Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Weekend at Iowa Speedway

by Nicole Hoffman
(please note that this post was written last week)

We returned on Sunday after what was a fun and exciting weekend at Iowa Speedway. This was the first time that motorcycles have ever run this new 1.3 mile road course. So in the inaugural year of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series we are all anxious to see what comes of a first trip to a new track.

I have to say, the facility was outstanding. The fans in Iowa are diehard and so enthusiastic to see racers. They were very welcoming and made the event a lot of fun.

I didn’t race this weekend due to my on-going back spasms and pain. Since I help run the team there is no shortage of things that need to be done. I stayed busy all weekend writing press releases, taking photos and updating the Team Web site. I enjoy attending the entrant meetings, rider meeting and organizing logistics of the team. We have a great team so sometimes that comes easy even though there is so much to do.

The team had 3 practice sessions: one Thursday, one Friday and a quick practice on Saturday. The riders all got out there and learned the track and starting picking up some good lap times. Our SST bike (Suzuki SV1000) ridden by Mark Crozier and Nathan Dressman ran the second fastest in practice and usually that is a good indication of the outcome of the race. My fill-in rider, Justin Filice was amazing. He was running almost as fast on the SV650 as some were on the bigger bikes. It was fun to watch him and his dad (Jimmy Filice) out in practice. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jimmy, click on his name…he is well known in motorcycle racing. Jimmy was showing Justin the lines and the way around the track and Justin was picking up time.

Race day was getting last minute details completed, such as lights on the bikes (since the even falls past sun down, lights are required and PIAA, our sponsor really helped us out here). As with any and all MOTO-ST events, we have an autograph session for the fans. We couldn’t believe the turn-out! They were lined up for more than an hour to walk through and get ever rider’s autograph. Different to motorcycle racing, but common in NASCAR are the rider introductions on stage. This was the first time riders had done this and it really added to the show.

The race began at 6:30pm CT and was a 3-hour long race. Our team had 2 podium finishes for which the entire team – crew and riders – was extremely excited. We have worked so hard to get to the top of the podium and we were within 40 seconds behind the leader when a red flag came out and the race was called with 30 minutes remaining. This race was a testament to the strength of the team and we can’t wait for the 8 Hours at Daytona in October!

Oh and by the way…at Road America for the Red Flag Fund auction…the custom painted trash can by Dave Perewitz raised $225! All the items auctioned off can be found here. The proceeds go to help injured motorcycle racers. A great cause for a great community of people.

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