What a way to start a trip from New Hampshire to Daytona. I left New Hampshire and it was 23 degrees outside. When I stopped in Virginia Beach to pick up Epic Beard it wasn't much warmer only in the 40's. It wasn't a lot warmer until we hit South Carolina and it was now in the 80's. The trip down was pretty smooth sailing with plenty of road trip antics, you'll have to check the vlog out to see what I am talking about.
When we got to the track on Wednesday morning for set up we finally met the Mad Monkey Motorsports team for the first time. My impression of the team was that they were super motivated and ready to let it rip. This weekend felt weird though because I didn't have a whole lot to do on my end except basically show up and ride the bike. When I first saw the bike I thought to myself this is a BIG OL' MOMMA.
First day getting ready to go on track I kept wondering how far I can lean on this thing. It was time to go and this was the first time swinging my leg over and my boot caught the gear shift and popped it in gear and I almost dropped it before I even made it to the track. First lap out the bike felt quiet powerful, a lot more torque and heavier and looser then anything else I have ever ridden. After one lap I had a mechanical issue and had to come in, that was it for that session.
Second go out everything seemed to go bit more smoothly swinging my leg over. I got on the track 1st lap qualified 9th and the second lap came around going into turn one and had brake failure at 160 mph. I was able to slow the bike down to about 100 made a last second decision to lay the bike down running it into a hay bail wall. That was it for day 2 and ending my unlucky day. Tough crash ended up in medical with just some bumps and bruising, thank goodness for Epic Beards brother being a physical therapist. My saving grace's name is Brian Heiser of 321 performance. He came and did dry needling and cupping on me with some messaging and I felt way better.
Ready for practice in the morning but got cancelled due to oil on the track, so now with only 3 laps on this bike I am set to start the race P9 with no start experience. Throughout the day I met a huge fan base along with sponsors all who are interested in the Mad Monkey experience. It was a long day waiting for everything to finish to finally get to race this beast. Everyone kept telling me to stay calm on the bike and figure it out. Heading out to the start I just kept in mind to stay calm and have fun. Awful start to the race put me 2nd to last because I thought I was on the R1. After I gathered it up I put the hammer down and made up spots to finish the race in 9th right where I started.
Rolling into Saturday I woke up still sore, but now having some experience with this bike ready for practice in the morning. Made it a full round of practice with no red flags, building my confidence even more. Between practice and the race I got the opportunity to meet Jamie Hacking and went to lunch with him and his buddy Dump Truck. More prepared for the race today, I really had to focus on my start. Pulling up to the grid I definitely felt more confident. I had a much better start putting me right in the middle of the mid pack. Handled myself well on the infield, but struggled to stay in the draft on the banks. Great ride and had a small battle with Danny Eslick. About to finish in 7th, but got double drafted to the line putting me at 9th.
After all the craziness of the weekend and the first time on a bagger I was able to pull off consecutive top 10 finishes.