Another gorgeous 68deg. day greeted the AZOTMX gang at Canyon Raceway for the first of two Mark Anderson Memorial races. Maggie Kritcher had some really cool shirts made up with "In memory of #33" on front and a great Mark A jump shot provided by Cheryl Culbreath on the back. This is the same pic on his web page. Mark A Josh Butcher had some really cool stickers done, with proceeds from the shirts going to his family and the sticker fund going to Marks daughter Mandy. After practice ended we did a slow parade lap with his good friend JT riding Mark's bike. I must admit it was eerie to see #33 alongside me once again and I was hoping that I had finally awoken from this bad nightmare. We were instructed to pull up in front of the grandstand and who ever wanted to speak, could. This is the 3rd time I've done this and it hasn't gotten any easier. I thanked everyone for being there as well as my fellow OTer's, it was great to see everyone lined up in there blue jerseys, and I am very proud to be one of them. Cheryl was next and she did really well, until breaking down in the end. On to the racing; Local fast guy Doug "Airtime" Goodman decided to show up and give me fit's which he always does, as well as Canyon local Lenny Suppes and Howard "Sluggo" Dendy on his brand new 02YZ250. He'd been leaving messages on my phone during the week, basically saying my party is over! LOL. Gate dropped in the combined Masters/Expert/Amateur moto and I pulled a nice holeshot down the 5th gear start, funneling down into the tight 180-tree turn. I'm thinking "how cool is this, Mark's Memorial Race and here I am in the lead!" I must admit to having a little extra determination to not give it up as I could hear Sluggo yelling at me! The screaming two-strokes were pushing me hard and I was anticipating a red bike to come flying by me anytime. Didn't have to wait long and Doug tried tripling past me but didn't have enough of a drive and cased it hard, so I was able to keep him at bay, for now. These shenanigans went on for four more hairball laps, and I managed to pull off the win. Whew, that was a doozy! There were some interesting moments as we approached some lappers, I don't want to land on anyone, but I know if I shutoff for an instant Doug is going to fly by me. Second OT moto and Lenny pulled a sweet 3rd gear holeshot and I settled into second, but not for long. This time Doug successfully tripled past me and started attacking Lenny. I had a bird's eye view of this and thought with Doug's aggressive riding, that the two might tangle and I could get them both. Goodman launched off 'Suicide Hill' barely avoiding Suppes rear wheel, in the corner. Going up the next hill Doug grabs another big handful, which shot him into the outside of the turn. Gases it again doing his best speedway impression, and I'm thinking, "damn I missed an opportunity and Doug sure does want this win!" Now we are going down the 5th gear downhill and he's pegged again going into the slippery corner on the outside bar to bar with Suppes, and passed for the lead! Whew, if I want this win, I'm going to have to give 110%! Made my move into second and gave everything I had to stay glued to Doug's rock spraying rear wheel. As we were jamming down the 4th gear start sweeper, Doug drifted just a little wide and I knew I'd better "do it now!" Grabbed a handful and stuck the big ol 426 on the inside, he tried to get it back but I shut the door. Now all I had to do was keep this madman behind me for ¾'s of a lap, this is no easy feat, trust me on this one. He tried one last ditch effort, but overshot the turn and I hung on for the win. As we rolled off the track, I turned around and shook hands with Doug just like Mark and I always did. That was for you Brother and I know he was smiling down on me. This race story is already long winded, so I will be brief now. In my Vet Int moto's I worked my ass off against 10 aggressive riders and managed a 2-3 for 3rd OA. Doug won the last moto, but I got him three out of four, so all in all it was a good day. The next Mark A Memorial race is this Sat at SpeedWorld, hope to see my fellow Zonies there!