The 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season got off to a big start last night in Daytona, and 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Saddlemen Rookie of the Year Briar Bauman finally broke through the ranks for his first Grand National win in his sophomore year as an Expert ranked rider.
Aboard the #14 Rod Lake Racing Honda, Bauman took advantage of the complete restart after a red flag to jump out to an early lead and romp to the 25-lap National main win over the other 18 riders who made the show. Dash winner Sammy Halbert, in his return to Daytona after missing last season's opening rounds due to injury, did his best to keep Bauman in site and tried his best to reel him in, coming in a close second, with last year's second night breakout winner, Brandon Robinson bringing the USC Racing Kawasaki home in the 3rd-place spot and final spot on the podium.
In the shot above, Briar Bauman is shown in his pit area after the first practice session at round 7 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship at the Peoria TT on August 11. Bauman's #14 Rod Lake Racing/Specialty Fabrication Honda CRF450R is attended to while he gets ready to take a break from the action. Bauman went on to take a 5th-place finish after leading a couple of laps and battling with Shaun Russell, Brad Baker and eventual winner Henry Wiles.
Cycle News' Larry Lawrence was on hand to document the action and filed this report.
The full set of results from last night's big event at the Daytona Short Track I can be found here, as we get ready for round 2 to hit the track today with first practice scheduled to roll out at 3:30 PM EDT.
A big congrats to Briar and the Rod Lake Racing team for taking the win last night over a stacked field of riders who put on a heckuva great show on the limestone quarter mile track!
In the AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Championship season opener, third year rider Ryan Wells took the #94B Waters Autobody KTM to the win, leading all 16 laps in the race and taking the win by just over three seconds ahead of Justin Jones and 3rd-place finisher Brandon Wilhelm.
The Waters Autobody KTM team are to be commended for taking their first win together in their second season as a team. Dave Waters and the team work their butts off and to get the win this early in the season is a testament to the time and effort they have put into their team. A big congrats all around and a tip of the helmet from Stu's Shots for a job well done!
In the shot above, Wells is shown on the #94B Waters Autobody Racing/RLJ Racing KTM 450 SX-F while battling with Dan Bromley on the #54A Bromley Brothers/KTM Racing KTM and Justin Jones on the #19B RLJ Racing/Baughner Racing Honda CRF450R during heat race #2 at the Peoria TT round of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Championship on August 11. Wells came out on top in this battle with Bromley and Jones finishing in that order.
And AMA Pro Flat Track and their new FansChoice.TV package are to be saluted for putting some great coverage out on the web last night. Although a few early glitches and buffering issues in the initial launch were noticed, all in all it was a fine job and the three cameras on hand showing the action did a super job of making it seem like you were right on the fence or hanging in the infield taking shots as it happened. Great job guys and thanks for making this happen!
You can also check out the press release below from AMA Pro Flat Track on the happenings from last night.
With round 2 of the season set to hit the track in just a few minutes, you can get all of the needed links to keep up with today's action in our rundown from yesterday's race preview here. Now, let's get ready to roar again as the boys and girls of The Rolling Thunder Show get ready to bring the greatest racing series on two wheels in the world back into our homes and into our hearts! Go get 'em folks and let's get ready to rumble!
Briar Bauman and Ryan Wells Each Earn Clutch AMA Pro Flat Track Round One Victories at DAYTONA Flat Track
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 13, 2014) - Round one of AMA Pro Flat Track heated up quickly on a chilly night on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at DAYTONA Flat Track. Briar Bauman (Rod Lake Racing/Honda) took it the distance as he started on the pole and finished atop the podium. Bauman's 1.951 second victory over runner-up finisher Sammy Halbert (Vans Yamaha/Yamaha) is the first Grand National win of his career.
"I don't usually tighten up during a race but when I saw those halfway flags I definitely knew I had a chance to win and felt myself tense up a little bit," said Bauman. "I'm just glad I could hold on for the full 25 laps and get some points. That's what it's all about at Daytona is to work on points. To make it all 25 and earn the win just feels awesome."
Briar Bauman on the #14 Rod Lake Racing Honda CRF450R took the first AMA Grand National win of his young career last night at the Daytona Short Track I round, leading all of the 25-lap National main after a red flag forced a complete restart of the race. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
To begin the race, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. (Zanotti Racing/Honda) earned the holeshot but caught a bad break when two riders went down in the back of the pack and caused the red flags to fly. After the restart, Coolbeth, Jr, wasn't as lucky as he failed to reclaim the lead for the remainder of the race, eventually crashing and finishing 17th.
Bauman took the holeshot after the restart and did nothing but increase his lead the rest of the way.
Coming in second-place was Sammy Halbert. The Dash for Cash winner had an outstanding night on the track and the Graham, Wash. product looks poised for a tremendous bounce-back year in 2014. Brandon Robinson (USC Kawasaki/Kawasaki) arguably made the best use of his restart card tonight. The Oxford, Penn. native started 11th on the grid before crawling his way to a third-place finish. Mike Rush (Cascioll Rush Racing/Honda) and 2012 Grand National Champion Jared Mees (Montgomeryville Cycle/Honda) closed out the top five.
AMA Pro Singles
In AMA Pro Singles action, Ryan Wells (KTM/KTM) came out hot right from the beginning, earning the holeshot after starting from fourth on the grid. Wells continued to build on his lead with every lap that passed and eventually the Albion, N.Y. product went on to win the race by over three full seconds.
"The first day at Daytona I usually struggle quite a bit so to come out here and get the win is huge for me," said Wells. "I knew I had to have a good start and that I would be forced to make very few mistakes if I wanted to win. I'm just glad I was able to do that and it paid off. Hopefully I'll be back up here tomorrow night; the goal is to get the sweep."
Coming in second-place was Justin Jones (Jones Racing/Honda). While Jones never really threatened Wells' lead, he solidified his runner up finish early on with a 1.203 second gap between him and third-place finisher Brandon Wilhelm (Wilhelm Racing/Honda). Rodney Spencer, Jr. (GP Sports/Honda) and Bronson Bauman (Rod Lake Racing/Honda) closed out the top five.
Round 2 of AMA Pro Flat Track at DAYTONA Flat Track is scheduled to commence tonight, March 14, 2014, with live streaming of practice and qualifying sessions set to begin as early as 3:30 p.m. ET and opening ceremonies set to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans can catch all of the live streaming coverage at FansChoice.tv.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org