2014 Season Recap
This past year was without a doubt the hardest year I’ve had since I started racing. This past year was also, without a doubt my most successful season to date! I would first like to apologize for my lack of formal updates and recaps. There were multiple occasions this past year in which I worked every night till 3 or 4 in the morning in my garage the week of a race. But, as the saying goes, “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”
If you were following my “Making of a Knightmare” article series here on Dragbike.com, you are probably wondering what in the hell happened to that project. Well, my wheelie bar bike project is still very much alive and finally back moving forward at a steady place. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and THANKS to all my great sponsors who became a part of that project. Although this project started a week after the last race in 2013, as most people who have built bikes from the ground up know, it’s NEVER as easy as you think and it ALWAYS takes longer than you think. So due to many different reasons and mainly to not rush the project it was temporarily pushed to the back burner about a third of the way into the 2014 season.
The first part of my season was rough… I really can’t think of a different way to describe it. I started off the year without any of my own personal bikes ready to race. Thanks to some great friends, I was loaned competitive bikes for the first three races just so I could race. So I can’t thank Doug Gall, Tracy & Luke Slemker, and Dustin Lee enough for their support and friendship. During this time, Marion Ford also decided to give up the seat of his MIROCK Championship winning bike so that I would have a competitive ride for the 5.60 Index class all year (with my bar bike not being completed). I am seriously fortunate to be surrounded by such great people.
The first few races went better than one could expect when you’re racing on borrowed bikes that you’re not familiar with. I surprised even myself by making it to a few semi and quarter final appearances. But the most notable thing out of the first third of the year was having to completely re wire and de-bug my main bike the week before the NHDRO season opener. The reason this was so important is because we would be finishing up the Street Fighter Championship from the year before (postponed due to rain out) that I was leading at the time. I probably slept 8 hours all week, but I showed up, my bike ran, and I was able to secure the 2013 NHDRO Street Fighter Championship. Funny enough, I also managed to go to both Street ET finals for the season opener on a bike that would barely run just days before. So it’s safe to say the NHDRO season opener was a turning point for me in 2014.
I guess you could say the next few races went pretty smoothly, with some great racing and final round appearances. But apparently I didn’t “knock on wood”, because just when I thought things were going well my bike developed a cool feature where it would randomly lose all power down track for a few seconds, before seemingly coming “back to life” out of nowhere. So here I was again chasing bike issues, all the while trying to maintain my point’s standings in 3 different series and also maintain my lead in the national points standing.
Before this turns into a three part season recap I’ll spare you the details on the issue and races I struggled with it. All in all I ran 5 races with this “issue”, which no doubt cost me multiple round wins and a lot of grey hair. I finally found the problem and got it fixed in September and set out to finish the season strong.
I went into the season finale of the NHDRO series with a strong lead in Street ET and a very slim lead in Super Comp. However the prior event was rained out before eliminations were completed and after they finished out the makeup race on Saturday evening I found myself one round out of first in Super Comp. I did my best to take the lead back, but ended up losing the Super Comp championship by one round and at the same time lost the potential of 4 very valuable Dragbike.com BAMF points for the national championship. However the weekend wasn’t a total loss as I won the Crazy 8’s race and also secured the NHDRO Street ET championship.
As the season came winding down I did my best to secure some more points in the inaugural Dragbike.com BAMF race and even went to Tulsa, OK to race a PMRA event in an attempt to gain some points. I entered my final race of the year at the MIROCK World Finals in Rockingham with an outside chance of the 5.60 Index championship which would gain me 4 points. It was a hard fought battle but I once again fell exactly one round short of that championship, but finished a very respectable second place in a very tough class. I have to thank Marion and Donna at The FBR Shop for putting me on a championship bike and supporting me all year, without them I wouldn’t have even been in the 5.60 picture. I lost the BAMF lead at the conclusion of the race and my 2014 season had come to an end.
Although a mere two rounds would have gained me two more championships I still had an unbelievable year. I went to 17 races that were all sanctioned events (NHDRO, MIROCK, PMRA, & Man Cup) and I made it to 16 final rounds. I won another championship, had two runner-ups in points, and countless top 10 finishes. I can only imagine how the season would have been if it had been trouble free (for the most part) and I can’t wait for 2015.
Thank you to my family, friends, and all my sponsors/supporters; McIntosh Machine & Fabrication, Montgomery Motorsports, Brock’s Performance, Dragbike.com, Alisyn Lubricants, WorldWide Bearings, Vanson Leathers, Schnitz Racing, Quantum Motorsports, HTP Performance, FoxFire Coatings, Hays Machine Works, The FBR Shop, MPS, Knight Communications Inc., Fun For All Motorsports, Pro-Coat Custom Powder Coating.