone in his sites he is not backing off-therefore it is crucial I hang with these guys, and they are not gridded much in front of me so its do-able. We all put our head down and Dave gets out about 5 spots ahead of Briar, I am about 3 spots behind him. At the end of lap two I see sparks and bikes scattering so I start looking for the bike so I wont' hit it. I am horrified to see Briar knocked out, face down spinning/sliding down the turn. Apparently he high-sided and landed on his head, but we dont' know for sure. Looking at his bike it seems to be the case. Anyways, that red flags the race and we pull into the hot pit. I have to say it really sucks seeing your buddy taken off the track in an ambulance... :a2 They do a full restart with original grid positions. Its kinda hard to concentrate with what just happened, but I put my head down and rode hard. In lap three I come into the horseshoe and David is sliding into the gravel trap with another rider. As he is sliding he's banging his fist on the ground, obviously pissed off, but looks ok as he and the bike were gone the next lap around.

Rich and I pull into the pits when the race is over and change clothes because Briar was taken to the hospital. We get there quickly to see how he is. He got his bell rung big time. He was very dissoriented, and couldn't remember hardly anything about the weekend. He didn't know what day it was, if he was racing or not, he didn't remember that he crashed earlier in the weekend..nothing other than he knew he was at barber, and that his fiance was going to kill him :nutkick It was kinda scary though because he would keep asking the same questions over and over again without knowing it. Turned out he broke a litte bone in his wrist and had a hell of a concussion. Greg also called me while we were there and commented that he was trying to find a ride for David back to Atlanta. He ended up having a pretty badly broken collar bone, but we did find someone to drive him back so he lucked out. They kept Briar in the hospital overnight, so Rich and I stayed with him. We did go back to the track to help pack the rest of our stuff up (HUGE thanks to the guys that packed up our trailer) and we never got down to see any of the results/times for our races. Briar and I had Dave Mathews tickets for monday night so we were trying to get back to KC as quick as possible so we wouldn't miss the show. He was released at 8:30 monday morning so we drove like hell to get back in time.

Anyways, this was a pretty damn crazy weekend. The track was beyond amazing, and I left out a ton of detail. The museum was killer, the track was incredible, the chicks were smokin etc, etc.. I will probably add more later, but I know you have to be sleeping by this point.

There was a camera chick there that got tons of killer shots of me, but since I spent 3.2 million dollars this weekend I decided to purchase them at a later date... I know some of the guys got some shots of the track so I will try to get them ASAP and post them up!

-Spooner
 

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I TOLD YA...
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holy shit that is long, reminds me of one of my posts :2eek


ok i go read it now...
 

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I TOLD YA...
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man, once again glad everyone is ok. man its rough seeing people you know go down. it also takes a great deal of mind control to get back on the track when a friend just went to the hospital. dont know that i could do it myself.


sheesh 3 days of racing in a row :2eek dont know if i could do that either, my ass was bummin after one trackday...


glad you did well spoony give briar my best wishes for a quick recovery
 

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One of my friends loosked at the bike and said that it looked like he jabbed the front end in the transition from left to right. My friend is a long term racer and barber is his home track or one of them I doubt he was much off. Dont know why briar would do that unless someone infront of him did something suprising unless briar just squided out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There was a tire mark on his exhaust (which actually ripped off the bike :eek: ) so maybe he got bumped, but someone could have hit it after the fact as well. Briar always comits to a corner, I really doubt he made a mistake. It was in the transition from right to the final left onto the straight, so he could have just grabbed a handful of gas and highsided to the moon..I think that is the most likely scenario :eek:
 

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You will be missed Shawn
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good read spooner, glad to hear overall the weekend went fairly well. yeah, barber is awesome track...
 

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Awesome read. Crazy weekend indeed.

So silly question that everyone else prob rodes or I just missed.

What do you ride on the track usually?
 

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Oh.. nm I am assuming the "Pics of you" are... umm.. pics of you.

And yes those pics are awesome, I would be like buying every form possible if that was me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
EricKC said:
Awesome read. Crazy weekend indeed.

So silly question that everyone else prob rodes or I just missed.

What do you ride on the track usually?
Haha, I have a 2001 GSX-R 600 that I race. However we are taking the Duke to the track in september... :lol

-Spooner
 

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Spooner said:
There was a tire mark on his exhaust (which actually ripped off the bike :eek: ) so maybe he got bumped, but someone could have hit it after the fact as well. Briar always comits to a corner, I really doubt he made a mistake. It was in the transition from right to the final left onto the straight, so he could have just grabbed a handful of gas and highsided to the moon..I think that is the most likely scenario :eek:
Isnt that area banked? I my friend and I could use very cloce to full throttle after transition (04 R1 and GSXR1000) so he should have ben able to to with a 600 unless his tires were far gone. Why would he get hard on the throttle before he got over? I was thingking someone got in front of him forcing him to brake. There are a ton of diffrent lines to take in the second to last corner and not everyone does well there. Where exatly did the bike land up?
 

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Tallahassee Powersports
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Nice pics, reminds me of long ago at tracks that no longer exist... good read, life of the privateer is something to admire and respect, for the love of the sport! You have to live life for going racing, and devote about every extra .01 cent towards it... And when you are 35, you will prob be limping, or hating when it rains.. LOL... you peeps need to recognize the dedication it takes. Thanks for keeping the spirit alive... keep doing it because you love it, not because you expect to actually make $$$, once you go expert, then PRO, it all changes..... enjoy it while you can... We have never really talked one on one, but I admire the discipline... Daymn I feel old... D
 
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