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Nov 13, 2006

Garza, Thornton Wrap-up 2006 Championships At Arroyo Seco Raceway

Arroyo Seco Raceway November 12, 2006

By Andy Ruhl

Mike Shreve wins the battle, Ivan Garza and Ray Thornton win wars

The weather was perfect for a day of intense racing in the Arroyo Seco Motorcycle Association (ASMA) series at Arroyo Seco Raceway. November is the last round of the year.

Big winners on the day were 2007 ASMA #1 plate holder Ivan Garza, former ASMA #1 plate holder Mike Shreve, and Sandia Motorcycle Roadracing Inc. (SMRI) regular Ray Thornton.

Mike Shreve rode spectacularly to win the Formula Arroyo Unlimited GP race, setting the fastest lap time of the day on his Superstock spec, Dunlop equipped, Evan Steel Performance tuned Yamaha R6. Shreve put in a consistent string of 1:08 laps with a fastest lap of 1:08.6, which is unofficially the fastest 600cc lap of Arroyo Seco Raceway. Running at record pace, Shreve made quick work of Ivan Garza on his ZX-10R Superstock bike and Ray Thornton on his GSX-R1000 Superbike. Shreve won another race, beating Garza in the Heavyweight Superstock race earlier in the day.

"I need to thank Doug Chandler for helping me set up my bike and also showing me something I could have been doing better on the track," Shreve said. "I switched to Dunlop tires recently and they work better with my setup. My goal this weekend was to get into the 1:08s, and I did this consistently in the Formula Arroyo race. Today I did the fastest laps I have ever done at this track. My head was in the wrong place all year and I think I'm coming around. I had fun and it was a pleasure to ride with Ivan Garza today."

Ivan Garza won his share of races on the day, winning Unlimited Superstock, Middleweight Superstock, and Unlimited Superbike on his Bridgestone equipped Kawasakis. This cemented Garza's championships in all 6 classes he normally races, and helped earn him the ASMA #1 plate for 2007. Garza has also won numerous championships in other racing organizations.

"It was a great day and a great year," Garza said. "This all hasn't sunk in yet! To win all of these championships and the overall #1 plate is a really big accomplishment for me. To do it while staying safe and in one piece makes it even better. This year has been about commitment and constant improvement. There's no way I could have done it without all my friends, family and sponsors. I want to thank Leo Vince, Edge Kawasaki, GPR steering dampers and Alexa at Spider Leatherworks."

When asked about his races, Garza replied: "I waved Mike (Shreve) through in Formula Arroyo, he was faster and I needed to ride my own race. I was still able to beat Mike in other races and I had fun."

Ray Thornton, riding his Suzuki GSX-R 1000 Superbike, won the 4 race combined SMRI and ASMA Unlimited New Mexico state championship after finishing ahead of Ivan Garza in the Formula Arroyo Unlimited Superbike race. Thornton entered the race two points behind Ivan Garza, but managed to steal 2nd place from Garza in the race with a string of 1:09 laps. This clinched the title for Thornton, the inaugural winner of the new state championship. Thornton took home a $1000 prize for his efforts.

"It's an honor to win the championship," Thornton said. "It took the best race I've ever ridden to pass Ivan (Garza). The championship was more about consistency than speed."

Other expert class race winners include: Daryl Wichern in Lightweight Superbike and Lightweight GP, Greg Talbot in Formula 40 and Modern Vintage, Sergio Sanchez in Kawasaki 650R spec, and Mike Browne in Heavyweight Twins.

Arroyo Seco Raceway is located near Deming, NM. For more information, visit http://www.ASMAracing.com or call Roger Heemsbergen at 505-494-4794.

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