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Discussion Starter #42
How does one get away with just street glasses for eye protection. Looks a bit dangerous to me.
I think that helmet has a clear shield. But at amateur races like this it's not uncommon for people to go on track w/no eye protection at all, and the organizers just let it go. The very last thing you do before rolling on track is to go past the pregrid worker who checks your race # against a list to make sure it's your turn. The worker looks at your bike's #, then at the list and then looks you right in the eye. Why they don't also check for eye protection right then is beyond me.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Me and my bud are signed up to do this in May @ Delaware.
I can't wait!!!

https://www.americansupercamp.com
My pals and my kid and I went to American Supercamp a few years ago. It was great! Another pal is coaxing me to go to Colin Edwards Bootcamp. He did it last spring and is aching to go back.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
The final race of the pro season in Santa Rosa, Calif, was marred by the deaths of two junior class riders. Charlotte Kainz and Kyle McGrane were killed in separate incidents, she in a qualifying session and he in the main event. Kainz turned twenty the week before this race. McGrane was seventeen years old.

I have strong feelings about the circumstances of their deaths that made me think hard about my continued participation. After talking to a lot of people close to the matter and giving it a lot of thought I've decided to continue with this project.

Next stop is Daytona International Speedway on March 16 for the mid-week season opener during Bike Week.



 

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That has got to be hard Tom as you know more about the why's and wherefore's of such tragedies. Maybe you will be a force for the better.
 

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Yeah, and that took a lot of patience and skill, both of which I don't have!
 

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Discussion Starter #50
I went to the season-opener pro flat track race at Daytona in March. For several years, this event has been run on a small oval built in the grassy parking lot just outside the speedway's turn one banking. It was a nice track, with a light colored crushed limestone surface. The racing was usually fine and it was a wonderful place to shoot photos, with really good background shapes and colors.

This year, they moved it all inside the speedway, on a new track constructed on the grassy strip that separates the NASCAR pit lane from the front straight. It's the same site where they run the Daytona Supercross, but with the jumps knocked down. I won't go into the organizers' reasons for making the change to this setting, it's complicated. But IMO it was all rather bogus. The layout was clearly a compromise, designed to fit into the available space rather than to provide a fitting test of the riders and their equipment. The track was very narrow, and the bikes would come almost to a complete stop to tiptoe around the turns at each end instead of doing the more familiar giant broadsides. This was billed as a TT track, with a righthand turn/chicane and small jump in the middle of one of the straightaways.

Photographers were not allowed to get close to the track at all. In the first pic below you can see how far back they kept us. At most facilities they allow the established photogs to get as close as we wish. They normally trust us to be careful. It probably had to do w/how tiny the track was and wanting to keep us out of the way of TV cameras. Can't fault 'em for trying new things, I guess. They said afterward that there was a good spectator turnout, but in those huge Daytona grandstands anything less than a full house looks pretty empty.

This was the first race for the Indian factory team and their rider won the main event.











 

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Discussion Starter #51 (Edited)
Well it happened again. Two more young lives lost.

The pro event in Charlotte, NC, is one of my favorites but it was on a new date on April 1 this year and I couldn't get the time off from work to go. Just as well. Jamison Minor (27U), a young racer from New Hampshire was killed in a crash at that event. He turned 21 years old on March 12, the weekend of the race in Daytona. Jamison was a very capable young racer, but more than that he was such a nice person and was loved by so many.





Zaden Florez (55) was a ten-year-old racer from Salinas, Calif. This wonderful boy was killed on April 15 in a racing accident at the small track in Lodi, Calif. He was tremendously talented, with abilities far beyond those of most kids his age. I watched him race and photographed him at amateur events all over the west coast. Besides all of that talent, he also had an outsized personality - so warm, outgoing and generous and always wearing a huge grin. It just makes me bawl to write this. I'd already planned to go to California next weekend for another event near his home town and I'll get to attend his celebration of life while I'm there.



 

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Sad to hear Tom. At least you captured part of their lives with your wonderful photo skills.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
No racing in this installment, but wife and I had a great time at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering last weekend in Carmel Valley, Calif. This year's event honored the 50th anniversary of the Norton Commando, plus racers Kenny Roberts, Mert Lawwill and Wayne Rainey, and also Craig Vetter.

The event started with a 100 mile street ride on Friday, which included some laps around Laguna Seca. My '86 Yamaha SRX-6 wasn't the fastest bike there, but it's fun to ride quickly. Here is some vid from my Go Pro.


I left the ride route after awhile to attend a Celebration of Life event in Salinas for my young racer friend, Zaden Florez, who was killed on April 15 at a race in Lodi, Calif. The date of the celebration would have been his eleventh birthday. I believe about 400 people attended. Friends were there from all over the country and it was good to be with them for the afternoon. Zaden's entire fifth grade class came. People wrote messages on balloons and they were released into the breeze. Here is some vid and a photo.




Saturday was cold and windy, but there was a good turnout of bikes and specterors for the show. Besides loads of Nortons, there were several neat Ducatis and other bikes, including cool Yamaha and Honda flat trackers and road racers, and plenty of street bikes and dirt bikes. Here are some photos, starting with my SRX-6 that I displayed in the show and rode on Friday. You can see all of my photos in my Facebook album.

https://www.facebook.com/tom.stein.52/media_set?set=a.10210981168182728.1073741851.1159801244&type=3&pnref=story













 

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Discussion Starter #54
Last weekend's race was the Red Mile horse track, in Lexington, Kentucky. The Lloyd Brothers Ducati Hypermotard made an appearance for the first time this season. With vet racer Johnny Lewis (10) riding, it finished 9th out of 18 entries in the 25-lap main event. It's always a pleasure to photograph this beautiful and unique machine.

The aluminum cover on the bike's right side is hiding the radiator. I believe this is the only motorcycle in the series which uses the engine as a stressed member. I also believe it has little in common with an actual Hypermotard.

Jared Mees (9) won the race on his Indian Scout. This was the fourth mile race in a row and Indian has won them all.





 

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Discussion Starter #55
On July 29 I went down to California for the Calistoga Half-Mile event at the Napa County Fairgrounds. I love California, and especially enjoy visiting the Bay area and Wine Country, even though i don't care for wine very much. This was a good event. It was run well and reasonably safe. There was a good turnout of racers and spectators, and a young friend of mine had his maiden main event win in the class for junior riders. Tanner Dean, #138 in the photos, is a 16-year-old from Tacoma, Wash., and this is his first year as a pro. Calistoga was only his fourth pro race, and it is a very competitive class. The bottom two photos are from the big-bike class.















 

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Discussion Starter #57
Always a treat to view your well constructed pix Tom.
Thanks. It's all just for fun and trying to improve my skills.

In mid-August I was back in Illinois for the Peoria TT. The organizers of this event claim it to be the oldest continuously running event on the Pro circuit, having started in 1947. The track is sited in a small valley in the rolling countryside and has changed little in all those years. The most famous aspect of the circuit is its jump and righthand turn. Most flat track races are held on ovals. This year, riders in the faster of two classes are back on 750cc twin cylinder bikes at all events in the series. The last time that twins raced on this track was in 1986. Since then, but the top class and the junior class have raced singles at Peoria.

To make the track safer for the faster, heavier twins, the track's jump was reconfigured into a step-up design which slowed them a bit and also created passing opportunities because there are now multiple lines available. After some initial grumbling, most everyone accepted the change as an improvement once things got going. Last week I saw a video of the race from the 50s on You Tube and the jump then looked very much like the new design used this year.

Michigan rider Henry Wiles (17) won the race in the top class. It was his thirteenth win in a row here. He's now won it on singles and on a twin, and with the new jump and the old one. This place just suits his style. He is not nearly as dominant on oval tracks.

This is one of my favorite places to take pictures. There are lots of great places to watch from, and the bikes do more than just go around in circles. I also love the food here, where they offer pork chop sandwiches and other great stuff. I like to say that it's a nice place to have lunch, and you get to see a motorcycle race while you're eating.

Here are some pics from the race, one of riders walking over the new jump before practice, and a shot of my lunch. :smile:















 

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Ascot Park in Gardena ran TT's for a long time. I saw some great stuff in the late 60's. J.C. Agajainian did a great job for motor sports in LA. I found a vid of a 100 lapper there, with some famous names competing. Fling all that British Iron around built men of steel, IMHO!
 

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Note JC with his stetson, he even wore it to breakfast, the huge starting grid, and the precursor to the GoPro in the demo lap! Saw King Kenny race there, among other things from Jalopies, figure 8's, sprint cars, flat trackers. Great fun place.
 
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