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Tom Anderson

Season Finale', Solo 30, TWS

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At what is rumored to be the final Solo 30 race for the CMRA, two racers put on what could be the most exciting race of the weekend. Taylor "Mercury" Myers and Nick "NIcky D" Doolan were nose to tail, back and forth, on the 1.8 mile TWS short course for the entire 30 minutes.

Friday practice gave two RS65 mounted racers a chance for a final size-up before the season ending race on Saturday for Solo 30. All season long these two now seasoned racers have been battling back and forth at every event in all kinds of conditions. "Nicky D" and "Mercury" Myers could possibly be the ultimate show in club racing today, each with a bright racing future to come. Nick, fresh off a National Championship title from Barber, was ready to race Saturday after a very good day Friday at practice aboard his RS125 and RS65 Honda GP chassis machines. Taylor did the same as he was astride a new (to him) RS125 along with his RS65 during practice Friday. Both young men were riding exceptionally well, marking their ability to let everyone know that they are indeed very talented road racers, and a rising set of stars in the sport.
Saturday practice was no different than Friday. Both boys were flying, demonstrating that the cool air and well prepared bikes were ready to rumble. Both lads posted lap times that surpassed their previous race lap times and would be a second-plus faster than the previous lap record for the F5 class. A barn burner in the making! As the boys took the grid, both boys received the obligatory (and embarrassing) hugs and sentiments of adoration from their respective fathers, as their mothers nervously looked on. As a matter of fact, observations were made that Traci Myers may actually be hiding in her Suburban, unable to watch Taylor circulate the high-speed course that is TWS! No proof of that fact however! ;)
As Jeff Phillips dropped the 2 minute board and flew the green flag, both boys rocketed off the line. Taylor would live up to his mythological nickname as he was the God of Speed for this start. A truly remarkable launch which has been status quo for Mercury Myers this season in every race he's entered. Undeterred, Nicky D was able to reel Taylor back in within the first 2 turns, carrying corner speed through turns 1&2 that would rival many liter bike pilots! In to the first turn 3, the racers were neck and neck, making it a will of courageous effort to see who would brake later and take the advantage over the other. Taylor won this time for the first lap but wouldn't always be so good. Nicky D demonstrated a "never give up" attitude and would cause Taylor to work extra hard this day if he wanted to finish up front!
Nick was relentless. Fluid and fast. Silky smooth with excellent throttle control and corner exit. A pleasure to watch. His Mother, Cheryl, gave nervous advice as she watched Nick 'round the circuit, as his Dad Steve rendered words of encouragement. Both watching Nick's every move, every corner, every lap. Thoughts of wonder, worry, and faith in ability could be heard uttering from the two as they proudly watched Nick do-work.
The Myers camp was a bit different. Traci is never comfortable watching her offspring demonstrate his racing prowess. To be honest, neither is his Pop, Mike. Though the elder Myers racer has had a significant and remarkable career in road racing himself, with a notable set of races in the CRRC and AMA of years ago, watching his only son turn the course is not an easy feeling. Understandable to be sure.
This day however would be a great day with an ending to the race that saw each youngster finish the race without incident or injury. The race was a barn burner too, as advertised. For the first 10 minutes or so it was clear that nobody was going to be anywhere near this pair come race conclusion. They had stretched out a lead so significant that they started picking up lappers prior to the half-way mark.
Backmarkers... what a dirty word this has become to the road racing vernacular. I don't know why, it just has. I think it's due to the complaining and gesturing from top level racers on TV that did it; has to be that because they are a (essential) part of racing and will always be a factor in the longer races. So about 12 minutes in to the 30 minute race the pair of front runners were well in to lappers. This was not a bad thing, it was a great thing! Why? Well because with every back marker, with every corner, with every pass, opportunities to learn were had along with some exciting racing. As the lead changed hands during almost every lap between Myers and Doolan, parents got more uneasy and spectators got to see more action. Neither racer reacted like some of the notable professional racers do on TV, each of them handled each situation like the consummate professional road racer should. Each young man should be commended for having a cool head and great racing technique!
The draft played a big part on TWS' loooong front straight, and the final drive out of the final chicane was essential to the rider who hoped to win this race. Through determination, Taylor ended up in the final 5 minutes of this race with enough of a gap and good enough of a drive from the final turn, and after more successfully navigating lapped traffic, to secure a win if he maintained his pace. He had to maintain his pace because Nicky D did NOT give up. Ever. Nick continued to demonstrate why he won a National, and with successful completion of this race, will be class Champion. He was there, all the time. How "there" was he? Well, he was fast enough to break the class track record by more than 2 seconds. Taylor was more than 2 seconds faster than the previous track class record as well, but Nicky D busted out a few tenths faster to best Taylor's time, even though Mercury Myers ended up winning this race.
The gap between the two from Taylor in front to Nick adrift 6-8 seconds was insurmountable as both racers were on similar pace. Taylor maintained a pace that was consistent and fluid, solid, smooth and fast, just like his nickname-sake Greek mythological character.
In the end, the two racers went back to being typical 13 year-olds, running around the pits, playing, and thinking about whatever 13 year olds think about. They teamed up to ride the mini endurance race and overcame obstacles there as well as the first bike's engine blew. They did continue and finish the race however on the other bike and a great time was had by all.
Congratulations to Nicky D for his class Championship and National Championship! Well done young man!
Congratulations to Mercury Myers for a fantastic season, winning almost every race he entered in F5 and providing incredible competition for Nick! Another job done well!
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