There's another old adage that goes something like this, "You can't win at the track if you don't get to the track." That saying that played a big part in Michael's Pomona experience. "Romona and I were planning on leaving home around five in the morning and when we headed out we got about thirty minutes from home and I remembered that I had left my event invitation at the house and I needed that so we headed back. Once we got on the road again we got about a hundred miles from home and I realized that I had left my laptop at home, and since I tune with it, we needed to go back again." After that second return trip Michael and Romona finally headed west about noon, a few hours later than scheduled, but this time they had everything they needed. The rest of the trip was uneventful and when they got to the track they settled in for what turned out to be a very successful weekend. "It tuned out all right and we had a great time," Michael said. "The way we were treated by NHRA and everyone at Summit Racing was really special. They treated us like real racers and made us feel like we were a big part of the activities for the weekend."
Michael began riding motorcycles almost two decades ago. "I had a nice little 750 Honda that I did some work on and it was a pretty good motorcycle." His current ride features a chassis by famed motorcycle builder Sam Wills. It has a 750 frame that Sam re-worked before adding a swing arm and then fitting a fiberglass body to it. The engine has the bottom end of a 750 motor with bigger heads and pistons, but make no mistake about it, it is all Honda. In addition to his race bike, Michael also has a couple of street bikes, both Hondas. "One is a little 250 Rebel that Honda makes. I take it with me to the races so that if I need to go off the grounds and get something, it's legal and I just take it." The other bike is a little quicker than the Rebel. It's a shaft-drive, 1000 c.c Honda that Michael rides for fun. "I have some nice older bikes," he said, "but I don't have any of those new fangled bikes." With his riding ability and his easy going philosophy about racing, Michael has everything he needs to be a winner.
Running in front of the big crowd in Pomona didn't bother Michael and he adjusted to the changing weather conditions, too. "It was a lot different as far as the altitude on race day than it was during our practice runs. I thought I could run about 9.26 or 27 in the first round, but with the clutch situation I was having, I dialed a 9.28." He then went out and ran a 9.298 to beat Phil Nasca in that round, and then came the perfect reaction time in the semis. For the finals, he dialed a 9.27 and ran 9.279 to beat Jeff Lanoue and a new national champion was crowned. "I knew my lights were pretty good, and when I do my job on the line the bike will always take care of itself. As long as I have been running motorcycles, this is by far the biggest win I have ever had. The only thing that could be better would be to do it again." With his bike, his consistency and his philosophy, winning it again is a real possibility.
Michael attributes a lot of his success to the encouragement and competitiveness of his fellow motorcycle racers, and all of the racers in both Division 4 & 5. "We're all competitive but we're also good friends and we bring out the best in each other. Guys like Terry Blakely, J.J. Hughes, Maurie Spratt, Bruce Calhoun, Don Gross and Len Baker always bring out the best in you. And Wayne Braswell, who has no delay box on his bike, he's the one who put an "00" light on me in the finals at our track and he taught me that anyone can beat you any time so you can never let down." As he learned, you can't let down, all you have to do is slow down and everything else will take care of itself. If you don't believe me, just ask Michael Nash, the 2006 Summit Racing Equipment Series Motorcycle national champion for 2006. Oh, by the way, on the way home Michael remembered to bring everything with him, including his latest 'Wally.'
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