After a little over a three week break from the season, the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship will resume it's season schedule with the annual running of the Black Hills Half-Mile in Rapid City, SD this Tuesday, August 4. An unusual but standard racing meet scheduled in the middle of the week, the event runs alongside the widely popular Sturgis Rally currently taking over the area in Southwest South Dakota.
With just 14 points separating the top-4 in the standings (Jared Mees 113 points, Bryan Smith 106, Sammy Halbert 100, Brad Baker 99), the time is now for those wanting to make their move to the top of the ladder in determining who will walk away at the end of the season with the 2015 AMA Grand National Championship crown.
With 2013 AMA Grand National Champion Brad Baker being the hot rider in the series as it reached it's midway point, Baker not only took the win at the Lima Half-Mile in convincing style, but also took the first mile win of his career at Indy back on July 11. And if not for a freak mechanical at DuQuoin over the July 4th weekend, could surely have taken the win there as well on his factory Harley-Davidson XR750.
But Mees, the defending AMA Grand National Champion who has lead the points since the Lima round on June 28, is not one to let his championship lead evaporate that easily. Although The Jammer has yet to stand on top of the box this season his string of top-4s since the Springfield Mile I in late May has kept him at or near the top of the standings and in itself shows the massive effort that the Rogers Racing crew has put into their efforts again to retain that #1 plate for the 2015 season.
With 3-time winner and Howerton Kawasaki rocket rider Smith as hot as could be expected this year, it could also be noted that Flyin' Bryan was also the big winner of the XGames event in early June, and has set claim to finally try and grab that elusive #1 that he and the Indy-based team have so deliberately gone after in the last four seasons. And you can't count out The Slammer, Sammy Halbert, who use of both his Johnny Goad-tuned Kawasaki and Harley XR have kept the Washington State resident in the mix with four top-5 finishes and a no-worse then 8th-place finish on the year.
In the shot above, riders blast off the line and spray their fellow compatriots at the start of the National main event in round 5 of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines class at the Lima Half-Mile on Sunday, June 28.
(L-R) Eventual winner Brad Baker on the #6 Harley-Davidson Motor Co/Screaming Eagle Racing Products/Arai Helmets-backed factory XR750, Brandon Robinson on the #44 Latus Motorsports/Castrol Oil/Triumph America-backed Triumph Bonneville, Henry Wiles on the #17 Zanotti Racing/Motion Pro/Bell Helmets-backed H-D XR750, Sammy Halbert on the #7 Briggs Auto/Scott Powersports/Martin Trucking-backed H-D XR750, Jared Mees on the #1 Las Vegas H-D/Rogers Racing/Harley-Davidson Motor Co-sponsored XR750 and Bryan Smith on the #42 Howerton Motorsports/Crosley Brands/Villa-Esparza-backed Kawasaki EX650 spray the rest as they hammer off the line for the first time in the 25-lap main at the Allen County Fairgrounds delayed event.
Also seen in the background are Jake Shoemaker on the #55 Bonneville Performance/Castrol Oil/Triumph-sponsored Triumph Bonneville (just behind Wiles' left shoulder), Wyatt Maguire on the #16 Kirkland Racing/Racing Unlimited/Steve Pruczinski-backed H-D XR750 getting some massive air off the start line of row 2, Steve Bonsey on the #80 Dodge Brothers Racing/Classic Harley-Davidson/Alpinestars-backed XR750 (between Halbert and Mees on row 2), Dustin Crow on the #61 Greg Crow Racing/Gary O/Glen's Autobody-backed XR750 and Chad Cose on the #49 Myers Motorsports/ERT/Rod Lake-backed Kawasaki EX650 rounding out the second row. Coming off of row 3 Shawn Baer can be seen on his #32 Baer Racing Products/Straight Arrow Trucking/Blatts Pattern Shop-sponsored KTM LC8 950 (behind Crow.)
So if you are in the Sturgis area for the world's biggest bike rally, you owe it to yourself to make it to the Black Hills Speedway Tuesday night to catch the stars of The Rolling Thunder Show put on what they do best in the best racing series on two wheels in the world. If you don't make it, you're just another race fan-poser and may as well head to the bar to drown your sorry sorrows.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 30, 2015) - South Dakota is known for its celebrations of all things motorcycles, and on this special Tuesday night, Aug. 4, it will be a celebration of speed and fierce AMA Pro Flat Track racing action in Rapid City on the Half-Mile oval at Black Hills Speedway.
Current points leader and defending Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines champion Jared Mees will aim to reach the podium for the sixth time this season as the No. 1 Las Vegas Harley-Davidson pilot has been sharp all year, accounting for three second-place finishes.
No. 42 Crosley Radio Kawasaki rider Bryan Smith is another competitor who has thrived in the premier class so far in 2015. Smith has won three of the four Mile races this year and the Flint, Mich., native will look to put together another strong performance on the Half-Mile surface in Rapid City. Smith finished eighth in the only Half-Mile event so far this season at the Lima Half-Mile and he currently sits second in the points.
Sammy Halbert has yet to finish outside the top ten in any round so far in 2015 and he will look to continue that streak next Tuesday when the lights go green in Rapid City. The No. 7 Briggs Auto Harley-Davidson rider sits third in the point standings after seven rounds.
Perhaps no other rider on the AMA Pro Flat Track circuit is coming into Rapid City with more confidence and momentum than that of the No. 6 Factory Harley-Davidson pilot Brad Baker. The 2013 Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines champion has won two of the last three main events and he will look to keep rolling on Tuesday night. Baker currently sits fourth in the points.
Three-time champion Kenny Coolbeth Jr. has been in a bit of a funk as of late, as the No. 2 Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson competitor has finished 17th and 15th in two of the last three main events. Despite sitting fifth in the points, Coolbeth still has his sights set on his fourth-career Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines championship.
Sitting sixth in the point standings entering Round 8 at Black Hills Speedway is Brandon Robinson. The No. 44 Latus Motors/Triumph Bonneville competitor has looked stellar at certain points during the 2015 season, particularly at the Sacramento Mile, where he finished a hair-length behind Smith for a second-place finish.
Briar Bauman, mounted on the No. 14 Hart Racing Kawasaki, recorded consecutive ninth-place finishes at Du Quoin and Indianapolis and he will strive for better results on Tuesday in an effort to improve on his seventh-place position in the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines point standings.
It's no surprise that Davis Fisher has asserted himself as one of the up-and-coming stars of AMA Pro Flat Track. The 17-year-old second-year rider missed the GNC2 championship by a single point in 2014 and he has come back with a vengeance in 2015. Fisher, pilot of the No. 67M Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda, is the current GNC2 points leader and he will look to build on his lead in Rapid City.
Fisher isn't the only young talent in AMA Pro Flat Track's feeder class, as Nick Armstrong, pilot of the No. 44E Southland Racing Honda is right on Fisher's tail in the point standings. Armstrong also has momentum in his favor after his Indy Mile win last round on July 11.
No. 27U Jamison Minor is another GNC2 competitor that has shown tremendous success in 2015 so far. Minor is responsible for three top-five finishes and currently sits third in the points. Dan Bromley, riding the Bromley Brothers KTM Racing machine, and J.R. Addison, pilot of the Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda, each sit fourth and fifth in the GNC2 point standings, respectively.
All of the AMA Pro Flat Track action from Rapid City can be viewed live, in high definition on http://www.FansChoice.tv.
For tickets and more information regarding the Black Hills Half-Mile, please visit https://www.sturgisharleydavidson.com/.
About AMA Pro Flat Track:
AMA Pro Flat Track is the world's premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft/, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or live stream the on-track action on FansChoice.tv.
|About AMA Pro Racing:|
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