It wasn’t an easy night of racing. Not by a long shot. I had to fight my way into the lineup from a reserve spot, when one rider couldn’t make it to the line in time. But, when it was my turn to line up, I placed first or second in the next five rounds of elimination. I was shitting my leathers the whole time too. Riding against some of the best riders in the United States in four man, heads up heat races, on motorcycles that have no brakes. Then it happened. I found myself in The final round, THE FINAL, of the United States National Championship! I got to pick second of which gate I would start. The inside, gate 1 was already spoken for by the first rider to pick. I had three to chose from. I chose gate 4, on the outside. As we lined up for the start, my heart felt like it was going to explode. I barely remember the tapes flying up. All I know is that when we came out of turn 2 into the back straight, there wasn’t anyone in front of me. But there was someone right next to me and right behind me. It felt like they were going to ride right over the top of me. I knew that if I didn’t stay right on the inside pole going into turn 3 that there would be a crash, a bad one. I stuck my front wheel right down on the PVC pipe that runs around the inside of the entire track. I could see someone’s front wheel right next to mine, I didn’t know who’s it was, but I could feel the other riders eyes all burning a hole in my back. That scene played out for three more agonizing times around the track. Each corner, I thought I was done, and each corner I held my line. Until finally, I looked up to see the flagman holdng the checkered flag out, ready to drop when we crossed the line. Three riders crossed the line almost at the same time, but my wheel crossed first and I became the United States National Speedway Champion !
The Final Round !
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