Saddlemen

Race Report from the DuQuoin Short Track & TT

| 30 December 2013 2:47 pm

AMA Indoor Dirt Track National Championship Series
Short Track & TT at the Southern Illinois Center

Race Report by Tyler Porter
Photo by Kevin Lynn
DuQUOIN, IL, DEC. 28, 2013

For the AMA Indoor Dirt Track National Championship indoor series, this was the last round of 2013. While there are three more dates to wrap up the series in 2014, because of my hectic work schedule, this was the last indoor event that I was going to be able to hit this season. While the last indoor was incredibly frustrating for me, and resulted in me just calling it a day and loading up, this one was much different… and a lot better.

Tyler Porter (28C) at speed in DuQuoin, Illinois.

Tyler Porter (28C) at speed in DuQuoin, Illinois.

The biggest relief was the fact that a longtime supporter of my racing efforts, George Mack, sent a text on Friday morning telling me to get to DuQuoin as quick as I could and bring my bikes. I didn’t know he had rented out the building for a little private session, so after a nearly sleepless night of writing my weekly column over at www.fightfordirttrack.com, I rolled out of bed and started loading the van up. I had to pack both my 450cc Kawasaki dirt-tracker and my 250cc Kawasaki ice bike into “Big White Nasty” (my van), because George was taking my 250 to Chicago with him so we could enjoy some ice riding together for a few days while I’m in between coasts, working.

It did take me a little while to get on the road, but I rolled into DuQuoin with enough time to spin about 60 laps before they shut things down to prep for the night’s “official” practice session.

It sure was nice to ride with no expectations and no pressure. There was a time not too long ago when DuQuoin was really my playground. No, I wasn’t dominant, like J.D. Beach is there today, but I could hold my own inside one of the best indoor arenas in the country. Two seasons of not racing there and two previous years of me being fairly seriously injured there has put quite a hitch in my short-tracking step, but I feel like with the nearly 150 laps I spun there on Friday, I was getting my mojo back.

Anyone have any idea what air pressure I ran? Neither do I. Nope, instead of worrying with setup and tuning and that stuff, I just rode. The bike was working great anyway. The worst thing on the bike was the rider, and I was slowly improving that, too. With my tires not being checked for over a month, I’m not totally sure I’ll ever check them again, because things were working that well.

Because of my poor heat-race finishes, I did have to start from the second row in both of my main events, but the nice thing is, at the Midwest Indoor Series, they are running the mains 15 laps now for the Pros. My starts were pretty good for being on the second row, and in both of our mains, the track was in pretty good shape. While I didn’t really have a spectacular battle with anybody, I did get to trade paint with a few racers along the way, most notably AMA Pro Superbike racer Larry Pegram, who came down to play. That guy is a class act, from what I saw, and it was neat seeing him come back to his dirt-track roots.

While I have fallen out of shape quite a bit since I had a slight knee injury from over-training late in the year and since cycling season ended, a lot of my riding endurance has remained. It seemed that I kept improving as the laps wound down, and if I could just keep my right foot off that darned sissy pedal, I would have been golden. At the end of the night, though, I walked away with two ninth-place finishes. No, I know that isn’t impressive, but it isn’t last, and I didn’t hit the ground. I also pushed myself much further than I had about 36 hours before, which I was most happy about.

While I won’t be hitting another dirt-track race until Daytona rolls around in March, I do know that my starts are on point, my bike is good, and by then, my sprint speed will be there with my endurance. Daytona, I believe, is the toughest race of the year to qualify for, but there is something in my head telling me that this is going to be my year to at least make the cut.

I’ll be hitting the road on the January 9, bouncing back and forth between working the weekends at Supercross events for the greatest motorcycle windshield company in the world, Memphis Shades, and hanging out during the week with George Mack while hopefully getting him to sneak away from this thing called “work” and hitting the ice a little bit. I love me some ice riding! I will be back home from those adventures on January 20 and then will be gearing up for the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati. After that, it’s just a countdown to Bike Week, which will be here before you know it! Thank you all for the support, and I certainly wouldn’t be doing this kind of thing if it wasn’t for the readers and supporters of my website! Thanks for reading, and make 2014 the year of exceeded goals and no regrets!

I wouldn’t be able to make any of this happen without my website, www.fightfordirttrack.com, and its advertisers – Motion Pro Tools, Silkolene Oils, Lightshoe, DP Brakes, K&N Filters, Works Connection, Boughner Racing Suspension, EVS Sports, CP Carrillo, Ride Engineering, and JMP Kawasaki –along with the supporters of my racing efforts, such as George Mack at Mack Daddy Racing, Ben McIntosh of Ben’s V-Twin and Dyno Center in Paducah, Kentucky, and Steve Nace of Steve Nace Racing Promotions.

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Category: Dirt Track, National, POV, Riders, Riders All, Riders' POV, Riders' Race Reports, Short Track, TT

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