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Middletown Cycle Racing #612 #612 Rob Hancock

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Old 09-28-2010   #1
RJH_5150
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Nelson Ledges September 25-26

What a long weekend. Well it seemed to me anyway. The anticipation of Sundayís results was driving me crazy all weekend. This seemed to make things drag out more that it should. Jeff and I get to the track late Thursday evening and were able to claim a good pit spot. It was not like we had to fight for it since there were only five or six other vehicles in the paddock. We actually wondered if we were a day early. Friday morning we expected more people to show up and it just didnít happen. Because of that the track and Jim (Sublet) separated everyone into two groups to give us a lot of track time. Thanks Jim! That would have been great except for someone oiling the track down right before lunch and in the afternoon we got some real heavy winds (50+ mph). Most of us called it quits around two. Especially after someone got blown off the track and had to get transported. At least we had a chance to work on a few things and get up to speed.

Saturday we woke up to some chilly air. After I registered and took my bike through tech I went in to my parentís camper and hung out for a while. I didnít feel bad about skipping the first round because Jim gave us three rounds of practice due to the bad turn out. But once again practice was spoiled by another blown motor that oiled down the whole back straight. I think we finally got to the grid for our first race around two. All five of us lined up for the solo and they threw the flag. I launched my bike so hard from the second row that I beat everyone into turn one. Sam (Gaige), Jeff and Dave (Grey) got around me before the carousel but I didnít care. It was fun to surprise them like that. Other than the bug that splattered the whole right side of my helmet (on the forth lap) it was a pretty uneventful 20 laps. By the time I got back to the pits I had vertigo so bad I wanted to puke. That bug really screwed up my depth perception. A little later Jeff ran the heavyweight solo and I grabbed dadís four-wheeler so I could watch him and Sam battling from a bunch of different corners. It was fun to watch. I just wish there was a few more people out there. Jeff got second in both of his solos.

I could hardly sleep Saturday night. All I could think about was my third race on Sunday. I had to finish sixth or better to win the championship. I kept trying to think of who might have signed up in that class and if I could beat them or not. Then I was wondering how hard I should ride. ďShould I take any chances? Should I do this or that?Ē Man I was screwed up. I finally got to sleep and was woken up bright and early by the normal sounds of the paddock shuffling around. Time to get up.

We didnít take anything down the night before so there wasnít much to do after I ate breakfast. That made for a really long wait for practice to start. I ran a couple of sessions to get the feel of things and spent the rest of the morning getting the bike ready. I think I tripled checked every bolt and nut I took off my bike when I changed the tires. That was all I needed was something bad to happen because of a loose bolt. During all my hustling I noticed that Jeff got my grids for me and had already taped them to my tank. I yelled through our pit ďThanks man! Did you see how many people were in my third race?Ē He just shrugged. Damn, I still didnít know how many people were in my race yet. While I was waiting on Quentin to mount my front tire I ran over to where the grids were posted. To my surprise there were only five people in my race. ďAs long as I donít fall over I got this.Ē I met Gene (Burcham) over there and we both were in disbelief that there werenít enough people in the grid to stir the championship up any. He saw no point and opted to sit out that race to save his equipment for next year.

Race one all four of us lined up on the grid. Before they threw the flag we were all looking around in disbelief. Wow, I had Sam, Jeff and Dave to race against. They all run faster than me so I didnít see much of a point to push too hard. We all launch and I back out of the throttle so I didnít get in middle of Jeff and Daveís battle. I wish I could have stayed with them just so I could watch them go at it. Sam won but the big story was that Dave got Jeff by eight hundredths of a second. Unfortunately that cost Jeff the championship in that class by one point.

Race two I was surprised to see that there were five bikes on the grid. ďOne more, alright, itís a party now.Ē I rode a little harder but still took it easy because I wanted to make sure I made it to the grid on my next race. Jeff finished closer to Sam and was able to fight off Dave this time. Unfortunately there wasnít anyone in between them and didnít get enough points to change anything.

Finally, the race I have been waiting on all weekend was here. Gene was true to his word and wished us all good luck before we took our warm up lap. Sam fried his clutch in a previous race and didnít make it to the grid either. So I had the front row all to myself with Allan (Pett) and John (Peters) right behind me. We launch and I lead everyone all the way through the carousel. John gets an incredible drive on to the back straight and shoots by me. I tried to twist the throttle a little more but it wouldnít go any further. I wanted to catch him so bad but he rode a great race and I wasnít able to stay with him. I finished second and won the championship. Hell yeah!

There were all kinds of things going on in my last race. On the third lap Samís bike had a major oil leak and had to pull off. It was smoking so bad I thought he blew a motor. Later on I tried to stay out of Jakeís (Arch) way so he could try and win his race and keep Mike (Cerone) behind me at the same time. Jake hit a false neutral into turn one and we about hit. Then I picked up the pace when I noticed how close Mike was and I about hit him again out of four. I ultimately held of Mike and got third. I am so glad all that didnít happen earlier because I would have freaked out. Jeff won that race but really needed someone between him and Dave for the championship.

All in all it was a great weekend. Jeff and I both won a championship and we got to come home in one piece. What a great year. I canít thank the Witchkraft team enough for all their help this year (even though my bike was yellow ). We all had a lot of fun and I learn a lot. I am looking forward to next year and working closer with you guys.

I could not have done this without my sponsors.
Middletown Cycle Ė Thanks Aaron! You guys have been great. You always came through when I needed parts.
Cinema Concepts - Stew, you are awesome. I canít thank you enough for helping me out with tires.
Worldwide Bearings - Hell yeah Dave! I had the best rolling bike in the paddock.
35 Motorsports - Rueben you built me one hell of a motor. Thank you for all your help and advice.
Spider Grips - Hey Becca! I love those Grips!
NKY Signs - Thanks Dave! My bike always looked good.
Cycle Options - Thanks for all the laps Kenny. Your trackdays always gets me up to speed every year.
Sharkskinz - Did I mention mike bike looks great?
Newtown Feed & Supply - Thanks Chase for helping out with my dog food and listening to all my crazy race stories.
Localriders.com - Special thanks to Dave and Mike for getting me started in all of this and giving me a place to share my experiences.
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Old 09-28-2010   #2
Dave Bannister
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Re: Nelson Ledges September 25-26

Congrats to Both you and Jeff for finishing on top and all the race reports I've enjoyed reading all of them!!
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Old 09-28-2010   #3
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Re: Nelson Ledges September 25-26

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Bannister View Post
Congrats to Both you and Jeff for finishing on top and all the race reports I've enjoyed reading all of them!!

+1 ..... I have enjoyed reading your race weekend reports all year long! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations to you both.
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Old 09-28-2010   #4
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Re: Nelson Ledges September 25-26

High 5 Robster!! Still thinking about giving up racing??
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Old 09-28-2010   #5
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Re: Nelson Ledges September 25-26

Congrats guys! The 1st cold on is on me this weekend
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Old 09-28-2010   #6
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Re: Nelson Ledges September 25-26

Congrats Rob & thanks for the reports that let us street riders armchair race along with ya!
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Old 09-30-2010   #7
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Re: Nelson Ledges September 25-26

Rob, great to hear!!
I'm all wound up myself waiting to see who's signed up in my class for Barber. I've got a shot at a regional championship and second overall in the nation. Here it is 12:20Am and I'm just now coming up out of my shop. New forks and trees plus an appointment with Racetech on Thursday afternoon (next week). I'm really hoping that'll get this old bike to turn!
Thanks for the reports.
Congrats to you and Jeff.
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Old 09-30-2010   #8
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Re: Nelson Ledges September 25-26

Here are some action shots of Mr. Hancock from this past weekend.

Coming out of carousel:


Turn 4


Turn 13


Hi Rob!
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Old 09-30-2010   #9
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Re: Nelson Ledges September 25-26

Great job Rob! What about Fast Eddie Tire Shop . I'm waiting to watch you on Speed in the AMA
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Old 09-30-2010   #10
RJH_5150
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Re: Nelson Ledges September 25-26

I didn't want to mention you because I was afraid you would remember that I still owe you a case of beer.

In all seriousness. You sure helped me through some tough times this year. I can't thank you enough.
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Old 09-30-2010   #11
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Re: Nelson Ledges September 25-26

Congrats!
Thanks for the reports!
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