Newton Podiums at 2016 WERA GNF
As his 2016 racing season comes to a close, Jay Newton of Newton Racing LLC, wanted to finish on a high note. Only being able to participate in three of the nine MotoAmerica rounds, the young Texan felt as if he still had more to accomplish. This past weekend in Leeds, Alabama, at the 44th WERA Grand National Finals, he had stellar results.
Only doing one round of WERA races at NOLA Motorsports Park to get him qualified for the GNF, Jay knew he would have his work cut out for him with grid positions for the big show. He would only enter four classes, but would make full use of his time in Alabama and focus on the task at hand.
Practice was scheduled for Thursday, and Newton would quickly go to P2 for the day in the 600cc expert sessions. He struggled getting comfortable with the bike though, and knew he should be quicker. He had decided to run Pirelli tires for the weekend, looking for extra grip with the expected cooler temps, however the tire flex prohibited him from experiencing the stability he was use to from the MotoAmerica spec Dunlops. At the end of the day, Newton felt as though he still had the pace to run with the lead pack despite the rear movement he was unaccustomed to.
Friday would bring two brief warm-up sessions before the B Superstock and B Superbike races, and Newton was again P2. He would start from P8 on row three in the B Superstock, but would find himself on the podium after the checkers in P2. B Superbike would be a bit tougher however, as Jay was on row five in P11 as the green flag waved. He would not podium in this race, but still managed a very respectable P4 in the 750cc class aboard his Monkey Pumps/Robert Talbott backed Yamaha R6.
Saturday began with another set of brief practice sessions before the scheduled C Superstock and C Superbike races. Newton checked his grid positions, and noticed that he was in the second wave for both races. A hurdle that would be extremely difficult to overcome. In C Superstock with a three row gap to the first wave and starting P20, the young gun would put his head down and make his way to the podium again, crossing the line P3. The C Superbike class would see Newton coming from the second wave again, however, there was a five row split and longer hold this time, and starting from P16 would make it impossible for him to grasp another podium. Again though, he made a valiant effort and dazzled the spectators with a great show by running up to take P4.
With two podiums and two top five’s, Newton's 2016 WERA GNF was in the books. Though he missed out on a National Championship, he experienced a successful weekend of racing and gained knowledge that will help him in the future. With his plans for 2017 undecided, Newton and his team will do everything possible to regroup and be back on the grid next season.