419 Racing

Race Report: Nelson Ledges Road Course – WERA

The August heat and dry weather made for a fantastic weekend of racing as the 419 RACING members made the short (3 hour) trip to Nelson Ledges Road Course in Garrettsville, OH for the 4th round of WERA racing this season. Nelson Ledges is a familiar track for the team and always lends to some exciting racing action. #592 rider Jon Crawford and #419 rider Justin “Jake” Maas traveled to the track Thursday night to spend Friday participating in the open practice. Suspension issues during the weekend at Grattan left both riders looking for extra time to “sort things out” before the racing commenced on Saturday.

Damp conditions Friday morning cleared quickly as the sun came out mid-morning and made for great conditions during the entire practice day. Suspension is something difficult to test at a track like Nelson Ledges, as the surface is far from smooth. Nevertheless, Jon and Jake were able to get a good feel from each bike and spend most of the day focusing on race lines. Fuel delivery issues would plague the #592 bike during the afternoon and would later be diagnosed as a plugged fuel pump inlet.

Saturday’s schedule was slated for a single mini-endurance 20 lap race. Even though the race surface at Nelson Ledges is rough, the track layout allows the rider to get comfortable and “in a groove” early-on. Jake and Jon were able to get great starts as usual and improve on their lap times throughout the entire race. The 4th and 5th finishing positions were not what they desired, but a long session of race practice would benefit both during the Sunday sprints.

Sunday saw the arrival of the final team member #728 rider Jerry Reeves. The day would be filled with a typical sprint-race (8 lap) format. Each member of the team is in close-contention for North Central regional championships in their respective classes, so there was an added level of excitement as the races approached in the afternoon. First out on the track was Jon in the Heavy Weight Twin Superbike race, where he was able to run a smart race and battle to the front for his first win as an expert. Jerry and Jake had close battles for the podium spots as well and would continue to stay in the running for the championships in Formula 2, LWT SB and LWT SS. The following is a summary of the team’s results on Sunday:

Sunday Races:
Heavyweight Twins Superbike
#592 – Jon Crawford – 1st place

Lightweight Twins Superstock
#419 – Justin Maas – 2nd place
#728 – Jerry Reeves – 3rd place

Lightweight Twins Superbike
#419 – Justin Maas – 3rd place
#728 – Jerry Reeves – 4th place
#592 – Jon Crawford – 6th place

Formula 2
#419 – Justin Maas – 4th place
#592 – Jon Crawford – 5th place
#728 – Jerry Reeves – 6th place

The weekend of racing officially set the stage for an exciting finale in two weeks at Pittsburgh International Race Complex (PIRC). The weekend will be a double-header format again and could lend to a very exciting weekend to close out the regular season of racing. Jake and Jerry are in a close battle to capture the LWT SS championship, Jon is currently leading the points in HWT SB and the LWT SB / F2 championships are within a few point margin to current leader Joe Kraft from Witchkraft Racing in both classes. It’s been years since the North Central region has seen such a close points race in the lightweight class and the team is excited to be part of it. Here is how the points look going into the final round at PIRC:

1. Jake Maas – 112 points
2. Jerry Reeves – 101 points

1. Joe Kraft (Witchkraft Racing) – 117 points
2. Jerry Reeves – 109 Points
3. Jake Maas – 90 points

Formula 2
1. Joe Kraft – 106 points
2. Jake Maas – 99 points
3. Jerry Reeves – 97 points

A “non-racing” event during the weekend took place Saturday night as the 419 RACING hosted a BBQ for all racers in the paddock that were interested. The turnout was great, the bench racing was world class and the food wasn’t too bad either. Because of the first try success, 419 RACING will carry-on this new tradition at the future races and encourage everyone to feel free to attend.

419 RACING appreciates the support from fans, friends and family that were able to attend the activities throughout the weekend and as always, a big thanks goes to the sponsors that made another weekend of racing a big success: Autolite, Fram, Jazz Motorsports, Spears Racing, Vortex, Motion Pro, Pit Bull, Galfer, ARP Customz, Dynamite Designs, Amsoil, KG Clutch Factory and Sportbike Tire Service.

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