Barkley dominates the Northern Nationals!

After a missed opportunity for the win at the last event due to inclement weather, Ethan was determined to make up ground in the championship standings at the Northern Nationals August 11-12. Northern Lights Raceway is a great facility, but it's seldom used which leads to a rather "green" surface and makes for challenging tune-ups. Ethan spent a fair bit of time and walked the entire 1/4 mile in both lanes in order best gauge his plan of attack for the weekend.

Ethan's turbocharged GSX-R1000 "Eleanor" was shortened to a mere 67.5" total wheelbase and all the ballast was taken off the front of the bike in order to better transfer the weight to the rear tire while using less power when compared to other tracks. Ethan also adjusted his AMS2000 boost controller to a more gradual power delivery. There was an opportunity for a morning test run but Ethan opted out, citing the surface needed more rubber before he would attempt any testing. By the afternoon the track temperature was up nicely and the track staff was doing their best to make it good enough for the high powered Pro Street bikes. In his opening pass Barkley made a great run with an elapsed time of 7.68 while the rear tire was spinning badly at the finish only netting 171 mph. The rest of the field wasn't even in the 7's. Next up was qualifying and Ethan had made some key adjustments to the down track power delivery. This track has a pronounced dip at the transition from concrete to pavement at the 1/8th mile and once a tire starts spinning it's hard to get it back under control. Ethan incorporated a boost reduction five seconds into his run in hopes that this would quell the tire spin and help keep the bike accelerating. All that hard work paid off as he posted 7.66/183 mph in round one of qualifying and an even better 7.64/183 in round two. He left things alone for round three but the sun was now low in the horizon and the track was cooling off quickly; the grip just wasn't there anymore as he posted a tire spinning 7.73/168 mph. Ethan was the quickest bike in all three rounds of qualifying thus adding 3 bonus points to the championship standings. He was over 2 tenths quicker than number two qualifier and fellow EB Speed rider Danny Green aboard his turbocharged Hayabusa.

Ethan worked hard through the night reviewing all the data form the four runs, trying to find a little something extra for Sunday. Again there was a morning test session that the other racers attended but Ethan refrained as he felt there was not enough heat in the track. He would try his luck in the opening round of eliminations. It turned out to be a wise decision as his competitor Rob Aston wouldn't make the call due to a hurt engine so Ethan had a bye run. Always looking to gain valuable data, Ethan chose to make a full pass and left the line very smoothly and ran an incredible 7.58/183! On the other side of the ladder fellow EB Speed rider Danny Green was making excellent progress running 7.73/180 mph taking the win over Gary Henault making for an all EB Speed final. While reviewing the data from the previous run Ethan noticed a bit too much tire spin on his shifts, so he elected to reduce the power and soften the clutch slightly going into the finals. This is not what most would do but he anticipated the track would be similar to yesterday and overpowering the track would lead to increased wheel spin and potentially a loss. As the two EB Speed riders lined up, the rev's came up and the lights flashed yellow and they were both gone. Ethan had a sizeable advantage in reaction time and kept moving forward while Danny spun slightly then began to wheelie as his chassis was now out of sorts. Ethan kept his head down in a full tuck with the throttle locked and clicked off the best run of the weekend with a 7.54/ 183 mph to take the win over Danny's 8.09 / 171.

It was a perfect weekend for Ethan as he proved that the lightest bike could get the most grip on the less than perfect track. Ethan was extremely consistent as well; his slowest time of the weekend eclipsed the best run of his nearest competitor. A smooth power delivery and years of experience paid off as Ethan now has a significant lead in the Championship standings in the High Level Motor Products Pro Street Series. The next stop on the schedule will be September 8-9 at "The Strip" in Medicine Hat, AB.


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