Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bryan Smith Signs With Werner Springsteen Racing Kawasaki For The 2010 AMA Flat Track Season....

In what could turn out to be THE super team in AMA Flat Track for the upcoming season,
Bryan Smith has stepped on board with Bill Werner AND Jay Springsteen to ride a Kawasaki
650 Ninja-based twin and 450 single in each of the flat track series this year.
Smith, who has been one, if not THE most consistent rider in terms of scoring top points finishes
in each of the last four or five years, will team with the all-time leader in championships when it
comes to Mr. Super Tuner, Bill Werner. Werner, having won his first of 13 championships with
Gary Scott back in '75, has been working with the Kawasaki's the last couple of years and looks
ready to put a big-time run in for the overall, and respective twins and singles championships.
And with 'The Old Gunslinger' Jay 'Springer' Springsteen on board as rider-coach for the team,
not too mention being arguably the most popular flat track racer of all time, this is sure to be considered an effort to respect, look out for, and be very wary of. And if not for the first
year, when they get any of the first year kinks worked out, look out.
Bryan Smith has more then proved himself on the track , as well, and will bring a work effort
and work ethic that is very admirable to the team. After finishing in the top 5 each of the last
four seasons in flat track, Smith's factory support was dropped at the end of last year from Harley. Revenge anyone? And Bill Werner's records of national wins, national championships,
and what the man has brought and given back to the sport is epic in itself. And then with
Springer in the loop to help coach, train and set up the bikes for the different track conditions,
well, has the train stopped yet?!
Being as how the Harley Davidson XR-750 has pretty much dominated the sport for especially the last 16 years in terms of championships, having a big play team like this come along is big!
Let alone one that EVERY major team member has been part of that domination over the course of the last four or so decades, this could really be GOOD and BIG for the sport of AMA Flat Track racing. And it could also help to instill some much-needed new blood, fan following, and outside looks into this wonderful racing series. I personally can't wait! GO WSRK!!! And thank you to all for making an effort to put something like this together.
You can read the official news releases here thanks to Paul Carruthers at http://www.cyclenews.com/! He has a great read on the team outlook and all of the sponsors involved. And the good folks at http://www.roadracingworld.com/ have a news release as well:

Another good thing I really like about this team set up, especially with the way things have
been in the last few years with the split championships and all, is the fact that Bryan Smith will
be on one make, and one make only for this effort. Instead of splitting his time riding an XR on the big tracks and a 450-single based Honda or whatever on the short tracks, he will be Kawasaki-mounted all the way. This can't but help more with rider AND brand identification in the series, which seems to have lost some of that unless it's for each of the respective singles OR twins series. At least having one guy, on one make, for the whole year, trying to figure out where Bryan Smith is for the year just got a whole lot easier as you know he'll be on the green bike! Or at least assumptions being as what they are when it comes to a Kawasaki racing effort. Of course they do make red bikes, too......but you get my drift. You'll know where Bryan Smith is on the track this year in all the races.
And that's a good thing to new fans trying to come in to this sport or to tv viewers, as well. Brand AND talent identification is big for getting the masses to recognize you. Or whatever masses flat track racing may have, has had, or could and will have. For those that manage to see this sport, and those that have, you all know once you've been there, there is no turning back. Although flat track may not have the strongest and largest following of any of the motor sports series, anyone that's seen it will tell you the same thing--WOW! Kind of like the first time you had sex in your life...'where the hell has THIS been all my life!!' Still the best show on wheels, hands down. If this stuff doesn't excite you, you don't have a pulse.....
To help Werner Springsteen Racing Kawasaki and Bryan Smith celebrate their thrilling new announcement for the 2010 season, I've dug into the archives of Stu's Shots to try and bring you an overall view of the team make up for this season. Not to mention where the team members have been and come from in the last 35 or so years!
To start off with we have #42 Smith in the middle of turn one at the Springfield short track on Labor Day weekend of 2004. This heat shot has Joe Kopp on the #3 to Bryan's inside and #34 Nicholas Williams to his outside. Right behind Smith on the #11 is Bryan Bigelow.
Next up is Bryan signing for and speaking with a youngf an during the Springfield short track pit walk through over Labor Day weekend in '07. Behind him sit his #42's ready to rock 'n roll for later in the evening.
Then we have a shot of Mr. Super Tuner, Mr. Flat Track Wrench himself, Bill Werner, the all-time winningest tuner in AMA Flat Track racing, the 13-time Champ checking on his rider
Gary Scott during practice for the 1975 Peoria TT. Scott's back up is below BW in the pits. Bill earned his first of many championships at the end this season.
And we couldn't celebrate this team without a shot of Springer himself. You can see him in the orange shirt on the tailgate of his truck on the right side of this shot talking with some people while out front are one of his #9 Bartel's-sponsored XR's alongside one of Bart Markel's old
XR #4's. Springer had just restored this bike before he had it on display at the Indy Mile during MotoGP weekend in August of '09.
And finally we have the Springfield Mile from Labor Day weekend of '06. As the field drops the hammer for the national final, you have #42 Bryan Smith surrounded by #1, 7-time Grand National Champion Chris Carr, #3 and 2000 Grand National Champion Joe Kopp, #31 and future 3-time Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth, #28 Shaun Russell and #14 Jake Johnson. And that's just the front row. Also visible in this shot are #10 Dan Stanley, #17 Henry Wiles, #89 Kevin Varnes, #59 Rusty Rogers and #11 Bryan Bigelow. Smith went on to win what was his first, of what should be many, Springfield Mile Nationals that afternoon.
I hope you have enjoyed this celebration of what should be GREAT things to come for Bryan Smith and Werner Springsteen Racing Kawasaki, let alone the fans and friends of the AMA Flat Track series. This year just got a whole lot more interesting! Thanks for coming by and we hope to see you again soon. Take care and God Bless and stay warm.

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