Andy takes on Del Mar

 

IV LEAGUE FLAT TRACK AT DEL MAR,
January 28th and 29th

By Andy DiBrino

Man oh man, Del Mar was so much fun! IV League Flat Track put on an amazing event both days! I made the 1,050 mile trip Thursday and Friday prior, grabbing my girlfriend Tara along the way. This was my first trek with the Sprinter van my Dad and I just got, and it did the trick. I packed 3 race bikes, and 2 street bikes in it for a fun-filled weekend.

We pulled into the Del Mar Fairgrounds Friday night after enjoying our 5 hour journey from Fresno, where Tara lives. Along the way we stopped at Superlite Sprockets in Huntington Beach, a sponsor of mine, who hooked me up with some new sprockets! We also went to the pier there, and did a little shopping on the beach.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, staying in the low 70s, but cooling into the 40s at night. I wore a tee shirt and shorts all weekend! See See Motorcycles and Coffee sent me down with some swag, and Tara and I ran a vendor booth all weekend selling shirts, hats, beanies, cozies, and handing out stickers. We camped out in the van, and had a blast!

Tara has never raced before, up until Del Mar where she did for her first time. She rode my Honda XR100, winning her heat race, and getting 5th in the main event out of 11 women on Saturday! Not bad.

I entered the Hooligan class, which had over 50 entries! I also entered the Pro class. In the heat races, I won my Hooligan heat, and got 3rd in my Pro heat which gave me a direct transfer to the main events. The pro talent down there was world class, and there was about 50 entries in that class as well. I was very proud to get a direct transfer into the main event, and I was battling for the lead in it too.

Unfortunately the race program ran late into the night, and they were short on time. Noise limits were being surpassed, and the event was in jeopardy of being shut down. The Pro main event got cut to about 4 laps, which wasn’t near enough time to get settled in. I did pretty well though considering. The Hooligan main event didn’t even run which was a big bummer!

Sunday was another beautiful day. Once again I won my Hooligan heat race. I was feeling FAST. In my Pro heat race, I was battling for a transfer spot and took a spill. I ended up not running the Semi or Last Chance Qualifier, since those were right before the Hooligan main event. I drove down mainly to contest the Hooligan class, so I wisely sat out and saved myself for the Hooligan main event, which I won! I got a decent start, patiently waited to pass, and took home a comfortable win. I also ran another class called Unclassified, which is open to any bike and skill level. I got the holeshot, and had a battle for 1st the whole race, finishing 2nd in the end.

Overall it was a perfect weekend for me. I met all of my goals, enjoyed watching Tara do well at her first race, and was pretty successful selling some merchandise for See See. I got to see a lot of friends, and meet new ones!

After the races, we packed up, and stayed the night in San Diego. The next morning, I got to visit another sponsor down there, Ride 100 Percent. They mainly make motocross goggles. It was a neat visit!

The 2,100 mile journey was great. I’m very thankful I was able to do it with the help of my great sponsors.

-Andy

 

 

 

Andy Wins at Salem Speedway’s January Double-header

Photos courtesy of Tom Stein, Northwest Track Shots

Over the 14th and 15th, I went out to Salem Speedway in Salem, Oregon, for some flat track racing action! The track is at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in an indoor agriculture building. I’ve been racing in this building for almost 17 years! When I was really young, my Dad took me out there to race Arenacross.

I’ve raced flat track at Salem a lot, so I knew what to expect, which was a heap of fast local pro’s. The Pacific Northwest is a hot bed for flat track racing talent, which has surely rubbed off on me.

There are two classes a pro can race: 450 Expert and Open Expert. Obviously in 450 Expert, a 450cc motorcycle is the maximum displacement. Open Expert is open, but everyone just runs a 450 and its a second class to race!

I did well in the heat races, and made the Dash for Cash (4 riders, 4 laps, winner takes all) in both classes. I got two 2nd place finishes and had the speed to win, but unfortunately the winner jumped the start and race direction didn’t enforce it. One of the races was clean, and of course that one I butchered the start, and slid into second on the last lap. They did enforce jump starts in the main after multiple people complained.

First main event up was 450 Expert, which is the video I posted. This was the 2nd or 3rd restart. One was for a jumped start, and the second was for a downed rider. I got the holeshot, and was able to pull out a gap on the field. It was about 27 degrees out, so the track was slick! I made sure to not over-ride the bike, and not make any mistakes. I executed the race perfectly and took home my first win of the season!

Second race was Open Expert. Once again I got the holeshot, and was able to lead about half of the race until I made a mistake. I got out wide in the corner where it was dusty, and lost a lot of momentum which allowed me to be passed. One little mistake, and I went from 1st to 3rd in an instant! I had fast guys chomping at the bit behind me for that last cash paying spot, so I was pleased to hold them off for 3rd and take home some more money!

Sundays races were great too. Austin Helmholz, a local pro who has competed in AMA Pro Flat Track a bit the last few years was on fire. We battled in a heat race, and both Dash for Cash races. He was able to edge me out, I think he had his bike working a little better. The first main event, 450 Expert, he got the holeshot and I followed. We pulled away considerably from everyone else. But he had me covered and I took 2nd.

In the last race of the weekend, Open Expert, I was more aggressive and learned from the first main event. I got the holeshot, and held my ground. It took until I bobbled coming out of turn 2 for Austin to get a drive to try to pass into turn 3. I saw Austin was coming in hot, and gave him room. I immediately squared the turn off, preparing to get the drive on him to pass right back. He slid in hot, and got out into the dust and ended up crashing. I narrowly missed him. After that, I cruised on home to another win. Not the way you want to win, but I’ll take it!

I came out of the weekend $360 richer! Not exactly something to brag about; but to get to go out and race cool people whiling having fun, AND get paid, that’s pretty sweet. That was a great weekend in my book. Even if temperatures were in the twenty’s the whole time!

-Andy