Drag Racing, Feature Article, Washington — November 30, 2004 at 4:47 pm

Joe Lind (issue 62)

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By Steve Heeb

A trip to the semi-final round in the final race at Pacific Raceways was enough to put Joe Lind atop the leader board in the track’s motorcycle championship. Lind’s run brought his point count to 260, even with Jacob Becker, who went out in the first round, and secured the championship in the rain-out plagued season.

Pacific Raceway’s dragstrip manager Russell Stevenson, credits Lind’s championship to more than a single race.

“He’s out there every Wednesday and Friday,” Stevenson says of Lind’s consistency.

“If the track were open five days a week, I’d be there,” Lind agrees.

The 31-year-old Renton racer first got hooked on the sport six years ago, when a neighbor bought a Suzuki Hayabusa. Within a year, Lind had picked up a 600-cc Honda F3 that he thought would be fun to race like he had seen on television.

Early inspiration came from fellow riders Mark Feuerborn and Dan Dahl.

“They had been racing more than 20 years,” Lind explains. “More than half my life.”

Lind says that he learned a lot from listening to the advice of the more experienced racers.

“They kind of spoon feed you the help,” Lind adds with a laugh. “They don’t want you to get too good, too fast.”

Lind estimates the track’s motorcycle include 25-30 guys, with about 20 showing up at any given race. All ready to win.

“Just listen to people,” Lind advises. “There’s no trickery. Just a bunch of honest, good-natured racers.”

“There’s a lot to learn,” Lind continues. “You have to stay focused.”

Lind currently races a bone-stock Suzuki Hayabusa, like the one his neighbor had bought years ago.

Lind’s good luck charm and girlfriend Lindsay McHale is feeling right at home going with him to the track.

“I kind of grew up out there,” she says, referring to the years she and her mother worked at Seattle Int’l Raceway doing just about everything from ticket sales to manning the pro shop. “I kind of caught the tail end of his season, but this is exactly want I want to be doing. It makes us really happy.”

They must have been even happier when Lind picked up a Wally at Bremerton Raceway’s 10th annual Westbay Auto Parts Performance Corner championships in August.

He holds the Washington/Oregon/Idaho record with a 9.67-second pass at 144 mph he made at Pacific Raceways this year.

And this is the completely street legal bike he rides to the track. Even when he’s on the road to Bremerton Raceway or Woodburn Dragstrip for a Northwest Drag Bike Assoc. event.

“I trailered it up to Mission,” Lind says of the trip North for the NHRA Division 6 finals this year. “I don’t want to get caught in the weather.”

Lind put an end to Dahl’s hopes of three-peating in the 2004 campaign. Dahl was the track’s champion in 2002 and 2003. Lind hopes to follow in Dahl’s footsteps and repeat in 2005.

He adds that a win during next season’s Div. 6 finals, to be held at Pacific Raceways, also would be nice.

“Russell [Stevenson] taking over the track has been a good thing,” Lind says of Pacific Raceway’s change in ownership three years ago that saw Stevenson’s return to the track to manage for new president Jason Fiorito. “Now we get as much respect as the cars. We really appreciate it.”

The class is made up of a variety of racers including 63 year old “Jimmy Zee” Zevenbergen, who drives the same type of bike that Lind does.

Lind remembers when former car racer Robley Evans took up racing motorcycles.

“He started asking questions about a year or two ago,” Lind recalls, always happy to help people new to the sport. “We told him to get a big bike. He started this year and finished fourth.”

Lind added that even though Evans didn’t reach his goal of a top-three finish for his debut season, he was part of the team that represented Pacific Raceways at the NHRA Finals in Mission, B.C. Not bad for a racer’s first season.

“Even a brand new first time rider can go with the other drivers,” Lind emphasizes.

“It’s easy to do,” He adds. “You just have to have the equipment: a full set of leathers, boots, gloves and a Snell helmet.”

For all the potential motorcycle racers out there, Lind offers: “Just try it. I guarantee you’ll be hooked. It’s a feeling like no other.”

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