Category Archives: New Jersey Motorsports Park NJMP

New Jersey Motorsports Park, NJMP, Thunderbolt, Lightning, Millville, New Jersey, USA

NASCAR K&N Series East at NJMP the debrief

For the second weekend in a row I’ve gone down to Millville, South Jersey… this time for stock car racing. Like last weekend, and now for the third weekend in a row I’ve had a gout arthritis flare up which meant it was really painful to stand. But I took a few Advil pills and managed to get through the day thoroughly enjoying the racing on track. I wouldn’t wish this stupid fat man disease on anyone!

Happy to say that like last week I got an awesome station assignment… Turn 14. As I already mentioned in the post card posts it was a fantastic day to go to the races. NASCAR had practice, quali and race all on the same day. And to fill in the time between their track time we had BMW Car Club of America practicing, qualifying and racing themselves as well. Lots of really cool BMW 3 series, M3’s, 2002’s etc.

I’m not going to lie, the club days at a track typically suck! Ferrari at Watkins Glen last year supporting IndyCar was awful. But this Bimmer support for NASCAR was outstanding. Cars were going at it hard. There was some good overtaking throughout the field. I enjoyed it!

But I truly loved the NASCAR K&N Series East racing!

I remember some of these cars from their support race at Watkins Glen for the Monster Energy Cup weekend. The field was significantly smaller with only 15 cars on the grid and some 12 finishing the race. But the racing was tough and hard. We did not have any incidents at Turn 14 but I got to catch a peak at Turn 7 with a spin or two. It was great…

I especially enjoyed the Grid Walk during our lengthy lunch break:

So to sum things up… I’m grateful for the opportunity to work this race. I’m happy with my station assignment. I’m really happy with my captain especially since she was kind enough to bring me back a nice refreshing ice cream when she went out to get her own lunch.

I left my home at 6am and was back home by 10pm

Great day of racing! I hope to be back at NJMP next year…

Grid Walk Post Card from NASCAR K&N Series at NJMP Thunderbolt Raceway

What a day!

I feel really fortunate and lucky to have worked the NASCAR race at NJMP this Saturday… not just because it was an action packed day with practice, qualifying and racing all taking place on the same day. But also because of my awesome station assignment where I was able to not just watch the racing up close but also venture into pit lane for an awesome grid walk prior to the NASCAR K&N race.

Here’s some pix:

The view from Turn 14 looking at the front straight, the race control building, VIP garages and of course pit lane.

My partner was super nice,  especially since she warned me against parking under the Acorn trees because they were literally bombarding everything beneath them… lol

Only Blue and Yellow flags used for NASCAR racing… Blue is the local Yellow, and Yellow is the Full Course Yellow… easy!

It was pretty warm this morning and really humid and myggy… When my partner decided to go to Wawa to get lunch I asked her to pick up a little bucket of refreshing ice cream for me… that did the job of cooling me down! Oh was it good…

The only chick on the grid… Hanna Zellers  @HannaZellerswww.facebook.com/HannaZellersRacing/

I am actually considering getting the NASCAR plate with flags in the bottom left corner of this ad. The New Jersey MVC sponsored this event which felt really weird… to be honest.

BMX show on the front straight…

Love to see fans, young girls posing for pictures with our female NASCAR drivers. Way to go Hanna Zellers!

Debrief coming up next…

Post Card from the NASCAR K&N Series East Paddock at NJMP

Greetings from NJMP! A fascinating experience working the NASCAR K&N Series East where in one day: Saturday the cars practiced, qualified and raced… and they had a support event to boot. BMW CCA was an unusual pairing with stock cars, but filled in the time nicely. Between that and the new Audi S3 pace car, it was an outstanding NASCAR event.

I took a ton of pix when I arrived Millville early in the morning…

another post card from grid walk is next…

Track Day Bro! Hooked on Driving MX5 Miata at NJMP Lightning Raceway

It was a great weekend spent at New Jersey Motorsport Park not just because of MotoAmerica bikes I  volunteered for on Thunderbolt but also because of cars I got to check out on Lightning. Camping at the track I was looking for things to do to kill time before calling it a night. Went into town to pick up some Chinese, ate it at the Tempest circuit watching kids race go karts. As I was about to leave I see an NC Miata being trailered into Lightning for next day’s event there… Hmm… what have we got here? I went over to take a look and the owner of the Miata was as excited as I was to see another NC MX-5 (he thought I’d race there too). We had a chat and the next day I stopped by during lunch time to take some better shots of his great looking Limited Edition (that metallic paint looked awesome!) with better light conditions.

Anyway… here’s the pix:

My shitty cell phone camera barely captured the metallic paint job…

The car sounded amazing. Very nice tone to the exhaust. And the owner was kicking ass on track, blowing past other cars including Camaro’s and Porsche’s… (at least the passes I got to see)

Oh look a Heinlein tuned Moostang Shelby!

Is it a rental?

Watching the Miata kick ass in the Carousel.

If I had the money I would totally do a track day… although instead of using my own car I would probably rent one. There were plenty of rentals all over the parking lot… great variety to choose from.

Oh yeah, back at Thunderbolt spotted this gem… the only Miata in attendance for the MotoAmerica SBK race, and must be a member judging by the license plate frame:

MotoAmerica Should Have Spotter Guides!

My biggest surprise of this weekend was the lack of any visual spotter guides available for any of the three major MotoAmerica series racing at NJMP for the Championship of New Jersey presented by K&N.

How could that be?

It seems like such a no-brainer idea but I was not able to find anything online or after attending the refresh training session on Thursday night. I really think that a sport as popular as this AMA Pro series should totally offer a visual spotter guide much like those offered in IMSA racing, PWC or IndyCar. Even NASCAR does paint scheme stories on their web site ahead of some races to let their fan base know what their favorite driver will be driving and what the livery on that vehicle will look like. I realize that there are potential sponsorship implications, as sponsors change from race to race perhaps, but its no excuse why there shouldn’t be a basic guide to what each team’s and rider’s bikes look like.

I would have really appreciated to have a reference guide to call bikes into Race Control based on what they look like from a distance, it was not always possible to read the bike number, especially in cases where the number was three digits. Those 3 digit bike numbers were pretty much impossible to read when the bike was down, or far away like at Station 12 where I was on Friday.

So yea… if anyone at MotoAmerica is reading please consider making one… Thank you very much for the consideration!

Took me a while to tell the difference between two factory Suzuki teams… turns out the one with a zebra paint scheme was the Superbike team and the one with a single colored stripe is a Supersport 1000 team… Ah hah!

I know this Yamaha team has been using this livery for at least a few years… and so does the factory Yamaha team:

The bikes most difficult to tell apart were the KTM RC Cup liveries:

MotoAmerica Superbikes at NJMP Championship of New Jersey the debrief

It was a gorgeous weekend at NJMP Thunderbolt to watch some bikes racing. But the freezing cold overnight in my tent camping at the track kicked my ass. Much like Mosport in Canada last weekend my foot began to hurt a ton after freezing my toes off and I had a hard time walking on Friday… which sucked. It was so cold Thursday night I went out and bought another sleeping bag which improved my comfort the next two nights but not enough to make the arthritis subside and I limped my way through the weekend.

I didn’t let the injury dampen my weekend and soldiered on. The station assignments were fantastic this year. Like last year I worked Turn 12 on Friday and Turn 7 on Saturday and Sunday. It was fantastic! Probably as good as it gets really.

Turn 12

Turn 7

Looking towards Turn 6, where we had the first red flag of the weekend with a high side bike on the opening laps of the first race.

One of my British marshal friends was surprised I’m actually working an event in my home state… voila! It’s true.

NJMP got a new toy to add to the fleet of their Subaru’s… this nice looking (and sounding) Audi S3 safety car.

If you’re a bike fan, there was a lot to look at this weekend. And every time I work a bike event I really am tempted to go out and buy a bike of my own. Of course the sport bike that I want would require me to lose my gut to at least look normal on it.

Not much was out yet when I arrived on Thursday afternoon.

And a lot of familiar bikes were on display, but I was a bit disappointed to find out there is no visual spotter guide to help marshals distinguish the bikes. Or to help the fans for that matter.

Arriving on Thursday my goal was to go to the training/refresh meeting, which was neat. Dave does a great job. I was happy to see Dave using a pic of me Blue flagging (an IMSA race at Mosport a few years back) in his training material. I was surprised that there was only a handful of us in attendance though.

As cold as it was overnight, during the day it was super comfortable and warm weather. So much so I went out for ice cream one night.

It was delicious.

Big thanks to Brittany at NJMP for making this event possible for me, and I’m very much looking forward to another weekend down there soon for the NASCAR K&N East series. Interestingly enough the MotoAmerica Championship of New Jersey was presented by K&N also… whose filters I use on my marshaling rig both oil and air.

It’s going to be awesome…

Post Card from Moto America Championship of New Jersey Round 9 at NJMP Thunderbolt Mega Photo Gallery

Greetings from a beautiful weekend in South Jersey volunteering for my only bike race of this season with MotoAmerica Championship Superbikes, Superstock and Supersport bikes supported by KTM RC Cup and Vintage Bikes.

Enjoy the over 100 pix from Race Day on Sunday… and stay tuned for more to come about this awesome event.

I got to work Turn 7 which is probably the best station at Thunderbolt and certainly for me, because during our long lunch hour I was able to just walk into the paddock area and check out all the bikes… spectator bikes, bikes for sale, racing bikes, etc.

The young kids riding… that is really inspiring!

notice the missing BMW engine behind the cowling…

These KTM spec series bikes are really neat!

Love seeing all these vintage bikes, many of them for sale!

And of course lots of new stuff for sale, Suzuki and others had a great test ride opportunity with customers going on a cruise in a convoy of new bikes around Millville, New Jersey

NJMP offered a good discounted lunch option for us, all for $5 bux

Philly Cheesesteak, fries, chips and drink.

By the time I finished my lunch, the grid walk was wrapping up… so I did some drive-by shooting of pix as the bikes were getting ready to grid up and race.

The kids riding area was super cool… I think a few racers actually joined them which looked pretty funny but must have been an amazing opportunity to inspire the young riders to pursue this hobby further.

Enjoy… more to come soon!

MotoAmerica Superbike Challenge of New Jersey at NJMP Thunderbolt

It’s been a few years since I’ve marshaled Superbikes at NJMP, but this weekend was amazing thanks to a new friend I made during Trans Am weekend that invited for this season finale.

There’s been a few changes since the last time. AMA Superbikes has been rebranded as MotoAmerica. And as such has improved tremendously in my opinion. One of the biggest contributing factors to this success I think is it’s affiliation with the global organization FIM… the MotoAmerica rep that we work directly with as flaggers proudly wore an FIM North America badge on his sleeve, along with AMA (which is still a thing, apparently) as a sanctioning body.

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Unlike the last time though, there were far fewer marshals… both flaggers and recovery it seemed. That said NJMP as an organization seemed very much more appreciative of the people that showed up.

I was lucky enough to work at Turn 5, station 7 which was ideal. I especially liked the turn because it didn’t require me to go offroading in the Miata to get to it. The location was right next to the bridge that connects the Thunderbolt paddock to the world. The station had a reputation of being a very active turn but in reality this weekend we hardly had anything happen. There was one bike that went down on the last day during the warm up session, and a few bikes that moto’ed (gone 2 off in the grass).

The racing itself was spectacular. Lots of close battles throughout the field, and lots of great control of the bikes even in circumstances where I was certain the rider would lose it. I was super impressed.

I was very much impressed with MotoAmerica and NJMP facilitating training to the newbie marshals. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity so I went to see for myself what the training entailed. And I’m really happy to see the FIM organized training, the same videos used for MotoGP, being used here for MotoAmerica SBK. That’s brilliant. I really want to see all of motorsport be on the same page, no matter where in the world bikes race. If the world can follow FIM rules so can the US.

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My other favorite activities as usual were exploring the paddock. Lots of interesting bikes on display. Lots of variety. There were bikes from Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Aprilla, Ducati and BMW. KTM had a spec racer series which was awesome, very tight racing in there. One series that wasn’t present was the Harley-Davidson 1200’s… but from memory those bikes were much louder than they were fast, and they tended to leak oil a lot which is never good for racing.

So a fantastic weekend in the books. I hope this post promotes the event to other people to consider next year. This is well worth the three hour drive from NYC Metropolitan area and NJMP pays for your services! Win win…

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The Bike that Won the Hearts of Everyone at MotoAmerica SBK Challenge of NJ: FDNY Engine 23 Alexander

I think the coolest bike on track this weekend was that of Corey Alexander sporting the F.D.N.Y. Engine 23 livery in remembrance of September 11, fifteen years on. It was a beautiful sight to see on track and even more beautiful was the tribute made during the spectator pit walk before the big races took place.

The bike led a parade of emergency vehicles on track with the sirens and lights blaring. What an appropriate way to pay tribute here in New Jersey where so many people were directly affected by the tragedy.

It definitely caught my eye early on in the weekend, and after working the first day of practice I told my corner captain that I’ll have to go to the paddock and take some close up pictures of the firefighter-bike #23.

Here they are:

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Corey didn’t have a problem free weekend but the team did a great job of setting up his bike for the races. Unfortunately despite how quiet our turn was at Station 7, the one big Moto we had all weekend was bike #23 going way off in the grass before reentering the racing surface. I really hoped he’d do well this event.

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Besides the bike livery, Alexander also wore leathers resembling a firefighters uniform. I thought that was an amazing touch.

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And here’s the bike leaving to lead the parade of emergency vehicles including a police car, ambulance and a fire truck around NJMP Thunderbolt before the big race:

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Way to go team Ducati and Corey Alexander… respect!

Post Card from MotoAmerica Season Finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park NJMP Thunderbolt

Greetings from New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt home to this weekend’s MotoAmerica race… the season finale of the Superbikes, Supersport and Superstock series along with KTM spec racers. In this post I’ll share some walkabout photos while the other posts will give a better description of an amazing event. So glad I had an opportunity to be a part of it!

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Bright and early morning meetings at the NJMP Officer’s Club.

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Awesome station assignment at Turn 5, station 7 that didn’t require me to offroad my Miata on the back of the track to get to flag point.

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Great place to set up camp near the pub… I think I was the only one tenting there among many VIP’s in RV’s.

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Weather was perfect and lots of Motorcycle vendors were displaying their wares including offering prospective buyers the chance to test ride their machinery. That was neat!

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The cozy feel of NJMP Thunderbolt paddock and the open garages to spectators made everyone feel very much part of the event:

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Demographically this was probably the most diverse Motorsport event I’ve been to in a while, and of course, lots of chicks!

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Super happy I was able to make this event. Highly recommend it!