In his third season of Expert competition, Illinois resident Jeffrey Carver, Jr. broke through last night to earn his first-ever AMA Grand National win at the Castle Rock TT in round 6 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship season.
The 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Champion, rode a Mack Daddy Racing/Kiesow Racing Honda CRF450R (another Illinois resident in owner and tuner extraordinaire George Mack) to take his cherry-breaking win as an Expert-ranked rider out of the 24 riders that turned out for the annual Mt. St. Helens Motorcycle Club-hosted event.
The popular rider out of Alton, IL. ruled in the National main to lead all 25-laps, set fast time in winning his heat race and also pulled off a solid 2nd-place finish in the Dash for Cash behind Washington State resident and series points leader Brad Baker.
In the shot above, Carver can be seen during the final qualifying session at the Peoria TT in August 2012 aboard his #23 Carver's BBQ/Kiesow Racing Yamaha YZ450F.
In what was an off-night for several of the top-ranked riders in the championship, the race did see defending AMA Grand National Champion Jared Mees fall off during the Dash and injure his shoulder, only to return and bring it home in the 2nd-place spot in the National, in another tough-as-nails run for The Jammer.
Salinas, California's own Steve Bonsey, in his first ride for the Zanotti Racing team in Grand National competition (Bonsey has ridden several west coast events for the Zanotti crew the last few years and has won several races in the Gene Romero series during the off-season of AMA Grand National racing while riding for them), rounded out the podium.
2-Time AMA Grand National Singles Champion Henry Wiles took the 4th-place position with series points leader Baker rounding out the top-5 at his home state event. Sammy Halbert, the defending race winner, had an unusually off-night for what has been historically a very strong event for him, and finished in the 8th-place spot.
Others of note include Bryan Smith finishing in the 6th-place position and vaulting him into the 2nd-place spot in the overall standings, coupled with TJ Burnett Farms Kawasaki rider Brandon Robinson missing the National. Baker's brother Scott finished in 7th, with Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. and Mikey Martin rounding out the top-10.
The series heads to Peoria for the annual Thunder Valley romp in west-central Illinois next Sunday with Baker growing his lead in the championship standings to 27 points over Smith (111-84), Hammerin' Hank now 2 points back from Flyin' Bryan, BRob44 now in the 4th-place slot with 82 points and Mees working his way into 5th-place overall with 74 points.
You can check out the full results from Castle Rock here, and Larry Lawrence filed this race report for Cycle News late last night.
Check out the full press release below from AMA Pro Flat Track as we take the time to congratulate Jeffrey Carver, Jr. and the Mack Daddy Racing and Kiesow Racing team for their great efforts last night in Castle Rock, great to see JC23 get his first and with such a super group of folks behind him. The Kiesow team has worked really hard to get him into the mix the last couple of seasons, and George Mack from MDR has sponsored many-a-rider over the years including Matt Weidman, Ion Stear, Tyler Porter and Steve Bonsey just to name a few and it's great to see him reap the well-deserved rewards for all of his efforts in promoting and sponsoring riders in The Rolling Thunder Show and getting a big win along with JC23. Great job and bravo to all!
Carver Jr. Earns First Grand National Expert Main Event Win at Castle Rock Race Park for Round 6 of AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles
Last year's winner, Snohomish, Washington's Jacob Lehmann (Ride Motorsports/Honda CRF450R) claimed fourth this time around and San Martin, California's Rodney Spencer Jr. (GP Sports/Honda CRF450R) finished fifth.
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