With the stretch run of four races to the end of the season upon us, The Rolling Thunder Show heads to round 13 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship to do battle tomorrow on the 1.25 mile surface at the Virginia Mega Mile at Colonial Downs in New Kent, VA. The second running of this event will help to decide the outcome for the season between the three riders (Jared Mees, Bryan Smith and Jake Johnson) that are at the top of the standings for the 2014 AMA Grand National Championship.
The longest track on the schedule, Colonial Downs last year saw the riders face not only a fast surface, but one that was also hard on equipment. Title contender and eventual 2013 AMA Grand National Champion Brad Baker was one of several riders that suffered engine failures at the facility that was described as being 'loose, loamy and fast' by several team members and at least one key media person on-hand for the initial outing at the predominantly horse racing track.
In the shot above from round 3 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship, restart number three gets underway at the Springfield Mile I on May 25.
Title contenders up front, Jake Johnson on the #5 Ramspur Winery/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Parkinson Brothers Racing-sponsored Ducati, Bryan Smith on the #42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio/Howerton Products-backed Kawasaki, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Zanotti Racing/Moroney's H-D/Burt Ives Honda-sponsored Harley-Davidson XR750, and Jared Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing/Blue Springs H-D/Las Vegas H-D-sponsored XR lead the charge off the line as the green light flashes.
Following closely in their wake are Brandon Robinson on the #44 USC Kawasaki/Hart Racing/Stevens Racing-sponsored Kawasaki, Brad Baker on the #1 Harley-Davidson Motor Co/Screamin' Eagle Racing Parts/Dunlop-backed factory XR750 and mile specialist and 2-time Springfield Mile winner Willie McCoy on his #59 H-D of Wausau/Tucker Rocky/Independence H-D-sponsored XR.
With the top-3 title contenders just 14 points apart (Mees 204, Smith 195, Johnson 190) tomorrow's event is without a doubt important to the final outcome of the season, and if equipment issues were to dictate for any of the contenders what their outcome would be, 3-Time AMA Grand National Twins Champion Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. is right behind them looking to pounce should that happen (160 points.)
Trying to pick a winner for tomorrow's race? You could most likely pick any, or all, of the riders in the above shot (except for McCoy who will sit out Colonial Downs to better ready himself for the Labor Day weekend running of the Springfield Mile II) who could walk away with the victory spoils. And the others you don't pick will most likely be right behind ready to follow that one home!
If you aren't able to make it to what will surely be another day of great action on The Rolling Thunder Show's tour, you can catch it via FansChoice.TV as always, as their great coverage will at least keep you on the seat of your couch. Timed practice is set to roll off Saturday, August 23 at 12:00 PM EDT.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 20, 2014) - After a successful inauguration to the Grand National scene last season, Colonial Downs will host Round 13 of the AMA Pro Flat Track schedule this Saturday, Aug. 23. The 1.25 mile circuit in New Kent, Va., measures in as the largest track on the schedule and will surely provide for some thrilling racing action.
It's safe to say Bryan Smith will be seeking the ultimate redemption this go-around, as he was well on his way to an easy victory a year ago at the Virginia Mega Mile before his motorcycle stalled at the race's midway point. The incident resulted in Smith finishing 12th, and more than 25 seconds off the leader.
This year, with the No. 1 plate on the line, Smith sits just nine points back of current points leader, Jared Mees, as he looks to ride his Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki to his fourth win of the season and capture the top position for the first time in 2014.
Going through Mees this weekend won't be an easy task for Smith, however, as Mees was the man who took advantage of Smith's mishap last year to earn the Virginia Mega Mile victory. The current points leader has managed to finish inside the top five in every race but one so far in 2014. Look for the 2012 Grand National Champion to remain consistent this weekend aboard his Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson.
Jake Johnson #5, Jared Mees #1, JD Beach #95 and Nichole Cheza-Mees #15 battle for the 3rd-place spot in the Dash for Cash event at the inaugural Virginia Mega Mile at Colonial Downs in August 2013. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
Another rider coming on strong so far this season is two-time Grand National Champion Jake Johnson. Johnson has dominated on four different motorcycles in 2014 and is entered to ride a Ramspur Winery Ducati at Colonial Downs.
Two weekends ago, Kenny Coolbeth stunned an Indianapolis crowd that was most likely expecting a Kawasaki atop the box following the Indy Mile main event. Instead, it was Coolbeth's Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson that crossed the stripe first and the three-time champion is looking to have a similar run this weekend aboard the same motorcycle.
As expected, Henry Wiles dominated the Peoria TT last weekend for the 10th consecutive season. With his win, he bolted up to fifth in the overall point standings. Wiles is still looking for similar success on something other than a TT course in 2014, and he will ride with his Don's Kawasaki with confidence having just come off of a win.
In the Pro Singles class, Kyle Johnson suffered a setback last week at Peoria after he crashed in the main event, causing him to finish 16th. However, Johnson, remains in the points lead heading into Colonial Downs, where he will ride a Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda.
Davis Fisher missed last weekend's event due to a back injury he sustained following a crash at the Indy Mile. However, Fisher is entered to compete on his T.J. Burnett Farms Honda this weekend at Colonial Downs. The rookie sits second in the points lead, just eight behind Johnson. Ryan Wells finished third at Peoria last weekend and also sits third in the points. The New York product is entered to compete aboard his KTM this weekend.
Briar Bauman currently sits fourth in the points, while Dan Bromley, Jarod Vanderkooi and Brandon Wilhelm all round out the top seven, all sitting within just 11 points of each other.
Top 10 in points in AMA Pro Flat Track Experts
1. Jared Mees 204
2. Bryan Smith 195
3. Jake Johnson 190
4. Kenny Coolbeth 160
5. Henry Wiles 144
6. Sammy Halbert 139
7. Brad Baker 132
8. Stevie Bonsey 123
9. Brandon Robinson 117
10. Briar Bauman 97
Top 10 in points in AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles
1. Kyle Johnson 150
2. Davis Fisher 142
3. Ryan Wells 137
4. Bronson Bauman 119
5. Dan Bromley 110
6. Jarod Vanderkooi 100
7. Brandon Wilhelm 99
8. Dylan Morin 70
9. Dominic Colindres 69
10. Justin Jones 56
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.
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