Lancaster warms up for WERA National with double wins
BAKERSFIELD _ Lincoln’s Tucker Lancaster put his motorcycle riding skills to the test at Buttonwillow Raceway in the AFM series March 2-3 to prepare for the WERA Nationals to be held in Georgia this weekend. His efforts raised his confidence considerably.
In spite of a mechanical failure, and a sixth-place finish early on race day, Lancaster still felt pretty good knowing he was going up against some tough competition. After sandwiching a second-place finish in between being unable to finish and placing sixth, Lancaster went on a tear to capture two firsts, both by considerable margins.
In his final race, the 750 Superbike, Lancaster’s bike was running well after experiencing battery and clutch problems earlier in the day. Coming off the starting line, he gained a “holeshot,” which is hitting the first turn in the lead. From that point on, he simply pulled away from the pack.
“After the start, I was gone,” Lancaster said in his report. “No one was anywhere close to me, … . It was a pretty boring race with no competition.”
Lancaster won by almost 11 seconds.
In the 600 Superbike, there was a holdup at the start and Lancaster’s clutch began to heat up. In spite of difficulty trying to downshift, Lancaster had gained the No. 2 spot on the second turn of the second lap. It took him just one more lap to pull into first place.
With his clutch slipping, Lancaster ran a strategic race to hold off his fellow riders and take the checkered flag by seven seconds.
“The rider of the day though had to be 16-year-old Tucker Lancaster, “wrote a reporter for Roadracing World.com. The piece went on to describe Lancaster’s amazing performance against 1000cc machines and his lap times in the 1:48s.
In the Formula Pacific race, Lancaster had to start well back in the back. He worked his way up from ninth to sixth but that’s as close as he would get.
In the 600 Production, Lancaster sat in the fourth row and got off to a bad start. Trailing in eighth place, he managed to make his way up to fifth by the third lap. After passing the riders in fourth and third place, Lancaster found himself well behind the No. 2 rider with only two laps to go.
The Lincoln speedster slipped into second on the fifth lap but was too far behind the leader to make up the distance and had to settle for second place.
Starting with the 750 Production, Lancaster again got the holeshot. He made his first lap in 1:52 and then began to put some distance between him and his nearest competition turning 1:49s. But that’s when his troubles began.
Going through the sweeper called Riverside, his machine ran like it was running out of gas and eventually died. Try as he might, he couldn’t get his bike restarted.
“I would turn the switch on, then hit the starter button and it wouldn’t do anything,” Lancaster said. “I was super mad! After having such a big lead, it sucks to have a mechanical like that.”
Lancaster's problem turned out to be a dead battery. Although he won with a bad clutch, a few repairs made it possible for him to take home two, first-place trophies.
Lancaster enjoyed meeting up with some of his old racing friends and again thanked his parents and sponsors for helping achieve his dream.