419 Racing

Race Report: Grattan Raceway – WERA

This past weekend, 419 RACING headed to Grattan Raceway in Belding, MI to kick off the 2013 racing season with WERA. After a long off season, everyone on the team was anxious to get on the track and expectations were high to achieve positive results. Owing to the fact that it was the first race and a lot of new changes had been made to the bikes in the off season there were a few question marks that needed to be answered when the green flag dropped.

The weekend officially started on Friday when #419 rider Justin “Jake” Maas went to the track a day early to participate in the Sportbike Track Time practice day. Weather was fantastic and the conditions were just right for Jake to dust off his machine for the first time this year. The first WERA event at Grattan was to be run counter clockwise direction and Jake did not have much experience with this configuration so the entire day needed to be productive. In typical Jake fashion, he was able to improve consistently throughout the sessions and learn what the bike had to offer.

Saturday was the first time on the track for #592 rider Jon Crawford and #728 rider Jerry Reeves. Both had an opportunity to practice in April on a cold Grattan track, but this was the first time either would be pushing their bikes at race speed this season. Two early morning practice sessions quickly brought Jon and Jerry up-to-speed and both were more than ready to race by the lunch break.

The format for Saturday was simple with just one race, but it would be a long one at 20 laps. When the green flag dropped it was a great battle throughout and the 419 RACING team represented well finishing 3rd (Jake), 4th (Jon) and 5th (Jerry) respectively. The long race gave everyone the opportunity to sort out a few things physically and with their machines before the “real” races took place on Sunday.

Sunday was a busy schedule for all as each rider was participating in three sprint (8 lap) races throughout the day. The first team member to hit the track was Jon in the Heavyweight Twin Superbike (HWTSB) class. This is not a typical class to see small displacement SV650 bikes, but the agile and light design still leave them somewhat competitive against the large twin engine machines. The race went well as Jon was able to get a great start off the line and kept a solid pace to finish 3rd overall.

The next race of the weekend was the Formula 2 (F2) race which included all three riders from the team. From start-to-finish the 419 RACING crew battled for the last spot on the podium. Each pushing each other to the true limits, it was by far one of the best races for the spectators to watch throughout the weekend. With a late-race pass Jake was able to barely hold on to the 3rd spot with Jerry in 4th by only a .03 second margin! Jon finished very close behind in 5th. From the sidelines, it was shocking how close all three riders were able to ride the entire race.

Lightweight Twin Super Stock (LWTSS) was the next on the schedule and would include only Jake and Jerry. Superbikes and 2-strokes were not allowed to participate in this race, so it was predicted that a 1-2 epic battle would take place between the two 419 RACING riders. Again, a terrific race from start to finish, but the well-deserved win went to Jake. With lapped traffic getting in the mix on the last lap, Jerry finished not far behind in second place.

The final race for the team was the Lightweight Twin Superbike (LWTSB) race. All three riders participated and once again, the fans were provided with a great show. Off the start, Jerry and Jon had great launches and got away with the front pack. Showing his experience in the expert class Jerry managed to run a flawless race and finished second. Jake caught and passed Jon half way through the race to take the last podium spot.

Overall the weekend went extremely smooth and everyone really enjoyed the close racing. It was great to see all the friends and family at the track showing their support. The next WERA North Central round will be in July at Mid-OH for the Vintage Motorcycle Days. The team encourages anyone that hasn’t been to this event to come out and take in the sights and sounds.

419 RACING would like to extend a huge thanks to all of the sponsors that made the first race weekend a success. From the off season rebuilds, to the on track performance we could not have done it without support from the following: Autolite, Fram, Jazz Motorsports, Spears Racing, Vortex, Motion Pro, Pit Bull, Galfer, ARP Customz, Dynamite Designs, Amsoil, KG Clutch Factory, Bridgestone and Sportbike Tire Service.

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