JD Beach Miller Motorsports Park Race Report

JD Beach MMP 2

I know it’s Friday and my race report is late yet again this week, but I have some good reasons. First off, happy Fourth of July to everyone, and I hope you have a safe weekend. This past weekend, we raced in Salt Lake City at Miller Motorsports Park for round six of the MotoAmerica series. Also during the same weekend was Lima, Ohio, for the AMA Pro Flat Track boys. It actually worked out well because after Miller we have a two-week break until Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and AMA Pro has two races within four hours of the house on our off weekends.

Hayden Gillim and I didn’t get home until Monday night after Miller but Brandon Robinson, Kolby Carlile, and Davis Fisher headed to the house after racing at Lima. They are setting up base at the house during the next two races that are being held in Du Quoin, Illinois, and Indianapolis, Indiana. As I’m writing this, I’m heading to Du Quoin; Brandon and Davis left earlier after our bike ride, and Hayden rode up with Kolby. Don’t worry though I’m not driving and typing. Kerri Gillim came along, so she’s driving my van. I would be less nervous, though, if I was driving and typing (ha ha). So if I’m hard to reach for the next week and a half, I’m probably on a bicycle or motorcycle having fun.

Anyway, let’s talk about Miller. I guess you could almost call it a bitter-sweet weekend, I love racing there and seeing the town of Salt Lake but knowing that could’ve been the last time we race there is upsetting. Just about every racer I talked to, as well as me, hope we are going back again next year. Going into the weekend, I was feeling good. Miller is a place I enjoy and did quite well there the last time we raced there in 2013. Cameron Beaubier, Garrett Gerloff, and I had really good battles there. It proved to be a good weekend for us, it didn’t start off the way we hoped but we worked into it.

After the first day we were sitting third fastest, which sounds good but after the first practice we were sixth and a good bit off Bobby Fong. It’s a sure good thing Mike Canfield (my crew chief) can stay so calm and just work through any problems we have. The changes Mike and Chris Lessing (team suspension tech) make from the first session to the second were a big improvement but we all wanted more. The feeling I was having on the bike should of made for a better time than we had.

Saturday morning for qualifying we knew the bike was going to be better and we had a good plan for tires. I went out on a used rear to get up to speed and already felt better. I came in to get a new rear and my first flying lap was faster than my fastest. That gives you a lot of confidence to really push, and we were able to grab pole. The session wasn’t over yet so we came in for a new tire with about five minutes to go. We went back out and threw down another heater to make my pole time stick.

On Friday, we had some problems with other riders trying to tag along and get a pull for faster laps. That doesn’t sit well with me, just for the fact that I like to go out and do the work and I don’t want to make it easier for someone else to go fast. And I enjoy riding my R6 so I want to be able to do wheelies, slide, and spin the crap out of my tire coming out of the turns and enjoy it not having to worry about someone being behind me.

JD Beach MMP 1

So that leads me into Saturday qualifying. On my final fast lap, I could see my teammate, Garrett Gerloff, up ahead not really pushing because that same person I was having issues with the day before was following him. I got right behind them with a few turns to go as Garrett was going into the pits and the other person ducked right in behind me. I knew I was on a good lap so I didn’t care until I got across the finish line, then I looked back and saw him right on me, so I sat up, made sure he was looking at me, then I let him know what place I was in for qualifying. Was it the right thing to do? Probably not but it made me feel better, and afterward I found out he was letting some birds fly to other people so I would consider it a “racing incident.”

Race one: Starting from pole and knowing what kind of pace we could run, I was feeling good for the race. Mike and I were kind of taking a gamble with the tire choice but I had almost done race distance on it and knew what to expect. We had a plan for the race that would suit the tire choice as long as I got the holeshot. Heading to the line before the race is the greatest thing. The nerves and butterflies are going crazy, you stop at your spot, and it feels like your heart is about to pop out of your chest. Then just like that Beth Miller walks off the track, the red lights come on, and your heart just stops, no nerves, no butterflies, just worried about the task at hand. Lights out, holeshot from pole position, with the long drag race down to turn one with the lead. From that point on, I never looked back. Garrett stayed on me for about half the race but we just kept clicking off fast laps, even going faster than I qualified. I was just racing my pit board, stretching the gap out, leading every lap, and bringing the win home by 5.5 seconds.

Race two: After Saturday, I didn’t know what to expect. It always seems like everyone is faster on Sunday, having a night to think about setup and the race. I knew Sunday morning warm-up was going to be very important. Mike put on our lucky warm-up tires, and I went to work. I wanted to beat Cameron Beaubier’s lap record so bad, but I missed it by 0.2 seconds but we were 0.3 faster than we qualified and had a second over second place. Our plan for race two was the same as Race 1: Get the holeshot and go! That’s what we did, but this time every lap we were pulling a second bigger gap every lap. I was pushing as hard as I could and just relying on my pit board to let me know how the race was going. We were able to win both races at Miller, making that my second double of the year! It was an amazing feeling.

We still have four races to go this year. Anything can happen, but I’m looking forward to it. Now, I’m on my way to watch the sport that got me started. Driving my van to a dirt track is what I love. The only thing that is funny to me is instead of some dirt trackers loaded up race-ready, I’ve got two road bicycles loaded up for Hayden and me to ride before the races on Saturday. Some things in life will change but old habits die hard. See ya at a dirt-track race.

JD Beach MMP 2

I know it’s Friday and my race report is late yet again this week, but I have some good reasons. First off, happy Fourth of July to everyone, and I hope you have a safe weekend. This past weekend, we raced in Salt Lake City at Miller Motorsports Park for round six of the MotoAmerica series. Also during the same weekend was Lima, Ohio, for the AMA Pro Flat Track boys. It actually worked out well because after Miller we have a two-week break until Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and AMA Pro has two races within four hours of the house on our off weekends.

Hayden Gillim and I didn’t get home until Monday night after Miller but Brandon Robinson, Kolby Carlile, and Davis Fisher headed to the house after racing at Lima. They are setting up base at the house during the next two races that are being held in Du Quoin, Illinois, and Indianapolis, Indiana. As I’m writing this, I’m heading to Du Quoin; Brandon and Davis left earlier after our bike ride, and Hayden rode up with Kolby. Don’t worry though I’m not driving and typing. Kerri Gillim came along, so she’s driving my van. I would be less nervous, though, if I was driving and typing (ha ha). So if I’m hard to reach for the next week and a half, I’m probably on a bicycle or motorcycle having fun.

Anyway, let’s talk about Miller. I guess you could almost call it a bitter-sweet weekend, I love racing there and seeing the town of Salt Lake but knowing that could’ve been the last time we race there is upsetting. Just about every racer I talked to, as well as me, hope we are going back again next year. Going into the weekend, I was feeling good. Miller is a place I enjoy and did quite well there the last time we raced there in 2013. Cameron Beaubier, Garrett Gerloff, and I had really good battles there. It proved to be a good weekend for us, it didn’t start off the way we hoped but we worked into it.

After the first day we were sitting third fastest, which sounds good but after the first practice we were sixth and a good bit off Bobby Fong. It’s a sure good thing Mike Canfield (my crew chief) can stay so calm and just work through any problems we have. The changes Mike and Chris Lessing (team suspension tech) make from the first session to the second were a big improvement but we all wanted more. The feeling I was having on the bike should of made for a better time than we had.

Saturday morning for qualifying we knew the bike was going to be better and we had a good plan for tires. I went out on a used rear to get up to speed and already felt better. I came in to get a new rear and my first flying lap was faster than my fastest. That gives you a lot of confidence to really push, and we were able to grab pole. The session wasn’t over yet so we came in for a new tire with about five minutes to go. We went back out and threw down another heater to make my pole time stick.

On Friday, we had some problems with other riders trying to tag along and get a pull for faster laps. That doesn’t sit well with me, just for the fact that I like to go out and do the work and I don’t want to make it easier for someone else to go fast. And I enjoy riding my R6 so I want to be able to do wheelies, slide, and spin the crap out of my tire coming out of the turns and enjoy it not having to worry about someone being behind me.

JD Beach MMP 1

So that leads me into Saturday qualifying. On my final fast lap, I could see my teammate, Garrett Gerloff, up ahead not really pushing because that same person I was having issues with the day before was following him. I got right behind them with a few turns to go as Garrett was going into the pits and the other person ducked right in behind me. I knew I was on a good lap so I didn’t care until I got across the finish line, then I looked back and saw him right on me, so I sat up, made sure he was looking at me, then I let him know what place I was in for qualifying. Was it the right thing to do? Probably not but it made me feel better, and afterward I found out he was letting some birds fly to other people so I would consider it a “racing incident.”

Race one: Starting from pole and knowing what kind of pace we could run, I was feeling good for the race. Mike and I were kind of taking a gamble with the tire choice but I had almost done race distance on it and knew what to expect. We had a plan for the race that would suit the tire choice as long as I got the holeshot. Heading to the line before the race is the greatest thing. The nerves and butterflies are going crazy, you stop at your spot, and it feels like your heart is about to pop out of your chest. Then just like that Beth Miller walks off the track, the red lights come on, and your heart just stops, no nerves, no butterflies, just worried about the task at hand. Lights out, holeshot from pole position, with the long drag race down to turn one with the lead. From that point on, I never looked back. Garrett stayed on me for about half the race but we just kept clicking off fast laps, even going faster than I qualified. I was just racing my pit board, stretching the gap out, leading every lap, and bringing the win home by 5.5 seconds.

Race two: After Saturday, I didn’t know what to expect. It always seems like everyone is faster on Sunday, having a night to think about setup and the race. I knew Sunday morning warm-up was going to be very important. Mike put on our lucky warm-up tires, and I went to work. I wanted to beat Cameron Beaubier’s lap record so bad, but I missed it by 0.2 seconds but we were 0.3 faster than we qualified and had a second over second place. Our plan for race two was the same as Race 1: Get the holeshot and go! That’s what we did, but this time every lap we were pulling a second bigger gap every lap. I was pushing as hard as I could and just relying on my pit board to let me know how the race was going. We were able to win both races at Miller, making that my second double of the year! It was an amazing feeling.

We still have four races to go this year. Anything can happen, but I’m looking forward to it. Now, I’m on my way to watch the sport that got me started. Driving my van to a dirt track is what I love. The only thing that is funny to me is instead of some dirt trackers loaded up race-ready, I’ve got two road bicycles loaded up for Hayden and me to ride before the races on Saturday. Some things in life will change but old habits die hard. See ya at a dirt-track race.