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What a weekend I had out at Mid-Ohio for the AMA Pro Roadracing Series. I was honored to be asked to join my friend Pete "Silo" Cline's team and help them crew the #26 Team Ohio/Riders Insurance/Oxford Consulting/ Vance and Hines XR1200 Harley Davidson in conjunction with the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).

Our Crew Chief was Geoff Maloney (GP Tech Moto2 American Wild Card Team Owner 2011 & 2010), and our Pit Crew (Eddie, Joe, and Eric) were all discharged veterans and WWP members.

The Team met for the first time on Friday. After a brief meeting with introductions, we got to work, checking over the bike's systems (suspension, brakes, tires, fluids) and got it shod with new Dunlop series spec rubber, and ready to go for Saturday's first morning practice, and afternoon qualifying.

Saturday rolled around to find threatening weather...but it didn't break (rain) till after practice. Practice showed that our rider, Pete Cline was able to improve his lap times by over a second and a half, from the beginning to the end of practice (15laps). We were close....but we still needed more to make the cut-off for qualifying against the hot shoe points leaders of Michael Barnes, Kyle Wyman, and Tyler O'Hara.

Then the rain came and delayed the start of SS for 20 minutes. No worries, because after the SS race (17 laps) there was DSB (21 laps) and SBK (21 laps) before XR 1200 qualifying. The sky was still overcast, but no more rain fell, and after 30-40 bikes raced a combined 59 laps....there was plenty of rubber down on the racing line, and the sun came out to help raise the track temperature.

Qualifying time came...and the Team rallied together like a trained unit. Pete rolled out on track with the XR and put the Hammer Down! He dropped his times almost an entire two seconds during qualifying....and we kept on calculating the math on the pit wall. Finally he hit a spot where he was in the show and we were confident that we had enough of a buffer to not get edged out.

Sunday came and it was race time. First a second round of qualifying in the morning, which was a bust for the entire field as it was first thing, and the track was still drying from an early morning shower. One thing about Mid-Ohio....the track is treacherous in the wet. As a result the entire field was tiptoe'ing around....with the leaders 4-6 seconds off their qualifying times from the day before. Pete took 6 laps, practiced his starts from the hot pit (pit out), and worked on technique (setup) on the track. The surface was so bad...that he was mainly practicing the technique setup in his head as he "circulated" around the track with everyone else.

After lunch it was race time. We had a brief meeting, separated the pit duties, and got to work. After the lunchtime fan walk we were the first scheduled race of the day. I was selected to work the Pit Wall with the Pit Board (Laptime, Position, and Lap) with Eddie. I monitored live timing on my iPhone and shouted out the gap and position to Eddie, who held out the board for Pete to see.

Our final result: 17th place out of 19. We were happy to finish and bring the bike and rider back to our pit in one piece. I think our result was really good, considering that this was Pete's third time riding the 550lb race bike (now I know why they are called hogs)!

This was one of those experiences at the track that I will never forget. I want to give a big thank you to Joe, Eddie, and Eric for the sacrifices that they and their families have made for our country. It was an honor to serve with you in the sport I love and cherish. I hope we can do it again next month at Indy.

Cheers to you all, Tex

Here is a television interview that NBC4 Sports came out to do. The amount of press that Pete Cline and Lance Lau garnered for this team was incredible. (2) Podcast interviews, (3) terrestrial radio interviews, (3) television studio interviews, (1) live television interview at track, (2) newspaper features, and countless other streams like OTT, AMA Live, Ohioracemag, amongst others.

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