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My Nashville Experience (long)

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Well fella's. I haven't done one of these for awhile since I haven't been racing, but since I'm wrenching for Darryl Atkins, I thought I'd share the experience with anyone who's interested, so here goes. Sorry if it gets too long. :awww:

Got to the Track Friday afternoon and was stoked to see all the usual suspects- Motogreg, Trachy357, SMR Scott and his lady, etc. Finally got to meet RAD which was cool also. Didn't know Tryce was there or I would have made an effort to look you up brother. Anyway, we checked out the track and I thought it looked pretty cool except for the dirt section was built all wrong and didn't have any real obstacles on it, and it looked like it might be tough to pass on.

I got busy on the bike- which was pretty much done but I had a couple issues to work out. My number one SM bro MotoGreg was there to help out which made the whole deal cool. A big thanks to Josh Chisum and the boys at Joker Machine for lugging our stuff out there. Everything went smooth till we got to the clutch. The pressure plate nut on the STM slipper clutch was ridiculously tight!!(I didn't install it) Thank God for Pancho at the TLD team for letting me use his impact to break it loose. Once the bike was all done we headed over to the Cracker Barrel restaurant, which in my opinion is some damn good eats!

We get the track Sat morning and I told Darryl to take the bike out and just feel everything out- the breaks, clutch, etc. He comes back and there is a little panic as the bike won't run very good at low RPM- yikes. So one Chinese fire drill later and the carb is flushed and she's purring like a lion again. I don't know exactly what the problem was- I'm guessing some condensation in our fuel or carb from the long haul from Cali. , or maybe and issue with the vortex ignition- any guesses? Darryl heads out for practice and everything goes really good. The bike is working good- he gets the 2nd fastest time behind Kunzel, which puts him on the pole for the second heat. The only bad thing was he was hoping for a more technical dirt section to help make up for the lack of HP. Oh well- gotta run what they build.

The heat starts and Darryl got a bad jump and comes out 3rd. He settles in the first lap with Dymond first and Bagnis second. Mickey started to get a little gap and I can see Darryl staring to get impatient. He was trying to hard and actually fell back a couple bike lengths. About the fifth lap he settled down and got right on Pucho's back tire but couldn't get around. He ended up third and was mad at himself for not riding better which put him on the second row for the main. Our only consolation was the bike was working good and he had the fastest lap of the heat by 1/2 second.

At this point we had a big break- about 6 hours- so I freshened up the bike and put a new clutch in it as it was starting to get grabby because the plates were getting warped- basically a way of life with KTM's. I get the bike all done and I told Darryl to take it for a spin just to shake everything down and make sure it's cool. Ten minutes later he comes rolling back up to the truck with the help of a guy on a scooter. He practiced a start and it fried the clutch! Damn! So I throw the bike on it's side and start working. I was worried that something broke as there is no reason 1 practice start should kill the clutch. Once I got the clutch apart, which was a nightmare since everything was smoking hot, the steel plates were totally smoked! I grabbed another set of plates and through them in. I tried to add and extra steel plate to get more clutch spring pressure but it was making the clutch feel funny at the lever so we ended up with the stock setup. I buttoned that [@#$%&*!] up and told Darryl to go check it out but no practice starts this time. This time he reports everything is fine.

We head to the line and everything was looking good, he does his first warm up and takes his spot in the grid. After the rider intros the tell everyone to fire there bikes up and take there warm up lap. Next thing I know Darryl is flagging me over to start his bike! I run over and start kicking but the thing wont light! The AMA then tells me to push it off the grid so the rest of the field can take off. By this time every dude in an orange shirt is over there telling me what to do- "hold it wide open" "take your hand of the throttle" etc. I just kept. My head down and did what I know works but the thing still doesn't fire. I figure with all the people standing around the best thing to do is just push start it. Darryl jumps on and we give him a push and the thing lights right off and takes off on the warm up lap.

Everyone grids back up and Darryl was second from the inside on the second row. The light goes green and he got a pretty good jump. Going into the first turn there was a couple of riders that went down- so that was the about the 5th tense moment in about 5 minutes. But, luckily Darryl made it through and came around into the dirt section 3rd. Yoohoo! I was pumped as I knew with a good start we could get on the podium. So Kunzel was leading, Bagnis second and Darryl third. Coming into the dirt Darryl tried to go underneath Pucho and pass him in the tight dirt corner. Just as he stuffed it underneeth the bike coughed and stalled! F&@CK! Was all that went through my mind. As the whole field rides by, my boy was just stuck there kickng and kicking(he kicked so hardit bent the kick lever over!). I was standing at the side of the track just watching all this and it was killing me. I was next to and AMA official and I asked if I could go help and he said "Yah! Get out there!" So I run over there and give Darryl a push and the thing lights and he's off- about 3/4 of a lap down. I could only imagine how pissed Darryl was at that point. Just then another AMA official comes up to me and says "do you know you can be disqualified for pushing him like that?" I pleaded my case and told him that I asked the AMA guy who was in the corner and he said it was okay. Thankfully they dropped the issue with just a warning which I thought was fair. So I"m watching Darryl frantically pursue the back of the pack, and meanwhile Kunzel was literally 10-15 Seconds from lapping Darryl. Darryl wants to beat Kunzel really badly an all I could think was what kind of fireworks are going to happen when Kunzel tries to lap Darryl. Well as the laps go by, Kunzel is pulling away from the field- but barely ,if at all catching Darryl. Meanwhile Darryl is frantically going around guys left and right. Finally as the we approach the last lap, he was up to fifth and about 10 seconds behind Avard. Darryl was pushing really hard to catch Avard- as you may or may not know, Darryl is from New Zealand and all Kiwis and Ozzies have a huge rivalry. At the finish Darryl came up short by about 4 bike lengths for the hardest fifth I've ever seen.

When we get back to the pits, I was expecting Darryl to be frustrated but he was in good spirits. Even though he didn't get the final result he wanted he was happy that he kept at it and put in a good ride. The guys from HMC who we were pitting with were stoked too and the guys from TLD, where he works during the week, were also pumped. Plus his fastest lap of the race was his last lap. Overall it was one hell of an effort from the both of us. As for the stall- it turns out that clutch fried again off the start and wouldn’t disengage fully when he would pull in the lever. After the race the guys from KTM told us that they had had problems with the STM clutches! A lot of good that does us after the main!! So overall a good weekend, and now that we have three weeks off- thanks to hurricane Ivan, we'll get all the little glitches addressed that we didn't have time to handle before this round. Hope you enjoyed the read and if so please post a response.

:devil::thumbsup:

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Awesome Chuckie :devil:. I didn't even know you were there or I would have definitely introduced myself. Now that I read your race report I realize that you were the one that was pushing Atkins bike to get it fired. I was standing right there in the corner and you were probably right next to me and I didn't realize it :thumbsup:.

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Let's see...Joker is parked on my front bumper and Mitch is parked directly across from me. Chuck, you couldn't have been any closer LOL!

I guess I am not the only one having issues with the STM...too loose and the clutch falls apart...too tight and the darn thing won't disengage. Henry/DNF Pursley/DNF Burton/DNS. I bet I lent out impact and nut driver tool to 5 different riders at Denver.

Got to meet up with Mitch(HMC)in Denver and Nashville. Pretty cool as I hadn't seen him in like 25 years. I rode(H-D MX250) for him back in the late '70s when he and his brother Marsh ran a little H-D shop in Two Rivers Wisconsin. Mitch was quite the Expert MXer back then. As soon as he heard my voice he knew who I was.

Feels strange being such a newbie in the pits as I know everyone in the dirttrack community. Hopefully by the end of the season I will have all the riders down pat and the TT members as well. Tdub :thumbsup:

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it sounds like your having a problem with the vortex ignition i have one on a honda that was doing similar things it would start but it would not take any trottle and then the next time it was fine .

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Tdub- I'll buy you a beer in Reno now that I know where to look for you at!

RHC- I called Mike from MT racing and picked his brain. He gave me some good info about making sure we are getting good connection at the plugs. Gave me some things to think about. I'll post more on this once we get the bike back and I look into the things he was refering to. Just so you know Ron, I took the carb off my bike and put it on Darryl's bike with his same jetting, and it was good for about 1/2 second at Grange. I think it will be even better with a little time to play with the jetting. Did you ever get the software to play with your own ignition curves?

Dennis- I've just taken the year off to regroup a little and pay some bills to my wife and kids, etc. I'll be back next year. That's kinda why I'm working for Darryl, I figured if I'm not on the track, I can atleast hang out with guys fater than I am to try and figure out what the holes are in my own program. Thanks for noticing I haven't been out there though! :awww:

Chrome-crf- are you going to be at any of the other rounds?

I'm glad you guys enjoyed the write up- that makes it worth the effort. :lol::thumbsup::devil:

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Thanks for posting, good read! Please continue to give us the down-low of the rounds. :thumbsup:

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"Tdub- I'll buy you a beer in Reno now that I know where to look for you at"

Chuck, I will be staying on the left coast for the time between Reno and DelMar. Hope to catch the Willow race with Pursley. Hopefully we can get together and spend some time. Tdub

PS...One beer dont go far :thumbsup::devil:

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Great post Chuck!! Bring YOUR bike to the final round here in Vegas. We will be having our final round of our series at the X-Plex the day after the Redbull final.

Maybe I'll see you in Reno! :thumbsup:

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Tdub- Cool brother- we'll have to hook up for sure.

Marche- I have a good feeling Darryl won't be too concerned where his bike is the day after the last round- count me in at this point! Maybe I'll make him wrench for me that day! :devil::thumbsup:

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