Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Team West/OneFastGirl Racing

April 20-23
Road America, WI
Round 1 – ASRA/CCS
  On Wednesday evening, after a couple of unfortunate events, Sam and I finally parked at the Road America gate.   The trip proved to be an exciting one this go around.  We not only fried a bearing on the travel trailer, but nearly lost my cat in the ghetto of South Chicago.  We did eventually get that bearing kit, and recover the cat that jumped out the window.  It was a 4 hour experience I will not forget soon enough!  *Just a note – There are no bearing trailer kits anywhere near the ghetto of South Chicago (ha ha ha).  
  Thursday was a day to get the R6 and the Ducati sorted out with gearing, and handling.  The R6 was great right off the line, so we concentrated mostly on the Ducati.  The Ducati seemed to have a stability problem under power, going straight.  We tried a few geometry changes, but ran out of sessions to figure it out.  The weather was beautiful, and I was feeling very confident (finally a track that I didn't have to learn from scratch!).
  Friday just seemed like it was going to be a great day for racing.   Even though we still had to figure out the stability issue on the Ducati, I felt great.  Because of the endurance race, I had a lot of time to think about the changes we had made to the Ducati since Daytona.  I came to the conclusion that it was an incorrect tire choice, so we mounted some new Michelin DOT's (instead of slicks), and corrected the geometry.  My first race was GTU on the R6, so I gridded up and concentrated on getting a rockin' start.  I think things went extremely well, and I felt very comfortable during the entire 25 minute race…comfortable enough to finish 10 th.  My last race of the day was Supertwins on the Ducati.  I was nervous about the changes, but optimistic that I had made the right decision.  I got a pretty good start, and fell into 3 rd place for most of the race.  The bike handled like a dream (my changes were successful)!  On the last lap Chris Knight squeaked by me, to put me into a 4th place finish (oh was I disappointed!).  The day went super well, and I am very happy with everything that happened.
  Saturday started off to be another gorgeous day.   We had two qualifying sessions, and two races to compete in…I was anxious to do well.  I qualified 7th in Thunderbike, and 10th in Sportbike.  Then it was time to race.  I gridded up for the first race of the day, Supertwins, eager to make up for Friday's 4th.  The flag dropped and I almost had the holeshot…Mark Junge slipped up the inside to take the lead.   I held second for a few laps, until Danny Bilansky passed me on the brakes.  I kept behind Danny, to take 3rd on the checkers.  Fortunately for me, when the results were posted Danny got disqualified for not having a transponder.   That put me in 2nd place; I guess I really made up for Friday!  I was now ready to go out for Middleweight Supersport, on the R6, and see what I could do.  I had to start in the back of the grid, and got a tangled up into turn one.  I really had to work hard for a better position, but wasn't able to make up enough ground.  I finished in 17 th place, but at least I finished the race.  It was a day of mixed feelings...happy with my 2nd, but glum about my 17th.  It was still an excellent day, though!
  Sunday started out with a rainy, cold morning, and I just wanted to stay in my warm bed.   My first race was Middleweight Supersport, and I was prepared to get a much better finish.  I gridded up, and zipped into turn one right behind Robert Jensen.  I let Robert make a hole into every corner, and just tagged behind him until Canada corner (turn 12).   That put me ahead of a ton of guys, and I was ready to stay in front of them.  Well, I was ready until the guy behind me came into turn one way to hot, and lowsided right into me.  I ended up getting sandwiched between my bike, and his, and surfed them into the gravel trap.  After a few moments of serious pain in my right knee, I got up a walked it off.  Man, was I livid!  Surprisingly, the bike had no broken parts (just a dented Leo Vince canister, ugh)!  Sam West, Chris Jensen, Chris Onwiler, Roger Krueger, and Alexa Krueger all got the bike torn apart and back together in record time.  My knee didn't seem that bad, so I went out for my last two races of the weekend.  They were back to back races, so I was glad I didn't have to wait around.   It was difficult getting my knee bent (with all the swelling), but my friend Guy wrapped it and told me it would be okay.  I had Thunderbike first, and launched into 5th place(from 7 th).  Unfortunately my knee wasn't happy about hard braking, Jeff Johnson and Brian Bemisderfer got around me into turn three.  I had to dice hard for 7th with Brian Lacy.  Luckily I had enough motor to hold him off, and take 7 th at the checkers.  My next (and final race) was Sportbike.  I was starting from 10th, and was hoping I could at least hold that position.  I did, for while, but my braking points were way too early.   I had a great race with Michael Arwood and Ryan Hall, but Hall got in front of me.  That put me in 13th place at the checkers.  I wasn't to upset about it, though.  My knee was throbbing and I just did what I could to keep a fair position on the track.
  Overall, this was our most successful weekend.  I was confident, comfortable and very aggressive.  Luckily my injury isn't that bad…I guess you could say the bark is worse than the bite (it looks gross).   I will be strong for our next round at BeaveRun (WERA North Central regional), and make sure that we continue getting satisfactory results!
  A special thank you goes out to Sam West, my Mum and Pop (Alexa and Roger Krueger), Chris Jensen, Guy and Chris (K-3) Onwiler for thrashing on the R6, and knowing I could still be competitive.  And to all of my friends that came to the track and helped out, you guys rock! 

I'm faster than your girlfriend, BRRAAAPP.
Rhiannon Lucente #66/#166

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