Great news hit the airwaves earlier this week when the folks out of Daytona with AMA Pro Racing announced a new structured outlook and refocusing of the AMA Pro Flat Track brand that will see the Daytona Motorsports Group-led series bring in a new consultant in the form of Sacramento Mile promoter and former AMA Superbike pilot Steve McLaughlin to help move The Rolling Thunder Show forward for the 2015 season and beyond.
The most competitive form of two-wheeled motorcycle racing in the world, and the most original of all motorcycle racing in the United States and North American continent as a whole, the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship has competed for over 60 years now and brought fans some of the best racing on the planet ever since.
Crowning future U.S. and World Champions along the way, including Kenny Roberts, Jay Springsteen and Scott Parker, just to name a few, the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship has brought some of the most intense battles to the track for fans for decades. This season alone saw three men (eventual 2014 AMA Grand National Champion Jared Mees, former 2-Time AMA Grand National Twins Champion Bryan Smith, and former 2-Time AMA Grand National Champion Jake Johnson) fight to the bitter end and decide the final championship standings after 15 points-paying rounds with the final point differential of only 13 points separating these great champions in the final outcome.
In the shot above, the contestants in round 14 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season roar off the line at the Springfield Mile II on August 31 in the final mile race of the season at the Illinois State Fairgrounds over the Labor Day weekend. Long known to be the grand daddy of mile racing, Springfield, along with Indy, Sacramento and the Colonial Downs round in Virginia provide fans some of the best racing the series has to offer from coast to coast. Speeds of 125mph+ are reached on machines that weigh in at 310 lbs. minimum and produce some of the most competitive racing that can be seen anywhere in the world.
(L-R) Henry Wiles on the #17 Don's Kawasaki/DPC Racing/EA Racing-sponsored Kawasaki EX650, Jake Shoemaker on the #55 USC Kawasaki/Hot Shot Motors/Hart Racing-backed Kawasaki (mostly hidden), Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Zanotti Racing/Moroney's H-D/Burt Ives Honda-sponsored XR750, Bryan Smith on the #42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio/Howerton Products-backed Kawasaki, Jared Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing/Las Vegas H-D/Blue Springs H-D-backed XR750 and Jake Johnson on the #5 Ramspur Winery/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Parkinson Brothers Racing-sponsored Kawasaki lead the charge off the front row for the start of the 25-lap National main at the mecca of speed in Springfield.
Also seen in this shot is Mikey Martin on the #91 Bonneville Performance/Triumph Factory Racing/Castrol Racing-sponsored Triumph Bonneville as he tries to get a decided advantage coming off of the second row, and Stevie Bonsey on the #80 Zanotti Racing/Classic Harley-Davidson/Top 1 Oils-sponsored XR750 in tow (partially hidden.)
With this announcement, AMA Pro Racing also mentioned earlier this week that they are finalizing the schedule for the 2015 season and hope to have it released 'soon.'
Check out the full press release below thanks to AMA Pro Racing to see what all they have in store to help move the series forward in the coming year, as we await further news and scheduling in the coming weeks.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 5, 2014) - AMA Pro Racing announced today a restructuring and a renewed focus on the sanctioning, operation and promotion of AMA Pro Flat Track and AMA Pro Hillclimb. In addition, the company remains committed to maintaining the positive and synergistic relationship with MX Sports in the sanctioning of the professional Motocross and ATV disciplines.
Along with changes in staffing, select AMA Pro Racing employees will see modifications in title and responsibility that will, primarily, help to build the stature of the company's flat track and hillclimb championships. The increased focus on these exciting motorsport properties was made possible by the recent transfer of commercial and promotional rights of the road racing series to the American Motorcyclist Association and the KRAVE Group.
"We are excited for the future of AMA Pro Flat Track and AMA Pro Hillclimb," said Michael Gentry, Chief Operating Officer of AMA Pro Racing. "These changes will allow us to better focus our resources and, in that regard, we see this as a very positive change moving forward. With a full flat track schedule nearly complete for 2015 and every round set to be broadcast live in high definition and free of charge online at FansChoice.tv, we feel there is a lot of positive momentum and we know we have a great staff in place to maximize exposure and marketability for our racing properties."
2013 AMA Grand National Champion Brad Baker #1 and 2014 AMA Grand National Champion Jared Mees #9 battle during the season finale round at the Pomona Half-Mile. AMA Pro Racing announced a new restructuring plan this week that will see renewed focus on the AMA Pro Flat Track brand, that also includes the hiring of 2014 Sacramento Mile promoter and former AMA Superbike pilot Steve McLaughlin as a consultant to the series for the 2015 season. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Brian J. Nelson.
To support the staff headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., AMA Pro Racing will retain consultants to advise and assist the company on certain areas of the business. The first such consultant to be brought on, industry veteran Steve McLaughlin, lends his immense expertise in a number of areas where the organization feels it can thrive. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer's legacy includes victories in AMA Superbike, the founding of World Superbike and the profitable promotion of World Championship Motorcycle Grand Prix and Supercross events.
McLaughlin returned to the business of race promotion in 2014 when he successfully brought the Sacramento Mile back to the AMA Pro Flat Track schedule. With his wealth of knowledge on the business of event promotion, McLaughlin will act as a liaison to the AMA Pro Flat Track promoters and will assist AMA Pro Racing with site selection for potential future events.
AMA Pro Racing Headquarters Staff, by Department
Michael Gentry, Chief Operating Officer
Dan Johnsen, Director of Flat Track
Steve Morehead, Flat Track Senior Race Manager
Gene Crouch, Director of Communications & Technical Operations
Jared Johnson, Timing & Scoring Manager
Patrick Buganski, Communications Manager
Lisa McCarty, Senior Marketing Manager
Andrew Swain, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Operations and Accounting:
Stacey Melanson, Managing Director of Operations and Accounting
Nicole Spanik, Senior Manager of Accounting
Becki Edmondson, Director of Member Services and Event Registration
Sharon McMillan, Senior Membership Services Coordinator/Admin Coordinator
Kim Barnick, Administrative Assistant
Mike Neely, Transportation/Technical Manager
As part of the restructuring, AMA Pro Racing board member David Atlas will transition from Chief Business Development Officer to the role of Strategic Alliance Consultant.
AMA Pro Flat Track will kick off the 2015 season on March 12 and 13 with a doubleheader at the DAYTONA Flat Track. For tickets and information, please visit http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.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.