New Crew Chief, Ray Atchley, put together a test plan that yielded noticeable gains in rider, Greg Gorman's, performance at Palm Beach International Raceway. Suspension adjustments and the addition of a quick-shifter dropped Greg's times from 1:20-1:21 to 1:19-1:20 with a new personal best for Greg of 1:19.321.
Even though Greg improved, so did the rest of the field. In Expert GTO, Greg chased the battling pair of Lars Remsen and Chris Boy. Greg tried to take advantage of their battle on lap three of the nine lap race but ran wide in turn 10 and was unable to get close enough to make another attack. Greg finished 6th.
"I got a good double draft coming down the back straight and stayed to the left of the track when Lars pulled out to pass Chris on the right. Lars made the pass and started drifting back left on a collision course with me. I made the decision to let off the brakes a bit and go by him to avoid the collision. I ran wide and lost about a second. I gained some ground back but I was never able to get closer than about a half a second."
Unlimited SuperSport brought a better result with a 5th place that was improved to 4th place after 3rd place Chis Boy failed to show for technical inspection after the race.
"We change tires for this race and they're a bit different. I was getting a lot more front end chatter going into the corners with these tires. I was pushing, but so was everyone else. I got into 5th and tried to make up the time but it just wasn't happening."
The Unlimited Superbike was red flagged on the last lap due to an accident involving the third place expert, Gus Sanchez, and an amateur rider, Isidro Castillo, who was being lapped by the leaders. Gus didn't crash but received a deep bruise to his bicep which made contact with Isidro's left clip-on. Isidro crashed into an unprotected wall and at last word was listed in critical condition. The Team hopes for the best for Isidro. Greg was credited with 5th place.
"Dwyer, Barnes, and Sanchez took off I was behind Lars and wasn't gaining on him at all. He was just a bit faster than me all weekend. After we got the white flag, I was going through turn 2 and the corner workers were just starting to take action for Isidro in turn 3. Where he hit the wall is a very odd place. But after hearing Gus' story, I understand how he got there. Get well, Isidro."
The last race of the day is the Shootout. Eight racers took to the track and quickly split into four groups. Dwyer and Barnes were running 1:16 lap times. Just behind them was the pair of Sanchez and Thomas Puerto running 1:17s. Further back was Remsen and Gorman in the 1:19s, Delvalle and Keesee in the 1:20s. Greg finished 6th.
"I wheelied off the start again. That hasn't been happening for awhile and the last time was because the clutch was going bad so I'll have to look into that. I was last into turn one behind Delvalle. I knew he and I were close on laptimes so I took the first chance I got to pass him which was at turn 4. I was in hot and I pushed him wide but if I didn't get him there it probably wasn't going to happen. Next was Keesee in turn 6. I waited for him to turn in but his turn in was much later than I expected and I ran way wide. I was quite surprised Delvalle wasn't there to re-pass me. Keesee then missed a gear or something because I passed him quite easily on the short straight to turn 7. Then I spent the rest of the race trying to close in on Lars, which I did but then made too many mistakes to really make anything of it. Good race though."
High Def video of the Unlimted GP race can be viewed here:
"Really, this was a very good weekend for us even though the results don't quite show it. I was in the 19s in every race and set a new personal best. I really have to thank Ray for his hard work on the bike and Susan, my wife, for all of her hard work and putting up with me."
The Way to Happiness Racing Team, races again at Daytona on October 16th, 17th and 18th. The last race of the season will be at Homestead-Miami Speedway December 5th and 6th.