Ready for the season to startThursday, February 16, 2012
Posted by: Angie Smith

Well the season is starting for the bikes in just about three weeks. The winter has flown by. We built Michael Ray a new bike for the 2012 race season. With multiple trips to Mooresville, N.C., to Good Fabrication where the bike was being built it is finally done. It looks very stellar. We traveled to West Palm Beach last week to get a few laps in for Michael’s new bike and to also test some new things we had been working on through the winter. Testing went great despite dodging rain showers for two days. Matt made about 6 runs, Michael made nine runs and Tyler (Matt’s cousin) was starting a new project. Tyler is learning to ride a Pro Mod bike. He did a great job. Going from one bike to another bike that is a second faster is a hard transition but Tyler made it look easy. Previous to West Palm Beach Tyler’s best e.t. was about 5.20 in the eighth-mile. At the completion of our test session Tyler went 4.36 in the eighth-mile with a 1.08 60-foot time. He did great. Matt and Michael made lots of passes and the research we did over the winter seem to be promising. Overall we were happy with the test session.

Earlier this week we traveled to Texas to get some work done to our trailer before the start of the race season. Competition Trailers took the whole floor out of the rear section of the trailer and replaced it. The project was going to take about 3-5 days so we unhooked the truck and headed south to visit Michael Ray and the Gruene Harley Davidson group. We traveled down on Monday evening and I guess Matt thought it was a great time for me to learn how to drive the truck. I got in the driver’s seat and off we went. I drove about 100 miles. So for my first time of driving for an extended period of time I guess I did ok. Matt and I got up Tuesday morning, which was Valentine’s Day to meet everyone at Gruene Harley Davidson.

We toured the shop, looked at some bikes, checked out the clothing department, and checked out the town. Man that place is beautiful. It reminds me of a beach town with all the shops and restaurants. I got paged over the loud speaker to come to the front of the dealership. I didn’t know what was going on. Matt and Jennifer Ray (Michael’s wife) had got together and I got beautiful roses at the dealership. Matt got lots of brownie points for that one and thank you Jenn for helping. We had lunch at this awesome restaurant by the river. The weather was beautiful and the food was outstanding. We had a great two days at the dealership hanging out with the Ray’s and the Gottsacker family. Thank you for all your hospitality. We are so thankful for Michael and the whole gang to be a part of our team this year. It’s going to be a fun year filled with lots of round wins for the MSR team.

Well I am sure most of the world knows by now that I will not be racing this season. No sponsors have come through for Matt and I so this puts a hold on my dream of racing pro stock bike this year. I am not taking it well but with time I guess I will be ok. I will still be at the races this year helping Matt with the team. My hope and wish is to be back out next season but you never know in this market. I really hope Pomona 2011 was not my last race. I am trying to be positive and optimistic about this deal and keep my head up. I am wishing Michael and Matt all the luck in the world and we are hoping to get both of them in the winner’s circle this year.

Just like to say thank you for all the encouraging notes and emails from my fans supporting me through this tough time. Thank you to all the people trying to help campaign me for a sponsor as well.