Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The weekend started off with a 10 hour drive on Wednesday night. I slept through most of it. (THANK YOU, DAD) We arrived at the track on Thursday morning. They would not let us have the RIG in the pits so we had to bring our pit with us. We went into the speedway and dropped off all of our stuff. The USGPRU pits were set up behind the museum. HONDA had two semis there and tents for us. After dropping our stuff off we went over to lot 3 Paved to set up the RIG for the weekend.
Thursday at 5:00 pm we had a riders meeting and briefing of the weekend. Then a track walk with Kevin Schwantz (we cheated and road a bus). We all got to kiss the bricks and took a group picture with Kevin.
Friday was our busiest day, Practice, Qualifying 1 and Q2. For practice we decided to run D compound tires because that is what I like best on most tracks. I focused on just learning the track. I pulled off once just quick for my dad to check tire wear. The tires were not even wearing. Practice was good but I needed to pick up the pace. I was about 10 seconds off of the leaders. I knew I could go faster.
For Qualifying 1 my dad put on the B compound tires. I picked up the pace but was not happy with the tire selection. The bike was sliding around.
For Qualifying 2 we put the D compound tires back on. No issue with sliding, good grip. It was hot and the track had a ton of heat in it. I Qualified 16th. That put me ROW 5 second spot over. I always start out slow and get faster as the weekend goes on. I need to work on this. It will hurt me in the race to start this far back. I would just have to focus on getting the best start I can.
RACE DAY: Saturday Kevin Schwantz and Roger Lee Hayden came over to talk to all of the Moriwaki riders. We did not know that they were doing this. It was not on the schedule and no one told us. I missed it. I started out to go for a bike ride and was told I could not. So while the other Moriwaki riders were listening to Roger and Kevin I was out on a run. My dad talked to Kevin and let him know that I missed it and that I was going to be over for the RedBull Rookies Cup tryout in Europe. Kevin told my dad to bring me down to Roger Lee’s pit when I get there because he would like to meet me. After my run I showered and headed to the track for a fun day of racing. My dad told me what I had missed and I was bummed. Then he told me that Kevin wanted us to come down so he could meet me. My dad and I headed down to the garage area. We were standing out side of Roger Lee’s garage and could see Kevin was busy talking with the mechanic’s. Kevin saw us and motioned us in. We sat down in the chairs that you would see on TV when they are showing the riders in there pits. Kevin and I started to go over the track. The Moto2 guys left the garages to go out for Qualifying and it got too loud to talk so Kevin took us across to the HONDA semi. We went inside and finished the track review. I asked Kevin if he was going to be at the tryouts and he was not sure but did not think he was going to be there.
Race 1: I was a little nervous so I did not get the start I needed. We had decided to run the D compound tires because it was hot and 4:30 in the afternoon. The track had a ton of heat in it and was slippery. My Dunlop D compounds hooked up great. I had grip everywhere I needed it. I was in a battle the whole race. I had never been at a track that you drafted like this. You could really feel it. I learned and used the daft well, I thought. I ended up 13th and knew I could improve on it for Sunday. I got back to the pits and was selected for the holding area. My bike was impounded for 2 hrs. My dad was hoping to get the bike ready for Sunday’s race, but would have to wait. I talked over the race with Tony Peterson (one of our sponsors [ www.studio299.com , www.motoprimo.com] ). He was watching in the back section to help me. With my dad being on pit row he does not get to see much of the race. Tony and I talked about turn 7. Tony said I needed to go in a lot faster. That is were they are catching up to me. Then I pulled away again in 8 and 9. We talked a little more and my mom, brothers, Grandma, Grandpa and I headed back to the RIG. My dad and Tony stayed to work on the bike to get it ready for Sunday’s race. My brother, Mason, and I went with my Grandma and Grandpa De Keyrel to their hotel to swim. What an awesome day!
Race 2: Sunday morning I got up early and went for a run. Took a shower. Had one of my moms famous breakfast sandwiches ( bacon, egg, cheddar, ranch on a bagel) Than headed over to the track. My dad was already over there again working on the bikes. I told him I was going to the garage area and would be back. We were the first race of the day and I wanted to talk to Kevin Schwantz again about what Tony had said he saw before we raced. I found Kevin and he made time to talk with me. He said he was watching on the camera’s and that it was OK that they would catch me a little in 7 because I was making it up in 8 and 9. He boosted my confidence and cleared my head for the race. I walked back to gear up.
We were the first race of the day. My dad had told me that he thought we should try the B compound tires. He said it is early and the track does not have as much heat in it. I told him if that is what he thinks we should do that, but I told him I know I like the grip of the D compound tires. We decided to stick with the B’s. We started in the same spots as Saturday as to our Qualifying positions. I was hoping we would grip up as to our finish on Saturday.
The whistle blew and it was time to get to pre grid. We would move out to pre grid, put the warmers on and wait. I had my little brother, Mason, holding an umbrella to block the sun, a fan blowing on me and was drinking water to stay hydrated. Life was good. As the whistle blew every minute, we prepped to go on track. We entered in turn 9 and went to grid. The crews had to run or take the buses to meet us up at the Grid. My dad ran so he could get there early to put warmers on. (Thank You, dad)
We gridded back up and the count down began for the warm up lap. We had not been on track yet today. Our first lap would be the warm up lap. I wanted to work on my start and see how far up I could push through the field. Turn one was tight and every position counted. I learned that yesterday the hard way. The two minute board came out and my dad took the warmers off and said I LOVE YOU and have fun as he always does. The lights went out and we all took off. I got a great drive up through the field and was happy with the start. Now I just needed to do it again on the real start. I finished the lap and came back around to grid. We sat there about 20 seconds and the yellows had come out. All the crews came back out to put warmers on. I told my dad that Peter had gone down and was sitting in the race line. My dad asked if he was OK. I told him YA he was waving his hands. I started to focus on the race. The officials told us we would get one more warm up lap and that the race would be shortened by one lap. We waited about seven minutes is all and we were back out on the warm up lap again. I tired to get a good start up through the field again. We came back around to grid and the race was off. I got a great start up into 11th. There was a rider right in front of me and a pack behind me. We battled all race long. Coming down the front straight I would stay high and run in really deep. Two to three riders would draft by me at the end of the straight. I would run them in so deep that after they shot by I would cut down and have the perfect line for turn 1. They would all push out wide. This went on lap after lap. I did not know what position I was in. On the last lap I let Max Flinders by. Than I tucked in right behind him coming out of the last turn and drafted by him at the finish. I finished 10th. It was awesome!
I would like to thank all of my 2010 sponsors for even making it possible for me to do this race: First a big Thank you to Stacy at studio299 for getting the pit shirts done last minute, Cortech for getting my new custom suit to the track and my Grandpa for all the great pictures. Thank you to Tony for going with to help, my mom and dad for taking me and my little brother for all his help in the pits. Thank you to GOD, Motoprimo.net, Dunlop Tires, R-Tech Fuels, Studio299.com, CWS.net, Impact Armour, Ontrack4him.org, Chicken Hawk Tire Warmers, EVS, Momentumphoto.net, Praire Motorsports, Jeff Japs Motorworks, Composite 1, Shoei,nextmotochampion, Motul, 24Seven, Cortech, Tucker Rocky, Tony And Stacy Peterson, Grandma/Grandpa De Keyrel.
RIP Peter: 45 minutes after the race was over the officials told us that Peter had passed away in the crash. I know that when I get to heaven Peter will be standing just in side the gate saying come on, come on, where have you been, wait until you see this. Miss you Peter.