Sonoma, CA - Favorable weather conditions made for a great opportunity for the team to learn a new track filled with lots of challenging technical sections and a dramatic elevation change throughout. The series points leader, Quarterley Racing’s Benjamin Smith made quick work of learning the course, setting the mark early on in Friday’s practice and dominating each session including claiming Pole position. He then carried that pace through to Saturday’s race with a margin of victory of over 11 seconds in a race that was cut short by 2 laps by a red flag. On the only track that drafting has not been a factor, Smith put his head down to win with a fast lap of 1:52.333 over Cory Ventura and Brett Vorhees.
Teammates and fellow 2017 race winners at VIR, Jackson Blackmon and Draik Beauchamp put in hard charges as well, coming up with 4th and 6th respectively. The four rider team is still missing rookie season rider Jake Leahey, who has put in some very impressive rides as he learns, but is out with a lingering injury from a hard tumble at Utah. Jake plans to re-join the series at Pitt Race.
Sunday’s race turned out to be an impressive raising of the bar by Cory Ventura, setting the stage for a run to the stripe for he and Benjamin Smith. Both riders got into the 1:51’s while dicing and running a clean hard fought battle. A last lap effort by Smith with a pass in the chicane left Cory the advantage for momentum to the final corner for the win. Draik Beauchamp had a battle of his own going after starting 7th and working hard to chase down the leaders. His persistence paid big dividends landing him in 3rd for valuable points in his quest for the championship. Dropping 2 full seconds from Saturday to a fast lap of 1:52.6 at the end of the race was impressive. Jackson Blackmon had a bit of bad luck with a bike acting up before the race and a frantic bike swap under MA permission resulted in him starting at the back and being on a bike with cold tires and no set up or gearing choice. He did a commendable job of salvaging any points he could with 11th place and a chance to stay in the points with six races to go.
The team also welcomes 14 year old Nate Minster, series regular who came to Quarterley Racing at Utah to help continue in his progress in his first full season. His finishes have improved with some top ten spots since being assisted by the team, including 8th place on Saturday and 9th on Sunday with lap times dropping 1 full second on Sunday to a personal best of 1:54.484. Nate brings his Dad Tom Minster along with Scott Fryer as his pit support crew and will work with the team through the last 3 rounds in preparation for chasing the 2018 series.
Quarterley Racing/On Track Development with successful veteran pro rider Dale Quarterley, is an entry level pro racing program focused on bringing young riders up to speed as they set their sights on a future and the next step towards top level pro racing. The team offers Moto America full support on a team owned “Ready To Race” 390 Cup bike for a Wild Card entry or multiple events.
Contact is firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 610-217-9926.
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