- November 15, 2018
- By Nic Swensgard
- Motorcycle Races
I had mixed feelings coming into the race weekend, I was excited to race but also sad the season had gone by so fast. I had a little bit of pressure this round, there were 5 class championships on the line and the 2018 Overall Expert Championship. Three of the classes were tied in points or 2 points within each other. Two of the other classes I was 6 points behind so I had to win and Art had to get 3rd for me to win the championship.
I made a deal with my dad that he was just a spectator due to his recent Stroke. So this weekend I was the Rider, Mechanic and Umbrella Girl. Luckily my Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys KTM RC 390 and my Heems Racing Ninja 250 did not give me any problems, so I could focus on my riding. Saturday’s practice went well, it was very cold but I got some good track time on the KTM and made some positive Suspension Adjustments thanks to Evan Steel.
My first race of the day was 300 Superbike on the Ninja 250. I got a great start and took off. Once I saw I gapped 2nd place I starting riding at 80% so I could finish the race in one piece. I ended up winning that race which made me the 2018 ASMA 300 Superbike Champion.
My second race of the day was Ultra Lightweight GP on the Ninja 250. I was tied in points with Art who was on a Yamaha R3. I got a great start, On the second lap I set him up in turn 1 and stuffed him going into turn 2. Unfortunately, he got the drive onto the small straight away. I followed him for 3 laps and then made my pass on the last lap going into Turn 2. This time, I started gapping him in the tight section. He got a double draft and passed me on the back straight for the win.
The third race of the day was Formula 500. I was 6 points behind in the championship. I knew I had to win and hope Art finishes 3rd. I got the holeshot and checked out on the first lap. Coming around the start/ finish for the 2nd lap I got the meatball Flag (Jumped the Start). I decided to push as hard as I could to gap 2nd place. I pulled in for my penalty. Once I got back on the track I was in 3rd with 1st and 2nd gone. I put my head down and made quick work of 2nd place. On the last lap, I had caught up back to 1st and made the pass to win the race. Unfortunately, Art still finished 2nd so even though I won the race I lost the championship by 1 point.
The fourth race of the day was Lightweight GP. I was not in the championship hunt due to not racing this class for half the season. I ended up getting the holeshot and put my head down to gap 2nd. I ended up finishing the race in a lonely 1st place.
My last race of the day and last ever race on a ULW bike was 500 CUP/ Southwest Thunder. I had a perfect race. I got a great start and passed 2nd on the 1st lap and lead the rest of the race. Art finished 3rd in that race so I pulled in the pits after my last ride on my KTM as the 2018 ASMA 500 Cup Champion and the 2018 ASMA Southwest Thunder Champion.
Overall this season was amazing! I feel so blessed to finish the season with 3 Class championships and the 2018 ASMA Overall Expert Championship. I also got to race three Nationals this year as well which I never expected to happen. I can’t thank my whole ASMA family and My dad enough for making that happen, you guys don’t know how much it meant to me. There are so many people who helped me this year I can’t name you all! First off, I want to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ to keep me safe all year and giving me so many opportunities to do what I love. I would not be able to make it through the year without him. I can’t thank Roger Heemsburgen from Heems Racing enough for giving me the opportunity to race ASMA on his bike and for all the help this year. I want to thank all my ASMA Family for getting me to Laguna! I want to thank my Dad and Mom for their love and continued sacrifice. I would not be where I am today without you guys. I can’t thank Hayden Roberts enough for being an amazing mentor and friend for the last half of the season. You push me Physically, Mentally and Spiritually and I can’t thank you enough. I can’t thank Cameron Gish enough for being a rad dude, you help me so much and I love you, man! I know there are so many more people who have helped me and I can’t thank you guys enough! You know who you are. Lastly, Massive thanks to my amazing sponsors, I could not do it without you guys. GOD, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, Arai Americas, Spidi On Track, Xcel Trackdays, ODI Grips, Sidi Moto USA, Heems Racing.