George McConnel's RC51 BLOG

Date:April 27, 2008
Track:Nashville SuperSpeedway
Bike:2002 Honda RVT1000 (RC51)
Weather:Cloudy during the AM, rainy in the PM. High of 75.
Conducted By:WERA

Track Diagram

The Nashville SuperSpeedway is a combination track. NASCAR racers use the outer oval, basically just a large concrete track with a back straight, two ends and a tri-oval front "straight".

The road course drops off the tri-oval into the infield, winds through turns 1-6, then exits briefly onto part of the back straight before dipping back into the infield for turns 7-10. Turn 10 is a long non-banked sweeper that exits back onto the front straight. There are transitional seams at each of the four places where the infield road course joins the NASCAR oval. At these points you have to be careful to choose a line that avoids too sudden a transition or you end up getting jarred really hard.

Again, this wasn't a very fun weekend because of all the rain. I worked the Music City Marathon on Saturday so I didn't have a chance to get any practice in then. But while I was working the marathon I let Logan (Sherry's son) use my bike to take the WERA Rider's School.

During my first practice on Sunday morning I struggled to stay in the low 1:20's. My best lap was a 1:20.6, a far cry from the 1:16's I had put up in the fall. But in my defense that was once again before my most recent crash at Barber last year.

The laptimes were only slightly better during the second session, dipping into the 1:19's. I was still a good three seconds off my pace from my first race weekend at Nashville. Bummer.

During the first few races of the day the rain held off. Needless to say it didn't hold off long enough, and soon enough I was dealing with the reality of racing in the rain. And without rain tires I was going to be the slowest rider on the track. Everyone else had rain tires.

I only got three laps in before the race was red flagged due to someone crashing entering the front straight. I had already gotten lapped by most of the riders. It sucked, I couldn't see and didn't need to be out there in those conditions.

Most important lesson learned during this race day: Racing in a hard rain sucks, and really sucks when you don't even have rain tires.

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