For almost anyone involved in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship, a top-5 finish would seem to be a great finish for the season. But for defending AMA Grand National Champion Brad 'The Bullet' Baker, his eventual 5th-place finish in the final 2014 Grand National Championship standings was a major step backwards after capturing his first championship just over a year ago while winning the 2013 season-finale at the Pomona Half-Mile.
Baker did win his third AMA Grand National Championship race towards the end of the 2014 season with his win at the Calistoga Half-Mile in early October, but the run to the final races of the season was a rough road to hoe for the Washington State resident. After returning from his first trip to Europe where he won the Superprestigio Dirt Track Race while competing against defending 2013 (and now 2014) MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez, Baker's season in America was off to a slow start, and was slowed even further with his arm injury shortly after the season-opening rounds in Daytona.
After recuperating from that injury, Baker's season was dotted with equipment let down's and failures as he was getting his first season of racing under him while riding for the Harley-Davidson Motor Company factory effort, while competing in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Twins Series events aboard the Milwaukee-based factory XR750s.
But as all champions do, Baker finally got his season heading in the right direction towards the early part of August and worked his way into his final 5th-place finish in the championship tally thanks to his determination and his ability to bring it home in one piece. In the final tally for the season, Baker still ended up with not only his win at Calistoga to his credit, but also had three top-3s, six top-5s and 12 top-10s to show for his hard work during the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship year. Not too bad for a rough year!
Baker also will be heading back to Spain to compete in the 2nd edition of the Superprestigio in early December, and also recently announced he would be adorning National #6 to the front of his mounts for the 2015 season, a National number that hasn't been in use since the mid-80s when last worn by former 2-Time AMA Grand National Champion and NASCAR race-winning crew chief, Randy Goss ('80 & '83 AMA Grand National Champion.)
In the shot above, Brad 'The Bullet' Baker is interviewed on the podium by AMA Pro Flat Track official announcer Barry Boone at the Springfield Mile II in round 14 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship after winning semi race #2 to punch his card to the National main at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on August 31. Baker had just taken the narrow victory in the first consolation race of the day over Scooter Vernon in one of the most closely-fought battles of the day on the #1 Harley-Davidson Motor Co/Screamin' Eagle Racing Parts/Dunlop Tire-sponsored factory Harley-Davidson XR750 in front of an enthusiastic crowd over the Labor Day weekend.
Brad has been kind enough to provide us with another of his positive and rousing updates that he has put together tirelessly for us throughout the season, and you can read all about his year-end exploits and what he has planned for the upcoming future below.
We wish 'The Bullet' the very best of luck in the final month of the year and for his upcoming trip to Spain to show us all proud as he defends his title in Barcelona in the Superprestigio Dirt Track Race on December 13. We know you'll make us all proud man, go get 'em, ride fast and ride safe, and thanks for all of the thrills and great memories!