AMA Fontana

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AMA Fontana

Post by H8R on Tue Mar 30 2010, 17:35

As soon as I get a chance I got a bunch of stuff to write about the race last weekend. It ended up well for us...

Later today I will fill in the info....I just had to put this up so it would force me to write it. Very Happy
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Re: AMA Fontana

Post by gueuzeman on Wed Mar 31 2010, 13:59

Saw a picture yesterday from the pits with your "crew". Nice.

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Re: AMA Fontana

Post by H8R on Fri Apr 02 2010, 01:50

Here it is....sorry it took so long..

Breakfast with Kevin Schwantz and ramblings about Sat. Fontana.


Let me start by saying that I have been very vocal in my unhappiness with things in the AMA. I felt on so many levels the sport I love was being herded like a bunch of lemmings off a cliff and into something it wasn't. Yes I know growth was needed, skeletons needed to be cleaned out of the closets and a fresh coat of paint was intended to brighten up the series. I'm not going to rehash and reignite the past.

What I am going to do is tell you what my Saturday was like at Fontana.

My wife picked the hotel we stayed at. It was really nice. Way too nice for an ex-racer like me who would normally have preferred to sleep in a Van or toyhauler at the track. It might have been my first good nights sleep at a race that wasn't caused by exhaustion. Since I wasn't racing or working in the pits, only spectating we slept in and decided on a leisurely breakfast in the cafe downstairs.

When we got downstairs... Kevin Schwantz, and Blake Young were eating breakfast. I of course....froze like a teenage girl who was surprised to find that the restaurant she walked into contained the Jonas brothers. Next, I thanked my wife for her great taste in Hotels. I figured Blake and Kevin were working on strategy or whatever so I had the common sense to leave them alone. I even resisted the urge as they were leaving to steal Kevin's napkin and send it to CSi for DNA analysis. I mean that was Kevin Schwantz. Kevin frickin' Schwantz!!

In that moment at breakfast lies the entirety of my experience on Saturday…Old and new in a new building making plans to succeed.

We arrived at the track and bought our tickets at the window. It was amazing to me that I was willing to buy tickets, travel to the track, and get a hotel and everything else after the last couple of years. So I forked over the cash for the tickets and returned to pushing my son's stroller. The wind was unbearable with gusts making forward movement difficult at times. We came through the tunnel into the infield and I was greeted by the sound of Supermoto's racing on an improvised circuit with a few dirt jumps. We stopped and watched for a bit then continued our journey towards the garages.

The announcer let us know that due to the wind they had placed a hold on the event. It just wasn't safe. A bit later I talked to an AMA official who said Danny Eslick went out and came back in and basically said it wasn't safe.

*Shock!*

The AMA listened to the racers. I couldn't believe it, and was stoked. If Danny Eslick says it's not safe...you know it's not safe...but even bigger to me was that AMA listened.

Since there wasn't any racing going on I expected my fellow Californians to do the usual thing and bail. Unlike many places, in the greater Los Angeles area there is more things to do in a single day then other places have all year.

*I didn't notice people leaving!*

There were crowds in front of the Factory Yamaha pits and all the big teams. The new BMW sitting in front of the ESP garage was big draw as well.


*Other thoughts*

I went from pit to pit talking to friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. Jason Parker and LTD guys were having fun and looked every bit as top notch as there finishes have been. The ESP guys handled the fuel issue with pure professionalism and prepared themselves for the start. My buddy James Romero was pitting in the ESP garages and using their expertise in attempting to qualify for the Superbike race after a 7-8 year break from racing. The bug got to James last year and decided it was time to race again. He has been doing quite well club racing and getting himself up to speed. James had a big highside last weekend at a club race which tore up his 09 GSX-R1000, so he decided to try and qualify on his 06 GSX-R1K. James had a hugely swollen cartoon hand from the crash, and when the AMA cancelled the second qualifying session due to the wind it looked like James was out. It would’ve been shame since he has had only a short time on track and in 2nd qualifying James thinks he had a shot in making the cut. The AMA officials were excellent and gave James a chance in the 15 minute warm-up to try and make the cut. James was just a couple of seconds off the pace to make the grid … but I can say he was very pleased that they went out of their way to give him the shot.

Everywhere I went it felt like the teams and the AMA officials knew they were in this together. Their symbiotic relationship was very clear. It seems to me at this juncture that the racers, teams, sanctioning body and officials have blended some of the good old days, and new attitudes and are making positives steps.

We had a great time. My wife asked me as we left the track when we were going to another AMA race. Let’s see…Great racing, things to keep me interested when the racing isn’t on. A very open atmosphere in the pits, and intelligent officiating that was good enough that you wouldn’t notice it if you aren’t as jaded as me. Add up the point’s boys…that right there gives you a solid “B”.

Get the rest of the factory teams back and the AMA will be well on to their way towards earning an “A”

Oh….and if any of you want to know about the races….go buy a ticket. It’s well worth the price of admission.
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Re: AMA Fontana

Post by gueuzeman on Fri Apr 02 2010, 03:03

Author! Author! Smile


Seriously, sounds like a great time. Nice to hear like they're getting their head's out of their asses. Especially coming from a jaded cynic like you.

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Re: AMA Fontana

Post by Henrik on Wed Apr 07 2010, 07:56

Interesting read. I had no idea you went just as a spectator.

This does sound promising though.

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Re: AMA Fontana

Post by H8R on Wed Apr 07 2010, 07:59

Henrik wrote:Interesting read. I had no idea you went just as a spectator.

This does sound promising though.

Yep. AMA is a spec series...and I work for Pirelli and Michelin....not Dunlop.

I really hope it is promising...we had a great time...and the racing was awesome.
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