In the series first return to the Knoxville Half-Mile in Knoxville, Iowa tomorrow since the 2012 season, round 4 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship is set to blast off at the track that is known as the Sprint Car Capital of the World in what will be the first half-mile event on the calendar this year (weather permitting.)
After a thrilling start to the Twins Series season at the Springfield Mile I over the Memorial Day weekend, the riders and teams have had an almost-three week break in order to prepare for the stretch run of this year's racing ahead, which is shaping up to be another superb season for The Rolling Thunder Show, the best two wheeled racing series in the world.
In the shot above from the Springfield Mile I on May 25, six of the main protagonists in the fight at the first mile event of the season, and for the battle for the 2014 AMA Grand National Championship roar off the line in the four-lap Dash for Cash event.
(L-R) Jared Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing/Las Vegas H-D/Blue-Springs H-D-sponsored XR-750, Brandon Robinson on the #44 USC Kawasaki/Hart Racing/Hot Shot-backed EX650, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Zanotti Racing/Moroney's H-D/Burt Ives Honda-sponsored XR-750, Henry Wiles on the #17 Don's Kawasaki/DPC Racing/EA Racing-backed EX650, Jake Johnson on the #5 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Ramspur Winery/Parkinson Brothers-sponsored Ducati 'L' twin, and eventual Dash and main event winner Bryan Smith on the #42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports-sponsored Kawasaki nail their throttles and drop the hammer in the first points paying event of the young Twins Series season.
All of the above along with a short list of riders including defending 2013 AMA Grand National Champion Brad Baker, Sammy Halbert, Stevie Bonsey and a choice few other fast men and women will turn the regular car track at Knoxville into a two-wheel flat track domain of speed tomorrow in what is surely going to be a barn burner of an event in central Iowa.
As you get ready for tomorrow's action, don't forget that if you can't make it to the races in person, you can watch the whole day live thanks to AMA Pro's FansChoice.TV as the action unfolds right in front of you.
Be sure and read the press release below from AMA Pro Flat Track to see all of the start times and what and where you need to be to see the boys and girls of The Rolling Thunder Show turn the Sprint Car Capital of the World into their home for the day at the Knoxville Raceway.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 10, 2014) - AMA Pro Flat Track will return to Knoxville, Iowa, on Sunday, June 15, after taking a break from the Marion County venue in 2013, and fans can watch all the action live from Knoxville Raceway on FansChoice.tv. AMA Pro Flat Track will be marking its third trip to the half-mile oval and will run in conjunction with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.
The AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship returns to the Sprint Car Capital of the World at the Knoxville Half-Mile tomorrow in the series first return to the track since the 2012 season. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
In 2012, fans witnessed Kenny Coolbeth earn a split-second victory over defending champion Jake Johnson to claim the coveted Knoxville Half-Mile victory. This season, Coolbeth will be looking for a repeat performance aboard his Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson. Coolbeth has gotten off to a fast start in 2014, sealing a victory to open the season at Daytona before claiming a second place finish at the legendary Springfield Mile last round. Coolbeth's strong start has him entering the Knoxville Half-Mile leading the overall Grand National Championship point standings.
Johnson, a two-time Grand National Champion, looks more alive than ever in 2014. Aboard his Ramspur Winery Ducati, Johnson sits second in the points, and has recorded two second place finishes in both AMA Pro Flat Track main events at Knoxville Raceway in the past. Given his resume and strong start to the season, Johnson is clearly a threat to make a prominent impact on this weekend's festivities once the green flag drops in Knoxville.
So far this season, AMA Pro Flat Track riders have been tested on a mile-long track (Springfield) and a quarter mile oval circuit (Daytona). This weekend marks the first time in 2014 that the stars of the series will face off on a half-mile course.
The last rider to win an AMA Pro Flat Track half-mile event was none other than current defending Grand National Champion Brad Baker when he sealed his first ever title last October at Pomona. Baker, who has gotten off to an uncharacteristically slow start this season, finds himself 11th in the points with zero podium appearances. However, fans shouldn't be surprised if Baker stifles the competition this weekend aboard his Factory Harley-Davidson and gets back on track and into position to compete for another championship.
Sammy Halbert will be on the attack this weekend when he rolls his South East Harley-Davidson off the truck at Knoxville. Halbert currently sits third in the points but the Graham, Wash., product could potentially be higher if not for a mechanical issue at Springfield that set him back and forced him to finish dead last in the main event. Halbert is always dangerous on half-mile circuits and he should be a threat to go the distance Sunday afternoon.
Bryan Smith will ride his Crosley Radio/Villa-Esparza Kawasaki this weekend in hopes of following up his impressive Springfield Mile victory with another strong performance at Knoxville. Smith, who currently sits fifth in points, typically performs best on mile-long courses, so the Flint, Mich., native will have his work cut out for him on the shorter circuit this weekend.
Brandon Robinson, who is currently tied for third in points, will also threaten for a spot on the podium on his USC Kawasaki.
More Grand National Championship riders that have a chance to take the coveted checkered flag this weekend include the likes of Shayna Texter, aboard her Latus Motors Triumph Bonneville, Henry Wiles, aboard his Dons Kawasaki, Briar Bauman, aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki and several other worthy competitors.
Tune into FansChoice.tv to catch all of the action
Fans are encouraged to tune into FansChoice.tv on Sunday, June 15, to catch all of the AMA Pro Flat Track action from Knoxville beginning with practice scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m. EST (8:15 a.m. PST) and opening ceremonies scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. EST (11 a.m. PST).
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