Calistoga Speedway will return to the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship to host the penultimate round of the 2014 season with the Calistoga Half-Mile, sponsored by Ramspur Winery on Saturday, September 27. After the announcement back in late June that the Santa Rosa Mile would be canceled, the folks at AMA Pro Flat Track and Calistoga were able to come together in order to fill the open spot in the schedule.
The series last visited the venue during the 2010-2011 seasons and saw Stevie Bonsey, current rider for the Zanotti Racing team, score his first-ever AMA Grand National win during the summer of 2010, and then revisited in 2011 when Jake Johnson took the win for the Zanotti Racing team in route to his second of two in-a-row Grand National Championships in 2011.
In the shot above, riders roar off the line during semi race #1 at the Springfield Mile I during round 3 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship on May 25.
(L-R) Chad Cose on the #49 Engelhart Research & Technology/Saddlemen/Bell-sponsored Kawasaki EX650, Scooter Vernon on his #74 self-sponsored Kawasaki, Nichole Cheza-Mees on her #15 Harley-Davidson/Black Hills H-D/Mr. Sign-backed XR750, Cory Texter on the #65 Racing Unlimited/McElroy Packing/Invisible Glass-sponsored Kawasaki, and Johnny Lewis on the #10 KTM/GE Capital/Waters Autobody Racing-backed KTM LC8 950 lead the charge from the front row.
Bret Sowders on the #81G Adam's Racing/Osburn Graphics/Ghost Ride Apparel-backed Suzuki SV650, Colt Chebultz on the #47G Briggs Auto.com/H-D of Salina/McKeeman Drywall-sponsored XR750, Chaz Landers on the #74P Anders Racing/Lou's Cycles/LP Management Co-backed H-D XR750 and Brad Hazel on the #41 HAS Racing/Pure Attitude Activewear/Pete Allen-sponsored XR750 follow the front pack as they get underway for the 8-lap semi race to determine three of the six remaining spots in the Grand National main event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Lewis, who won the race for his first win in his first ride for the Waters Autobody Racing/KTM team, lead Nichole and Cory home after a slow start saw him work his way around four or five riders before taking the point.
With the loss of the Santa Rosa event, and the addition of Calistoga, this now makes for five west coast events, including the Grays Harbor Half-Mile this weekend and the Castle Rock TT next month, out of the 16 races scheduled for this season, which should help to keep the west coast fans happy with the great racing seen in The Rolling Thunder Show. Bravo to the Calistoga folks and to their promoters for stepping up to fill the void and bring some of the best racing there is to see to the left coast!
Read on below to see what you need to do to get your tickets for the Calistoga Half-Mile, round 15 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship on Saturday, September 27.
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Professional Grand National Series Back After Two Year Absence
CALISTOGA, Calif. (July 16, 2014) - The AMA Pro Racing Grand National Series will return to Calistoga Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 27, bringing the chase for the national championship of flat track motorcycle racing back to the Napa Valley after an absence of two years.
The Ramspur Winery Calistoga Half-Mile presented by Victory Chevrolet at the Napa County Fairgrounds will be the 15th and next-to-last chance for riders in both the big-bore Expert Twin and Pro Singles categories to earn precious championship points in the series that will have crisscrossed the country, beginning in Daytona Beach, Fla., in January and ending in Pomona, Calif., Oct. 11.
Calistoga Speedway will host round 15 of the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship, the penultimate round of the 2014 season. The series visited the track in 2010 with winner Stevie Bonsey taking his first-ever AMA Grand National win, and Jake Johnson took the win in 2011 to help cement his second of two AMA Grand National Championships in-a-row while he was with the Zanotti Racing team. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
Top riders expected at Calistoga include Bryan Smith of Flint Mich., a former national champion and a two-time winner so far in 2014, including the most recent race in Hagerstown, Md.; and Michigan's Jared Mees, the 2012 AMA Pro Grand National Champion who leads the current standings. Also expected is Jake Johnson, the 2011 winner at Calistoga and Mees' toughest early-season championship challenger. The three-time AMA national champion and New Jersey native, sponsored by Napa Valley's Ramspur Winery, sits just one point behind Mees (104-103) through the first six races this year.
"It's exciting to bring a national championship series with the prestige of the AMA to the Napa Valley," said Terry Otton, Dirt Trackers, LLC, a valley resident and event co-promoter, along with Hall of Fame rider Eddie Mulder and Steve Delorenzi. "These riders are the best in the country and fans can expect close, hard racing because they know it's one of their last chances to make a run for that No. 1 plate."
Known for its long straightaways, Calistoga Speedway will offer riders plenty of room for passing and drafting in a series that is renowned for close action in which the race lead can change several times each lap. The track is also substantially different from what the riders saw during their last visit to Calistoga, with wider straightaways and progressive banking in the corners, the result of the most significant upgrade in its storied, 75-year history.
"Fans have told us that the changes have produced the best and most action-packed racing they have seen there in many years," noted Chris Morgan, partner and co-promoter of the Calistoga Half Mile who has also promoted many recent World of Outlaw events at the track. "We expect to see the same kind of excitement with flat track racers going shoulder-to-shoulder and handlebar-to-handlebar on a track where bikes can routinely hit speeds of 120 mph."
Tickets are now available for the race and a weekend of activity that will include a classic motorcycle display, autograph session and other events. Additional information is available at www.calistogahalfmile.com.
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