Monday, March 1, 2010

Stu's Shots Previews the AMA Flat Track Daytona Short Track Doubleheader

Jake Johnson #14 leads heat race action at Springfield ST, Sept. 2004

Jared Mees #21 Honda's in the pits, Springfield ST, Sept. 2007

Chris Carr #4 KTM stable in the pits with Chris signing autographs in background,
Springfield ST, Sept. 2007.

Henry Wiles #17 Obermeyer Yamaha's in the pits, Springfield ST, Sept. 2007

Kenny Coolbeth #31 poses and signs for fans next to his Honda's in the pits at
Springfield ST, Sept. 2007
In what is gearing up to be a big year for AMA Flat Track, the Grand National Championship Rodeo kicks in action starting Wed. March 3rd for the first of a two-round doubleheader season kick off at the new Daytona Short Track located just outside of turns 1 and 2 at the famed Daytona raceplex.
With AMA Flat Track Racing Director Mike Kidd announcing the re-hiring of Steve Morehead to the position of Flat Track Operations Manager last month, this year is looking to start off on a high note. Also being announced officially at the Indy Dealer Show and unofficially almost two weeks prior was the merging of the Grand National Champion back into one sole unit. With the announcement came news that, as it was originally designed, the overall GNC will be recognized for the winner in the twins and singles classes overall, with a respective champion for each series to be recognized as well. This will bring all 21 races on the schedule this year-should they all be able to run without any cancelations due to Mother Nature-under one umbrella as an overall series champion. This alone was great news that we covered on this previous post when it was 'unoffcially' announced last month. Here is the link to that news along with the complete schedule for the year:
With a field of 44 riders officially entered for both nights for the Pro Grand National Singles side of the program, there should be some great racing to help kick off the new short track that was just finished late last fall. Bringing the flat track to the speedway should also help in terms of attendance, so now even the party folks who normally don't take in the races may be able to do so since it is right on the property now. In terms of helping the series we here at Stu's Shots view this as a great move to help to bolster attendance and enthusiasm for the greatest show on wheels, and give a special nod of the helmet to the Daytona Motorsports Group and the France family for this move.
All of the info you need for both days events is posted right here-schedule, event info, rider entries AND AMA Live Timing and Scoring:
EVENT SCHEDULE Daytona Short Track Doubleheader (both days schedule):
Event info for Round 1 Daytona Short Track Wed., March 3rd:
Event info for Round 2 Daytona Short Track Thurs., March 4th:
AMA Live Timing and Scoring:
If you are a follower of AMA Flat Track, or even follow us here on Stu's Shots, several of these names that are pre-entered for Daytona are already familiar to you. But nonetheless, here is a basic rundown of some of them as well as info on the preview pictures above we have used for this preview post.
Chris Carr #4, 7-Time Grand National Champion, Chris Carr Racing Honda CRF450
Chris has been racing in the Grand National Championship full time for close to 25 years now, except for a brief break when he ran for Harley Davidson in the AMA Pro Road Racing series on the factory's ill-fated VR1000. Also known as the 'Prince of Peoria' for amassing more wins at the famed Peoria TT then any other racer, Carr is tough as nails and knows how to get around on a short track as well. With his mile and half mile wins and experience, look for Carr to be on the box often and compete for the big prize. He should be tough to beat in any of the races this year, and as a perennial crowd favorite will also be heavily favored by his many fans.
The 3rd shot above shows Chris signing and conversing with one of his many fans as others line up behind. Chris' KTM's are lined up in front of him, and just behind and off to the side were several boxes of shirts that he was selling as well during this pit walk through at the Labor Day Weekend running of the Springfield Short Track in September of '07.
Jake Johnson #14, NOW #5 for 2010, 2-Time AMA Flat Track Singles Champion, Zanotti Racing Honda CRF450
'Jersey' Jake Johnson captured two AMA Singles Championships in '06 and '08 while riding for American Suzuki. Along the way, he won three Daytona Short Track finals and also Springfield in Sept. of 2007. This year he will team up with Zanotti Racing, who are most famous for helping to take the late Steve Eklund to the 1980 Grand National Championship. Jake also won his first mile last year at the Labor Day running of the Springfield Mile, so his program should be pretty tough to beat this year.
You can definitely expect to see Jake up at the front this year, just as you can in the very first shot of this post as Jake leads a bevy of riders through turns one and into two during heat race action at the Labor Day Weekend running of the Springfield Short Track in '04 while then-Honda mounted. With the championships being combined this year, Jake will switch to #5 to recognize his past championships after having worn the #14 for so long. The #5 plate was last worn competitively by former 1975 Grand National Champion Gary Scott until the mid '80s when he retired.
Kenny Coolbeth formerly #31, #2 for 2010, 3-Time AMA Grand National Champion, '07 AMA Singles Champion, Bettencourts and Mom & Dad Racing, Honda CRF450
The 'King of Cool' Kenny Coolbeth will be returning this year with sponsorship on the TT's and short tracks from Bettencourts Honda, one of his long-time sponsors, and will be aboard the Harley Davidson Factory's XR750's for the mile and half-miles. Having won three GN Championships in a row from '06-'08 and the '07 AMA Singles Championship, Kenny has a vast array of wins and experience under his belt and will be heavily armed and ready to launch an assault to get the #1 back on his bike--or bikes. And with his heavy off-season training that he is famous for, don't even think to count him out of the big picture. He may have the looks of a young boy, but he has the will and the wrist of an old champion-in a young man's body! Kenny will carry the #2 plate on his bikes for the 2010 season. Of course the #2 has been made famous by Dick Mann, the former '63 and '71 GN Champ, Kenny Roberts, the '73-'74 GN Champ, and most recently by Scott Parker, the former 9-Time GN Champion.
The last shot above shows Kenny at Springfield during the Labor Day Weekend running of the Springfield Short Track in Sept. of '07. He had them lined up outside his pit area for pictures-as he poses above for some fans-and autographs. Kenny is shown standing between his Bettencourt Honda's in his pit area during the walk through.
Jared Mees #21 for GNC Singles, #1 for GNC Twins Class, '09 AMA Grand National Twins Champion, Racing Honda CRF450
'Jammin' Jared Mees went into the final round of the championship at Pomona last fall with a chance to win it all along with three other riders, and without the benefit of winning any races in the Twins Championship, came out on top with the #1 plate for the upcoming 2010 season in hand. Having ridden since the early part of the last decade in the AMA Flat Track Series, Jared has been a consistent front runner in the overall championship. Due to the economy and cut backs by Harley Davidson during the off season, Jared will still be getting help on the big bikes from long-time sponsor Blue Springs Harley. And with his prowess with the singles bikes--he has absolutely re-written the record books in the ICE Speedway Championships this winter --he should be tough again on the track in all disciplines. With the consolidation in the championships, The Jammer will wear #21 in the Singles class and #1 in the Twins class. With what he has done in winning all of the ICE races this off-season, and his prowess on the big bikes, Jared looks to be the man to beat for the 2010 overall championship.
The second shot down in the pics above shows Jared's #21 Saddlemen's Honda's in the pits at Springfield during the walk through for the Labor Day Weekend Short Track in '07. Saddlemen's will be along with Jared again as a co-sponsor for the 2010 season.
Henry Wiles #17 for GN Twins, #1 for GN Singles for 2010, '09 AMA Grand National Singles Champion, Jones Bros/Don's Kawasaki KXF450
'Hammerin' Hank/Henry Wiles had been working up to this for the last 4-5 years. After having won the Peoria TT every year since '04, the Springfield Short Track every year since '07, and add in last year's opening round win at Daytona, Henry was building a kingdom of his own on the singles bikes. And don't forget his Springfield TT win in May of '09. After clinching the title in the '09 GN Singles class at Springfield last September, Henry used the roughly seven week hiatus to tune up for his win at Pomona on the half mile in October for his first win in the twins class. He also helped Kawasaki clinch it's first championship in AMA Flat Track. And this after suffering serious injury to both wrist after falling off a roof in the early part of the summer.
Henry's Obermeyer Yamaha's are shown in the pits at Springfield in the fourth shot down during the '07 Labor Day walk through. Although not shown in this photo, Hammerin' Hank had them lined up for autographs as one of the more popular riders in the series. He should be REAL tough to beat this year in his run for the overall championship.
There are MANY more riders set to contest the championship this year to look out for, as well. Among them 2000 AMA Flat Track Champion Joe Kopp on the #3 Latus/Lloyd Brothers/Larry Pegram Racing team. Joe will be helping to better develop the Ducati's for the team and also have his Latus XR750's available for the half miles. Joe will also be Honda-mounted for Daytona. Sammy Halbert, former #43 and now for 2010 #7 (by his clinching the overall championship in 2009), Sammy will be as tough as ever. J.R. Schnabel will be on the #33 Memphis Shades Yamaha on the TT's and Short Tracks and a Reiman's H-D XR for the big tracks. And don't count out Bryan Smith on the #42 Werner Springsteen Racing Kawasaki's for both the singles and twins as reported here in January. Easily a contender if Bill 'SuperWrench' Werner can put it all together. And really, who EVER doubts what Bill Werner can do with a flat tracker?!

Thanks for taking the time to drop in for our little Daytona previews. We hope what you have seen and read here today and over the past 12-14 months will want to keep you coming back. We're going to be WFO trying to keep the racing news and Stu's Shots archives out front to showcase the great action on the track, and we hope you'll be there for the ride with us to celebrate all the great racing for the 2010 season.
We wish everyone at Daytona the best of luck and the utmost in safety as we kick off the 2010 U.S. premier racing series this week. Have a fast and safe week at the World Center of Speed from us here at Stu's Shots!
Now, I'm gonna shut up (yes, there is a god!) and we're gonna go racin'!


  1. Great site Stu! Thanks for taking the time to put this all together for us old flat track racing fans.

    Dale in North Iowa

  2. Thanks Dale!

    I appreciate the compliment. It's a good way to share all this good stuff from over the years with the masses. I'm glad you like it-that's what this is all about!

    Stu in Indy and formerly from Iowa City


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