NW Cup #5

Had a great weekend out at Port Angeles. We ran virtually the same track as this year’s Pro GRT. It was drier than I’ve ever seen PA, which meant the track was super fast and sketchy. I was really enjoying the conditions, and my TR 450 KILLED IT out there. I set it up super hard and slow for the big bumps, and it motored through everything I pointed it at. It was the perfect bike for the course.

They also added a new roadgap right out of the start gate, which meant that you had to be pedal super hard. It’s good to toss in something that makes you work a little bit. Here’s Dave Camp blasting the new gap:

Bryn made it out to the race to watch, and it was the first time I’d seen him since the injury. He’s looking a LOT better, and it sounds like he should be back on the bike sometime soon.

I was first out of the gate for qualifying, and I felt like I had a pretty okay, so so run. When I crossed the line, I thought I should be good for maybe a top five, but they didn’t read off my time. My name wasn’t even on the board for the top ten, and I had no idea what my time was. I was talking to Pat from Team Robot, and he told me to just go ask the timing people.

I talked to the timing people after qualifying had ended, and they said I wasn’t entered into the system yet. They had my start and finish times, so they did the math on paper right in front of me, and it turns out I qualified first! Stoked, I rolled up to my car, switched tires, cleaned my bike, and grabbed lunch.

After my first pro win two weeks ago, I had decided that winning was way more fun than not winning. Going forward, winning is going to be my new gameplan. Another guy named Charlie totally agrees:

I was the last guy to drop in. Before dropping in, instead of thinking about where to pedal, who was in the lead, whether somebody had crashed, I just thought about how thankful I was to be there. Riding bikes has been a really good thing in my life, and I just said thank you for bikes and for my loving family:

With that, I rolled out of the gate and had a heck of a run. Diamondback’s Kyle Thomas had a burner of a run right before me, and people must have thought he was the last guy down. I almost hit three different people walking down the middle of the track, and I had a four letter exchange with one of them. It was exciting. I blew out one corner, double unclipped and rode out on my seat, but I kept it together and pedaled hard for the finish.

When I crossed the line, I saw: “Kyle Thomas: 2:46, Dan Sims: 2:47, Eric Loney: 2:48.” When my name popped up as “Charlie SPonsel: 2:45,” I was over the moon. I won the race and my good friend Kyle Thomas won the series for the second year in a row.

It was my first Happy Gilmore-esque big check in my life. I was so stoked. The check could have been for a dollar and I wouldn’t have cared. However, I did run into some problems at the bank trying to cash it…

A quick call to the event promoter Scott Tucker of ODS, and we got it all sorted out.

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