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Ball Sac Racing Race Report

Tom's Race Report from Buttonwillow

3/26/2006 Buttonwillow, CA - with AFM



I wanted to get out early so got to Pat's around 3. Seems we can never get out early and we hit some traffic around LA and rolled into the hotel at 4am! We grabbed 5 hours of sleep and got to the track around 10:30. I put the 16.5 on the front for the first time and had Alex, the Michelin guy for AFM set me up with a slick. He asked me if I would ever want to try a B and I said yeah, not realizing he would put it on. I get out on the track and get familiar with it again, but only get to a best of 2:00 on Friday. Not very happy and thinking it will get better as I get use to the 16.5 front, we leave the track and get some much needed sleep. Saturday it was colder out and cloudy. It rains most of the day stopping around 3pm and we get in 4 sessions, I think I only did 2, thinking I wouldn't get much out of it. Which I didn't only getting to the 2:01's.

Sunday, race day. Signed up for 3 races. First race Unlimited GP, race #4. The second race, after lunch is F-40 and the race I really feel I can compete in this year with AFM. The last race is Unlimited Superbike, the last race of the day.

I go out in the practice session and try to lay down a good few laps and when I see I only run a 2:01 I am pissed! I'm thinking what the hell, I suck! So I decide after practice to put a new tire on the rear and go back to the 17" front. When I get to Alex, he says do you want another B? Thinking that I had an H on there I'm surprised and say no, please put an H on. So now I go to my first race with 52 on the grid in the #22 spot, a few rows back with the 17" I hadn't run all weekend and the new H. What a blast I had! I was in 16th around the second lap and back and forth with Chuck Sorensen with 3 bikes just on our front wheels. The second to last lap my clutch starts to slip coming off the corners! I know I could have gotten to 11th with a good clutch. I just kinda baby it around staying on the back of the 4 just in front of me for 16th. Other than the clutch slipping the bike feels great, not sure if it's my head (probably) but the 17" felt much better thru riverside, the high speed sweeper. The 16.5 felt like it was gonna wash?? Anyway after putting on brand new tires and the 17" and rushing out to race with a slipping clutch I ran 1:57.9, so I felt good about that because I knew there was much more that day had the clutch not gone. Luckily we have lunch break and I need to change my clutch before the F-40 race. Long story short I get it changed do the warm up lap, get an OK start, get into turn 1 of a 40 something grid around 10th, give it gas out of T1 and the clutch slips to the point of no forward motion and I roll off the track, weekend done. This will make it tough to challenge for the F-40! No points!

Thanks to Pat and David for all the help. Sorry Sally couldn't make this one, last year she came with me to my first AFM event and that was a disaster also, only getting in 1 race before crashing, so it isn't her!
The Buttonwillow jinks lives on! At least AFM is so customer friendly that I didn't get charged for the 2 races I didn't race. Seems that if you don't cross the beacon in any race you entered you do not get charged! You don't even have to tell them or fill anything out, they just don't charge you!




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