“Focus” on the Flying Tomato – Race wrap-up from Charlotte, NC
We have had almost a month off going into the next round of AMA Pro Flat Track in Charlotte, NC. I spent a lot of time training and thinking of how I was gonna make up the points I had lost from getting knocked down in Springfield while running third, blowing up my Kawi at Oklahoma mile, and a bad line choice at Lima half mile.
I spent countless hours in the garage making sure my Honda 450 was absolutely perfect for this race. We drove down on Thursday which gave me all day Friday to just relax and get accumulated to the 97 degree weather. I knew that my fitness would be fine and the weather wouldn’t be able to play any tricks on me this weekend.
Come race day it started off pretty normal getting the pit area all set up and looking good. I felt good and knew my bike was ready. In the first free practice I went out and felt really good, pulling off the track my bike felt like it was dragging and stalled out. The back wheel was locked up and I thought maybe I had just cooked the breaks and they were stuck on. I got some help dragging it back to the pit area and it turned out I had gotten a rock lodged in between the pedal and the clutch cover. I looked at my phone and checked timing and saw that even with that I was qualified first by over a tenth. In my heat race I got bad starts, but made quick passes to finish second in that and get a front row starting spot for the main.
In the main event I felt confident pulling out that I would be able to land on the podium. On the first start I got off the line second and for the first 3 laps I was poking my wheel under the leader while the two of us were pulling away until a red flag came out. We had a single file restart where I started off in second place, the leader spun up and turned sideways hitting me and getting our bars stuck together but I was still able to come off of turn 2 in first place. For the next 4 laps I was opening up a lead on the rest of the field until another red flag came out. It was a huge bummer to see this happen knowing I was in the zone and feeling good.
We had another single file restart with me in first and I pulled the holeshot. Down the back straight away I got passed and I went into second place and the leader and I started to pull away. A few laps later we got dive bombed by another rider which lead to us fighting bar to bar three wide for the next five laps. Multiple lead changes every lap with us riding over the whole track. With two to go I changed my line all the way up to the top of the track and was able to pass for the lead. Going across the white flag leading I knew I had to be perfect and I knew that I was going to get dive bombed into three but if I could hold my speed around the top it was my race to lose on that lap.
I was able to make no mistakes and pull away a .4 second gap to secure my first ever GNC2 victory. This was a moment I will never forget nor could I describe it to someone. Absolutely the happiest moment in my racing career and none of it would have been possible without the help from my sponsors. It truly is a group effort and to be the first one to cross the checkered flag takes a lot of preparation and hard work. I could not be prouder sending out this race report knowing that I won the Grand National and I am back on track to this points race.
Again, thank you all and know I’m hungry and working even harder now to get another win here in Sturgis next week.
Kolby Carlile “The Flying Tomato”