Rick Eaton Wins In Ohio … Makes A Big Move In National Points

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Rick Eaton Wins In Ohio … Makes A Big Move In National Points

After a successful showing in Race 1 in Georgia, my team formulated a plan to attend race #2 of the 2019 Manufacturers Cup in Ohio. Logistically, this is the biggest challenge we face on the 2019 tour. Dragway 42 is 1300 miles from our home base in South Florida.

As a racer, we have 2 options in a case like this…Option #1 … Tow a race trailer all the way to Ohio … or Option #2 … Find a local bike/team that is entered and willing to provide a bike to ride.

We were very fortunate in this case because we have become very good friends with the Fisher family in Michigan. They not only provided a motorcycle to ride… they set me up with a fast one that was capable of winning the event. Doug, Tyler, and Alexis are all highly skilled racers with first-class equipment. They are also a lot of fun so it turned out to be a perfect match.

We began the weekend by making test passes on Friday so I could familiarize myself with the motorcycle. The first pass was a little dicey. The bike got very loose and it took some skill to control it. A review of the tape showed my body position was the issue. The second pass was better and the bike went fairly straight. The third test pass was just about perfect and I was finally comfortable enough to notice some tuning changes that would help it perform. I made one minor clutch adjustment to make it react quicker, and I felt like we were ready for race day after a successful test session.

Race day began with 80 bikes filling the staging lanes. We made a strong run in round one and moved onto rd #2. This was a brutally tough field of skilled racers. As race day progressed it became apparent that I had one advantage at this race track… almost none of the riders knew who I was. I was simply a stranger with shoe polish for numbers on a borrowed bike. They had no idea their opponent races 30 to 40 weeks a year. That worked in my favor.

We continued to run well and win rounds and then it got more exciting. One of the Ohio riders decided to initiate a burndown/staging battle with me. Staging battles fire me up, I usually win them, so I was really happy to see it happen here. I stayed focused…the other rider made an error … and a HUGE holeshot win moved us into the next round.

We continued to draw heavy hitters from the midwest but the luck was in our favor. We won several close races including one with a margin of victory of just .0002 seconds. That is not skill … that is LUCK.

With 5 bikes left, we ran into our good friend and current points leader Gary Russell. This was a big round both in the points and at this event … the winner gets a bye run into the semis … and moves directly into the final round. Luck was on our side … we advanced.

Round 9… The final round … was over at the starting line… my opponent went red … and we are the winners at Dragway 42.

One of the competitors finally asked some questions about my background after the race and it was funny. He asked where I was from and then he went on to ask if I raced down there …. my reply was, “I am third in points racing my bike against the dragsters in Super Pro”… The look on his face was PRICELESS.

Our next event on the 2019 Manufacturers Cup tour is Darlington, SC in September. We will be working hard in the shop for the next few weeks getting our fastest bike ready that event. We will also be racing IHRA and NHRA points in Florida. Our goal is to win a World Championship this year. We are contenders…

This event took an exceptional amount of teamwork. I need to thank Doug, Tyler, and Alexis from the Fisher Body Shop Racing team for the friendship and the winning ride this weekend. I also need to thank JD Kittredge and his wife Denise, Mary Carol Costigan, Ralph Hester, My brother Chuck, Donna Fisher, John Eaton, Todd Baroni, Peter Conry, Wade Rich, Jay Regan, Dan Rudd, Kyle Metcham, Ron Metcham, the entire Staff at Dragway 42, Eric Hochstetler/ MTC Engineering , Doug Lindsay/ Weeks Machine, Ron Perry /Pit Stop Auto, Dallas Council at AAMCO of Venice … and last but never least… Our Crew Chief Lulu.