Round 7 Summit Point, WV
Written by Cowboy6 Sunday, 25 July 2010 00:00
PDF Print E-mail

Summit Point, Second of Three

2-4 July 2010

For the fourth year in a row now, we have spent the Fourth of July holiday weekend at Summit Point Raceway. It has now become tradition. So, here we were again. Celebrating our nation by exercising our freedom to… Go!!!!!!!!!!!

So, as usual, we arrived late Thursday evening and set up camp. We had a small change of pace this weekend though because we had two visitors with us. John Boecker was along for the ride to do some filming over the weekend. I had asked him to shoot and produce a new video that would show prospective supporting churches what it is we do. Dave Catlett was along to shoot still shots that could be used in the video as well. Because I would be doing some on-track instruction with for the MARRC road racing school Friday, I had to get everything ready Thursday night. We all worked together and had everything set up in plenty of time to collapse from exhaustion!

Friday morning came way too early but I rolled out of bed and hobbled out to make final preparations for the day then proceeded to the MARRC registration area to assist with tech inspection. Once that was complete, the warmers were turned on and I prepared myself for the beginning of a long day. I really enjoy working with the MARRC school because I always manage to find someone to help out. John and Dave spent the day securing permission for filming the rest of the weekend and locating the best vantage points to ply their trade. I wanted to test both bikes so I was running the B bike for the school and taking the A bike out to control ride the track day. As it would have to be, problems arose immediately. While the B bike performed flawlessly, the A bike was now back to causing issues. It was running like it was out of fuel. In between sessions, we worked fervently to diagnose and change parts to find the problem. By the end of the day, I had volunteered to control ride the beginner group so my barely running bike would not be in the way, and we had changed out the entire fuel system including tank, filter, pump, and carburetors. We were now down to the two practice sessions Saturday morning to find the problem.

When Saturday morning rolled in, we had prepped the A bike with new spark plugs to see if that was the issue. Since it couldn’t be fuel, it had to be spark. I went out for the first session and by the time I hit T3, it was acting up again. I pulled in and decided to try the coils. I had never had one go bad before but, I had spares so why not. I started with the rear and as I was changing it, I remembered that this was the coil that I had swapped out to the B bike the week before. I hadn’t run the bike since and it had run fine before the oil induced high side. Come to think of it, the bike was acting a bit like the B bike was that weekend before we changed this coil and the broken switch. Convinced this was the problem, I stopped at the rear coil and buttoned up the bike. Third call for my last practice session found me on my way, asking God to just “let it work” this time! I goosed the throttle on the pit road to loft the front wheel and headed out. I roared down the front straight to T1. Then I continued through T2 and T3. So far, so good and I rolled on through T4, T5 and the T6-T8 complex. When the bike still pulled hard out of T9 and up the hill, I knew we were golden. Thank you Lord! I made a few more laps then came in a bit early to save tires.

During practice, Ron Shaw had a nasty run-in with a deer on the front straight. The deer ran out in the middle of the track leaving Ron zero reaction time. He hit it square, destroying the deer on impact and sweeping Ron clean off his bike. The bike kept going all the way to T1, rolled off the track and once it slowed in the gravel, fell over. God was looking out for Ron though as his injuries amounted to a couple broken bones in his left foot and some bruising!

Also, this was the first visit from our wounded Vets from Walter Reed. Steve Levow of Patriot Racing did a great coordination job as usual. They were treated to a “hot lap” in the bus that the driver seemed to get into. I was asked to do the invocation and Cecilia sang the anthem. We were able to donate a bunch of posters to the gift package that was put together for each soldier as well. Throughout the day, we were able to engage these soldiers and hear their stories as well as encourage them. I had a lengthy discussion with one young man in particular who had lost his right leg from the knee down. He told me had had a Yamaha R6 at home that he would probably be selling now because he wouldn’t be able to ride it. I told him that was a bunch of garbage. The only thing he needed his right foot for was the rear brake and he doesn’t need to use that anyway. He laughed and a little light went on in his head. I then told him about Brett Cole who races sport bikes with only one arm. He was really encouraged by this and I think that R6 won’t be for sale any time soon unless he finds a new bike he likes more! I was thankful for people like Brett who are setting the example and giving hope to others. We all need to use the battles we have overcome to do the same.

The first race was GTL as usual. With a good running A bike under me, I was eager to get the job done. I was instantly wishing I had been able to spend my practice time getting it together for this track instead of diagnosing bike problems. First, I waffled the start. Two huge wheelies caused me to waste time recovering and four bikes beat me through T1. I continued on, struggling. My left leg would barely bend enough to get my foot on the peg so this was no helping my left turns. I was wearing a skirt otherwise and just could not get on my game. By the time the race was over, two more riders had gotten by but I managed to hold the rest off for a 7th place finish. This was not a good start for the weekend.

Next up I mounted the B bike for Ultra Light Superbike. I had an excellent start and made it through T1 in first. But, that didn’t last as Eric Helmbach scooted by me and later, another rider passed me as well leaving me to finish third. I just could not get comfortable on this track this weekend. It was starting to get annoying because this used to be my favorite track! With the “repairs” they have been making, it has become a different animal.

John had a good day as well. He joined me in a crash free weekend and pulled off a top five finish in Ultralight Superbike.

Saturday night Denise and I in addition to the Dodsons, did our walk around to visit all that would have us. We were happy to see familiar faces and to meet some new people. Our CSBA friends Anson and Rachel, along with Doug and Melissa joined us as well. Rachel was blessed with meeting Gixxer the friendly Doberman who was so happy to see her, he peed on her feet! Yes, both them!

After our walk it was pretty dark so the kids prepared to watch fireworks and I retired to the RV to review my sermon for Chapel on Sunday.

Sunday morning was a beautiful one. Everyone seemed refreshed and ready to go. Practice went very well for me and we were treated to two sessions instead of the usual one. I felt much better on the track than Saturday and my lap times were dropping. One of my major issues had been not trusting the traction in T6. These two sessions found me doing much better there and I was stoked. With practice over, Denise set up the Apple Chapel while John and I attended the rider’s meeting. Afterward we scooted over and I made myself ready. Chapel was well attended and I shared what I thought was a great message about your actions following your head. Just like when we look through the corner when we turn a motorcycle, what we give our attention to in life will be followed by action. If we allow ourselves to look at the other woman, or hate our neighbor, we are very likely to take actions along that path later. In fact, in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus says that while the Ten Commandments tell us not to murder or to commit adultery, by simply hating your brother you have murdered him in your heart or by looking on a woman with lust you have already committed adultery with her in your heart. But, on the other side of the coin, when we put our faith in God and look to His Word, our actions will follow that as well. So, by keeping our eye on Him and keeping our attention on the Word, our lives will begin to mirror it.

With Chapel complete, everyone went back to their pits and prepped for the day’s races. I only had one on Sunday so I had a bit of waiting to do. Then, with only a race to go before I went out, Joey Thomas crashed in T6. He was just fine but it got to me somehow. I now went back to not trusting the asphalt in that turn! It showed in the results as I dropped back to a fourth place finish in Lightweight Superbike.

In all, this was a great weekend. We were able to share meals with our friends, share hope with wounded Soldiers and most of all, share God’s Word with fellow racers! Another great feature of this weekend was that it was crash free for me! This was the first in a while! My leg is healing and we are already looking forward to our next weekend with our brothers on wheels.

We will be at Summit Point Raceway once more this year. I hope to get back on my form and re-instate Summit as my favorite track!

Please keep us in your prayers!

::::::::::::::: Joe “Cowboy 6” Cotterino

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 00:07