Hey Race Fans,
Well it's been a couple of weeks since I've talked to you all and some very exciting things have happened. First, we went to Springfield Ill. only to get rained out and the race was rescheduled. Next was off to Knoxville IA. I was really excited about going to knoxville as I really like the track and I did good there last year.
We left Friday night after I got out of work and teamed up with Bryan Smith. We drove most of the way and finished the drive Saturday morning. When we got there we stopped and had breakfast and headed to the track to unload. After waiting around for a bit and going to the riders meeting it was finally time for practice to start. I was in the second round and couldn't wait to get out there after watching the prosports. It looked just as fast and tacky as it was last year.
It was finally my turn. I went out and felt great. After looking at the times I was sitting second. I wanted to stay there and knew the track was going to get faster so I decided to change the gearing. The next time out I felt really good again. I again qualified second. I wanted to change the gearing again, but was scared I might lose some corner speed so I decided to leave it. I went out for the third and final round and qualified 6th. I ended up qualifying 6th overall. This put me in the first heat race second up on the line. I knew a start was going to be important as passing was tough and I had quite a few of the kawasakis in my heat race.
After watching the prosport heat races it was finally time for me to go. I was feeling nervous but knew what I had to do. Of course I spun off the line and got a terrible hole shot. I took me about half the race to work my way back up to 5th. I finally caught Jethro with two laps to go but I could not get around him. I ended up finishing the heat in 5th missing the main by one. I was so disappointed because I felt so good in practice. This put me in the second semi second up again.
In the semi I again got off to another terrible start. I was sitting 4th. In the first turn I got around two people and worked my way up to second. On the second lap going into three I moved my way up to first. I lead the rest of the race to put it in the main event. I was so excited and the bike seemed to be working really good so I didn't make any changes for the main event. I knew after having to run a semi I was going to have my work cut out for me but I knew I had 25 laps to do it.
After watching the prosport main event and watching Shayna Texter take the win I couldn't wait to get out on the track. I lined up at the bottom of the track on third row. After I took my warm up lap I was feeling really good and the bike was working awesome. After lining back up it was time to go. The light went green and once again I could not have gotten a worst start. I was dead last going into turn one. By the third lap I had worked my way past 5 people until the red flag came out. We lined back up and again I got a terrible start. Going into turn one I was again dead last. I couldn't believe it. Each lap I kept picking people off. I worked my way up to 8th. I then got behind a kawasaki and could not get passed it to save my life. Although the day started how we wanted, went from good to bad in the middle of the day, I felt really good in the main event and I think I did a great job for coming from dead last.
After the race we decided to drive home so we could get home early on Sunday and start prepping for Springfield which was the rain date. I decided I was going to sit the shorttrack out since my shoulder is not totally healed from the Springfield crash and it really seemed to be bothering me. Plus, I just couldn't wait to get on the mile. After we got home Sunday we unloaded, did some bike prep, and called it a day. I no longer got home, showered and got in bed when we got a dreded phone call.
Sunday night we got a phone call that nobody ever wants to get. It was unimaginable that the people you shook hands with and hugged the night before were gone due to a tragic car accident on the way home from the races. Dave and Tyler Berlinger will be missed forever but, never forgotten. RIP.
We left Friday night after I got out of work Springfield. We arrived about 2 A.M on Saturday morning. We camped at the campgrounds, got up the next day and hung out. The racing was some of the best racing I have ever seen on the short track. Henry Wiles won followed by a close Brad Baker and Jared Mees. Jared ended up winning the Singles championship which was also very exciting.
After the race I headed back to the hotel with Jared. We ate some dinner and went to bed. The next day we got up pretty early, had breakfast and headed to the track. I was a bit nervous as I was trying a new bike that I had never rode before. It was the XR 1200. After getting to the track, unloading, and attending riders metting it was time for practice. I again was in the second group. I took the XR 1200 out in the first round. For going out on it the first time I felt really good and was sitting 10th in qualifying. I tried to make a couple of changes to try and get the wheel not to spin so much coming off the turns. The next time out I felt pretty good again and was again sitting 10th. The last time out I decided to try my Harley to see if I was quicker on it or not. My time was quicker but I ended up qualifying 17th that time. I decided to ride my Harley just because I was more comfortable on it and I knew what to expect as far as handling goes in the draft.
After practice I was asked to be in opening ceramonies. So after the tribute to Dave and Tyler Berlinger, who are dearly missed I went up to opening ceramonies. I was sitting there talking to Jared and Shayna before I got called up. They asked me about the new bike then congratulated me on my new job as a school teacher. Next thing I know they are calling Jared up and wanted me to stay up there. He congratulated me on all my accomplishments and before me got down on one knee and asked me to Marry him. I couldn't believe it. After asking him if he was FOR REAL I finally said YES. I finally, get to marry not only my competitor but my best friend. What a dream come true and it happned in my racing leathers.
After qualifying 17th I was put in the second heat. After watching the prosports and some of the first twins heat I was feeling pretty good. I got an ok start and got pinched off a bit going into turn one. About the second lap in I fell back to fifth and my bike kept cutting out. I decided to finish out the race because it didn't seem as if the motor was going to blow up. After finishing a close 5th missing the main by one I came in and we figured out why the bike was cutting out but did not have time to fix it before the semi. So I jumped on my other 750 that I hadn't ridden all day. This put me in the second semi.
I was feeling a bit nervous since my main bike broke. My back up bike was in a new frame that was much higher then any other bike I had rode before. We tried to set it up as close to the other bike as possible since we knew it worked good. I got a good start and lead the race for the first lap. I then kept spinning the rear up coming off of the turns. I drafted back and forth with four people and ended up missing the main by one spot. I was quite disappointed becasuse I felt pretty fast at the beginning of the day and felt that I just jumped around from bike to bike a little to much that day.
The next three races are going to be out west. We are excited to make the trip. I can't THANK everyone enough for all of their help and support. I couldn't do it with out you all.
Nichole Cheza #15
Hey Race Fans,
Well Indy is in the books. It didn't go quite as we had planned. We arrived Friday and went to South Side Harley Davidson to do an autograph session. After the autograph session I got some dinner and headed to the hotel for bed. The next morning I got up pretty early, got ready, ate breakfast and headed to the track. When we got there we got unloaded and waited for practice to get started.
I was in the second group of practice. The first time out I felt pretty good but I needed to change my gearing so I added a tooth. The next time out it felt so much better and I could really get through the corner. This time I changed some front end parts and the last time out the bike felt even better. I ended up qualifying 20th overall. This put me on the second row in the second heat race.
I didn't get the greatest start from the second row. I started about 8th and knew I had my work cut out for me. Each lap I started picking people off. About half way through I was up to 4th. For the rest of the race I went back and forth for fourth and fifth. On the last lap I moved into fourth. Coming out of four I spun and got drafted at the line by Wiles on the Aprila. This meant that I had to run a semi. I was a little disappointed as I worked so hard to get up to fourth after a bad start.
I was in the first semi on the pole. I decided to start on the outside. I got a great hole shot and lead it going into turn one. On the first and second lap there was about five of us drafting back and forth. On the third lap coming out of two Weidman came up into me and hit me going down the straight away taking me out. The crash was pretty scary but luckily nothing on my body was broken. However, the bike was destroyed. I did not restart the race becasue my bike was destroyed and I was pretty shaken up.
I was really disappointed about having to watch the main event as I felt really good. The main event ended up being a good one. Smith and Johnson broke. Mees, Halbert and Robinson had a great battle. Halbert ended up winning and Robinson followed very closely with Mees in third.
I'm glade Indy is in the books and I am ready to move onto Springfield. I am looking forward to seeing you all there. Thanks for everyone's help and support. I couldn't do it without you.
Nichole Cheza #15
Hey Race Fans,
Sacramento is in the books. Last weekend was my first race back on the AMA Grand National circuit since my crash in Springfield. I was a bit nervous and couldn’t wait for practice to start. After waiting around for what seemed an eternity practice finally got under way. In the first practice I felt really good. I was sitting eighth in the times. The bike seemed a little lazy of the turns so I decided I was going to try my other bike. The second practice/timed qualifying did not go as well as planned. I made one lap before blowing the motor up and pulling off which meant no qualifying time for me. So my only choice was to jump back on the other bike. The track was getting faster and a groove had developed so I tried some changes to gearing and bike set up to hopefully make the bike work better. This time out the gearing felt good but I was having a hard time keeping the bike on the groove so I came in and we made more changes to the bike set up. After qualifying was over I was sitting 17th which would give me a front row start in the heat race.
After signing autographs for the fans, it was time to go racing. I was in the 2nd heat with Brandon Robinson, Jared Mees, and Mikey Avila. I got a terrible start and was sitting 8th. After we got the halfway flags I had moved into 6th. I could see two other riders in front of me. After two laps I caught them. I was just being patient trying to draft them when going into the last turn for the last lap Carver got into Cose and I passed them both. This let me finish fourth for a transfer directly to the main. I was so excited to make a direct transfer and knew that I was going to have to improve that start for the main event.
After getting my helmet ready, watching some prosport races and last chance qualifiers it was time for the main event. I was so nervous. I started on the inside of the second row. Again, I got a terrible whole shot. I think I was dead last going into the corner. Slowly but Shirley I picked off a few riders and worked my way up to 13th. It wasn’t too bad of a ride for the first time back on the bike. My back felt really good and my shoulder got pretty sore. However, I keep training and pushing and I can’t wait for the Indy Mile. I also want to congratulate Shayna Texter on her awesome ride in the prosport class. She showed the boys how to get around the Sacramento Mile. Thanks for everyone’s help and support. I hope to see you all at Indy.
Nichole Cheza #15
Springfield Is In The Books...
Hey Race Fans,
How are you? Not to bad here. Well after having a couple of months off the Memorial Day weekend came and we headed of to the Springfield T.T. and mile. I was really looking forward to the mile.
We left Friday afternoon and arrived around 10:30 P.M. When we got to Springfield we got checked in and pretty much went to bed. The next morning I got up around 8:00 got ready and had breakfast. After eating we stopped by the store for some more water and ice as the temperatures in Springfield were very hot. After getting to the track we got in the pits and unloaded.
When 3:00 rolled around we had rider's meeting and it was time to practice. I was in the second practice group. The first time out I felt pretty good, but the back end kept stepping out. When I came in we made a few changes and it was time to go out again. The next time out I felt a little better. This time I was sitting 45th in times which was good enough to put me into the night program. I knew I only had to drop a couple of tenths to move up. The next time out I felt a little better and ended up qualifying 43rd overall.
This put me in the first heat race on the third row. I did not get the greatest start. After catching a few riders I had a hard time making passes and ended up finishing 16th. I decided not to make any changes to the bike as it seemed to be working pretty good I just got a bad start. Next I was up in the second semi. Again I did not get the greatest start. I made up some time made a few good passes and worked my way up to 16th.
Although, I didn't make the main on the T.T I was really glade to make the night program and have the T.T behind us. Sunday was going to be the mile and that was all I could think about. So we headed back to the hotel, went to sleep and woke up at about 6:30 the next morning.
The next morning we got up ate breakfast, got ready, and headed to the track. I was feeling really good and couldn't wait to get on the track. Again it was very hot out. At 9:45 we had the riders meeting and at 10:15 we were out on the track. I was in the first group and Willie McCoy went out in front of me. In the first practice I felt good but the bike felt a little sluggish so I decided to change the gearing. As I went out for my second round of practice I noticed the bike was making a noise it should not be making so I headed back to my pits and switched to my back up bike. I made it up to the line just in time to go out. This time out I felt awesome. The bike was very strong and Willie and I did some drafting. This time out I was sitting 14th. We made a couple tire changes and it was time to go out for the final round of qualifying. This time out I felt really good again. I was sitting second in times and was really excited. I ended up qualifying 2nd overall.
I was in the second heat race sitting on pole. I decided to take the bottom. I knew a good start would be important as I was up against Jared Mees, Willie McCoy, Brandon Robinson, and Stevie Bonsey. I got a terrible start as I just spun off the line. It took me a lap or two to catch back up to the leaders and get around Bonsey. For the rest of the race Mees, McCoy, Robinson and I went back and forth with the draft. When the checkered flew I ended up finishing fourth giving me a direct transfer to the main. I was really excited. I made a couple of small changes for the main.
For the main I ended up lining up on the second row right behind Bryan Smith. I got an awesome start and was up to about 5th going into turn one. All of a sudden Robinson bumped into me and my handlebar got hooked to his boot. Before I knew it we were down on the ground. My first reaction was to pop right up. Once I got up I realized that my back was hurting me pretty bad so I hitched a ride back to the pits on a pit bike. When I got back to the pits it was pretty tough for me to stand. By then I knew something wasn't quite right so my dad and Dave from Mr. Signs drove me to the hospital.
After getting checked out they determined that I had two fractures in my lower back. After giving me some pain medicine they sent me on my way and told me to see my doctor when I got home. So when I got home I went to the doctor and they put me in a back brace and determined that my shoulder was slightly dislocated. They are saying about 6 weeks for recovery. I was hoping to be back for Lima as that is one of my favorite tracks, but it’s not looking to promising. No matter what I will be at Lima whether it is to watch or race. The weekend after that is Hagerstown. We will see how things are healing and hope to make it back by then. I am really disappointed that Springfield had to end the way it did. I felt really good and thought I would have been able to run in the front pack. But, Springfield is in the books and I know that I am strong on the Harley this year. Thanks for all your help and support and I look forward to seeing you all in Lima.
Well Daytona is in the books. The week started off a little rocky. We started off in Savannah Georgia where we practiced on Thursday night. The track was really fun and fast. One Harley did not make it very long as I blew the motor up on the second lap. The other Harley and my Honda ran great. I couldn’t wait to race the next day.
The next day we got in the pits got unloaded and then Mother Nature dumped a bunch of rain on us. It looked like the storm was going to pass so we hung out for a bit longer until the rain came pouring down again and they cancelled the race. They decided they were going to rerun the race the next day.
The next day we got up, washed some bikes, watched the ameature program and waited to get into the pits. We were supposed to start practice at four, but after a long day and a ton of ameature racing we did not get on the track until about nine that night. Once we got out there the track was really fast. They had a curfew so the program was going to be shortened to heat races and main events. They then decided to run semi’s in the pro classes.
I was up on the 750 first. I got a not so good whole shot as I spun. I was sitting fourth behind Sammy Halbert, Kenny Coolbeth, and Jake Johnson. I knew I did not want to be in a semi and I was going to have to make something happen. On the last lap I ran up on Johnson but did not make the move stick and it put me in a semi.
Next I was up on the 450. Again I had to get third to make it in. I again got a terrible whole shot and was sitting fifth behind Sammy Halbert, Jared Mees, Cory Texter, Brandon Robinson. The track was very hard to pass on and I couldn’t seem to make any of my passes stick. I ended up finishing 5th and had to run a semi.
Next up were semi’s. I was up on the 750 first. I got a great start and led the race for about half the race. I ended up getting passed and finished a close second putting me in the main event. I was then up right away on my 450. I again got a great start and led the whole race from start to finish again putting me in the main event.
They decided to run the 450 main event first. I started on the third row and worked my way to 10th. I was not completely satisfied with this finish as I felt pretty fast but I just could not make the passes I needed to work my way to the front. When I came off the track I had to jump right on to the 750. They ran the prosport class in between our 450 and 750 main. There was a crash in that class causing us to hit curfew and not get to run the 750 main. Everyone was pretty bummed out.
The next day we were supposed to race in barberville Florida however, they got so much rain the night before and that morning the race got cancelled. We were then off until Thursday and Friday which is when we ran the Daytona shorttrack. The shorrtrack in Daytona is not my favorite race track on the circuit however, the atmosphere is very cool.
On Thursday we got to the track, unloaded, and waited for practice to start. In practice I felt ok and did not make any major changes to the bike. After qualifying I sat 46th which would give a third row start in my heat race for the night program. I was excited that I made the night program as that is tough to do. After practice we went out to dinner. I then came back signed some autographs for the fans and got ready to race. In my heat race I got a terrible start. I was dead last going into turn one. After make a few passes throughout the race I made my way up to 12th. This would put me on the second row for the semi. In the semi I got a terrible start and someone crashed right in front of me. I had no where to go and ended up crashing to. The red flag came out I got up and off we were again. After starting on the third row I worked my way up to 9th. This was the best I ever felt at the Daytona shorttrack and I think with some better starts I may have had a little better chance. After watching the main event where John Lewis won followed by Matt Wiedman and Sammy Halbert we got loaded up and went back to our hotel room.
The next day we got up and headed back to the shorttrack. We again qualified in the morning. Again I did not change a whole lot on the bike and when practiced was over I qualified in at 37th. This again put me on the third row for my heat race. After practice we went out to eat, I came back signed autographs and got ready to go for the race. I was in the first heat race. I did not get a very good start. After making a few passes I ended up working my way up to 11th. This put me in a semi on the second row. I again did not get a great start. This time I had a hard time making as many passes and worked my way up to 15th. After my semi was the main event. It was a great race between Jared Mees and John Lewis. After leading 24 laps Lewis got by Jared. Jared tried to get back by Lewis when Lewis and him got together. Lewis went down while Jared went wide and Matt Weidman got by both of them. So Weidman won, followed by Jared and Baker. Well I am glade to say that Daytona is in the books. I am really excited to get out on my Global Products/Black Hill’s H-D in Springfield Ill. on Memorial day weekend. I hope to see you all there. Thanks so much for everyone’s help and support. I couldn’t do it without you.