Perris Half Mile
Perris Half Mile Race Report
Points Standings: 2017 Champion
Going into the Perris Half Mile the pressure for me was low, and I was primarily very calm. I spent the week prior in Phoenix at my team owners house laying low, and watching my crew perfectly prepare my bikes for the last round of the year. My crew was more nervous then I was going into the race. We made a big decision to ride the 2018 YZ450F that we uncrated the day prior. We wanted to do this knowing that this was our best shot of having a motorcycle that would perform well while also being the most reliable. You never know in racing so I wanted what we thought would be the most sure thing being that I basically just had to finish the race as a worst case scenario.
On race day my crew went early to get everything setup giving me what we thought would be more time to sleep in. I actually woke up at 6am and couldn’t fall back asleep haha. I knew it was the biggest day of my career yet, and my championship to lose. Going in with a 24 point lead was very nice, but until the deal was done I wasn't going to be content.
I went out first session on my new Yamaha and instantly felt more comfortable then the prior models. It didn't hurt that I have been what I think to be riding at my highest level since I was in Texas. I ended up qualifying P3 on a bone stock motorcycle with zero testing time. I was stoked on that and ready to put my head down for the race win that night. In the semi race I was able to get a good start right behind Tanner Dean and I followed him around on lap one. I quickly realized what we knew going into it, that my stock motor might be a little light at the end of the straightaways. Never the less we pushed incredibly hard to finish second in that race over my only other title contender. This was a relief and gave me hope at a podium on the night which was my goal. My team completely checked over my motorcycle and prepared it for its most important battle. In the main event I was able to pull a big hole shot on the field to have it immediately taken away with a red flag. On the plus side I was able to back it up with another big hole shot and almost led the first lap. I made a slight mistake down in turn three allowing Ben Lowe past me. My team drilled into my head some plans to do during the race and I followed them to a T. Price stuck a wheel in on me, and I let him by with no fight. From then on I just kept safely pushing around the track to make no mistakes, and did exactly what I needed to do. I came away in third place, and the 2017 American Flat Track Singles Champion. This was my goal from day one before the season started. To be able to achieve it is so unreal knowing how few have done this. It still hasn't quite sunk in yet sitting here typing this up. I could not be happier with how 2017 went and I am already building up for 2018 to be a better year. I am setting bigger goals, and I am ready to go out to achieve them!