The 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season is in full swing, and one team up to this point has taken the horse by the reigns and has won two of the last points paying races, as well as AMA Pro Flat Track's initial introduction to a world stage in terms of the ESPN XGames.
The Bryan Smith #42 Howerton Motorsports/Crosley Brands/Villa-Esparza/Kawasaki team has taken what they have done over the course of the last three seasons and even stepped it up a notch in it's fourth year together. Last year's teaming saw team lead/builder/engineer Rick Howerton step aside to spend more time with his family, and even though Rocket Rick still had his hands in the mix, it wasn't in terms of the full time effort that he had put forth in the previous two seasons. Without Indy's Gasoline Alley man heading up the charge, Indy's other Gasoline Alley resident, Jeff Gordon, and Dreyer Motorsports' Dink Glidden helped lead Bryan and their Kawasaki to it's first half-mile win at Hagerstown, and to within three points of the season-ending championship. If not for a fluke mechanical, that same Kawasaki and team could very well have been wearing the #1 plate this year. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.
With another win at Springfield, the 5th win in-a-row at the Sacto Mile, and the XGames triumph, Smith and Company are on a roll. And although in terms of a turnaround, last week's XGames win for Flyin' Bryan was virtually handed to him due to reigning champ Jared Mees' fluke mechanical on the last lap of the Austin-hosted main event, which in front of a live, international audience, with over 450K viewers tuned in, saw the tables turned and the team handed what most likely would have been a 2nd-place finish, a big win. If karma was what took Smith and team out of the mix last year, it surely has come around so far for the team in 2015.
Many will say that now the Flint, Michigan-area resident will have to come to closer terms with his Singles program in order to better capitalize on the championship, and with Pomona now out of the mix and Las Vegas now the last race of the season, one more Singles race could make the difference for this year's championship crown.
Sammy Halbert for the first time in several seasons has put aside his family-owned and run team to join forces with the Scott Powersports/BriggsAuto.com Kawasaki team, headed up by another iconic figure in the sport, one Johnny Goad. For those that haven't been around since that glory season, Goad tuned the Ricky Graham Honda/Goad Racing team to the banner year they had in '93 which saw Ricky G and team take 12 wins on the season and Graham's third championship.
Sammy as always, has been spot-on in his riding, and with top-5 finishes at Daytona and Springfield, an 8th-place at Sacto, and a runner-up at the XGames, the Slammer is showing top form on his new team for the new season. And with the summer run of cushion tracks and half-miles soon to be upon us, old #7 and the Briggs Auto/Scott Powersports/Martin Trucking/Lucas Oil-backed Kawasaki team will undoubtedly be right there in the mix.
2013 AMA Grand National Champion Brad 'The Bullet' Baker has spent the last two seasons recovering from injuries at this point in each calendar year, but to see the fire in his eyes and the results he has been able to attain so far right at or near the top on the factory Harley-Davidson XR750 all the more incredible. And with finishes of 3rd, 4th and 3rd-place in the last three events, I'd say that the #6 Harley-Davidson Motor Company/Screaming Eagle Performance Products/Arai Helmets-sponsored rider and team are ready to get over the hump and get that first win under their belt, and most likely sooner, then later.
The Ottumwa, Iowa-based Weirbach Racing team, headed up by the father and son duo of Richard and Ted Weirbach, have reunited with 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Champion Mikey Martin and are off to their best start in the few seasons that they have been competing full time in the GNC1/Expert ranks. With fresh Kawasakis out of the Racing Unlimited shop of Alan Rodenborn, located in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the team is as ready as ever to take the next step forward in their quest to be a major stalwart in The Rolling Thunder Show.
The #91 Weirbach Racing/Racing Unlimited/Arai/Motion Pro-sponsored team has racked up two top-10s in Springfield and Sacramento, a heat race win and a Dash for Cash win at Sacto, and an 8th-place finish in Austin to start off the year on a very bright note. And after talking with the team in Springfield, is more then ready to take that next step to the next level, while having a boatload of fun while doing so.
Cory Texter may not have the results he surely deserves early in the season, but the new Yamaha rider has still got the time to settle in on the new #65 Yamaha Motor-USA/Memphis Shades/McElroy Packaging/Herrs-sponsored Yamaha FZ-07-based mount. And with tuner to the stars Babe Demay behind the build of Yamaha's newest entry into the bar banging action of AMA Pro Flat Track, it probably won't be long before those results start to come to fruition for the Pennsylvania resident.
Of note, Texter teamed up again with a Racing Unlimited Kawasaki built by Alan Rodenborn for the XGames, but unfortunately missed the main after a spill in his heat and a 12th-place finish in the LCQ. But between him and sister Shayna, Racing Unlimited's Rodenborn has done a heckuva job of keeping great equipment available for the siblings.
Defending 2014 AMA Grand National Champ Jared Mees and the #9 Rogers Racing/Las Vegas H-D/Harley-Davidson Motor Corp/SDI Racing-backed XR750 team suffered from an extremely rare mechanical failure on the last lap of the XGames, which handed the win to Bryan Smith. But overall The Jammer is only five points out of the championship lead with three top-3s to show for it and the majority of the season ahead to take another big swing at the big prize of wearing the #1 plate in the greatest racing series on two wheels in the world by the end of the 2015 season. And with his never-say-die attitude and ability, you can NEVER count Mees out of the equation, especially this early in the year.
With his third team in as many seasons, Brandon Robinson and the #44 Latus Motors/Castrol/Triumph America/GE Capital-backed Triumph Bonneville team are already seeing the type of results that the British-made twin has surely deserved since they re-entered the world of AMA Pro Flat Track. Sitting in 3rd-place in the championship, BRob44 nearly won Triumph's first oval race in over four decades (1974) and first in the Twins Series since Alex Jorgensen won in the late '70s in just their second outing together two weeks ago at the Sacto Mile. Riding like a boss and showing the world that he and the Brent Armbruster-tuned Triumph are capable of running at the front, Robinson and the Triumph are quickly coming together, and with a 2nd-place finish to show for it at Sacto, you can bet it won't be long before he gets to that next highest step on the podium. And Robinson's showing at Springfield in his first Grand National on the Triumph running at the front before a mechanical put him out showed the strides that this team has made in the off-season and what a quality rider in Robinson's ability can and will bring to the table for the Latus team.
Check out their very cool video from Springfield here, and don't be surprised if another Pennsylvania resident on the British-made twin keeps knocking it down as the season progresses.
2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Champion Kyle Johnson showed up at Springfield with a freshly-built #77 Parkinson Brothers Racing/Hot Rod Harley-Davidson/Pro 1 Industries/Ray C's Harley-Davidson-sponsored Kawasaki, as well as a TJ Burnett Farms backup bike, and promptly went out and won one of the semis in just his first Twins race as a GNC1 rider. Look for more out of this Michigan rider as the season progresses and the team comes together in the big boys and girls class.
After last year's team owner TJ Burnett decided to step away due to health concerns for this season, last year's runner-up in the AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Championship, Davis Fisher, got together with Fort Dodge, Iowa's Alan Rodenborn to contest the Pro Twins Class on the #67M Racing Unlimited/Parkinson Brothers Racing/Bob Lampher Beaverton Motorcycles/Dan Wall Racing-sponsored Kawasaki. Fisher took control at Springfield and won his third GNC2/Pro Twins race in-a-row in style (last year's double win didn't count for championship points.) A crash at Sacto dropped him in the points, but after last year's injuries at Indy forced him to miss a couple of rounds, don't look for the crash at Cal Expo to slow the Washington State resident down for the remaining races on the schedule.
The Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team's latest incarnation came together late to put a team together, but what a team it is in the pairing for former AMA Supermoto Champ Johnny Lewis and former 3-Time World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss. However, the team got off to a rough start with Lewis crashing out of the main at Springfield on the #10 Lloyd Brothers/Ducati/Ducati.net/Vintage Motorcycles-sponsored Ducati 1100, thankfully not suffering from major injuries.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Bayliss after losing it during the semi race on the #21i Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Ducati/Ducati.net/TroyBayliss Events-backed Ducati 1100 and suffering from some severe leg and ankle injuries. How soon Bayliss will be able to return is still up in the air, but Lewis will be back in the mix after a strong XGames finish (4th-place) when the team returns to the track at Lima on June 27.
Bayliss was the focus of attention at Springfield, in spite of not making the National main, but that didn't stop the buzz from seeing the former MotoGP winner by those on hand during the Memorial Day weekend running at the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile oval. Here he talks with Cycle News's Larry Lawrence and Andrea Wilson during a break in the day's action in the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Ducati pit area.
Former 2-Time Springfield winner Willie McCoy made his usual trek to the Illini State with a pair of his immaculate self-built #59 H-D of Wausau/Independence H-D/Redline Oils/Arai-sponsored Harley-Davidson XR750s and came away with a very solid 5th-place finish. Six days later, the Texan headed west to contest the Sacto Mile and came away with another great result of 7th-place in California.
If that wasn't enough for one of the series' most popular part-time riders, McCoy suppled former 3-Time AMA Pro Flat Track Twins Champ Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. with a ride at the XGames when Zanotti Racing's mounts weren't able to be ready after some rare mechanical failures at Sacto. Coolbeth may have only finished in 9th-place in Austin, but he was styling big time in Texas on Texas-built muscle. And what a neat gesture by one of the neat guys of the sport to help out The King of Cool!
Coming together late in the 2014 season, Rob Pearson and the Waters Autobody KTM team stayed together and will be contesting the full Twins/GNC1 series for the 2015 season. Bugs promptly went out at Springfield and took the #27 KTM/GE Capital/Waters Autobody Racing/Shoei-sponsored KTM 990 Super Duke to the win in the semi for the team. Here he is shown being congratulated by team owner/head wrench Dave Waters on the podium after the semi ceremonies.
On a neat side note, Pearson also went to Austin for the XGames thanks to bike owner/former racer Ben Knight, another Illinois resident. Ben loaned Rob his American H-D-sponsored XR750 for the XGames, and although they didn't make it to the main, they did get a solid 3rd-place in the LCQ event in Austin. And looked darn good in the process!
The 2015 season will be a part time, building process for Shayna Texter on her new #52 Crosley Radio/Sixth Man/McElroy Packaging/Sportbike Track Time-backed Kawasaki. Missing the mains at both the miles in Illinois and California, this will be a year for her to get her legs back under her after an abysmal season aboard the Triumphs in 2014. And when she does get those legs back into solid shape with her new mount, the rest better look out as we all know from her romp at Springfield (in what was then the Basic Twins races in 2013) what this fine young lady can do when the planets align for her on the track.
Of note, Shayna and brother Cory made history by becoming the first brother and sister to ever compete in the ESPN XGames. The feature on the siblings was extremely moving, and unless you don't have a pulse, should have brought most to near tears.
2012 Pro Singles runner-up Jake Shoemaker is another rider who is on a new team again for the 2015 season (his third in the last three seasons) as he made his debut at Springfield aboard the #55 Bonneville Performance/Castrol/Triumph/GE Corp-sponsored Triumph Bonneville. Finished of 14th-place at Springfield and 11th-place at the Sacto Mile may not seem stellar to the average fan, but the fact that Shoe got the Bonneville Performance into both mains and finished both races right out of the box is really pretty much a great thing for the new teaming. And working as a co-unit alongside Joe Kopp/Brent Armbruter and Brandon Robinson on the Latus Motors team can only help both units to move up in the ranks as the season progresses.
On a side note, the 2013 Rookie of the Year made it to Austin, but with only a 10th-place finish in the LCQ to show for it. But his slide out in his heat race, and holding onto the bike to keep it out of the racing line was a big moment, and showed how talented a rider Shoemaker is and is forethought in the moment to not impede the rest of the field due to his misfortune.
The Zanotti Racing squad's new look for 2015 has Henry Wiles on the #17 Zanotti Racing/Motion Pro/Bell Helmets/Pinit Motorsports-sponsored XR750 tuned by Steve Polk, and returning teamster Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. again on the #2 Zanotti Racing/H-D Motor Co/Gator H-D/Chaplin Honda-backed XR750, again tuned by 2013 championship winning tuner Dave Atherton.
Coolbeth leads the standings after three top-5s and a 7th-place at Springfield (again winning at Daytona), and a 2nd-place in the LCQ at Austin with a final finish of 9th-place in the XGames main. Coolbeth won four races last year in his initial outing with the 3-Time Grand National Championship winning team and looks to keep that momentum going this year as well.
Wiles, after parting company with the Don's Kawasaki team at the end of the 2014 season, missed the XGames due to the rare mechanicals the team suffered at the Sacto Mile (18th-place finish.) But with his 4th-place at round 2 at Daytona to go with his Springfield showing of 6th-place The Hammer won't need much time to get into the top-10 in points starting with next weekend's return to the Hagerstown Half-Mile.
When it's all said and done, and the b.s. stops as the green flag drops, this year's version of the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship promises the same or an even more elevated level of excitement (if that is possible) for the series, it's fans and it's teams and riders. With so many variables and manufacturers dotting the sport, we could see some new, or returning names and marques to not only the podium but to the top step should all of the right cards fall into place this year.
With Bryan Smith #42, Jared Mees #1, Sammy Halbert #7, Brad Baker #6, Brandon Robinson #44, Johnny Lewis #10 and Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. #2 heading up the rest of the great stars in this great sport, the action will undoubtedly leave us all gasping for air at each round, venue and turn of a wheel.
On a side note, Nichole Mees, on her #15 Black Hills Harley-Davidson/Jerry Kennedy/Mr Sign Younkers, New York/SDI Insulation-sponsored XR750 (shown above on the second row at Springfield on May 24), was able to join husband, Jared at the XGames in Austin and set a new record for the first husband and wife team to compete alongside one another in the long time games event. A 9th-place finish in the LCQ kept her out of the main, and with Jared's rare DNF mechanical, the Michigan residents obviously didn't fare near as well as would have been expected, but both did their usual stellar job of representing the sport we all love in front of a large television audience, that was actually the 11th-most watched sports show for the day on Thursday, June 4.
If you want to catch up on the readings from the last few weeks, here is a good chance to do so thanks to Cycle News.
1). Springfield Mile round up thanks to my traveling partner, Larry Lawrence.
2). Sacto Mile wrap up thanks to Double L again!
3). ESPN XGames happenings thanks to Andrea Wilson.
You can also read up on AMA Pro Flat Track's official releases on Sacto and the XGames below, as well all get ready for the series to fire back up next Saturday, June 20 at round 5 of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship at the Hagerstown Half-Mile. You better get your tickets now, cuz this trains moving fast and it doesn't look to slow down for the next few months!
AUSTIN, Texas (June 4, 2015) - Fans all over the world were treated to a night of tantalizing action and classic dirt track battles as the sport of flat track motorcycle racing and its stars made their debut in the X Games on Thursday. Following some last-lap drama, Bryan Smith took the inaugural Harley-Davidson Flat Track Racing at X Games gold medal. Sammy Halbert took silver and Brad Baker rounded out the podium with a bronze. The event's heat races, last chance qualifier and 20-lap main event were all broadcast live to an international audience on ESPN.
"To come away with the win, the gold medal, I'm stoked," said Smith. "It's great for the whole sport. I've been watching the X Games since I was 10 years old, 12 year old, and I'm finally here. There were some twisted events there at the end and there were a few passes at the beginning. I'm sure it was a good show, and I'm sure it could be even better next time."
Smith looked sharp all night aboard the No. 42 Crosley Radio machine, but he was the beneficiary of some luck, good for him but bad for AMA Pro Flat Track No. 1 plate holder, Jared Mees. Mees was in control for most of the contest before his No. 1 Las Vegas Harley-Davidson machine suffered a mechanical failure exiting turn two on the race's final lap. The defending Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines champion was scored in 11th place at the end of the race.
Bryan Smith #42 inherited the lead on the last lap of the main event of the ESPN XGames Harley-Davidson Flat Track race held at Austin, TX. at the Circuit of the Americas track and went on to take the gold medal in AMA Pro Flat Track's inaugural showing at the extreme sport event's opening evening. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
"Jared slowed, there were sparks coming off his bike, and it was like a mirage," said Smith.
Second place finisher and pilot of the No. 7 Briggs Auto machine, Halbert, was neck-and-neck with Smith all night, and the Graham, Wash., native was thrilled to come away with a silver medal in his first X Games.
"I'm stoked," said Halbert. "The goal was to come here and at least get a medal and it feels great to do it. I obviously wanted the gold but I'm really happy to get up here and on the box and medal."
Piloting the No. 6 Factory Harley-Davidson, Baker rode with fury all night and claimed the bronze medal in his X Games debut.
"I'm really happy to bring home a bronze medal," said Baker. "I had a good feeling before the main event that I was going to be able to run for the win. The track slowed down a lot and my motorcycle wasn't able to pull the gear off the corner. It's really cool and I think this (medal) will hang from the mirror of my pickup for a little while. It's a big deal to have a medal here at the X Games and we'll be back next year trying to go for gold, hopefully. I think the fans were impressed with what happened and I'm definitively happy with the result, even though I wish it was better."
Johnny Lewis, riding the No. 10 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports entry, and Jake Johnson #5, rounded out the top five, respectively.
In total, 12 riders made the main event on Thursday night at the 3/8-mile dirt oval at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Harley-Davidson Flat Track at X Games complete results
1. Bryan Smith
2. Sammy Halbert
3. Brad Baker
4. Johnny Lewis
5. Jake Johnson
6. Briar Bauman
7. Doug Lawrence
8. Mikey Martin
9. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr.
10. Michael Kirkness
11. Jared Mees
12. Brandon Robinson
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. 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
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 3, 2015) - As the dust settled following Bryan Smith's thrilling victory at the Sacramento Mile on Saturday, a similar picture to the prior week emerged. Smith won the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines main event by a scant margin while Kenny Coolbeth Jr. did just enough to maintain his points lead following the fourth round of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track championship.
Aboard the No. 42 Crosley Radio Kawasaki, Smith led 11 out of 25 laps on Saturday night in the 50th running of the iconic Sacramento Mile at the Cal Expo in Sacramento, Calif. to top a podium composed of three different motorcycle brands.
Smith was in his classic Mile form at Sacramento, routinely forfeiting his lead in the corners before running his opponents down aboard his powerful Kawasaki on the front and back stretches during the night's main event. Smith prevailed for the fifth straight time at the Cal Expo, but by the slimmest margin yet, as he was forced to make a last-moment draft pass out of Turn 4 to beat Brandon Robinson to the finish line by two hundredths of a second. It was the second AMA Pro Flat Track win for Smith in as many weeks.
Bryan Smith #42 leads Brad Baker #6 (partially hidden), Johnny Lewis #10, Mikey Martin #91 and the rest of the field during the early running of heat race #2 at the Sacto Mile on Saturday, May 30. Martin went on to win the heat, but Smith won his 5th-straight National main later in the day at the Cal Expo-hosted event. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
"That was five years in a row and this was by far the hardest one," said smith. "My tire is bald and there was smoke coming off everybody's rear tire the last couple laps. It was fun but it was nerve-wracking. I would like to thank all the fans. When I got up there and they were all cheering, that's the best thing."
With the win, Smith now holds the fifth spot in the official point standings. Also, because he started from ninth position, Smith earned the MotoBatt Hard Charger Award, recognizing the GNC1 rider who improves the most from their starting spot in the main.
Robinson, riding the No. 44 Latus Motors/Castrol Triumph, led eight laps in the main event. After slipping off the groove and falling back in the pack, he fought to the front again and led four laps before Smith took it from him at the finish line on lap 25. "I'm excited and pumped about finishing second, it's awesome," said Robinson. "A lot of people were second-guessing my decision to ride for Triumph this year but my Latus Motors/Castrol Triumph team gave me a great bike. My mechanic worked his butt off all night. We struggled in qualifying and we were on the third row for the heat race, but we just kept charging all night. We got the bike better and it was just on a rail during the main event and I just can't believe Bryan got me at the line." Robinson's best finish of the year puts him third in the point standings heading into Round 5, the Hagerstown Half-Mile, scheduled for June 20.
Jared Mees earned his third podium appearance of 2015. The defending champion rounded out the podium in Sacramento with a third place finish aboard his No. 1 Las Vegas Harley-Davidson machine and he now sits third in the championship battle. "A good ride is finishing third place, there's no doubt, but just feeling how good the motorcycle was, I am a little disappointed," said Mees. "I felt like I had pretty good control of the race for once on these Miles and I slid a little wide with two or three laps to go. That's when Baker ran it in pretty deep underneath me and just kind of jumbled us all up and let Robinson put a little gap between us."
Brad Baker, aboard the No. 6 Factory Harley-Davidson, posted the fastest lap of the race with a time of 37.493 and earned an impressive fourth place finish in Sacramento. Baker also took the lead in the Sunoco "Go the Distance Award," a year-end prize that recognizes the rider who completes the furthest distance on-track over the course of the season.
Coolbeth finished fifth aboard the No. 2 Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson, and though it was his second consecutive race having missing the podium, he still left Sacramento with the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines points lead. Jeffrey Carver Jr. came in sixth on his No. 23 Don's Kawasaki entry and now sits 11th in the points. Willie McCoy, aboard the No. 59 Harley-Davidson of Wausau Harley-Davidson, finished seventh in the Sacramento Mile main event. The Justin, Texas, product now sits 12th in the point standings. Sammy Halbert put together a top-10 effort, but it was actually the worst showing of the season for the rider of the No. 7 Briggs Auto Kawasaki. Halbert settled for eighth place and now sits fourth in the point standings, well within striking distance of the leader, Coolbeth.
Nichole Mees had a strong showing in what will be her final season of Harley-Davidson GNC1 competition, earning a ninth-place finish aboard her No. 15 Black Hill's Harley-Davidson. Lodi, Calif.'s Mikey Martin won the all-important Dash for Cash to take top spot on the grid for the night's GNC1 Main. The local favorite got off to a great start aboard his No. 91 Weirbach Racing Kawasaki and led the 18-rider freight train to the stripe on Lap 1, but was quickly shuffled back and finished an eventual 10th place finish.
Harley-Davidson GNC1 rookies Jarod Vanderkooi, riding the No. 17F Don's Kawasaki, and Kyle Johnson, aboard the No. 77 Parkinson Brothers Racing Kawasaki, finished 15th and 16th, respectively, and the two are now tied with 12 points apiece in the standings. Both riders are vying for the Saddlemen Rookie of the Year award.
Johnny Lewis continued to show strength aboard the latest addition to the eligible machine list for AMA Pro Flat Track competition. The Ducati Scrambler-inspired 1100cc powerplant out of the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports stable made its second appearance in a GNC1 Main in as many attempts, with Lewis taking home a 13th place finish at Sacramento. Lewis' teammate Troy Bayliss showed early promise in the Sacramento Mile, the second of five scheduled AMA Pro Flat Track stops for the Australian road racing star in 2015. Bayliss shaved seconds off his lap times over the course of the day, but crashed in his semifinal and suffered a broken ankle. The Ducati-mounted superstar maintained his upbeat persona and has received immense support from fans on social media as he returns home to recover.
With Shawn Baer's 14th place finish aboard the No. 32 SBR KTM 990 Super Duke, five brands were represented on the grid for the GNC1 Main at Sacramento.
It was a glorious night for Nick Armstrong in AMA Pro GNC2 competition. The fourth-year man and pilot of the No. 44E Southland Racing Honda rode his way to victory in front of a packed crowd in his home state. Armstrong not only came away with the win, but he also left Sacramento with the GNC2 points lead.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was Davis Fisher's crash while leading the GNC2 main event that brought out the red flag with three laps remaining. Instead of winning the race, Fisher, mounted on the No. 67M Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda, finished 17th and now sits third in the point standings behind Armstrong and Brandon Wilhelm.
Tristan Avery gave Armstrong a run for his money on the race's final lap, however, the No. 16S Ron Ayers Motorsports Honda rider lost to Armstrong by .063 seconds as the two were neck-and-neck at the finish line. "It's crazy," Avery said. "This feeling is so amazing, and I came a long way and worked really hard to get this and get to where I am. It's a dream come true, it really is."
Wilhelm rode his No. 24J Mike Butler Racing Honda to a third place finish and he now sits second in the point standings. "I got a decent start, but I got pushed off the groove," Wilhelm said. "I don't even know, I might have been like ninth or 10th place. The restart really helped. I just kept on trucking and I got up here on the box."
Jamison Minor, riding the No. 27U Roy Built Honda, finished fourth in the GNC2 main event and he now sits fourth in the points as well. Andrew Luker, rider of the No. 11Z Kennedy Racing Honda, sits fifth in the points heading into Round 5 following a 13th place finish in Sacramento.
Next up, the stars of AMA Pro Flat Track will visit Hagerstown, Md., for the Hagerstown Half-Mile on June 20 at Hagerstown Speedway. For tickets and additional information, please visit http://www.hagerstownspeedway.com/ama.pdf
Every AMA Pro Flat Track event can be streamed live, in high definition and on any device at FansChoice.tv. For more information, please visit http://www.fanschoice.tv.
Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines Point Standings (After Round 4)
1. Kenny Coolbeth Jr., 67
2. Jared Mees, 62
3. Brandon Robinson, 56
4. Sammy Halbert, 55
5. Bryan Smith, 52
GNC2 Point Standings (After Round 4)
1. Nick Armstrong, 56
2. Brandon Wilhelm, 55
3. Davis Fisher, 52
4. Jamison Minor, 48
5. Andrew Luker, 46
Fans can also watch every round of the AMA Pro Flat Track season live online, in high definition and free of charge at www.FansChoice.tv.
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,