Suspension problems drop Yokley to 13th
William Yokley finished 13th overall after experiencing suspension problems in the rock infested mountains of Pennsylvania on Saturday, July 5.
Yokley’s Race Summary:
We arrived in the scenic Pennsylvania mountains on Friday after a nine-hour trip. It had been raining all day and looked like it may be pretty messy for the race. This was going to be a busy weekend with the Pro ATV race and the UTV race running back-to-back on Saturday, but I was pumped and feeling well prepared. Mark Notman and his family had a shorter trip since he lives a couple of hours from here, and is sort of used to this type of terrain. This track is in the high country with lots of varied track conditions – tight rocky sections, lots of elevation changes, and some high speed open areas. The rock garden sections can be pretty brutal, but at least there will be no dust!
The rain ended on Saturday morning and the temp was in the low 70’s, so the conditions were looking ideal. It was good seeing my friend Mike Cafro from California; he was here taking a break from the desert racing scene to try to dodge some trees. Mike and I were teammates and competed in several Baja 1000s in Mexico. The Pennsylvania National Guard set up their recruiting display featuring their Mobile Recruiting motor coach and a Humvee. We headed over to the starting area to have some fun for the next couple of hours.
The flag dropped and my National Guard Honda fired immediately, and I arrived in the woods in 4th place. The first lap went very well, I moved into 2nd right behind Bill Ballance as we headed into Lap 2. I began to have some serious problems with my suspension, causing me to bounce all over everywhere and not able to maintain a competitive pace. I also got some arm pump trying to hold on so tight so I wouldn’t get bucked off the bike. I went from a strong 2nd to a fading 12th on Lap 2. I stopped at my pit area to refuel and see if there was anything I could do about the shocks; I jumped off the bike and tried adjusting the external settings, all while losing more time. Lap 3 and 4 were not much better as I tried to salvage a decent finish; I ended up 13th overall which was a disappointment. But hey, we all have those types of days occasionally and you just have to do your best and accept the results.
My National Guard teammate Mark Notman had a great race, finishing 2nd in the very competitive Pro Am Class. This is his 3rd podium finish of the year. His Honda fired quickly and was 3rd in the first corner, and made a pass for 2nd in the first 2 miles. Mark stayed in sight of the leader throughout Lap 1, and on Lap 2, there was a five-way battle for the lead. They swapped positions constantly, but he was able to take the lead as they headed into Lap 3. Mark stopped for fuel and fresh goggles, and found himself in 3rd. He passed the current points leader Don Ockerman for 2nd and charged hard for the leader. The leader’s bike quit as they were in a nasty rock section, and Mark was back in the lead. Ockerman got around him and on Lap 4 and while passing lappers, was able to get away from him a bit. He finished in 2nd, and sits 3rd in points heading into the summer break.
So, I’m proud of Mark and his finish, but for me, it was not the result I was hoping for. I am currently 6th in National points in the Pro Class as the GNCC Series takes their summer break. Our next GNCC Event is at the Snowshoe West Virginia Ski Resort on September 13. This is a really cool location where you get to run right through the town on pavement and also up and down the ski slopes and adjoining woods.
Yokley Racing Team Sponsors are: The Army National Guard, Rocky Mountain ATV, Polaris Industries, ITP Tires, Elka Suspension, Roll Design, HMF Exhaust Systems, IMS/Roll, Tire Balls, Andrews Cycle, Douglas Wheel Technology, Baldwin Motorsports, CGR, O’Neal Clothing, Panolin Lubricants, IMS, Hinson, 317 Graphics, Intense Fabrication & Design, Tsubaki Chains, Hardkor, Shoei Helmets, Axcalibar Axles, Streamline, Powermadd, KG Clutch Factory, Moto Pro Training and ATVRiders.com.