Saturday, July 26, 2014

AMA Grand National Championship Points Leader Jared Mees Hoping to Breakthrough at Today's Sacramento Mile




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Press release courtesy of SMI, the promoters of round 8 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship at the Sacramento Mile.
Mees Looking for Sacramento Mile Breakthrough

Showdown between series leader Jared Mees and three-time Sacramento winner Bryan Smith expected
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (July 24, 2014) – Jared Mees comes into this Saturday’s Sacramento Mile on a hot streak. Mees won two out of the three AMA Pro Grand National Series races leading up to this weekend’s event at Cal Expo. Mees holds a five-point series lead over three-time Sacramento Mile winner Bryan Smith. That not only sets up what could be one of the best showdowns of the season between the two favorites in the 49th running of the Sacramento Mile, it also positions the race as a bout between Kawasaki vs. Harley-Davidson.
 
 
Jared Mees has finished fourth, then third and finally second in the previous three Sacramento Miles. He hopes to continue that progression and earn his first win at the track this Saturday at Cal Expo. Mees is leading the series and is considered the leading prospect to knock off three-time winner Bryan Smith. (Courtesy SactoMile.com)
 
 
Mees, 28, of Clio, Mich., is eager to carry his momentum into Sacramento Saturday and hopes to win for the first time at the historic race. If you look at the past results of Mees at the Sacto Mile you’ll see he’s heading in the right direction. In 2011 he finished fourth, then third in 2012 and finally Mees was runner up to Smith in last year’s race. "I’ve had a lot of success there, seconds and thirds, but I’ve never won it,” Mees said. “I always have a lot of fun there. I love the atmosphere, I love the track. It’s one of my favorite miles.”
This year the Harley-Davidson XR750 that Mees rides, no longer has to run intake restrictor plates, so his motorcycle will have more power this season to deal with the speedy  Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki that Smith races. That should help Mees on the lengthy straights of Sacramento. “It’s pretty fast, with tight corners and long straightaways,” Mees explained. “It makes it a little different. It’s kind of one-lined in the corners. It’s definitely going to help the Harley-Davidsons having no restrictors, but it’s all about the same fundamentals as any race – (a good) start, stay consistent, stay smooth.”
Another Mees could be part of history at Sacramento as well. Jared’s racing wife Nichole Mees (formerly Cheza) has qualified in all three Sacramento Miles she’s appeared. This year Nichole is joined in the series by talented rookie Shayna Texter. Should Mees and Texter both qualify for the main at Sacramento, it would mark the first time two female riders raced in an AMA Grand National flat track race at the same time. Earlier this season Texter became only the third female rider ever to qualify for an AMA Grand National flat track event. Texter has a good history at Cal Expo. She won the Pro Singles support race there twice. This will be her first appearance at the track on a Grand National bike.
Practice for the Sacramento Mile begins at on Saturday, July 26 at 2:15 p.m. and opening ceremonies for the evening program kicks off at 6:15 p.m.
*** 2014 Ticket Information: Ticket information is available for the July 26, 2014 Sacramento Mile at www.sactomile.com.
Fans can order tickets online  at https://secure.interactiveticketing.com/a/c84136, by calling 1-844 SAC MILE (1-844- 722-6453) or by visiting the Cal Expo Ticket Box Office in the Administration Building at 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (PT) Monday through Friday. Tickets can also be purchased at any ticket window during the 2014 California State Fair.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the Cal Expo Group Sales Department at boxoffice@calexpo.com for more information.




















Team Honda World Endurance Team Qualifies 8th for Tomorrow's Suzuka 8 Hours

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Suzuka 8 Hours - Suzuka 26.07.2014
      
       
 
Honda Racing EWC squad to start Suzuka 8 Hours from eighth
 
The Honda Racing Endurance World Championship squad will start the 2014 Suzuka 8 Hours from eighth on a grid of 70 teams, having been the only permanent EWC outfit to qualify for today’s Top 10 Trial.

The nail-biting Superpole-style qualifier took place in the blistering afternoon heat with the two quickest riders from each of the top ten teams taking to the track one at a time for a flying lap. Julien Da Costa was up first for Honda Racing, putting in a very respectable time of 2’09.891. Sebastien Gimbert followed this up with a lap of 2’09.224 to place the team eighth overall come the end of the session.

Yoshimura Suzuki secured pole position after breaking the existing outright lap record. Pata Honda World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea took his FCC TSR Honda team to third on the grid, while Pata Honda World Supersport rider Michael van der Mark’s lap placed his MuSashi RT Harc Pro squad fifth.

The Suzuka 8 Hours will begin at 11.30am JST tomorrow. 
Neil Tuxworth
Neil Tuxworth    team manager
We’re pleased with eighth on the grid. Our aim was to qualify as the highest-placed permanent EWC team and within the top ten, which we’ve achieved, and in fact, we are the only EWC team inside the top ten. Now we have to turn our focus to the race tomorrow, which we know is never easy here. The heat and humidity are always a factor and the weather forecast is predicting heavy rain and maybe even thunderstorms so it could be an eventful day. 
Sebastien Gimbert
Sebastien Gimbert
I am happy with the results of qualifying and we are starting the race from a good position, but as we know, the starting place in endurance is less important and it’s what happens in the race that matters. Suzuka is a very difficult circuit and a very difficult race, but we are well prepared and I hope we can get a good result for the team and for Honda. 
Julien Da Costa
Julien Da Costa
I’m happy that we qualified inside the top ten and that we are the only EWC team to do that, but qualifying is the easy part, the hard part comes tomorrow. I am looking forward to it, but I know that with the weather and the forecast for rain, it might be a difficult race. Whatever happens, it will be an amazing atmosphere, so we will enjoy it and hopefully finish as one of the top teams. 
Freddy Foray
Freddy Foray
I am really looking forward to the race because this will be my first Suzuka 8 Hours, but I have spoken to many riders who have told me how difficult it is. It is also forecast to rain tomorrow so that will make it even harder. We haven’t had any rain at all this week so it is not easy to be prepared for that, but we will do our best and we hope for a good result. 
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sacramento Mile to See 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Season Hit the Half-Way Mark
















The half-way point of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season is nearly upon us as the series heads to the Sacramento Mile at the Cal-Expo Fairgrounds in just less than 2 days. With Jared Mees leading Bryan Smith in the standings (127-122 points), and Jake Johnson right behind the two riders going for the title (121 points), Saturday's events on the left coast could make a definitive mark on the run to the title hunt with the remaining eight events left on the schedule after leaving Sacramento.

Early season points leader Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. is still a strong possibility for the crown as well (114 points) as he is also the only other rider than Mees and Smith to have captured two wins on the season as of this point of the schedule.

In the shot above, the top-4 men in the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship hunt head for the stripe at the end of the first lap of the 25-lap National main earlier this season in the series' first mile event of the year at the Springfield Mile on May 25.

Mile specialist Bryan Smith leads the pack on the #42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio/Howerton Products-sponsored Kawasaki EX650, with Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Zanotti Racing/Moroney's H-D/Burt Ives Honda-backed Harley-Davidson XR750 close behind.

Moving up on Coolbeth's outside is Jake Johnson on the #5 Ramspur Winery/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Parkinson Bros-sponsored Ducati 'L' twin, while Jared Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing/Las Vegas H-D/Blue Springs H-D-backed XR750 keeps it close to the leading trio. Henry Wiles on the #17 Don's Kawasaki/DPC Racing/EA Racing-sponsored Kawi has a bird's eye view of the leading battle.

With Sacramento being the second mile event of the season, and not only the championship on the line but the winning streak record in reach of 3-times in-a-row event winner Smith, this Saturday's race has a boatload of possibilities and strategies that will play out throughout the day's events.









History on the line as fierce AMA Pro Flat Track title chase makes its way to the Sacramento Mile

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 23, 2014) The Sacramento Mile is already a premier event on the AMA Pro Flat Track schedule, but the stop has the potential to be absolutely huge for one Grand National Championship title contender. 
 
Bryan Smith, and his No. 42 Villa Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki, will try to race into the record books and take control of the championship chase Saturday on the famous mile course at the Cal Expo. Smith, a three-time defending Sacramento Mile winner, can become the first ever four-time winner in the event's history.
 
Smith was second to Jared Mees and his No. 9 Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson last weekend at the Grays Harbor Half-Mile, but he's reeled off three straight podiums - including a win at the Hagerstown Half-Mile. Mees leads the title hunt, and has won two of the last three races, but his advantage over Smith is a scant five points. Mees' thrilling win in Washington came with a margin of just .369 seconds, further evidence that practically nothing is separating the two Michigan riders this season. 
 
 
 
Bryan Smith on the #42 Crosley Radip/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki EX650 and Brad Baker on the #12 Dodge Brothers Racing/Sefnco Communications Harley-Davidson XR750 battle during the Sacramento Mile event in 2013. Smith is looking to set a new winning record at Cal-Expo this Saturday, while Baker is looking to break out of his slump and grab his first National main event win for the 2014 season. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
 
 
 
At last year's Sacramento Mile, Smith beat Mees to the finish line by just .083 seconds, and the top five all crossed the line within less than a quarter of a second. In fact, since the return of the Sacramento Mile to the AMA Pro Flat Track schedule in 2011, every main event has been won by less than a tenth of a second, so history suggests fans can expect an epic finish.
 
While Mees and Smith are the two hottest GNC riders as the season nears its midpoint, Jake Johnson on his No. 5 Ramspur Winery machine is right on their heels, just one point behind Smith for second in points, six back of Mees (127-122-121). Johnson has been consistent all season, finishing no worse than sixth since taking 10th in the opener at Daytona, but he's still searching for his first victory of the season.
 
Kenny Coolbeth can't be counted out either. The pilot of the No. 2 Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson has two wins this year and could have had more if not for a little bad luck. He's fourth in points, but just 13 off the lead and still among the favorites for the overall championship. Sammy Halbert and his No. 7 South East Harley-Davidson round out the top five in points entering the Sacramento Mile. Halbert is looking for his first win of the season still, but he's shown pace to run in the front and is capable of winning every time the hits the track.
 
Brandon Robinson on the No. 44 USC Kawasaki machine and Henry Wiles on the No. 17 Don's Kawasaki entry sit sixth and seventh, respectively, in the title hunt, easily within striking distance of the leaders if they are able to put together some strong finishes starting with Saturday's event.
 
In the Pro Singles class, the title chase is even tighter. Two riders are tied atop the standings and a third is just a point back.
 
Kyle Johnson and his No. 77J Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda and Davis Fisher on the No. 67M T.J. Burnett Farms Honda are knotted with 99 points apiece. Ryan Wells, riding the No. 94B KTM, is third with 98 points.
 
It was Jarod Vanderkooi, who was too young to start the season as a pro at Daytona, who took the checkered flag at Grays Harbor on his No. 17F Johnny's Vintage Motorcycle Honda. That victory snapped a run of three straight for Kyle Johnson. Last season, Shayna Texter won the Pro Singles main event, and has since moved up to the Expert class, where she will compete Saturday.

How to Watch  
 
FansChoice.tv will be the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Flat Track and AMA Pro Road Racing events in 2014. The site will also provide coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.

About AMA Pro Flat Track   
 
AMA Pro Flat Track is a national motorcycle racing series in North America and is considered one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the Series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track racing in the world. The 2014 schedule consists of 16 rounds on the country's finest flat track courses. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft.
 
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, communications@amaproracing.com









Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jared Mees Extends Points Lead After Grays Harbor Half-Mile Win in 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Heading to the Half-Way Point of the Season































Jared Mees took another step towards claiming another overall AMA Grand National Championship last Sunday by winning round 7 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season at the Grays Harbor Half-Mile, in spite of the fact that he missed making the Dash for Cash extra-points paying 4-lap event.

Mees also won his second race in the last three events (Lima Half-Mile winner on June 28) to add to his season total of six top-5s and four top-3s, which have helped him retain the points lead since the Hagerstown Half-Mile on July 5, which has grown from one point to five points in between those events over runner-up in the points Bryan Smith, with Jake Johnson just another point back.

In the shot above, Mees' #9 Rogers Racing/Las Vegas H-D/Blue Springs H-D/National Cycle-sponsored Harley-Davidson XR750s sit in the pits during a break in the action at the Springfield Mile I on May 25 in round 3 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship. Just looking at the immaculate preparation put into these machines by master wrench spinner and multi-time AMA Grand National Championship-winning tuner Kenny Tolbert makes you realize what a superb effort that Rogers Racing is putting forth in order to get Mees his second AMA Grand National Championship to add to his 2012 title and his 2009 AMA Grand National Twins Championship.

With the series heading to the half-way point in the season at round 8 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship at the Sacramento Mile this Saturday, July 26, the series is in the middle of the heat of the season's schedule. Stay tuned to see if The Jammer can pull off another one this weekend or if Bryan Smith will set a new winning record in making it four wins in-a-row at Cal-Expo, or if someone else will breakthrough to take the checkers for the win.

Whatever happens for the rest of the season, you can be guaranteed you will see the best racing on two wheels in the world as you follow The Rolling Thunder Show's fantastic escapades through the rest of the season ahead!









Jared Mees claims Grand National Championship points lead with Grays Harbor Half-Mile victory

ELMA, Wash. (July 22, 2014) - Three Northeast riders stacked a Pacific Northwest podium at Grays Harbor Raceway in last weekend's AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship main event in Elma, Wash. Third place finisher Jake Johnson (originally from New Jersey), runner-up Bryan Smith (Michigan) and winner Jared Mees (originally from Pennsylvania) all conducted stellar performances despite being thousands of miles from home.
 
Mees' Grays Harbor Half-Mile victory was his second of the season aboard his Rogers Racing Harley Davidson and 15th overall throughout the course of his career. The 2012 Grand National Champion now sits atop the overall standings, five points ahead of Smith. "I had a great start and was just kind of picking them back," said Mees. "I caught Jake (Johnson) and then caught up to Kenny (Coolbeth). I capitalized on a mistake he made and got by him. I then was approaching Bryan (Smith) when I got a great run on him and passed right by on my Harley-Davidson. We missed our set up in the Dash for Cash but we were able to come back and make some changes for the main and it looks like we got it right."
 
Smith came in second in the race and now sits second in the points. The Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio rider has been extremely efficient on half-mile tracks in 2014 and is in a hot contest for the overall championship with nine races remaining. "I led a bunch of laps so it would have been good to bring it home up front but this isn't really my favorite kind of surface so I feel all right coming out with a second," said Smith. "I got a little loose, not sure if it was the tire or me just getting excited, and then here came Jared (Mees). You can never count him out, I've seen him do some pretty special things on the track."
 
Dash for Cash contenders Brandon Robinson #44, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. #2, Jake Johnson #5, Bryan Smith #42, Brad Baker #1 and Sammy Halbert #7 blast off the line at the Grays Harbor Half-Mile on Sunday, July 20. In spite of not making the Dash event, National main event winner Jared Mees still extended his points lead in the fight for the 2014 AMA Grand National Championship. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
 
 
Ramspur Winery rider Jake Johnson, mounted on a Harley-Davidson, started from fourth on the grid to close out the podium with a third place finish. Johnson now sits third in the overall point standings and the two-time champion is well on his way to his strongest season since 2011.
 
Sammy Halbert's fourth place finish surely had to leave an unpleasant taste in the Graham, Wash., native's mouth for several reasons. For the second time this season, the South East Harley-Davidson rider had a stronghold on the lead before coughing it up when the pressure started to mount. Halbert's homecoming was ruined when he pulled up on lap nine and fell all the way back to fourth place by the time the checkered flag had dropped. Kenny Coolbeth finished fifth aboard his Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson. Coolbeth's top five finish has to be somewhat of a confidence boost for the seasoned veteran as he finished 19th a week ago at Hagerstown. Coolbeth now sits fourth in the points and it certainly still a threat to pull off the championship as there are plenty of rounds remaining.
 
Brad Baker's sixth-place finish aboard his Factory Harley-Davidson at Grays Harbor Raceway last weekend is tied for his second-best performance of the 2014 season, as he finished fifth at the Springfield Mile in May.
 
AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles
 
Jarod Vanderkooi's .970-second win aboard his Johnny's Vintage Motorcycle Honda was his first victory in AMA Pro Flat Track Pro singles competition. "The key to doing well on this track is getting the holeshot and that's what I did," said Vanderkooi. "My team was working on the bike all day and it was just amazing to get this win. I have to thank my team, the promoter for putting the race on and the fans for coming out."
 
Vanderkooi now sits eighth in the points following his Grays Harbor Half-Mile win and will look to build off his momentum this weekend at Sacramento and holds a share of the points lead with Kyle Johnson. Second-place finisher Davis Fisher started from fifth on the grid to come away with his third runner-up performance of the season aboard his T.J. Burnett Farms Honda. "I didn't get a very good start," said Fisher. "I thought I had a lot of work ahead of me but I started working my way through the pack. We struggled throughout the day but eventually got it right at the end."
 
Ryan Wells sits just one point behind Johnson and Fisher and his third place finish at Grays Harbor didn't do anything to hurt his chances of becoming the next AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Champion. "I knew I was going to have my hands full right from the get go," said Wells. "I missed the front row in the main by one position but I just kept charging."
 
Johnson has run consistent all season and his fourth place finish aboard his Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda was the first race he hasn't won since the season opener at Daytona.
 
Next Up


The stars of AMA Pro Flat Track will head to Sacramento, Calif., and the Cal Expo on July 26, 2014. Footage of the Grays Harbor Half-Mile is available to view on AMA Pro Racing's YouTube portal at www.youtube.com/amaprovids.

How to Watch 

FansChoice.tv will be the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Flat Track and AMA Pro Road Racing events in 2014. The site will also provide coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.

About AMA Pro Flat Track

AMA Pro Flat Track is a national motorcycle racing series in North America and is considered one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the Series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track racing in the world. The 2014 schedule consists of 16 rounds on the country's finest flat track courses. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft.
  

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,







AMA Pro Racing Expands Communication and Marketing Departments with New Hires








AMA Pro Racing announces addition of two new employees to the Communications and Marketing departments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 23, 2014) - AMA Pro Racing is excited to announce the addition of two professionals in its communications, and marketing and sales departments.
 
Patrick Buganski was named the series' Communications Manager and comes to AMA Pro Racing with nearly a decade of experience as a writer, editor and social media professional.
 
Richie Morris, with his extensive experience in motorcycle racing, has been brought on board to assist in obtaining partnerships and building relationships throughout the AMA Pro Racing paddock. Morris has an impressive motorcycle racing background as a rider and team owner. His teams had great success in the GoPro Daytona SportBike and Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series.
  
"We're very excited to bring these two talented individuals on board," said Michael Gentry, Chief Operating Officer, AMA Pro Racing. "Richie and Patrick have diverse and unique backgrounds and their experience that will help our series grow and help AMA Pro Racing better communicate our message to fans, team, riders and partners."
 
Buganski, a New Jersey native, most recently worked as a sports writer for The Daily Journal in Vineland, N.J. where he covered professional racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park, the host of five AMA Pro Racing events and the site of this year's season finale.
 
Morris enjoyed a strong riding career that began in the early 1990s and ended with his retirement in 2004, at which point, he moved into team ownership. His teams won two GoPro Daytona SportBike championships and two Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson series titles. 
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, communications@amaproracing.com














Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bryan Smith Hopes to Set New Winning Record at AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Round 8 at the Sacramento Mile




























With less than four days to go until round 8 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship at the Sacramento Mile on Saturday, July 26 the big build-up to the huge west coast event is unraveling even faster as the time approaches. In what will be one of the premier events of the season, and surely the premier event on the left coast, fans, riders, teams and sponsors alike are ready to hit the ground running for what will be the halfway point in the season.

One of those riders and teams ready to get going for this weekend's big run at the Sacto Mile is Bryan Smith and the #42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio/Howerton Products Kawasaki effort, spearheaded this season by Bryan's Dad, Barry, and by Indy locals and long-time flat track heads Jeff Gordon and Dink Glidden.

Flyin' Bryan has won the last three straight events at the Cal-Expo Fairgrounds. In the 2011 season taking his Moroney's H-D-sponsored XR750 to the win, and in 2012-13 as a member of the Howerton Motorsports troupe. It was at Sacto in 2012 that the team won their first Grand National main event together, in only their second outing (during the '12 season, the new team only ran the five mile events and the season-finale at the Pomona Half-Mile.)

This year has seen a few changes. Original team owner Rick Howerton has for the most part stepped aside in order to spend more time with his family (although he still admits to offering 'technical and moral support' to them) while Gordon, Glidden and Dad, Barry are the main men behind what is still a powerhouse team, albeit with a C&J chassis this year as opposed to Howerton's far advanced and personally designed futuristic unit from the previous two seasons. And this year, for the first time since the '87 season, the mile events are being contested sans fuel restrictors, which has so far in the first event of the season made the racing closer and tighter on the mile oval at Springfield. The question everyone is asking, with the longer straights at Sacramento, will that also hold true or will the Kawasaki mile rocket take off like a NASA rocket and leave the others sitting in the settling smoke or dust?

In the shot above, Bryan Smith has his race face on and is ready to show Rick Howerton's hometown crowd at the Indy Mile what the noise has been all about for the Howerton rocket during round 8 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship on August 17. Smith went on to take the #42 Howerton Motorsports/Crosley Radio/Dreyer Motorsports-sponsored Kawi to the win in front of the crowd on-hand during the 6th Annual Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP weekend.

Also seen in the shot are the #95 TJ  Burnett Farms/Red Bull Kawasaki team of JD Beach, and eventual 2013 AMA Grand National Champion Brad Baker on the #12 Dodge Brothers Racing/Speciality Fabrications-backed XR750. In the background, Jared Mees and his #1 Rogers Racing/Blue Springs H-D-sponsored XR750 team roll out to the starting line.

While you are waiting for Saturday's action to kick in, you can also read about the first restrictor race at the Sacramento Mile that was also eventual 7-Time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr's first-ever mile win from 1987. A big thanks to Cycle News' Archives penman, Larry Lawrence, for this fine piece of AMA Grand National Championship history.

And read on to see what else the #42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio/Howerton Products-backed Kawasaki team of Bryan Smith has to say about this weekend's super return to the west coast!


Press release courtesy of SMI, promoters of the Sacramento Mile.




















Bryan Smith Seeking Sacramento Mile Record
A fourth-straight would mark the most consecutive wins at historic venue
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (July 22, 2014) – Bryan Smith has the opportunity to accomplish what no other rider in the long history of the Sacramento Mile has managed to do. Smith could become the first rider ever to win four-straight AMA Pro Grand Nationals on the famous mile at Cal Expo this coming Saturday, July 26, 2014.
Smith, 31, of Flushing, Michigan, is riding a three-year winning streak coming into this year’s Sacramento Mile, having won all three races since the return of the event to the AMA Pro Grand National Championship calendar in 2011.
As it stands now Smith is tied with Sacramento Mile legends Scott Parker and Chris Carr, who each won the race three times consecutively. Carr was the first to accomplish the feat with his three straight wins in the early 1990s. Parker matched his Harley-Davidson rival in the late 1990s. Smith tied Carr and Parker last season and now stands on the precipice of claiming one of the most impressive records in the storied history of the race.
 
 
 
Bryan Smith has the opportunity Saturday to set a new record of consecutive wins at the Sacramento Mile at the Cal Expo. Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Mile, by Larry Lawrence.
 
 
 
“It’s pretty cool to even have a shot at breaking that kind of record at Sacramento,” Smith said. “Anytime you talk about breaking a record where riders like (Scott) Parker, (Chris) Carr and (Bubba) Shobert raced for so long would be a real honor. I looked up to those guys as my heroes, so it would be really special to win four straight and own at least one record at that track.”
Last year Smith won his third straight in a spectacular finish that saw four riders come out of the final turn, just inches apart with Smith somehow managing to hold off Jared Mees, Brandon Robinson and Brad Baker at the checkered flag. The four riders were separated by a scant 0.145 seconds.
“It was going good all day, we were really dominant,” said Smith, after last year’s riveting Sacramento Mile victory. “I really wanted to try to get away from those guys and win this thing by a long ways. I had it going my way for a minute. I think I got my tire a little hot, started to fade back. Then Brad came running up the inside of me and ran me off the groove. I had my work cut out for me getting around the Harleys. They were hauling in the corners. Luckily my trusty Crosley Kawasaki was real fast on the straightaways so I got back by them.”
This year Smith will again be on a Kawasaki at Sacramento, this time around with the Villa Esparza/Crosley Radio Team. The new team will utilize Jeff Gordon-tuned, Kawasaki 750cc engines and many other components from the 2012 and 2013 Howerton Motorsports machine, in a highly modified C&J chassis by Robert Terando. The Villa Esparza/Crosley Radio Team is eager to build on the two consecutive GNC Twins Championships, with four wins, 13 podium finishes, and second place overall in the 2013 Grand National Championship earned with Smith riding the Howerton machines.
Villa Esparza is a food distribution company, owned by Joe Esparza, based in Austin, Texas. Joe is a long-time friend, and supporter, of Bryan Smith and American Flat Track racing. Esparza proudly steps into the team owner position after Rick Howerton announced he would reduce his time commitment to the AMA Pro Flat Track series at the end of the 2013 season. Howerton, Gordon and Ron “Dink” Glidden will continue to provide technical support for the team, with Bryan and his father, Barry Smith, maintaining the race bikes out of their shop in Michigan.
Founding sponsor, Crosley Radio, looks forward to adding a third successful race season, elevating the professionalism and competitiveness of the Grand National Championship on and off the track, and in the paddock. Visit www.Crosley-Radio.com or stop by the Villa Esparza/Crosley Radio Team pits to see Crosley Radio’s vintage inspired electronics.
Practice for the Sacramento Mile begins at on Saturday, July 26 at 2:15 p.m. and opening ceremonies for the evening program kicks off at 6:15 p.m.
*** 2014 Ticket Information: Ticket information is available for the July 26, 2014 Sacramento Mile at www.sactomile.com.
Fans can order tickets online  at https://secure.interactiveticketing.com/a/c84136, by calling 1-844 SAC MILE (1-844- 722-6453) or by visiting the Cal Expo Ticket Box Office in the Administration Building at 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (PT) Monday through Friday. Tickets can also be purchased at any ticket window during the 2014 California State Fair.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the Cal Expo Group Sales Department at boxoffice@calexpo.com for more information.
Contact:
 
Larry Lawrence
o. (317) 852-2896
c. (317) 332-3899
www.SactoMile.com