This Father’s Day weekend I went down to Willow Springs for my first time for a WERA West race. I had a track day Friday and by my third session I felt I had learned most of the lines of the track. The track is very fast with not a lot of turns which made it pretty easy to learn. By the middle of the day I got down to a 1:27 but I was still struggling with turns 3 and 4. I couldn’t figure out the line and how much speed I could take through 4. I kind of hit a wall and never got any faster than a 1:27 by the end of the day. I was a little bit bummed that I didn’t get any faster but I was on the same tires all day which made it harder to go faster.
On Saturday morning I had four practice sessions. In my first session I got to follow Jeremy Toye for a few laps and already ran a faster time than I did Friday. I ran a low 1:26 in practice and I knew I would get faster in the 20 lap solo middleweight race. In the 20 lap solo race I started on the front row and got the hole shot. I tried to get away from the pack as fast as I could. On the second lap the race was red flagged. On the restart I got the hole shot again and this time I got away faster. I had been having problems all weekend with tires not lasting very long on the right side, so we decided to run a slick for the 20 lap race and it held up a lot better. I ran consistent lap times throughout the whole race. I had my fastest lap of the race on lap 10, a 1:25.7. I led the entire race and won by 40 seconds! I felt really good that I did such consistent laps and was happy I could do a 1:25 pretty much whenever I wanted.
On Sunday morning I had 4 more practice sessions. I felt good in practice and I was ready to race. My first race was the 600 Superbike Expert race. I started on pole and got the hole shot. I tried to get away from the pack as fast as I could because I knew there were fast guys that knew the track well that were coming for me! On the second lap Bryce Prince got around me and on the third lap I tried going deep into turn 1 to make sure I could keep up with him and I ended up catching a false neutral when I was down shifting and went off the track. I got back on the track in about 10th position. I made it back up to 6th place by the end of the six lap race. I was a little bit bummed because I knew I could do well in the race. I was still happy that I got down to a 1:24.4 which was the 2nd fastest time of the race.
My next race was the 750 Superbike Expert race. I started on the inside of the 4th row, in 9th position. I almost got the hole shot but the 3 riders on the front row beat me into turn 1. On the second lap going into turn 3 I made the pass for 3rd. In the same spot on lap three I made the pass for 2nd and was catching up to Bryce Prince in first. At the end of that lap going into turn 9 I got in there a little too deep. I think I must have panicked when I got close to the edge of the track and pulled the front brake with too much lean angle, causing me to tuck the front at about 140 mph! I tumbled into the dirt and ended up breaking my wrist! I got up quickly and I immediately knew that my wrist was broken. I went to the ER in Bakersfield to be stabilized but there was about a 3 hour wait there. Jason Pridmore contacted Dr. Ting for me and instead of waiting in Bakersfield, we just drove to his office in Fremont. Dr. Ting is one of the best sports doctors and I was grateful that Jason was able to get me in to him. He numbed my arm and moved it back into place where it was broken at the growth plate. I would like to thank Dr. Ting for a painless procedure! He says I will be back racing in about 3-6 weeks.
I would like to thank all my sponsors for helping me out this year: My mom and dad, Mike Pascarella, Jason Pridmore’s STAR School, the Jon Block Group, CT Racing, Motorex, Regina, FMF, Cycle Gear, AGV, Dainese, Arnette, Pacific Track Time, EDR, Chicken Hawk tire warmers!
Tucker Lancaster #84