ASRA Pro Series
July 6, 2008
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Time Constraints Shorten Event, Outcome the Same.
With a large crowd of racers in attendance at the Road America Festival of Speed made for some great racing but also made for some delays in each days program. The first time “casualty” of the weekend was ASRA qualifying, when it became apparent that not all classes could get their sessions in before the mandatory 6:00pm deadline, officials decided to grid by points instead of splitting the classes. This happened again on Sunday afternoon when multiple red flags put the program too far behind to allow for the full number of laps to be completed, causing Pro ThunderBike and Factory Pro SportBike to be shortened to 5 laps from their original distance of 8 laps.
Matt Hall #74
Despite the lack of qualifying, Jeff Wood on the Bettencourt's Yamaha 600 was joined by four different riders in the lead pack of Pro SuperBike as they rocketed into turn one. Mark Junge on the Vesrah Suzuki was joined by Matt Hall, Kris Turner and Royal Oak MI rider Garrett Carter as they tried to run down the current ASRA Champion. It didn't take long until the four were working on second place instead of the lead, as Wood continued his record setting performance by setting a 2:20.596 time as the new class standard. Coming home second was Industries Racing Yamaha 600 of Matt Hall, followed by Garrett Carter aboard his Matsushima Suzuki in third. Kris Turner was able to hold off Vesrah Racing's Mark Junge with his M4/Emgo Suzuki to take fourth place.
Garrett Carter #22
The next test for the group was ASRA Pro SuperStock, and early on it looked like Matt Hall on his Industries Racing R-1, the only Yamaha in the field, might have something for the four-time champion. But leave it to Jeff Wood on the Suzuki 1000 from Bettencourt's to get serious with a flying lap of 2:16.410 that gapped Hall by over three seconds at the finish. Hall was able to keep local favorite Andy Feuersthaler from Milwaukee WI in third with some heads up riding over the last half of the race. Feuersthaler was followed to the flag by Brian Boyd and Lloyd Bailey on their Suzuki 1000's to finish the top five.
Jeff Wood #1
After last months race at VIR, the crowd knew the real battle for supremacy in ThunderBike was going to be between Dave Estok's Buell and the BMW of Nate Kern. The top two riders in the class wasted no time in getting down to business as Kern's BMWExploer.com machine lead into turn one off the start followed by the Deeley Racing Buell of Estok. For the next four laps Kern and Estok swapped the lead all around the course, but every time they came to the flag, it was Kern by the smallest of margins. Behind the front duo, Dan Bilansky on the Hal's Buell moved in to a comfortable third followed by Appleton Buell's Paul James in fourth and former ThunderBike winner Ed Key on his Suzuki in fifth, positions they would hold to the end. On the final lap, Estok put the Buell in front going into turn one and held on until 100 yards short of the line when Kern slipped by for a .097 second margin of victory, the smallest m.o.v. in the class history. Estok also set the ThunderBike lap record with a 2:26.686 on lap four in his bid to get in front of Kern to the finish.
Kern followed by Estok
The last race of the event was Factory Pro SportBike, and with time running out, Jeff Wood lost no time in establishing him self at the front, setting the new class record at 2:21.611 on lap two, and leaving a 4.372 gap back to Matt Hall in second. Kris Turner was able to move into third just ahead of DDS Racings Jeff Purk, the only two riders within a second of each other on lap four. That was the order when the red flag came out just after the lead group saw the white flag, sealing the third win and third lap record for Jeff Wood. Wood now leads ASRA Pro SuperBike, Superstock and Factory Pro SportBike points in his quest for four championships in a row in those classes. During post race inspection, Turners machine as .7 horsepower over the limit, so he was move back to 6th place, giving the final podium sport to Jeff Purk's Yamaha.
Next round is at Barber Motorsports Park on August 9-10. For complete results and current points, click the links to the left.