One cool thing this year was that the race was the week before the state championship. So a lot more folks came out to use it as a tuner race before the big show. All the Elites, and Master class went off on the whistle, so the start was a little more congested than what we usually see in Michigan. I jumped out into the top 5 guys right off the whistle knowing that the most difficult part of the course was in the beginning and staying out of crashes or other's mistakes would be key. Mark Parmalee, Jeff Weinert, and JB Hancock led the charge. Soon after, DC came by me followed by Alex and Ron Stack. DC and Alex kept the pedal through the floor, and I got caught up behind Ron. By the time we made it through the slick stuff and endless sand, Alex and DC had about a 10 second gap. Not a big deal I thought. I then dropped Ron and passed JB. The chase for Alex was on. I focused on riding smart, but taking risk in section I knew others wouldn't. Following close behind me was Jarod Makowski and Brad Lako. I was able to keep a comfortable gap, but could feel them breathing down my neck. At the same time, I was taking back a second or 2 on Alex.
By the time the 4th lap rolled around. Alex was opening up the gap on me a little more. I know Jarod was hunting me down, and Brad was just off his wheel. I decided to use the flat wooded section to open up some security room on Jarod. It worked. I had a few more seconds, and I felt I was riding better and better each lap on the off cambers and slick muddy downhills. As the laps piled up I held the gap, but could not get any closer to Alex. The sand was zapping my energy more and more. On the last lap I could see Jarod still trying to claw his way back to me. Got love JMAK's Heart and determination! I just held my own and always knew where he was, and made sure I didn't do anything stupid. I finished 2nd on the day, and was really happy with how I felt and handled the course leading into the last race of the year!
Congrats to Pat Tomlinson - on his SOA series overall jersey!
Vince Anila - for 3rd overall in the SOA series!
Brad Lako - for hanging at the front of the masters before breaking your bike in the last lap...