With less than three weeks remaining before round 1 & 2 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com season kicks off at Daytona Beach on March 14 and March 15 (and the 'unofficial' season kick off at Savannah, GA's Oglethorpe Speedway the weekend before), it's time to get your bags packed and your bets placed as we get ready for another great year of racing in The Rolling Thunder Show.
With several technical rule changes mandated during the off-season in order to even up the playing field (not to mention to quiet all of the naysayers throughout the land, especially in the Twins Series), the upcoming season should add even more excitement to the racing and even level out the overall competition in the greatest racing series on wheels in the world.
With additions to the confirmed schedule for the new season expected to be announced in the near future (I am hearing strong rumblings about two new races at Reno, NV and Black Hills, SD being added to the currently-listed 14 events) the 2013 racing schedule is really looking up. And even with the loss of the TT and short track events on the National calendar at Springfield, Steve Nace Racing has stepped-up along with the the IMDA to bring you All-Star Series events for the Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend rounds at the mecca of flat track motorcycle racing, the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
The 2013 season will again see the return of a big handful of long-time events on this year's calendar. The Peoria TT, the Lucas Oil Indy Mile, the Hagerstown Speedway Hub City Classic Half-Mile, the Castle Rock TT, the Ohio National Championship round at the Lima Half-Mile, the Sacramento Mile, and the season-finale at the Pomona Flat Track Finales at the LA Fairplex are but a few of the fan-favorites and racer-favs that will be coming down the pike this season, besides the aforementioned Daytona season-openers and everyone's favorite mile events in Springfield.
And for those of us who can't make all (or even any, in some cases) of the races this year, you will have a strong bevy of options in being able to keep up with them in the comfort of your home. As has been the case for the last couple of seasons, Miriam Deitcher and her Flat Track Live on Facebook will be on-hand to keep you in-the-know with the happenings at the track with her brand of great racing coverage, Chew and Mia will be keeping you up-to-date on their FlatTrack.com on Facebook along with their updates also available on the FlatTrack.com forum. AMA Pro Flat Track will again be offering the bitchin' Live Timing and Scoring (again to be sponsored by Cortech), and Cycle News.com will be there to cover the races as they have for decades now. And as we have tried to do here at Stu's Shots over the course of the last few seasons, we will again be doing our best to bring you the news, photos and reviews of today's action with yesterday and today's photos to keep you informed from a standpoint of a long-time fan. And these are only a few of the options out there at this time to follow along from the comfort of that couch!
As we look ahead to the new season, we can be sure of one thing....the racing will be stellar and the competiton will be first class. And thanks again goes out to Will Fulford and his lovely and wonderful bride, Yve Assad-Fulford for bringing us more of their great coverage of the races via their offerings of photos and videos.
One of those offerings (as available below) helps to highlight last year's great racing from coast-to-coast, that brought us another season of racing in The Rolling Thunder show as highlighted in the photo above from round 16 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com season at the Springfield Mile II.
With returning series favs and stalwarts, including Jake Johnson on the #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D-sponsored XR750 (who for only the second year-ever will be again wearing the #5 National number plate), Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Screamin' Eagle/Harley-Davidson Motor Company-backed factory XR (who again will be the lone full-time factory-backed entry in the GNC), Jared Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing/Saddlemen-backed XR (who will be now sporting a new tuner in Kenny Tolbert to go along with his newly-earned #1 National number plate), the year ahead is looking as good as ever. Brandon Robinson on the #44 Werner-Springsteen Racing/Monster Energy-sponsored Kawasaki (who has made his move to the T.J. Burnett Farms/USC Racing Kawasaki fold for the '13 season), Bryan Smith on the #42 Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports-backed Kawi (who for the new season will be backed for the full season by his great sponsor, Crosley Radio) and JD Beach on the #95 T.J. Barnett Farms/USC Racing/-sponsored Kawi (when he is not working his full-time gig in the Geico Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series in the Daytona SportBike Series class), are just to name a very few of the riders and teams you can look forward to watching and thrilling over in the months to come.
So buckle up, strap in and hang on as the new season gets ready to open the door to another big year of The Rolling Thunder Show.
A big thanks to Will & Eve from The Fast and Dirty.com for this great season wrap-up video from the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com season. Great work as always guys and your work is truly appreciated (and adored!)