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Blais Racing tears it up at the Checkers MC Dirt Track Scrambles in California City

Blais Racing Services/ Fasstco Checkers MC Dirt Track Scrambles Race Reports

11-9-13

By Ben Meza:

After my first experience in Cal City, I had an idea of what type of race Checkers MC was going to put on. I knew the course could only be held on existing roads which meant one thing to me, Sixth tapped! I decided I would race on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday I would team up with fellow HBMC member Brendan Crow to race in the Club Challenge team race on my Blais Racing 250. Sunday I was going to race the toe hour race on my KTM 200.



Saturday I woke up early an loaded up my pick up truck to head out to the race. My dad and I got out to the staging area around nine an made sure I was signed up for both days. As we got closer to the start time for the team race I started to worry that Brendan hadn't gotten there yet. I have him a call and he informed me that he had just gotten to Palmdale, an hour away! I he didn't have any problems he'd barely make it. I put that thought into the back of my head and just started gearing up.

Start time came around and I headed over to the start line. I knew Brendan was almost there so I just did what I had to do. I was on the second row, but they were starting us all at the same time. As soon as the flag was dropped I was off! I ripped an amazing start and catapulted to the front row. I got to the first corner in 3rd OA and by the second corner I ha made the pass for the lead! I missed a corner and fell back to fourth behind Ryan Smith. I keyed off Ryan's movement (due to the dust of first and second you couldn't see a thing) and eventually made the pass for second. I came through the pits after my first lap still in third. I saw Brendan gearing up, finally he was there! I did another lap to allow him to finish getting prepped to ride. I maintained my position and then handed it off to him on the second lap. He left for his loop and was WFO! We then switched every lap and besides a minor battle with the Steven Kirk team with Dalton and Trevor. We managed to pull off third place Overall for HBMC and Blais Racing!

Sunday came around and Brendan, my dad and I headed back out for another day of racing? To be honest I wasn't looking forward to racing the 200 after getting to rip up the 250. Racing is racing so of course I eventually got pumped and was going to give it my all! As I went to line up the checker official told me all 125's, 250's, and 450's would be on the same line. I thought, "great here comes a race full of dust." As the flag dropped I gassed it off the line down the start stretch. The bigger bikes pulled me the whole way. By the time I got to the first corner it was just Michael Allen, Joe Tabush, and myself. I tried taken Michael high but he wasn't having it and I ended up on the ground. I rebounded quickly and caught him again. Having races the day prior I knew the corners an was able to squeak by him. I then worked made a swift pass by John Gamaunt "Gumby" (250 A rider). Coming into the next corner the dust kept him from seeing me and he plowed into the back of my bike. I was okay but he went down. I stopped to see if he was okay, he was and waved me on. I started a charge and two laps in I caught a 450A Kawi rider and made an inside pass in one of the many corners. At lap five I charged into the pits behind Cordis Brooks. My dad gave me a quick pit and I came out ahead of Cordis. I held my little 200 wide and pushed the next few laps. The high speed stuff was killing my bike and on the last lap I had to cut back to a cruising pace. I made it to the finish in 3rd OA and 1st in class giving me just enough to wrap up the LWII district championship! I'm really stoked on how well I did considering how wide open the course was! My Blais Racing steed rode great and allowed me to get the job done! I want to thank all my sponsors, Blais Racing, Fasst Co., ESR, Race Tech, Dirt Tricks, BRP, A'ME, Muscle Milk, TLD, Fastway, Regina Chains, Asterisk, Kenda, HBMC, and everyone that supported me this season. Thanks!=

 

By Brendan Crow:

The Checkers race weekend was one crazy story for me.  Before I can get to the happy ending I have to lay down the events that helped create such an adventure.  I had been sick for several weeks prior to this weekend, and I was unsure if I REALLY felt like racing through dust for 2 hours (although I am really glad that I did).  I had made plans early in the week to team up with Ben Meza for the “club team race” on Saturday and figured I would use that as a benchmark to see if I could withstand the abuse come Sunday.  Waking up Saturday morning I did the usual routine (breakfast, load up, get gas, go to the grocery store), but for some reason the world was against me.  I’ll explain, at my first stop (gas) I encountered slow down number 1 which was a ridiculously slow pump.  Twenty-something gallons later, and what felt like 30minutes, I was on my way to slow down number 2 (food stop). 

Pulling in to the grocery store I looked at the clock and saw that I was slightly behind schedule, but this was nothing to worry about, and started in.  Outside stood a few girl scouts who swarmed me like locusts, and trying to not be rude I let them explain what they were doing.  Hearing them out didn’t take very long, but it took long enough to allow the woman shopping for the apocalypse to get in front of me in line (of course she wasn’t aware enough to notice my 4 items and let me go in front).  To top it all off, she had to fumble through her purse to find the money to pay for everything.  Great, precious time was clicking and I was starting to get a little nervous.  20 minutes had gone by in my grocery store stop, and now it was time to put the hammer down and get to the race. 

Traffic sucks.  That is slow down number 3.  I hit spots of major traffic on my way out to the race, and I don’t even want to explain it because of the anger that builds up inside when I think of how many stupid people are on the road (it’s everyone else’s fault right?).  So then I became extremely nervous because the 12:30 sign up cut off was rapidly approaching, I had no option other than to make up as much time as I could once I got out of the traffic (by obeying all safety and traffic laws of course).

The club race was scheduled to start at 1, and I arrived around 12:45 which didn’t give me much time for chitchat.  Although I was late, I made it to the race and thanks to Ben, who had told sign ups of my silly predicament, I was still able to sign up.  I had barely started to unload when the race went off, so I knew I had to gear up quickly and be ready to go.  Ben and I rode a solid race, and were able to pull off 3rd.  With the course being fairly easy and not physically taxing, I figured that my sickness could withstand the 2 hour scramble the next day. 

Even before the start of the race, I knew that dust was going to be an issue in the latter parts of the race as the leaders started to catch lappers but I underestimated how insane it was going to be.  My Blais Racing KTM 300 rocketed off the start and I led the race into the first turn getting the holeshot.  I knew that my corner speed has been a problem in the past, so I did my best to try and keep my momentum going through the many twists and turns on the course.  My first 2 laps were amazing; I was maintaining enough speed to hold the lead, I had clean air, and I was leading the race overall!  Towards the end of lap 2 I had already started to catch lapped riders, which wasn’t bad at first, but it would only get worse.  I pit early, in hopes clean goggles would help, after 4 laps and looked back only to see Andrew Delgado Jr right on my rear fender.  The next half of a lap was a blast battling back and forth with him, we would swap the lead countless times and flew through the course not being able to see a thing!  Close to the halfway mark of that lap I made a major mistake.  In the heat of the battle (and in the dust) I forgot which part of the course we were on and blew through one of the sharp left handed corners.  This mistake cost me, as I was put back about 10-15 seconds and couldn’t see a thing.  The dust was insane!  For the next couple laps I just tried to ride smooth and not make any more mistakes since I couldn’t even see past my fender in the crazy silty air that littered the course.  I pit one last time after lap 8, and having a fresh set of Xbrand goggles really helped for the last 2 laps.  In the thick of the dust Andrew had been able to pull a little over a minute lead (although I didn’t know at the time how far he was), but I put my head down and tried to gain back some time.  Coming into the last lap I had made up 10 or so seconds, and then on our last lap out I was able to make up another 45seconds, but it was too late!  I finished 2nd overall and 15seconds off of the lead!  Although I would have loved to get the overall win, I am continuing to improve and I couldn’t do it without all of the support from everyone around me.  My teammate (and clubmate) Ben would finish 3rd overall, which was a great way to cap off the race weekend. 

I want to thank my Dad for all of his continued support and encouragement, as well as all of my fantastic sponsors who allow me to have such a strange start to my weekend, yet finish it with success:  Blais Racing, Fasst Co, Kenda, NoToil, Race Tech, ESR, Dirt Tricks, FMF, IMS, BRP, Acerbis, Alpinestars, Fastway, Rekluse, Bulletproof designs, HBD motographics, TLD, Samco

 

Skyler Howes would also race on Saturday on his Blais Racing Services/ Fasstco KTM 300 XC.  Skyler would take the win in the Unclassified race and also the 1.5 hour team race where Skyler rode solo.  Nobody else could match the pace of his Blais Racing KTM 300 built bike. 

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