The monkey is officially off of his back after Brad 'The Bullet' Baker took his first-ever AMA Grand National Championship Expert-ranked win last Saturday night at the Hagerstown Half-Mile in round 4 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship season.
After bringing home a trio of 2nd-place finishes in the first three rounds of the season, the Washington State resident was virtually knocking on the door to make that extra step up on the podium, and Baker made a leap of it in his romp at Hagerstown on July 6 by winning his heat race, dominating the Dash for Cash and running away with the 25-lap National main and taking the win over first-time runner-up Jake Shoemaker by over 6.7 seconds.
And it's not like The Bullet didn't have this one coming, the writing was on the wall long ago but the ink just didn't want to dry for the popular rider. Several times in his rookie year not only in the Singles Series, but while riding for the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati team in the Twins Series Baker had shown his hand, and even during his 2012 season which saw him race for no fewer then four different teams throughout the year, you knew it was coming and when it did, POW.
Overall, this is undoubtedly one of the most popular wins all around for the whole series and fans of The Rolling Thunder Show, as everyone involved has voiced their pleasure in one way or another in seeing this now and future star of the sport grab his first, of what will surely will be many! And not too mention, he took over the overall points lead in the series with a 20-point gap over a three-way tie between early-season points leader Brandon Robinson, Henry Wiles and 2-Time AMA Grand National Champion Jake Johnson, with 10 races yet to roar in anger left in the season.
In the shot above, Baker can be seen talking with Cycle News and Rider Files.com's Larry Lawrence at round 5 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season at the Lima Half-Mile on June 30.
For those that don't remember, Lima was the first race after Kenny Tolbert Racing mothballed his Kawasakis after planned sponsorship failed to materialize, and Brad was forced to scramble at the last minute to come up with the #12 Columbia Avionics/Mark Cheza/K&K Motorcycle Supply-sponsored XR750 shown resting in his pit area.
After qualifying the unfamiliar mount in an incredible 3rd-place out of the 43 riders that took a timed run, Baker rode to a 3rd-place finish in his heat, but was forced to settle for a very uncharacteristic 17th-place in the main later in the evening.
What a difference a year makes!
A big tip of the helmet and an especially raucous 'hoorah' for The Bullet, congrats man, you really worked for this and deserved it man! BRAVO!
Check out Brad's great press release below to hear about all of the fireworks from Brad's trip to Maryland and his Independence Day Weekend celebration.
Press release courtesy of Brad 'The Bullet' Baker, the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Saddlemen Rookie of the Year and the new overall points standings leader in the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship season.
July 8, 2013