The sixth season in the AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Championship saw the intense battle between the title challengers come down to the wire at the season finale at the Pomona Half-Mile Flat Track Finals, with Kyle Johnson taking the 2014 championship by a single point over series runner-up and rookie newcomer Davis Fisher (191-190 points), with Fisher taking the win and Johnson following him home in 2nd-place to capture the title.
While Johnson won four rounds of the thirteen races completed on his #77J Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda in the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Championship to lead the charge, he and 3rd-place championship challenger Ryan Wells were two of the four riders in this year's challenge to compete and score points in all 13 National events (the other two being 5th-place finisher Bronson Bauman and 6th-place finisher Dan Bromley.)
Series runner-up Fisher missed the Peoria and Colonial Downs rounds due to injuries suffered on the last lap of the National main at the Indy Mile on August 8, but came roaring back on the #67M TJ Burnett Farms Racing Honda to win the last two races of the year to cement his stronghold in the championship chase and show that team owner TJ Burnett has a great eye for talent in tutoring and sponsoring the 16 year-old Oregon prodigy. Fisher will surely have the heads-up advantage heading into the 2015 season.
In the shot above, the AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Championship heat race #1 gets off to a roaring start in round 10 of the 2014 season at the Indy Mile on August 8.
(L-R) Davis Fisher on the #67M TJ Burnett Farms/Bob Lanphere's Beverton Motorcycles/Dan Wall Racing-sponsored Honda CRF450F gets some air alongside Kyle Johnson on the #77J Parkinson Brothers Racing/Hot Rod Harley-Davidson/Motorcycle-Superstore.com-backed Honda. Nick Armstrong on the #44E Southland Racing/G&G Racing/TDFJ.com-sponsored Honda (mostly hidden), Bronson Bauman on the #30Z Rod Lake Racing/RGR/Hart Racing-backed Honda (partially hidden) and Ryan Wells on the #94B KTM/GE Capital/Waters Autobody Racing-sponsored KTM 450 SX-F do their best to roll their throttles on to get a good start.
What most will remember about the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Championship season will be Kyle Johnson capturing the championship with his series leading four wins, but for those that saw it happen before them will remember aside from Johnson's championship run is the emerging talent that came to the forefront of the class in series runner-up Fisher and another first-year future contender in Jarod Vanderkooi. That young and promising Ohio resident finished the season in the 4th-place spot in the championship behind Wells (171-150 points) and proved he has something to bring to the table in winning both of the non-points paying events in the AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Twins Series at the Springfield Mile in May and August on a family-funded and built Kawasaki twin that was the class of the Pro Twins ranks.
So no matter which way you spin it, see it, take it in or let it out, the future of AMA Pro Flat Track is very bright and very strong, as evidenced by this season's chase in the junior feeder series of The Rolling Thunder Show. And THAT is a good thing!
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 15, 2014) - For the second consecutive season, the AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles championship chase came down to a single point. Kyle Johnson, from Twin Lake, Mich., capped off a remarkable season last weekend at Pomona with a second place finish aboard his Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda and earned the coveted No. 1 plate in just his second season at the professional level.
Surprisingly enough, Johnson's championship run consisted of only seven top-five finishes out of the 13 total races this year, and his somewhat erratic riding style made for an exciting show every time he took to the track. Fans never knew if he was going to torch the field, or fall victim to a mishap.
Johnson began turning heads and raising eyebrows after the season opening doubleheader at Daytona, when he ripped off three straight victories at Knoxville, Lima and Hagerstown. Those were all extraordinary victories, but looking back, arguably his biggest win of the season came by the smallest margin, when he edged rival Davis Fisher by .025 seconds to claim the Sacramento Mile checkered flag in July, as one point separated Fisher and Johnson in the final Pro Singles point standings.
Although he fell one point shy of the title, Fisher was the clear-cut victor last weekend in Pomona aboard his T.J. Burnett Farms Honda, as he dominated the day and secured his second win of 2014 by 1.376 seconds over Johnson to cap off a remarkable rookie season.
"Coming into the race, I knew I had to get first place and Kyle needed to get third or worse for me to win the championship," said Fisher. "It didn't work out that way but hat's off to Kyle for a great season."
At just 16 years old, Fisher has established himself as one of the top up-and-coming stars of the sport. If it weren't for his crash during the Indy Mile in August, which caused him to finish 16th in the race and miss the following two events, Fisher very well could have been the one who wrapped up the championship in Pomona over Johnson. The Warren, Ore. product will be a very dangerous competitor next year after having a full season of experience under his belt.
If any other rider knows the bittersweet feeling of coming up short in a championship battle, it's Albion, N.Y.'s Ryan Wells. Like Fisher, Wells also missed out on the Pro Singles championship by a single point. Just last year, Wyatt Maguire clipped him in the standings 137-136 at the conclusion of the 2013 season. Wells put together another strong season this year aboard his GE Capital KTM, as he finished fourth at Pomona and third in the final Pro Singles point standings.
Finishing fourth in the standings and third at Pomona was Jarod Vanderkooi. In just his first season in the professional ranks, Vanderkooi excelled not only at the Pro Singles level where he earned two wins, but also in Pro Twins competition. Vanderkooi blew the competition away aboard his Johnny's Vintage Motorcycle Kawasaki EX650 in both Springfield Miles. Look for this 16-year-old Mt. Gilead, Ohio, product to be a household name in the flat track community for years to come.
Bronson Bauman put together his best season yet, as he finished fifth in the Pro Singles point standings despite finishing dead last at Pomona. Mounted on his Rod Lake Racing Honda, Bauman participated in all 13 main events. His best finish came at Peoria, where he earned second.
Another rider to see action in every main event this year was Dan Bromley. Mounted on his Bromley Brothers KTM, he finished sixth in the standings and ninth at Pomona.
Brandon Wilhelm got out to an incredibly fast start to the 2014 season, earning a third place finish and win at Daytona aboard his Wilhelm Racing Honda. However, Wilhem's lack of main events competed in proved costly to his position in the standings, as he finished seventh.
The 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles season proved yet again to be a platform for the future stars of the sport to put their talents on display in front of a national audience. Riders like Johnson, Vanderkooi and Fisher all have incredibly unique skill sets, and it's only a matter of time before they will be battling against one another in Grand National Championship competition.
Kyle Johnson #77J leads the field but Davis Fisher #67M took the win at the Pomona Half-Mile Flat Track Finals on October 11, while Johnson took the Pro Singles Championship for the 2014 season with a 2nd-place finish to win the crown by 1-point. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Brian J. Nelson.
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