DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (December 3, 2013)- AMA Pro Racing is pleased to announce the complete AMA Pro Flat Track schedule for the upcoming 2014 season; an agenda that includes 16 rounds featuring non-stop entertainment and thrilling motorcycle racing action from the AMA Pro Grand National Championship (GNC) and AMA Pro Singles classes
"We're excited to be announcing the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track schedule today," said Michael Gentry, Chief Operating Officer of AMA Pro Racing. "AMA Pro Flat Track is America's original extreme sport, and we're looking forward to watching our riders thrill crowds across the country during another action-packed season of racing in 2014."
Of the 16 races scheduled as part of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track calendar, the GNC Expert Singles will compete at four of the rounds, broken down into two Short Tracks and two TTs, while the thundering GNC Expert Twins will contest the remaining 12 rounds, consisting of six Half-Mile and six Mile tracks. Fans can also expect to watch the sport's finest up-and-coming talent battle for fame and glory in Pro Singles races at the majority of the events.
On March 13 and 14, 2014, DAYTONA Flat Track will once again play host to the AMA Pro Flat Track opener as the series kicks off the 2014 season with a doubleheader on the quarter-mile lime rock track located just outside Daytona International Speedway's west banking. At the 2013 season opener in Daytona Beach, Fla., fans witnessed four riders claim their first career victories at the professional level in dramatic fashion.
Next up, the series will make its first annual stop in Springfield, Ill. for the Springfield Mile on May 25, 2014 and will return again to the legendary venue on August 31, 2014 for the second go-around. Last season, Brandon Robinson made his money at Springfield, earning two convincing victories in a crucial late-season doubleheader weekend.
The series will head to Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa on June 15, 2014 for Round 4. Kenny Coolbeth earned a split-second victory at the Knoxville Half-Mile in 2012 over then defending champion Jake Johnson. After taking a break from the Marion County venue in 2013, the series is scheduled to return to Knoxville Raceway in 2014 to run in conjunction with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series and provide the same exhilarating action that it does everywhere else.
Round 5 of AMA Pro Flat Track will take place at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio for the Lima Half-Mile on June 28, 2014. Dating back to 1984, AMA Pro Flat Track has made the trek to Lima to take on the pea-gravel circuit and the 2014 event should be another weekend filled with exciting racing.
It wouldn't be a normal 4th of July weekend without AMA Pro Flat Track racing in Hagerstown, Md. The series is set to roll out the thundering twin-cylinder motorcycles on July 5, 2014 at Hagerstown Speedway for the Hagerstown Half-Mile. Eventual 2013 Grand National Champion Brad Baker earned his first win at the GNC Expert level at Hagerstown last season and will look to have similar success following America's Independence Day in 2014.
The first west coast tour begins on July 19, 2014 with a Half-Mile event at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. The venue will serve as the first time that AMA Pro Flat Track tires will have touched this particular soil and the event will be hosted by a new promoter.
On July 26, 2014, the series will make its second west coast appearance at the famous Sacramento Mile in Sacramento, Calif. Last season, Bryan Smith recorded his first of two wins on the year at the Cal Expo and the Flint, Mich. product will look to continue his success on mile-long tracks when the series returns to Sacramento in 2014.
The first TT event will take place at Castle Rock Race Park in Castle Rock, Wash. for the Castle Rock TT on August 2, 2014. Jeffrey Carver recorded his lone win of the season last year in AMA Pro Expert Singles competition as he crossed the stripe a little over a second ahead of second-place finisher and 2012 Grand National Champion Jared Mees.
Next up, the series heads to Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D. for the Sturgis Half-Mile on August 5, 2014, run in conjunction with the largest annual bike rally in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts will flock to the 74th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the timing couldn't be any better with the Grand National Championship coming to town in the midst of all the excitement.
The Indy Mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Ind., returns to the 2014 schedule on August 8, 2014 and the event will once again coincide with both the Indiana State Fair and MotoGP's state-side return for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Next up is the second and final TT of the season, and the granddaddy of them all, scheduled for August 17, 2014 at Peoria Race Park in Peoria, Ill. Henry Wiles has owned the Peoria TT for nearly an entire decade and he will look to collect his 10th win at the Midwest venue next season. The Peoria TT has been a staple on the Grand National circuit since 1947 and still packs the hillsides with spectators eager to watch the high-flying singles takes to the track.
After a successful inauguration to the Grand National scene last season, Colonial Downs will host Round 13 of the AMA Pro Flat Track schedule on August 23, 2014. The 1.25 mile-long circuit, located in New Kent, Va., measures in as the largest track on the schedule and will surely provide for some thrilling racing action.
Following the second Springfield Mile event on Labor Day weekend, the season wraps up with two final bouts on the west coast with the Santa Rosa Mile in Santa Rosa, Calif. on September 28, 2014 and the Flat Track Season Finale on October 11, 2014 at the LA County Fairplex in Pomona, Calif. These two races proved to be critical at the tail-end of last season, as Brad Baker, Bryan Smith and Brandon Robinson were neck-and-neck going down the homestretch of 2013. In the end it was Baker who sealed the final victory at Pomona to cap off an amazing season and capture the coveted No. 1 plate.
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
For additional information contact: AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014, firstname.lastname@example.org@amaproracing.com
RIDE Academy Returns to Florida Winter 2014
First Stop for the 2014 RIDE Tour
(Dec 4, 2013) - Just a day after the AMA Pro Flat Track Championship Series releases it's 2014 schedule with the opening rounds in Daytona Florida March 13th & 14th, RIDE Academy releases the first stop on their 2014 RIDE Tour also in Florida. Kicking off the 2014 tour, RIDE Academy has planned a two training class in Ocala, Florida at the Marion County Speedway on February 1st and 2nd. This will mark the second RIDE Academy training class at this facility, providing techniques and education to many of the Southern Dirt Track Association racers as well as surrounding racers under the Florida sunshine. RIDE Academy's founder Mike Hacker, has decided to take this training class to the next level, the talent of the SDTA racers allows RIDE Academy to offer a "Race Bike" training class where riders will be educated and trained to develop new riding techniques on their personal race bikes. RIDE Academy's instructor Johnny Lewis stated. " I also feel this is the next step for racers to really develop themselves and their machines to perform at their best, we educate not only the racers but the crew members of the racers ( parents/ mechanics) at RIDE Academy because it's about building a whole package, developing a program that works and allows for success on the race track".
Passionate about progression, RIDE has designed a program that works in repetition, allowing a rider/ racer to progress is what makes champions. RIDE believes they have a formula that will lead many riders to success. RIDE is here to extend our combined knowledge to fellow riders so that they can become the best they can be in a far less amount of time that it has taken each and everyone of our instructors. To reach excellence you must be determined and willing to have an open mind to take advice and instruction. "We instruct on the the importance of maintaining the right body position, utilizing each control on your motorcycle, and using proper techniques to ensure you will be the most successful motorcycle rider or racer you can be", says Mike Hacker former national number 67. Programming the mind to be in the correct body position at all times is one of Mike Hackers main goals. Even before the riders start to perform the drills on track, RIDE Academy riders get one on one instructing on the RIDE Academy CRF80 and CRF450 simulators. Mike Hacker teamed up with Rick from Greater Works to develop a simulator the best fitted the need of the RIDE Academy crew to instructor all riders on the proper body position. Founder of Greater Works Rick stated, " To have the opportunity to work with the RIDE Academy crew of Mike Hacker, Johnny Lewis, and Kenny Coolbeth has been an honor for Greater Works and the students that I have help me engineer and produce these simulators. Our students enjoy the concept of the simulators, understanding balance of the rider on the motorcycle and how the bikes reacts to weight transfer, its fascinating!"
The crew will include three time AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth, National number 10 Johnny Lewis who has AMA Pro wins in both AMA Supermoto and AMA Flat Track, Mike Hacker former National number 67 with multiple AMA Pro Grand National wins, 2011 Grand national Champion Jared Mees National # 9, "Young Gun" Ryan Wells number 94B who missed out on the 2013 AMA Pro Singles Championship by 1 point and Cody Johncox 96B who has impressive AMA Pro Single wins that include Springfield Mile and Virginia Mega Mile. The two days will run on both Marion County Speedways short track and T.T race tracks, both used by SDTA. Class will kick off with a brief morning introduction followed by "Tech Inspection" where the RIDE crew looks over each and every motorcycle/rider to provide pre- class tips they see that could better the riders success throughout the 2 day training class. Be sure to bring the necessary tools and products such as fuel to get you through 2 days of training. RIDE will be on hand to help with mechanical issues within reason as they want to make sure all riders stay on track throughout the weekend. RIDE won't make you do a mud drill on your race bike so we don't intend to get your bikes any dirtier then a normal race weekend. RIDE and the SDTA crew will be providing lunch both days for the riders with additional meal tickets available for crew members including family and friends.
As RIDE strides to provide the best to their students, building a stronger training program each year, they also stride to keep the
cost as affordable as they can. The two day "Race Bike" training class is $500 and is now accepting credit card for deposits. By visiting
www.RIDEAcademy.com and clicking the "Sign up Now!) tab, filling out & sending in the "RIDE Student Entry Form" als well as sending in the $200 deposit
by either check or credit card you can hold your spot for this date. 2013 RIDE Academy "Sold Out" within a week, so make sure to get your entry in as
soon as possible. Here is the 2013 RIDE Academy Ocala video-
For questions, comments, concerns email on out contact page www.rideacademy.com/#!contact-us To sign up with credit card call Mike
Hacker at 804- 586-6117, to sign up by check make checks payable to "RIDE Academy" and send to the address below:
19203 Temple Ave.
Colonial Heights, VA 23834
An email will be sent out two weeks prior with training class start and end times for both days Feb. 1st & 2nd to allow riders and
crew members to plan accordingly. In the meantime visit our Facebook page for any news and updates we may post
Kenny Coolbeth joins forces with Zanotti Racing to go after the 2014 GNC Expert Championship. Dave Atherton will build the motors and provide lead mechanic duties at the track. Kenny will be riding XR750's from the Zanotti Racing collection and CRF450s with support from Chaplin Honda. Kenny recently visited Dave Atherton's shop in Michigan and had this to say "I am really excited about riding for Dave Zanotti with Dave Atherton spinning the wrenches, I am sure we will have the best equipment out there and I am looking forward to winning races and have fun doing it, I want to thank Dave Zanotti for beleaving in me and I can't wait until Daytona".
The 3-time GNC Champion is healthy and mentally focused on a fresh start for the 2014 season. The Twins will be tuned out of the Atherton Racing shop in Michigan and the Singles will be tuned by Zanotti Racing in California .
The team is actively looking for additional sponsors, please contact Shawn McNary email@example.com if you are interested.
With only a week off after finishing up the AMA Pro season it was back to work for the Steve Nace Indoor season. Steve has about an eight race series every winter that I enjoy doing. There is always some fast guys that show up and racing motorcycles is what I love to do so I'qm not going to let the winter stop it. For the past couple years we have had new bikes to ride and test to get ready for next year and this year was no different. TJ Burnett, James Hart, Jimmy Wood, and I have used Du Quoin and other indoors races to build some National winning bikes. Anything from a few different Honda's, Kawasaki's and now a Yamaha.
This year we decided to try something different. We haven't had any Yamaha's and had a local shop wanting to help so I decided to get on one. They gave us the bike the weekend before the race and somehow we got it all built for the weekend. It was a lot of work but it made it all worth it when we got it done and did the first laps during Friday night practice. We had to get the suspension done by Southland Suspension (Jimmy Wood) who is based out of California. That was the hardest thing, getting the forks and shock out there and getting it back in time. James got the forks to his shop Thursday so I loaded the bike up with no suspension wednesday night and left first thing Thursday morning once my number plate graphics came in from Victory Circle Graphix.
Once I was up there we got right to work putting the forks on and getting the wheels to fit. We ran my Honda wheels to save money and time from building new wheels. James made everything we needed in his small shop. I've been to a lot of Factory Road Race and Motocross shops and to see the stuff James can turn out in his little shop is awesome. It's always a good time going up there to work on bikes. Thursday we got the front wheel, forks, and graphics on the bikes. We had some spare time so we did a few things to the bike to give it that Hart touch.
Friday night there wasn't to many people at practice, actually there wasn't to many people racing Saturday either. I hate that for Steve but as the winter goes on we always get better turnouts. It was a lot of fun riding Friday night, James and I had never worked with a Yamaha so everything was so new. Every time we got off the track we changed stuff just to see what it would do. By the end of the night we had the bike working decent. It didn't do everything I wanted but for the first day it was good.
Saturday morning Steve always has go kart races and of course I was there working. I think if I was MotoGP World Champion, Steve would still be making sure I was there working. I don't mind it though, I have a fun time and enjoy the people I work with. It keeps me thankful for everything I have.
After the karts it was time for us to race. Steve had the track awesome all night. He kept water in it and dug it up to keep the grove away as much as he could. We raced four classes, 3 on the Short Track and 1 on the TT and won all of them. It was some great racing and a lot of fun. The first main the track was dug up so I started on the outside and decided to hold up on the line so I would start last and see what I could do with the bike. We had a 12 lap race and I had to work every lap. It was exciting to do on a new bike. I've come from last before on the Honda but I know that bike like the back of my hand. I was one with that bike. It was cool to do it on the Yamaha, see how well I could throw it around and make it do things. Every bike handles differently but it was nice to see I could make it do what I wanted.
The TT layout was also a lot of fun. Steve did a good job on it. With the way the AMA Pro Dirt Track calendar is that is really all I get to do on the 450's is the TT's. Which that doesn't bother me because I love TT's and you never know there might be more races next year. The TT at Du Quoin is no Peoria TT but the bike was awesome. It felt great in the right handers and in the tight stuff. That gave me a bit of a sign of relief.
Now that we got the first race out of the way we have two weeks until the next one. The famous Springfield Indoor, I've never raced there because they haven't ran there in about 6 years but I swear I hear at least 5 stories about it every race weekend. It will be fun to finally get the chance to race there and to see how the Yamaha works at a different track. I'm really looking forward to it, until then the Burnett Farms National Trail riding series starts. The year end points fund is nothing, the average riding age is probably 60 but it's some of the most fun you'll have on a dirt bike.
Oxford, PA. - October 15, 2013 - Brandon Robinson closed out the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship season with a tough 9th-place finish at the Pomona Half-Mile season finale, to cap off his excellent first season with the TJ Burnett Farms Kawasaki team. "We struggled with set-up at Pomona and fought the track but just couldn't get it any better for the season finale," stated Brandon after the rough weekend, "but to end up in the 3rd-place spot in the overall championship standings was great for our first year together. We're also looking forward to the 2014 season as we have things already set in stone to all stay together, so hopefully we can improve on that, and we're real proud of our three wins and six top-3s for the year."
The TJ Burnett Farms team and Brandon were as disappointed as the fans were about the cancellation of the main events at the Santa Rosa Mile on September 29. "We were solid at Santa Rosa, but Mother Nature wasn't working with us that afternoon, and it was a shame for the fans as well as for us racers. But the Circle Bell Motorsports promoters and the officials with AMA Pro Flat Track made the right call in lieu of the safety factor involved with the heavy mist that had rolled in," commented Robinson, "there was just no way to continue safely."
The team did end the season on several big and bold notes. AMA Pro Flat Track awarded the 2013 Team Excellence Award to the TJ Burnett Farms team after the Pomona finale for their professional representation of the sport in the paddock and their great results on the track in just their first full season together, and Brandon also captured the championships (by a landslide) in both the Expert Twins and Expert Singles classes in the Steve Nace Racing All-Star AMA National Flat Track Series presented by GoldenTyre. "It was an honor to get the Team Excellence Award for TJ and the team, and winning the #1 plates in the Steve Nace All-Star Series was huge, as Jared Mees has pretty much had those covered for the last couple of seasons," Robinson noted.
The team will be working hard during the off-season to come back and improve on their standings for the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season. "We're headed to Oglethorpe Speedway outside of Savannah, GA. on November 9 for an outlaw race," commented the double All-Star Champion. "We're going down to have some fun and do some testing since that is my favorite track."
The team would again like to thank all of it's fans for taking the time to visit with us this season during the fan walks and after each of the races, and hope you are all as ready as we are for the new season to begin in several months at Daytona in mid-March, and are looking forward to another year together to show all of you fans what we can do again and in stepping it up for the new year ahead.
Santa Rosa Mile
Santa Rosa is a cushion mile that we first went to last year. The track was pretty deep this year and it was my first outing on the Racing Unlimited Kawasaki. I qualified 7th and the Kawasaki seemed to be working pretty well for its first time on a surface like this. I got a good start in the heat and had a good shot at making the dash until Matt Weidman got by me and I ended up 3rd. So I was lined up 8th for the main event and after rain delays for some time we finally got on the track and attempted to start the race. There was so much moisture on the ground and the spray was bad, Sam Halbert fell on the 3rd lap and they decided to cancel the main event. One point was awarded for everyone in the main event and we were paid out from where we qualified for the main event.
Pomona Half Mile
Pomona is a 5/8 paperclip style track with similar surface as Santa Rosa. We struggled a little bit to get the Kawasaki working in qualifying and timed in 13th. I had the outside starting position and got a good jump off the line in the heat race. I finished 3rd in the heat to Baker (#12) and Halbert. I picked the outside of the 2nd row for the main event. I got off the line good but everyone came up the track in the first corner and forced me way up high. We had made some good improvements to the bike from practice and I finished 8th in the main event.
I finished the season 10th overall in AMA points after missing out on some finishes. Also finished 3rd in both the twins and singles class in the All Star Series Points. We planned on having 2 Kawasaki twins ready for the beginning of the year but after some set backs I only raced it in the last two races of the season and was forced to use what we had planned as backup bikes through the season. We are gathering parts to put the second Kawasaki together now and should have it together very soon. Plus we are making some decisions on what we want the next one to be as far as a frame, suspension, motor size. Next year we will have at least two race ready machines and be a threat everywhere on the schedule.
Brad Baker may just be the newest phenomenon in our sport. Just like Jake Johnson was when he burst onto the scene, Brad is doing amazing things very very early in his career. Now our Grand National Champion in only his 3rd Expert Season, Brad not only won the title after losing big points in a rule infraction in Daytona to start the season, but put a HUGE stamp on his title run when he put on one of the greatest shows in our sport's history in Pomona last weekend, taking home the win and the title. Here is what Brad had to say about the season.
FFDT: Brad Baker you have now entered the history books, you are now the 2013 AMA Pro Racing Grand National Champion, tell us about that.
BB: Yeah, it's amazing. I mean, this whole year, this is what I've had my sights set on you know, my whole life as a motorcycle racer. From way back when I was an amateur rider, I mean, everybody's goal is to be the Grand National Champion one day. With the way things are in our sport, when you win the Expert Grand National Championship, you can consider yourself the best dirt tracker in the world. That feels great, I just can't really even begin to describe how that feels. I'm just super pumped.
FFDT: It's really amazing how things turned out for you this year because it seemed like after Daytona, nothing was really going your way. You lost some points due to a rules infraction there, but from that you just went on a tear it seemed.
BB: That deal in Daytona, I still believe that was a little bit of a BS deal but really, that's racing for you. That stuff happens and sometimes you have to fight the rule book along with the racers on the track. That deal had me down for a couple of days right after it happened but it pretty much fueled my fire a little bit more for the rest of the season. I came on even stronger and used it to really put it to everybody.
FFDT: You and I talked a lot early in the year and you had mentioned the schedule and how we had so many miles in a row. You knew how strong Bryan Smith would be on those miles and you said that you were just going to hang as close as you could on the miles and then win Pomona. You did just that! What kind of confidence does that take to be able to pull something like that off?
BB: It just takes so much self motivation and drive to know that you just have to go into the last round and win the championship. A lot of people in Pomona were like "well, you just have to do this" or "you just have to finish here and you have it wrapped up". Pomona is one of my favorite race tracks, I've gotten 2nd there the last 2 years, even last year I won the Dash for Cash. If you are a racer, obviously the main objective every time you hit the race track you are there to win. I just don't know anything different when I am out on the race track. Everything else gets put to the side and the task at hand is to go out there and try to win the thing. Pomona is a track where you have to push really hard, dig really deep no matter what if you want to do good there. I did that and some. A couple of times and one really scary moment in between turns 1 and 2, I mean mistakes are going to happen. You just have to realize what you did and make sure that you don't do it again. I got back on track, got the victory and just put a capitol C on the Championship.
FFDT: Let's talk about that near crash. The video from it was insane. During the moment did you even have time to think about what was happening or did you just react as it was going on. If it was pure reaction, what went through your mind when you got the bike back going down the straightaway?
BB: HAHAHAHA, you know, it didn't seem that bad when I was on the motorcycle. I knew it was a pretty scetchy moment but it all happens so quick that your instincts on a motorcycle kick in at that point. At one time I was almost kissing the triple clamps and I had my feet up in the air and I was heading straight for the air fence. The next moment I was headed back down the straight away. I thought for a second, "man, all I have to do is not do that, I don't want to crash!" That was a close call but I backed it down a little from what I was doing, but it was still enough that I found and good line and I was able to reel Bryan back in. When I caught back up with him, I think he was making mistakes and I thought my line was a lot better than his, so I thought I might as well continue to push to win this thing.
FFDT: Talk about that battle with Bryan. Some were saying it was the best dirt track race that they had ever seen. Last year there was a little controversy about the battle in Pomona that went down between the two riders going for the title and Bryan was very vocal about how unhappy he was about that battle for the title last season. This year it was you and Bryan in the battle and you two raced as hard as two people can race and not make contact. Did you have 100% trust in Bryan that he wouldn't pull anything dirty that may affect the championship?
BB: I had a lot of trust in Bryan. Some people came up to me after the race and thought he may have pulled some dirty moves out there, but it was all clean. There was never a time where he came into my line or made contact or anything. The both of us just ran a very hard clean race. We passed each other for probably 10 laps in every corner. He would pass me going in, then we would cross lines and I would lead coming off. There were a couple of times where we were really close but we never touched. We never had to stand each other up or anything like that. I had a lot of trust in him. A lot of what happened last year between Jared and Sammy, with Bryan being so vocal about that, I knew he wouldn't be a hypocrite about it and then do the same thing to me. I felt pretty good. It was probably one of the best races of my career and also one of the most fun. It may go down as my all time favorite because I had to dig deep to win it and then I wrapped up the championship at the same time.
FFDT: It's obvious that you are very young. You are 20 years old and this is just your 3rd season as an Expert. Your rise through the sport is pretty much unprecedented. Nobody as young as you has pulled off the Championship since the 70's. Do you think about that at all, or do you already feel like it was your time?
BB: I feel like I'm very fortunate to do what I did at such a young age. At the same time, I don't know of anybody who has tried harder and dedicated their whole entire life to racing motorcycles and becoming better like I have. I was just always pushing to get better and better. I know there are guys like Bryan Smith who I just beat for the Championship that have been doing this for a long time. I'm not saying that I'm more deserving that he is, but I do believe that I'm just as deserving as he is to win the title. I have tried just as hard and even though it's been for a shorter amount of time I have given just as much effort, maybe even more. I love being able to say that I've stepped up the ladder in dirt track every single year. I definitely feel quite deserving of the championship.
FFDT: You have always been one of the guys who will race any time, anywhere. You go to a lot of big money outlaw races, most of the All-Star events, and even quite a few local events. Last year's champion, Jared Mees was always like that too, but it seemed like this year he cut back on that a little bit. Do you see yourself continuing to barn storm around or will you pull it back a little bit?
BB: I think that I'm going to keep on racing every single weekend if I can. My job is to be a motorcycle racer. I mean, from the time I decided not to go to college I knew I was was going to be a full time motorcycle racer. If I have a free weekend, I might as well be somewhere racing and making a little extra money while staying sharp on the bike. I think it helps me racing a lot. It keeps you sharp and just riding and training, I don't think that's enough. I think you have to keep that racer's mentality by going out and racing. I plan on keeping on doing what I have been doing. I think people respect that. A lot of the kids who race at the local races appreciate it and until later on in my career when I feel like I need to pull it back a little bit, I'm going to keep on doing it. I'm only 20 years old so I'm going to race as much as I can while I can.
FFDT: Where do you go from here? When you picked up the ride from the Dodge Brothers, the joke in the sport was that those motorcycles never leave California and don't turn back as soon as that trailer door shuts. Since you got on their stuff, everything has gone great. Do you see your relationship with them going forward or have you even started to think about 2014 yet?
BB: Of course I have things in the works for 2014. Tony Dodge has done a phenomenal job of supplying great equipment but a lot of the credit for how the bikes run needs to go to Dave Atherton. The bikes are owned by Tony Dodge but the reason they look and run like they do is because of Dave Atherton working on them. Him and I had a lot of sleepless nights and restless days to get them to this point and to keep them perfect all year. It's hard to leave that family and relationship because of how comfortable I am on those motorcycles. Of course there are a couple of irons in the fire and I can go somewhere else or I can put my nose to the grindstone and try to see if this number 1 plate will help me bring in some more money so that I can build up my own team. I have a lot of big decisions on what I want to do for 2014. Regardless of what it is, I think I'll still have great equipment underneath me.
FFDT: So right now can you promise that Fight For Dirt Track will be the first to know when you make a choice for 2014?
BB: Yeah! Heck man, I'll just shoot you a text saying that we need to do an interview!
FFDT: Awesome. It was a long year, a little odd with the cancellations and rain outs and stuff. What would you say was your best moment of the entire year not including your Pomona win and Championship?
BB: I don't know. It's a toss up between winning my first ever Grand National with flying colors in Hagerstown or winning the Singles title over Henry Wiles in Peoria. That singles title was only 4 races, and I lost 19 points in Daytona. To still win that title over Henry Wiles who is probably the best singles racer right now and to do it in Peoria was probably my biggest moment.
FFDT: Speaking of Peoria, you rode a KTM there. As far as Singles go, will you be back on the KTM or will you continue to ride your own Honda's?
BB: It's already set up, there hasn't been a press release, but it's a done deal between me and the Fun Mart Cycle Center KTM crew for next year. They are out of Moline Illinois and Junior Jackson is setting me up with two 2014 KTM 450's and I'll be on Orange motorcycles during all of the singles races next year.
FFDT: To wrap things up, what do you want to talk about? I mean, you are the Champ, you get to do whatever you want now!
BB: Hahaha, Well, I probably need to get off the phone. I'm going over to Aaron Colton's to hang out for a little while and I'm creeping through his neighborhood in my van with this trailer and I really don't know where I'm going. Multi-tasking isn't going so well. I don't know exactly where I'm at!
FFDT: Alright Brad, congratulations once again on the Title and we'll talk to you soon!
BB: Thanks a lot!
Wyatt Maguire's Championship run was nothing short of amazing. He started off the year strong, but then it seemed like a black cloud just kept following him. Mechanical problems with his bike, a broken leg and then re-injuring that leg in the next to last round of the season, it seemed like the Washington State native just couldn't catch a break. However, he wouldn't be denied his chance to end up in the history books and he did the most with what some would consider the least to capture the 2013 Pro Singles Championship. Here is what Wyatt had to say about his season and what the future may hold for him.
FFDT: Wyatt Maguire you are the 2013 Pro Singles Champion and it certainly didn't come easy for you. Tell us a little bit about it!
WM: Well, it was going ok until Castle Rock I guess. My exhaust fell off about half way through that main event which caused me to go backwards a little bit. That was the start of the bad luck. We went to Peoria after that, and I was OK in qualifying, but nothing real great, not as good as we wanted but better than last year was. I ended up catching my right leg in the right hander after the jump and I actually broke it. I finished the day there, I didn't make the main and to be honest I don't know how many spots out we were on the main event. In Indy my chain came off in the heat race so I had to run a Semi. I came from the 3rd row in the main to finish 5th, so that was pretty awesome. In Virginia, we had more bad luck. The KTM I was on sucked some dirt into the engine and then we couldn't get my Yamaha running as well as it usually does. I had to go to a semi there and also had to start on the 3rd row again, but just like Indy I ended up 5th which was good. Just a little bad luck there. After that we headed to Santa Rosa and we were just down on horsepower. I ended up crashing and they ended canceling the race because of the track conditions. That probably actually helped us out. That really hurt Ryan Wells though. That was really tough for him, but it did play into our favor. I guess in a way that was good luck for us. In Pomona, we came in and were just able to get the job there.
FFDT: You talked about the rough spots in the year but you also had some really bright spots too, especially in Stockton California.
WM: Yeah, Stockton was awesome! That literally went exactly as planned. We unloaded the bike that day, it was awesome, I think we changed one tooth on the sprocket and that was it all day. After we did that the bike just simply worked. I can't sum it up any other way, it just worked. It was unbelievable how well that day went. If every day went as good as that, everybody would be a racer. It just isn't that way every day. We had a good start to the season. I was 10th in Daytona, which I wasn't too thrilled about, but on day 2 we were 4th in Daytona so I was pretty happy with that. The next round was Stockton and we won that, then we headed to Hagerstown and I came home with a 2nd place there. The season was looking really awesome from the beginning. We had a few bumps in the road but the way it all turned out, it's all good!
FFDT: I think a couple of bumps in the road is an understatement when you are racing with a broken leg. At what point in the year did the championship start to come into focus for you? I mean, you did hold the points lead through most of the season.
WM: Honestly, I went into the year with the title as the goal. I wanted to leave Daytona with the points lead. Now, we weren't able to leave with it, but we weren't too far behind either. I think we were 2nd or 3rd, but it wasn't too bad. From the beginning it was my goal to win this title. I know I wasn't the only person with that goal but once Stockton happened for us and we started leading the points it was a lot easier to focus on the championship. We knew we had to be consistent, be in the top 5 each race and try to never be outside of the top 10.
FFDT: Fast forward to Pomona. You went into the race with a 5 point lead, but you re-injured your leg in your Santa Rosa crash. How much pain were you in going into Pomona?
WM: It really wasn't that bad. The week after Santa Rosa it bothered me a little bit. On a pain scale, it was probably as bad in Pomona as it was in Virginia right after I hurt it the first time. I'm not doing too bad with the pain right now, I still have a little time left in the air cast.
FFDT: In Pomona, were you focusing on where you needed to be to win the title or did you just know you had to win?
WM: At Pomona I wasn't worried at all about where Ryan and I needed to finish. That was the absolute least of my worries. The number one thing I was thinking was to have fun and win the race. Everybody goes into the race wanting to win it, so that is what I went to do. Winning Pomona was where my eyes were set. I didn't care where anybody else finished. Sure, I didn't get the win in Pomona, but I did well enough to bring home the championship.
FFDT: How cool is it that both national championships went to riders who are both from Washington state?
WM: It's pretty awesome. That's a first for our state. It's cool to have the titles coming home!
FFDT: Where do you go from here Wyatt? Do you throw a big red number 1 on your 450 and go racing or do you cash it in for a national number and race Expert?
WM: I want to pick a national number and go Expert. The biggest thing right now is figuring out what we can do for a twin next year. We don't know if we can find somebody who will put me on one, if we can build one on our own or what. It's hard to figure out just what I want to be on. There are a lot of options and then no options at the same time it seems. We can build one, and there are lots of options there, we can build a Harley, a Kawasaki, a Suzuki as far as that is concerned there isn't one bike that is really standing out any more. Then you look at the no options thing, and that is just the fact that I don't have a bike. Nobody is throwing a twin at me. The goal right now until the beginning of the season is to figure out what we are going to do for a twin ride.
FFDT: Whether or not you go Expert, you will still need a twin being that the Pro Singles class is going to change next year. You need a twin either way.
WM: Yeah, it's going to be more difficult to find a twins ride now because so many more riders are going to need one. That's the biggest thing that I am having to focus on. Not only finding a twin to ride, but making sure that it is capable of running up front. That's the goal next year, get on a twin, get some seat time on one and try to make a few main events.
FFDT: If you look at the Pro Singles champions over the last few years, you see that you are ready to get into the Expert Class. Brad Baker, the 2009 Pro Singles Champion just won the Expert Grand National Title, Jeffrey Carver in 2010 just won his first national this year, Mikey Martin in 2011 has a Factory Triumph ride and has been very impressive. Stephen Vanderkuur chose to defend his title this year instead of go Expert, but he would have been in the main event mix I think too. The point is that Pro Singles Champions fit right into the Expert mix. Where do you think you'll fit in?
WM: That's a tough call. I've thrown one leg over one twin and it didn't handle very well. We made the cut, but we didn't make the main on it. I think my biggest thing is just getting on a twin and getting some seat time. We can go from there. My goal would obviously be to make mains and then progress from there. I really would like to make a few Expert mains and progress. The whole thing is still up the air whether I got Expert or not. I really want to go Expert but without a twin it's hard to say we are going to go Expert right now.
FFDT: If you go Expert, because of the championship, you'll get to pick a national number. I guess you've been keeping an eye on that number 18 right?
WM: Yeah, I have. I think it's taken though.
FFDT: It's held by somebody who hasn't scored points in the last year, which would mean you could have it.
WM: ooooooo...yeah, that is true.
FFDT: That would look good on a twin right?
WM: That would look awesome on a twin!
FFDT: I can't say enough how proud I am of you pulling this championship off. You are one of my favorite racers to talk to at the races. Really level headed, a hard worker, man, enjoy your off season and hopefully we see you one some good stuff next year.
WM: That means a lot and I mean, I won this title even without your lucky boot!
FFDT: Hey, I wasn't going to bring that up, but it did bring you a 5th in Indy. If only it was that lucky for me!
WM: It was AWESOME luck in Indy! Maybe I need to wear it one more time for you to put some luck in it!
FFDT: Alright, I'll send it out! Thanks again for talking with us!
WM: Thank you!
JR Addison has stormed onto the Pro Singles class this year and ended things on a high note. After some heart breaking mechanicals, crashes and one case of bad weather, JR finally cashed everything in and scored a HUGE win in Pomona when he set sail on his Honda 450 to win Pomona by a long shot. Here is what the series rookie had to say about his weekend in Southern California.
FFDT: JR Addison you finally got a real win in the Pro Singles class this season after having the weather rob you of one in Santa Rosa a few weeks ago. How does it feel?
JRA: It feels great. After Santa Rosa, man I was just riding so good there. I really wanted my first win that day. It didn't work out, but really it made me want the win in Pomona even more, and, I got it.
FFDT: You're a kid from Ohio, so you have a ton of experience on cushion tracks. Would you say that the track in Pomona kind of played into your favor?
JRA: Oh yeah, definitely. Growing up in Ohio, we had pretty much nothing but cushion race tracks. Pomona was a little bit different because it was more sandy than the stuff that we have at home but it was a lot like pea gravel and you could use the same riding style on it. It really played into my favor.
FFDT: Tell us about the day. Did it seem like everything came to you pretty easy or did you have to make a lot of set up changes through the day?
JRA: Yeah, right after the first round of practice I didn't feel just right. I mean, we were ok on the charts in qualifying, but we didn't set the fast time until the final round of qualifying. We made a few changes with gearing and set up then, but after that we didn't mess with the thing the rest of the day.
FFDT: How did the heat race go for your?
JRA: The heat race went good. I got a decent start and I was running 2nd for a couple of laps and was able to make the pass and just go for it. That helped a lot.
FFDT: There was a ton of roost at Pomona, did you ever have trouble with your vision?
JRA: No, not really. I loaded on the tear-offs before the race even started. I knew that if I got behind someone I was going to need a lot of them. After the first couple of laps I got up front and it was clear sailing from there.
FFDT: What about the main event? Going into it did you have a game plan at all? Was there any racer that you were worried about when you headed to the line?
JRA: I knew getting the start was going to be key. I knew if I could just get out front in the first few laps that I had a great chance of winning. The track was really starting to play into my favor and everything was going right. I was able to get a good start and I made the pass for the lead early on and I just never looked back.
FFDT: It was your rookie year, would you say that you accomplish what you set out to do? Did you expect more from yourself or did you meet or exceed your goals?
JRA: I didn't do as great as I hoped early on in the year. We had some bike problems, then I crashed a few times, but overall it was a good year. I ended it up well and now I know that going into next year that I can win races and go for a championship.
FFDT: The Pro Singles will be changing next year and for several events you guys will be on twins equipment. Have you thought about a twins program? Has anybody approached you to ride a twin?
JRA: We are actually in the middle of getting a twin built, my Dad and I. Nobody has talked to me about riding their twin, so we are building our own.
FFDT: Can you tell us what you are building?
JRA: We are building a Kawasaki 650.
FFDT: Now you have a long off season ahead of you, what are you planning on doing?
JRA: I plan to do a bunch of ice riding. I really want to ride more over the winter and train a little harder. I also really enjoy hunting, so I'm planning on spending quite a bit of time deer hunting this winter too. That's pretty much my plan.
FFDT: Are you going to come down and do any indoor racing with us?
JRA: Oh sure, I know I'll make a few of the Steve Nace indoor races.
FFDT: Are you going to be one of those racers who does the first few indoors until the ice comes in and then we don't see you again until Daytona?
JRA: Yeah, that's funny how that usually works out. I know that I'll be at some of the indoors even if there is ice. The indoors are a lot better to get ready for Daytona than the ice is.
FFDT: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and congratulations on your win!
JRA: No problem man, thank you!
Oxford, PA. - September 4, 2013 - Brandon Robinson ordered up a two-for-two special over the Labor Day weekend at the Springfield Mile I & II rounds held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and took the number 44 TJ Burnett Farms Kawasaki to the wins in both National mains over the course of the weekend's events. From the start of each day, Brob44 held the advantage over the rest of the field in qualifying in the top spot, winning both heats to set fast time and pole for each day, taking the Dash for Cash events and then winning each of the National mains to take maximum points. "Man, this is almost surreal," Robinson said after Sunday's win. "One of my biggest goals in racing was to win the Springfield Mile and now to get two wins here in a single weekend is almost too much," after winning rounds 10 and 11 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship.
Robinson also won his first-ever AMA Grand National Championship Twins Series events to make his win total for the season three wins, seven top-5s and six top-3s on the year. After his first win at Springfield on Saturday, Robinson stated, "I never looked back until I took the checkered flag and I couldn't believe I broke the draft. It's unbelievable to get a win here at Springfield. It's something I've dreamed about since I started racing. I'll probably cry when it sinks in later tonight."
The weekend was even more special for the rider of the 44 TJ Burnett Farms Kawasaki as he was able to score the wins in front of his Mom and Dad, who had previously missed his win at the Daytona Short Track II in March, and for the TJ Burnett Farms Kawasaki team for taking the double wins at their home track. The team's part-time pilot, JD Beach, also scored a pair of 3rd place finishes over the weekend to sandwich Bryan Smith on the number 42 Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki, to earn the Kawasaki marque it's first podium sweeps ever in an AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Twins Series Championship event.
Two races remain in the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship season, with round 12 of the season scheduled for September 29 at the Santa Rosa Mile, and closing out the season at the Pomona Half-Mile season-ender on October 12. As a result of his two wins, Robinson moved up to third in the overall championship, trailing points leader Brad Baker by 13 points and second place Bryan Smith by 3 points (184-174-171 points.)
The team now has just over three weeks to prepare for the westward swing for the final two rounds of the season, and is looking forward to seeing all the fans stop by during the fan walks at both west coast events to share in the fun that we have had this season in our first full year together as a championship contending team.
Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield Ill. August 31 & September 1 2013
In the inaugural races of the AMA's "Basic Twins" competition, Shayna Texter of Willow Street, Pa. put on a dominating performance. Shayna rode the Racing Unlimited Kawasaki/Weirbach Racing motorcycle to victory, each day. On Saturday, Miss Texter's lap times were faster than those of the "Expert" class which followed. The margins of victory were over 11 seconds on Saturday, and over 4 seconds on Sunday.
Saturday's race marked the first time that a female has won an AMA National event, on a twin cylinder bike. An excited Texter said: "I can't thank Racing Unlimited enough for supplying me with the motorcycle today. I was fast right off the bat. It's an absolute dream come true to come out to Springfield and get two wins. I can't say enough about my team this weekend. Thanks to Dick Weirbach, for putting this deal together"
Racing Unlimited Owner Alan Rodenborn said: "Shayna is an amazing talent. It's no wonder, she has such a huge and loyal fan base. Guest rides rarely end up with this kind of success. Shayna put an amazing ride, on our bike! We built this bike for our regular rider, National expert 27 Robert "Bugs" Pearson. Rob had a commitment on another bike, so Shayna got the nod. Thanks so much to all of our sponsors."
Wow talk about some racing, in the span of nine days we did four races. It was so much fun, it was real busy but getting to race that many days is awesome. It all started with the Mega Mile in New Kent, Virginia then we went to Springfield, IL for three days of racing on the Short Track and Mile. The way the Road Race schedule worked out this year it gave me a chance to spend about a month racing Dirt Track. It was also about the best month of the Dirt Track schedule so it was real good.
To start off we were at the Mega Mile, around just the inside pole it was 1.25 miles so depending on where at on the track it could have been 1.50 miles. I was really looking forward to the weekend until we got to the track. I was just thinking since it was a mile it was going to be just a normal track until I got there and realized that it was a horse track. Reading this you probably think that's no big deal but it is, that means it's a cushion, I knew it was going to be a long day. That was until I got out in practice and found out how amazing and fun the track was. On a twin you could go WIDE open feet up all the way around, I had never ridden anything like it. Every time we got on the track we got faster. When we lined up for the heat race I knew I just had to get a good start and go right for the cush, as they say in the business. So that's what I did, I was running about 4th and was going around people on the outside. It was such a cool feeling and once I got in the lead I just kept going and won the heat.
Then that put us in the "Dash for Cash", we knew the track was changing and the cushion was going away so we knew we needed to ride on the bottom. The dash is only 4 laps so I spent 2 laps riding down there dropping back to 6th and having to hope. So I decided to go to the cushion and see what I could do, I came from nowhere and got up to third. We knew in the main I had to go right to the cushion and just go and hope it would stay there long enough to do well in the main. That was until the track got real dry, this was AMA Pro's first event there since 2002 so track prep knowledge wasn't great, they tried their hardest but by the main it was no good. After the race I was pretty pi$$ed off, I felt like I had a good shot until the track went to crap. It got so dusty it was hard to even push, but getting 6th wasn't so bad. After I cooled down I knew AMA tried their hardest to give us a good race track and after so many peoples bikes broke I was happy ours still ran.
I really hope we go back again next year. I heard there were about 6,000 people there, it was a different crowd because it was all horse people in suits and dresses. By the end of the day I think we had them turned into motorcycle fans. They were all drinking beer, ripping the sleeves off their suits, the ladies ripping their dresses shorter. Well ok maybe not but I think they really enjoyed the racing.
After a couple days at home riding my specialized bicycle and getting my 450s ready it was off to Springfield Friday morning for the Steve Nace All Star Short Track. Springfield has one of the best Short Tracks and the SNR crew kept the track great all day even with a 105 heat index. After practice we seemed to have the bike working good, we had a two hour break until the heats started so we wanted to make final decisions on bike set up. Before the heat they dug the track up so Billy Gruwell and I decided to put a fresh tire on. We went out and won the heat but at the end of the race when the track was brushing off I could not hook up at all, luckily for us James Hart showed up and checked my air pressure showing that we had 20psi in there. That's a lot when we normally run about 12. Billy and I both thought the other one checked it. Once we got it set we were ready to go for the main.
Going out to the line for the main the first two fast heat race winners (Jeffrey Carver and Briar Bauman) decided to start on the outside. Then Brad Baker picked pole so I went second off. We were both laughing and blown away that they picked the outside, on a Short Track you always go to the pole. From second I got the hole shot and lead until about lap 13 out of 20. It was one of the best races ever, I had a lot of people all weekend tell me they really enjoyed the race. Brad and I ran side by side for probably 18 laps. I was running the low line and he was up top, it was an intense race. It was so much fun, we have raced together since on 50s and it was just like the old days. Getting 2nd was good but Brad and I have some unfinished business.
The next two days was the legendary Springfield Mile. The first Mile in May got rained out but I think it was better and a lot more fun to run both of them back to back. We walked away with two 3rds during the weekend. I thought it was pretty special to get two podiums back to back on the Mile until I realized Brandon Robinson and Bryan Smith did the same thing. Both days it was Brandon, Bryan, and me on the podium. Sunday I really felt like we had the bike to win but getting double podiums was awesome. After the race on Saturday us three made history then after Sunday we made even more. Saturday was the first time since I think May 1987 that a Harley wasn't on the podium and it was the first time Kawasaki swept the podium in a Grand National twin's race. But not only that I don't think that's ever happened on the 450s either. Getting 3rd again twice is bittersweet, it's always nice to be on the podium but man am I tired of those 3rd places, we did make some history so that's awesome.
Both races had some real excitement but I would have to say I enjoyed Sunday more. But first letŐs talk about Saturday, it was a hard race and very hot. A lot hotter than Sunday so that made it harder and everyone just seemed so aggressive it was crazy. We also had a bit of a traffic jam when Bryan had a bike problem and a pack of us ran into each other, except for Brandon, he checked out Saturday and won by 5 seconds. It was an intense race and we barely got 3rd, Willie McCoy almost drafted us at the line. We beat him out by .004, so come Sunday I had a bit of a better plan.
Sunday the weather and track conditions where a lot better and the race was a lot different. As always the first couple laps were crazy but once it all settled down I was running 7th. It was weird I felt like I had nothing, I couldn't move forward at all. It did give me time to sit and think how awesome it was to be racing one of the best bikes in the field and be running upfront with the best Dirt Trackers in the world. It's amazing how you can forget how lucky you are to be doing this stuff and you seemed to get reminded of it at odd times. Then it was back to racing, I knew I had to do something, try something, and then it was like I was on a whole new bike. With five laps to go I found an awesome line and it was like the bike was on a mission and I was just holding on. It was like a movie where it just got a mind of its own and started going. I really think with a couple more laps we might have been able to really win it.
It has been an awesome month of Dirt Tracking, getting three podiums and even making my way to 9th in points but now it's time to get back to work. We have an off weekend then it's off to New Jersey for the last two rounds of the AMA Pro Road Racing season. I can't wait to get on the Road Race bike.