Friday, December 31, 2010

All Hail The King: Happy Birthday to Kenny Roberts From Stu's Shots!

Kenny Roberts twists the throttle on the infamous Yamaha TZ750 flat tracker during practice for the Syracuse Mile round of the AMA Camel Pro Flat Track Series in September of 1975. The first event after his legendary win on the Indy Mile on August 23, 1975, The King didn't have the luck at Syracuse that took him to the front in the last few feet of the main at Indy some 14 days earlier. Not only was he not able to get the big TZ to hook up on the New York State Fairgrounds mile oval, but he crashed his parallel twin later in the day, shearing the front end off of the #1 machine and pretty much ending his run to three-peat his title to his rival Gary Scott on the #64 H-D Factory XR, with only four events left on the season. Roberts was able to put the TZ into the field at San Jose some two weeks later, with middling results, and the AMA eventually banned it and all multi-cylinder machines from AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship events at the end of the '75 season.
Although The King is most remembered for that Hot August Night at Indy for his mastery of the big TZ on the mile oval, his prowess in all forms of AMA Grand National Championship Series events reaped rewards to the tune of the '73-'74 AMA Grand National Championships, as well as winning the coveted Grand Slam in GN competition, only the second rider at the time other then Dick Mann to win on the mile, half mile, short track, TT, and road racing circuits that comprised the series in the day. And he did accomplish that feat twice while racing in the AMA GNC/Camel Pro Series.
He accomplished his second Grand Slam during the '75 season, which was comprised of 20 events that season, only three of which were road racing events. Roberts won 2 of those 3 at Monterey (now better known as Laguna Seca) and Ontario, with Yamaha road racing team mate Gene Romero winning the Daytona round. He also won the season opening round at the Houston TT, the Dallas Short Track in April, and the Ascot Half Mile in late September. He still holds the record for the 'quickest rider to complete' the Grand Slam, doing so in two years, six months and 20 days of racing in the top tier series, when he won his first Grand Slam between January of '72 and August of '74. KR still sits seventh with 33 total AMA Grand National career wins after all these years, 18 of those coming in road racing events which were still part of the series before they split the championships in the mid-late '80s.
Roberts did his best against the might of the H-D XR, but the alloy-based V-Twin was too much for the parallel twins of the Yamaha, Triumph and Norton machines of the day, thrashing the competition in the flat track series, something it has been able to still do some three and a half decades later. By the end of the '77 season, Yamaha shut down the flat track team, and The King was off to Europe to take on the world.
Hitting the shores of Europe with a big bang, he won the '78-'80 500CC World Championship and set the bar for future U.S.-based riders to continue his legacy in the World Championships. After retiring from active competition, he later won four World Championships as a team owner ('90-'92 500CC with Wayne Rainey, '90 250CC with John Kocinski) and helped to raise rider salaries and improve safety along the way.

The King slides it through turn one at the Terre Haute Action Track during a heat race for the half mile round of the AMA Camel Pro Flat Grand National Championship Series in August of '75. A little over six days later The Man from Modesto would make motorcycle flat track racing history, but on this hot summer afternoon he was doing his best to keep the XS650-based parallel twin within reach of the XR-strong field.
This was the first year that the Yamaha Factory had scaled back it's flat track efforts to just Roberts, after running the 'super team' of '70 AMA Grand National Champion Gene Romero and Donnie Castro on the team in '73-'74 as The King's team mates. KR ran the team and contracted all of the work, while Yamaha supplied the bikes. Although he eventually lost the championship to long-time competitor Gary Scott in '75, The King still took the twin to wins at Ascot in late '75 and '76 at the San Jose Half Mile and Terre Haute Half Mile.
With 2010 winding down, Stu's Shots wanted to close out this great season of racing by wishing The King, Kenny Roberts, Sr. a Very Happy Birthday! The Man From Modesto, who took U.S. flat track racing and road racing by storm in the '70s, and eventually the World road racing scene down the same road of competitive devastation, turns 59 today.

One of the most outspoken, let alone out right competitive riders to ever throw a leg over a motorcycle racing machine, Kenny, Sr. set the bar for motorcycle racing all over the world in the '70s and early '80s as a rider, and into the '90s as a team owner. Winning two U.S. titles and three titles as a rider in Europe, he also won four titles as a team owner after retiring from regular, active competition in the early-mid '80s.

Stu's Shots wants to take this time to wish The King a Happy Birthday and honor him with these two never-before seen or published photos that I took of him in AMA Grand National Championship competition in the summer of '75, when I as well was just a young one.

Coming from the archive vaults of yesteryear, we salute The King on his day!

Kenny Roberts' bio at

Thursday, December 30, 2010

AMA Flat Track: Is JR Schnabel Hooking Up with Monster Energy Kawasaki and Werner/Springsteen for 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Run?

JR Schnabel can be seen sitting in the back/center of this shot in the black shirt talking with family members as team members of his #33 Memphis Shades/K&N Filters/Wiseco/Motion Pro-sponsored team work on preparing his XR750
for the upcoming race event at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile round of the AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series.
The 31 year old Schnabel has been a major fixture on the AMA Flat Track scene for what will be 15 years in the 2011 season and won the '95 AMA Flat Track Rookie of the Year Award in his first full year of competition in the series. JR, whose first name is Glen, was forced to sit out the mid-part of the 2010 season after suffering a broken leg, returning to action at Peoria in August and finishing the season in the 15th spot in the year-end standings.
While racing for the Memphis Shades team, Schnabel all but owned the Springfield Short Track and TT rounds for several years, and won six overall AMA Pro Flat Track Singles Series events and eight total events while racing with the team. He was also a member of Dave Burk's American Suzuki squad in the mid-late '00s. JR is one of the most popular riders in the series and during the pit walk-throughs at each event always has a line of fans coming by to get his autograph and to talk with the Wisconsinite about racing in The Rolling Thunder Show.
I haven't heard of any official announcement as of yet, but I did come acrossed an interesting item concerning Kawasaki's U.S. racing efforts for the 2011 season, which is set to be announced by Team Green on January 5.

In this little ditty posted by Dean Adams over at, JR Schnabel, National #33 in the AMA Pro Flat Track Series, is listed along with Bryan Smith #42 as a team member of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Werner Springsteen Racing team. Scouring the net proved fruitless on any more info, and with the AMA Pro Racing offices locked up for the holidays until Monday, there wasn't any way to get any type of official confirmation at this time. But it is pretty interesting nonetheless if you are a fan of The Rolling Thunder Show like I am and have been for years/decades.

In the link below, which pretty much confirms that AMA Road Racing will NOT see a return in '11 by Kawasaki, you can click on the picture, which appears to be a ticket for Kawasaki's press invitation scheduled as mentioned. On the enlarged ticket under the Monster Energy Kawasaki Werner Springsteen Racing header are listed BOTH Bryan Smith (who won the Indy Mile and Springfield Mile in late summer on the 650R-Werner built parallet twin) and JR Schnabel, who raced for the Memphis Shades XR750 team this year in the Twins Series.

This could be some really great news for the Werner Springsteen Racing team, who hooked up early in 2010 along with rider Bryan Smith to form a powerhouse team in the AMA Flat Track Series that proved to have the winning combination as the year went along. Adding another rider of Schnabel's caliber should make for a one-two punch that could see even more prominence in the series in the upcoming year!

Check it out and thanks to Dean at

Footnote Mon. 1/3/11--I stand corrected on my previous findings and statement about JR winning four rounds at Springfield while a member of the American Suzuki Flat Track team. Babe DeMay left me a comment today to get me straightened out, and I appreciate the long-time tuner to the stars being able to take the time to do so. Thanks for helping to set me straight on this one, Babe! And thanks for coming by to check us out here at Stu's Shots. We always appreciate comments that help to clear up any misconceptions or mistakes I have made in my story lines. Thanks again!

James 'The Rocket' Rispoli Talks AMA Flat Track, AMA Road Racing & The Future

James Rispoli sits in front of his #71B Cycle Dynamics/ANT Racing/Vadnais Machine/Bettencourt's Honda-sponsored pits at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile round of the AMA Flat Track Pro Singles Class back in late August. Will Fulford with The Fast and is getting the cameras set up for an interview with 'The Rocket' during a break before the evening's racing events on the legendary Indiana State Fairgrounds mile oval.
Out of the 16-event schedule for the 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles presented by Motorcycle Championship, James ran 10 of those events with no worse then a 7th place finish, and scoring five podiums on the year as well. Four of those finishes on the box were in the runner-up spot (Daytona race 1, the spring Springfield Mile, Gas City and Hagerstown) while also coming home third at Lake Odessa, and even though he wasn't able to win an event, he showed some real guts in bringing home great finishes on all of the types of tracks that the series visits. James finished in the fourth spot in the points on the year in the Pro Singles Class.
When he wasn't slinging it into a dirt track corner at 75+ mph, he was sliding it along in the AMA Road Racing SuperSport Series, winning in New Jersey and finishing fifth in the season-ending standings. He also found some time to make a run on the Bonneville Salt Flats with Cycle Dynamics and bagging a record in his class back in September.

Well we've been a little tied up with the holidays the last few days here in Indy, so I have to apologize to our readers for the lack of news from the racing scene the last few days. It's going to be good to get the holidays over with and get the new year kicking, as 2011 is shaping up to be a major bitchin' year for motorcycle racing all over the world. So thanks for your patience and let's get back to what we all know and love--high speed motorcycle racing!
James 'The Rocket' Rispoli, who had what could be defined as a near-career year in motorcycle racing in 2010, made a new sponsorship announcement this month and even got the chance to talk with the always excellent Larry Lawrence of The Rider about the past few years and what's to come for the 2011 season. James, who is a full time competitor in the AMA Pro Road Racing SuperSport Series and the AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Series, had a super year in '10 finishing in the 5th spot in the year-end standings on the road racing side of things, and also coming home in the 4th spot in the flat track end of his schedule.
Getting a chance to see him race at Gas City and Indy this year in the AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Series, Stu's Shots is pumped to hear he will be back for more in the upcoming season. Although I imagine with his talent he will be spending more time on his road racing as he works himself up the ladder system in the pavement races.

James will kick off his season at Daytona in March and we wish him the very best and look forward to seeing more of him in 2011!
Larry Lawrence filed this interview with The Rocket yesterday as he speaks of the last few years in racing and takes a look forward into his plans and outlook for the future. Great stuff as always from LL and James as well:
This press release from AMA Pro Road Racing earlier this month announced AllAboutBikes Magazine coming on board for 2011 to help The Rocket out:
James talks about his year in racing in 2010 here thanks to this press release featured at Ultimate Mixing it up in 2010 on the road racing and dirt track sides of AMA Pro Racing, he also took time out for a run on the salt flats at Bonneville:
Here is The Rocket's official website. Stop on in and check him out:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Stu's Shots, Kenny Roberts & IMS!


After winning three 500CC World Championships in '78-'80 and then retiring from the world scene after the '84 season as a rider, Kenny Roberts also proved to be one of the most successful team owners in World Championship Grand Prix Racing. Fielding 500CC and 250CC Yamahas with sponsorship from a variety of companies including Lucky Strike and Marlboro, and then signing top-notch talent in the form of Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, and John Kocinski (among a long list of other greats), The King managed to win a handful of championships as an owner from '90-'92 to add to his legend as a rider.
In the mid-to-late 90s, Roberts started to lose faith in the Japanese factories, and decided to give it a go himself as a 500CC World Championship
manufacturer. Originally partnering with Tom Walkinshaw Racing in England, who had deep roots in F1 car racing technology, TWR provided the engineering skills needed to build and campaign a competitive 500CC two-stroke Grand Prix machine. One of the Proton Team KR 500CC 3-cylinders can be seen in the background with Jeremy McWilliams #99 on it.
When 500CC Grand Prix racing switched to the four-stroke era in the '02 season, Roberts campaigned the 3-cylinder while developing the KR V5 four-stroke. By then, son Kurtis had left the AMA Superbike Championship Series in the States, and was drafted to ride the #80 machine, which can be seen in the foreground. The team never seemed to gain ground against The Majors, and after several breakdowns in trying to attain sponsorship, Roberts pulled the plug after the '07 season after investing millions in it himself.


The second son of King Kenny Roberts is Kurtis Roberts, who spent several years racing in the AMA Superbike Championship as well as the AMA 600 Supersport Championship (and winning a title along the way) in the States before embarking to Europe to race his father's V5 version of the #80 Team KRV5 Proton. The King stuck with trying to fight the factories with his machines until the bitter end through the 2007 season, but always seemed to be a step behind the other major European and Japanese manufacturers.
Take the time to look over this magnificent piece of art, what with all of the carbon fiber and other light-weight components adorning this beauty. Roberts' final years as a team owner in World Championship Racing may not have garnered alot of great results, but the beauty of what he tried to do reachs out and grabs you with the detail and technology that was put into his efforts.


The Team KR Proton 2-stroke 500CC World Championship machine of Jeremy McWilliams sits on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. McWilliams did manage to put one of these machines on the pole at the Australian Grand Prix in 2002 in the last race of the season. With the evolution of 500CC World Championship Motorcycle Racing morphing into the MotoGP World Championship, and the two-stroke era being whisked away into the dark ages with the introduction of four-stroke technology into the premier road racing series in the world, the 3-cylinder was soon retired for a four-stroke V5. Since Roberts departure as a team owner in the World Championships after the 2007 season, no other person, team or factory has dared to take on The Majors, and quite possibly it may never be seen again especially with the costs of racing being what they are in these times.
Side note: I believe this model was originally called the Modenas KR3 when Roberts first got into designing and manufacturing his own 500CC machines in '96.

Stu's Shots wants to wish all of it's readers a VERY Merry Christmas and a SAFE and Happy New Year on this wonderful Christmas Eve of December of 2010. Thanks for taking your time to drop in and check us out, as we're extremely grateful to all of you for coming by to hang out and see what we have to offer in the way of high speed motorcycle racing news from today that is coupled with the shots from today and yesterday. We're looking forward to closing out the 2010 season and firing up the 2011 racing season and being able to continue to keep you interested, informed and amazed at the world of AMA Flat Track, AMA Road Racing, MotoGP and all of the high speed motorcycle racing from around the world.

Thanks for helping to make 2010 a SUPER racing season here at Stu's Shots and we hope you consider us your one-stop shop again in the upcoming 2011 year. God Bless and safe travels!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nicky Hayden & Ducati Corse Wish You a Happy Holidays!


One of the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati Hypermotard 1098s sits outside the team's pit area adorned with the competition number of former '99 AMA Flat Track Rookie of the Year and '02 AMA Superbike Champion Nicky Hayden. Number Sixty Nine himself rode this particular 1098 on a few 'demonstration' laps at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile some eight days earlier, letting the great crowd on hand know that he was glad to be there and thrilled to be spinning it up again on the dirt mile oval. And when he was done, he let everyone in the house know that he'd 'be back someday' to the great series that is AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series Racing.
Born, bred and brought up on the dirt tracks of the midwest, the Middle Hayden Brother, who also just happens to be the '06 MotoGP World Champion, was a regular competitor on The Rolling Thunder Show before the big bucks and the call of European and World Competition came knocking on his Owensboro, KY. door. But Nicky made it known on a Hot August Night in Indy where he REALLY wanted to be. And if you didn't believe him, the quasi-permanent smile on his face after turning those laps all but told the true story in itself. Hayden was home, and it sure felt good.
The evening's entertainment was also used to announce Mr. Hayden's resigning with the Ducati Corse MotoGP team for the next two years as well, with his new (and former with Honda) team mate Valentino Rossi coming into the team for the 2011 season and beyond.
But the evening couldn't have happened in this way, shape or form if not for the wonderful efforts of the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team in pulling out one of Joe Kopp's back-up bikes and setting it up for Nicky to ride. The ENI/American
Agip/MotoConcepts-sponsored 1098 is a stable mate to the bike that Joe had taken to the win at the Arizona Mile in Prescott Valley in May, breaking an almost 12 year stronghold the Harley-Davidson XR750 had held in winning AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Twins Series events. After the event, team co-owners Dave & Mike Lloyd had a special framed wall hanging made of the event that was made up of the original number plate that adorned that great 'demo' ride at Indy (signed by Nicky himself) and a shot of him spinning it up on the Indiana State Fairgrounds legendary mile oval.
That mounting can just be seen in this shot sticking out from the right side of the front wheel, as the bike was displayed at the Springfield Mile on September 5. You can see a better shot of that hanging by looking back at my September archives, because at that time just after the Springfield event, Dave and Mike took the wall hanging and put it up for auction on and then donated the proceeds to the riders safety AirFence fund. Class act, and talk about giving back to the sport. And you won't find cleaner or more sano machinery anywhere. These guys know how to put a competitive race team together and make it work!

'06 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden and the Ducati Corse MotoGP team put together a really sweet holiday video for all of the fans. Being the jokester that he can be, Nicky is seen 'sneaking' through the Ducati factory and 'test riding' some of the Italian company's wares that are left unattended. Man, now wouldn't THAT be too cool?!

So check this out and have a good holiday chuckle out of this one from Nicky Hayden and the Ducati Corse MotoGP team!

Thanks to YouTube, Nicky Hayden and Ducati Corse for this short holiday video:

And here is the link to Dave and Mike Lloyd's Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team, who put together the Indy ride for Nicky back in August, as well as Joe Kopp's mounts for the season:

Pass the word on and get the word out that LBM is still looking for sponsors to get back to the track for the AMA Pro Flat Track Twins Series Racing season in 2011.

You can contact Dave Lloyd @ 614-402-3446 or @

Drop them a line and help out a great team in need that really gives back and has for years in the great sport of AMA Flat Track Racing! And tell 'em Stu's Shots sent you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

AMA Flat Track: Prime Sponsorship Opportunity Available With Lloyd Brothers & Ducati, and Now Is the Time to Get On Board!

'00 AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Joe Kopp discusses the numbers from practice and qualifying with team co-owner Dave Lloyd during the break in the on-track action at the Springfield Mile round of the AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series on September 5. Kopp and the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team managed this year to do what no other manufacturer other then Harley-Davidson had done in the AMA Pro Flat Track Series since August of '98. By winning the May round at the Yavapai Downs Mile in Arizona, the team managed to put the Ducati Hypermotard on the top of the box and broke a string of H-D wins in the series that had stood since Rich King won the Joliet Half Mile in August of '98 on a Team Corbin Honda RS750.
With riders Aaron King, Larry Pegram, Henry Wiles and Joe Kopp, the Lloyd Brothers team has fielded top-notch and competitive equipment in the series with the Aprilia, and of late the Big Ducati, for several years now and looked to have their first win a season or two ago before being denied that triumph with Henry Wiles at the Lima Half Mile. Putting the package together with Kopp for 2010 proved to be a mixed blessing. Kopp wins in Arizona in May, leads or is in contention for the championship right up until the end of the season (finishing second behind eventual champion Jake Johnson) and then makes it official what most everyone knew was most likely to happen at season's end, and retires from full-time competition.
With the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series season only a few months off with the opening Daytona Singles rounds on March 10 & 11, and the first Twins Series round scheduled for a return trip to the Yavapai Downs Mile on May 1, the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team is currently looking for sponsorship for their team so they can put Henry Wiles back in the rider's seat to replace the now-retired Joe Kopp. According to team co-owner Dave Lloyd, they have agreements in place with Hammerin Hank to make this possible should the needed sponsorship come to fruition. And coming from a long-time fan and follower of this sport, that could be a lethal and winning combination to put on the grid, especially considering the development curve that was seen with the Big Ducati this year.
With the release of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series schedule the other day and Christmas just a few short hours away at the end of the week, news comes to Stu's Shots today that one of the long-time competitors in the sport of AMA Flat Track is in need of a sponsor in order to move forward in the upcoming season. And this is no ordinary team either, but the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team that fielded Joe Kopp, the '00 AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion on the LBM Ducati Hypermotard this year.

You might have heard of them. A little over seven months ago, Kopp took the Lloyd Brothers Ducati to the win at the Arizona Mile on the Yavapai Downs Mile, for the first win in the Twins Series since Rich King and Honda won at Joliet in August of 1998. The win that rocked the world in AMA Flat Track Racing!

Speaking with team co-owner Dave Lloyd this evening, he told us here at Stu's Shots that the team has provisions in place to bring Henry 'Hammerin Hank' Wiles back to the team to run all of the 2011 Twins Series events 'should the needed sponsorship become available.' Henry has ridden for the Lloyd Brothers squad in the past, having taken the team's Aprilia to an 'almost win' second place finish at Lima in June of '09. And with their background together and knowledge of how each operates, it would be a great fit for all to get the 2-Time AMA Pro Flat Track Singles Champion in the Ducati seat full-time for the upcoming season. With less then two months time to get plans together, Dave is 'cautiously optimistic' to be able to do so and feels there is a 'better then 50/50 chance' at this time that things will come together for Henry and the LBM squad. He did mention that should things NOT work out, Henry still has his 'options open' so that he can still put together something otherwise.

With the economy in the world, let alone just in the United States still in a flux, sponsorship in any sport or on any level is hard to come by. But this golden opportunity to hook up with one of the most professionally run teams (let alone professional looking teams!) in the sport of AMA Flat Track Racing, would be a great way for a company-or companies-to get on board with an established team, in an established sport that is growing and bringing fans back to the races again, as well as getting their name out to the motorcycle masses and racing fans. And with the team putting the Big Duc on the top of the box in Arizona, and then helping Kopp to finish second in the final championship standings, there is no doubt that there is no limit to what the possibilites could or would be for them in 2011, building and growing from their great season in 2010.

In spite of the 'supposed' lesser costs of racing in AMA Flat Track (compared to Nascar, AMA Road Racing, etc.), it still isn't cheap any way you look at it. Campaigning all Twins rounds this year except for Calistoga (where Kopp rode the Latus H-D XR) and Knoxville (which was rained out), the team spent $12K this year in diesel fuel alone for their transporter. And with sales of oils and lubricants down considerably in the 2010 year for their business, they just can't justify the spending to go racing without more sponsorship backing in the upcoming season. And for what this team has accomplished in such a short time (compared to the decades-long domination of the H-D XR750 in the series) it would be a damned shame to NOT see them back out on the track giving the XR750 a run for it's money in 2011. The level of professional the team displays and exudes on and off the track is unparalleled in any form of wheeled racing and can be seen in this or any shot I have displayed on Stu's Shots this year of the team. It is a well-oiled and fun atmosphere around this team, with winning in their sights and minds at all times in The Rolling Thunder Show.

So should you, or someone you know, be in the market to sponsor a winning and high-level and high-profile team in the great sport of AMA Flat Track Racing, then this shot to get on board with Dave and Mike Lloyd of Lloyd Brothers Motorsports, with 2-Time and defending AMA Pro Flat Track Singles Champion Henry Wiles twisting the throttle, is the golden opportunity to do so. And you'd be having one heckuva lot of fun while doing it, too!

You can contact Dave Lloyd via phone @ 614-402-3446 or via e-mail @ Or you can e-mail me @ and I will not only be glad, but thrilled to death to be able to put you in contact with them.

This is the time to move and get on board the LBM train. It's moving fast and furious, and will be good for a fast and thrilling ride in 2011!
Dave and Mike Lloyd put out this video a few days ago on the team and how the Ducati came together and how the win at Yavapai Downs changed the course of history in AMA Flat Track Racing:
Here's the link to the team's website. This is another fine example of the professional look of the team and their ability to do it right:
This is another great example of the first class effort that LBM puts forward. This is their marketing package that gives you an idea of what they can and will do for a sponsor in the great sport of AMA Pro Flat Track Racing:
Tim White Photography had this great shot of Henry Wiles on the team's Aprilia from Hagerstown in 2009. Pretty good looking combination that looks great on, and off the track:
And finally, here is a great shot by Larry Lawrence at his great site The Rider This is also one of Henry on the Lloyd Brothers Aprilia, but from Lima in 2009:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

AMA Flat Track: Kenny Coolbeth Returns With Screamin Eagle H-D for 2011 AMA Flat Track Season


Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. can be seen looking over at his Screamin Eagle H-D Factory XR750 as the rest of his team gets the #2 Harley-Davidson Motor Corp/Screamin Eagle/Motion Pro/Wiseco-sponsored mount ready for the Labor Day Weekend running of the Springfield Mile back in September. The '06-'08 AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Twins Series Champion and '07 AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Singles Series Champion return to the factory H-D team was made official this weekend for the upcoming 2011 AMA Flat Track Series season. Harley-Davidson made all of their 2011 season racing announcements yesterday in Long Beach as part of the International Motorcycle Show.

As previously expected, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. will be returning to the Screamin Eagle Harley-Davidson Motor Corp. for the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series. The King of Cool, who has been with the Harley Factory Team since the '06 season according to AMA Pro Flat Track's rider bio on him, won the Canterbury Park Mile this year, one of the just announced returning venues for the upcoming 2011 season, and finished 5th in the final 2010 GN Championship point standings. He also garnered five additional podiums in the '10 season.

Coolbeth, who is currently 11th on the all-time wins list in AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series Racing with 25 wins, had announced late last week he would be taking his Singles Series program over to Chaplin Kawasaki after being with Bettencourt's Honda for at least the better part of the last decade. He has finished in the top 10 in AMA Flat Track Series Racing season-ending point standings every year since 2000.

Paul Carruthers has the story at Cycle and you can read the great news below.

Congrats to Kenny and it will be great to see you back on the Factory H-D XR750 again in 2011!

Cobra Engineering Builds Retro AMA Flat Track Bubba Shobert Honda RS750

One of the winningest racers in the history of AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series Racing sits on display at the Barber Museum in beautiful downtown Leeds, AL. in April of 2007. Bubba Shobert, the '85-'87 AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion & the '88 AMA Superbike Champion, piloted one of these Honda RS750 production/prototype flat track racers to numerous wins (and titles) in what was considered the greatest assault on AMA Flat Track Series Racing that has ever been undertaken.

The RS750 also won championships with Ricky Graham in '84 (Honda's first championship in GNC competition) and again in '93 with Ricky G doing the riding and Johnny Goad doing the tuning on a privateer effort that not only caught the Harley-Davidson Factory Team off guard, but the rest of the flat track community as well.

With Harley-Davidson and their legendary XR750 having all but totally
dominated the big tracks in The Rolling Thunder Show since the mid 70s, Honda was loved and reviled at the same time for their usual method of assault on racing-come in big, spend tons of dough, win it all, and pack up and go home. Nonetheless, the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world still made what was considered a most preeminent statement against what was-and has been since-the most dominant and commonly preferred machine of use in AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series Racing.

And to this day, no other has dared to set foot in the arena of American flat track racing to take on the long-standing Milwaukee breed. With Kawasaki taking and making a great step in winning at Indy and Springfield this year, and with the horizon of the '750'-only platform for 2012 and beyond just ahead, could we possibly be seeing history being re-written some 30 years later? Only time will tell, but one thing is known. Anyone that knows or has known AMA Flat Track over the years will tell you this........what Honda did was change the course of history in flat track racing (and they did it with a big WOW!), albeit only for a short chapter in the long story of American flat track racing.

As an update to this post, I was informed that this bike was raced by Dave Lloyd, of Lloyd Brothers Racing fame. So this bike has quite a pedigree to go along with it. VERY cool, and thanks Dave!
While checking out the usual suspects today, I came acrossed this great retro racer put together by Cobra Engineering, a motorcycle parts and accessories manufacturer out of California. Their Special Projects Division built a Bubba Shobert Honda RS750 replica that is a very neat spin on the great Honda flat track racers that Shobert and Ricky Graham won numerous races and championships with in the '80s and again with Graham in '93.

The company, which specializes in aftermarket exhausts for the cruiser industry decided to build a replica out of Honda's new Shadow RS750 that just recently became available in the U.S. for the cruiser market. In the process, they put together what this writer thinks is one of the neatest builds honoring AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series Racing ever seen.

Check out the links below to see and hear what and how Cobra put this project together, and take a step back into memory lane!
Cobra Engineering, out of Yorba Linda, CA., is an aftermarket accessories manufacturer that got into the 'metrics' cruiser business back in the early '90s. Their Special Projects Division details the build of this very unique race winning retro mod here:

The great guys at Sideburn Magazine across the pond had these cool shots and some background on the origins of this very cool retro racer:
Ken Boyko, VP of Cobra USA's Special Projects Division, talks here about the evolution of building the 'Bubba' replica, as well as another cool replica that was built out of the new Honda Shadow RS750. That model is a retro look at the mid-60s Honda CL77 305 SuperHawk, one of the best selling bikes in Honda's lineup in those days. Having owned a '67 CL77 (thanks to my dearly departed Dad) this one holds even more special meaning to this old head!

Read and view on here:
Chris 'CJ' Jonnum, the editor for Road Racer X print and online mag, attended the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show and posted these shots yesterday of the offerings this year. One of the display bikes was the 'Bubba' replica from Cobra USA, CJ has a shot of it below.

NOTE: According to Cobra's website, this bike is also slated to appear at the other IMS shows including Chicago, Cleveland and New York. If you want to see it in person, make your plans now!
Here's another one of the original bikes that is enshrined at the AMA Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, OH.:
Ed Youngblood's great has this great article penned by the one and only Dave Despain that tells the REAL story about how Honda came into the great sport of AMA Flat Track and flat out stole the show-for awhile:

Friday, December 17, 2010

AMA Pro Flat Track Releases 2011 AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series Schedule

The racing is hot and heavy in heat race action back in September of '75 in the Camel Pro Series AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series annual stop at the Syracuse Mile, located at the New York State Fairgrounds. One of the regular stops for The Rolling Thunder Show up until just a few years ago, the race seemed to be plagued with rain-outs in the last few years of it's running in the early '00s and hasn't been seen on the schedule for some time now.
Leading this pack of riders on the #82 is Ricky Campbell, followed by the #76X of Ken Springsteen on his Vista Sheen-sponsored machine, '81 AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion and current Flat Track Manager Mike Kidd on his Kruger Racing #72, the late Jay Ridgeway on the #9C, the late Randy Cleek on the Bel Ray/K&N-sponsored #29 (and the '76 AMA Road Racing Champion), Keith Ulicki on the #8K, Mike Caves on the #28, and bringing up the rear the #92 of HJ Products-sponsored Steve Droste. All riders are Harley-Davidson XR750 mounted in this shot.
Back in '75, the AMA Grand National Championship consisted of 20 total events broken into 17 flat track events and 3 road racing events. In '76, the Camel Pro Series AMA Grand National Championship Series ballooned into 28 total events, 24 flat track and 4 road racing events. After the AMA split the series in the mid-80s, each respective championship stood on it's own and to this day continues that way. Furthermore, the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series in itself has run anywhere from 15-22 events each year on it's calendar.
Good news hit the airwaves today as the current regime of AMA Pro Flat Track, headed up by previously mentioned Mike Kidd, his brother Gary, former GNC contender Steve Morehead and a team of great people too lengthy to name here, released the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series schedule. The upcoming season has 22 current events on the calendar, including (among others) the regular mix of great returning venues (Indy, Springfield, Yavapai Downs, Lake Odessa and Lima), a nice mix of new venues (Hartford, MI. and Billings, MT.) and some great venues not seen for awhile on the regular schedule (Sacramento and Castle Rock.)

From a press release from AMA Pro Flat Track:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (December 17, 2010) – AMA Pro Racing announced today the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship schedule that features an increased number of races, plus new and former events back on the schedule.
The 2011 schedule features 22 dates in 17 markets across the country with a mixture of Short Track, TT, Half-Mile and Mile dirt tracks.
Once again the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship will consist of three series; Expert Singles, Expert Twins and the highly successful Pro Singles.
The season will open during Daytona Bike Week at the DAYTONA® Flat Track moved from the traditional mid-week double national, with a Short Track on Thursday, March 10th and Friday, March 11th.
Next on the schedule will be the only indoor National of the Series in Du Quoin, Ill. at the Southern Illinois Complex April 16th. The series will then move west to the Salinas Sports Complex for the first Tourist Trophy “TT” National of the season, then returns to Yavapai Downs in Prescott, Ariz. for the Mile May 1st.
Inaugural events will be held at the Southern Illinois Complex in Du Quoin, Ill.; The Salinas Sports Complex in Salinas, Calif.; Hartford Motor Speedway in Hartford, MI.; and after a long hiatus, the return of the Sacramento Mile in Sacramento, Calif.; Castle Rock TT in Castle Rock, Wash.; Metra Park Raceway Half-mile in Billings, Mont.
Annual events will continue at Yavapai Downs in Prescott Valley, Ariz.; Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill.; Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio; Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, Md.; I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Minn.; Peoria Race Park in Peoria, Ill.; Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Ind.; Canterbury Park in Minneapolis, Minn.; Calistoga Speedway in Calistoga, Calif.; and the highly anticipated rained-out event in 2010 at the Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa.
“The expansion of the series is exciting news for our fans, riders and sponsors,” said Gary Kidd, Flat Track Manager of AMA Pro Racing. “We continue to work hard to showcase America’s traditional form of motorcycle racing in various parts of the country. Our goal is to continue to work with our existing promoters while going out to find aggressive promoters near key markets that will further benefit the series.”
2011 Confirmed Events
March 10 DAYTONA® Flat Track (Daytona Beach, Florida) Short Track
March 11 DAYTONA® Flat Track (Daytona Beach, Florida) Short Track
April 16 Southern Illinois Center (Du Quoin, Illinois) Short Track (Note Updated 1/19/11)April 23 Salinas Sports Complex (Salinas, California) TT
May 1 Yavapai Downs (Prescott Valley, Arizona) Mile
May 28 Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield, Illinois) TT
May 29 Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield, Illinois) Mile
June 11 Hartford Motor Speedway (Hartford, Michigan) Half-mile
June 25 Allen County Fairgrounds (Lima, Ohio) Half-mile
July 9 Hagerstown Speedway (Hagerstown, Maryland) Half-mile
July 16 I-96 Speedway (Lake Odessa, Michigan) Half-mile
July 23 Metra Park Raceway (Billings, Montana) Half-mile
July 30 Cal Expo Fair (Sacramento, California) Mile
August 6 Castle Rock Race Park (Castle Rock, Washington) TT
August 21 Peoria Race Park (Peoria, Illinois) TT
August 27 Indiana State Fairgrounds (Indianapolis, Indiana) Mile
September 3 Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield, Illinois) Short Track
September 4 Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield, Illinois) Mile
September 10 Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, Iowa) Half-mile
September 24 Canterbury Park (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Mile
October 1 Calistoga Speedway (Calistoga, California) Half-mile
October 9 Yavapai Downs (Prescott Valley, Arizona) Mile
*Additional Dates TBD/TBA
Great news from AMA Pro Flat Track today in the announcing of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series schedule. With numerous returning as well as long-standing events, and a great mix of west and east coast and midwest events, new venues and a return to venues not seen in some time, AMA Pro Flat Track has outdone itself again in providing the very best in entertainment, racing and the big wow that is always present in The Rolling Thunder Show. Hats off to AMA Flat Track Manager Mike Kidd and Team AMA Flat Track for putting this great calendar together for the upcoming season.
WOW! Stu's Shots thought this season was super, but 2011 is shaping up to be a barn burner of a year! Is it March yet?!
Updated Wed. 1/19/11 1800 EST:
The original date for the DuQuoin Short Track has been updated from April 9 to reflect the new date of April 16.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ben Bostrom & Michael Jordan Motorsports Test at Jennings

Ben Bostrom pulls the #1 Vance & Hines/Parts Unlimited/Castrol/Dunlop-sponsored Ducati 996 off the track and into the pits during the July '99 running of the Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire AMA Superbike final at Mid Ohio. Bostrom, who had clinched the '98 AMA Superbike Championship as a member of Team Honda, had done so without scoring a victory in the premier class, winning the title based on his extremely consistent season alongside team mate and '95 AMA Superbike Champion Miguel Duhamel. Signing with the powerhouse Vance & Hines Ducati team for the '99 season, BBoz was leading the Mid Ohio event on the way to what surely would have been his first career victory, when a leaking oil seal took him out of contention. He did, however, go on to win his first premier class event later in the summer at Branierd with the team.
After riding for the Graves Yamaha team for several years in the AMA Superstock Series and Supersport Series, and winning the '09 Daytona 200 to go along with his '08 AMA Supersport Championship, Bostrom rode for the factory supported Pat Clark Yamaha team in the 2010 AMA Superbike Championship, and won his first premier series event at Laguna Seca since the 2004 season. The elder of the Bostrom Brothers then signed in the off season to ride Suzuki GSX-R1000s (for the first time in his career) with the Michael Jordan Motorsports team for the upcoming 2011 AMA Superbike Championship.
The team has been testing at the Jennings GP track in Northern Florida the last several days, and BBoz and newly signed team mate Roger Lee Hayden have been able to shakedown the 2009 version of the one liter Suzukis before taking delivery of the 2011 models sometime close to the upcoming holidays. Testing concludes today at Jennings, and the team was said a couple of weeks ago to be tire testing at Daytona with Dunlop in the next few days in preparation for the upcoming Daytona season opener in March 2011.
The 'new look' Michael Jordan Motorsports team of '98 AMA Superbike Champion Ben Bostrom and '07 AMA 600 Supersport Champion Roger Lee Hayden has been in North Florida the last couple of days testing the '09 model Suzuki GSX-R1000s in preparation for the upcoming 2011 AMA Superbike Championship Season. Expectations are that the team will be able to take delivery on the '11 model Suzukis sometime before the end of the year, and have the new models ready to go for the second round of Dunlop Tire testing at Daytona in mid-January. The team was thought to be among the few teams invited to participate in tire testing this month at Daytona, which was originally slated to start on December 19.

With both team members getting acclimated to their new surroundings (RLH was off in World Superbike in '10 riding for the under funded Team Pedercini Kawasaki, while BBoz rode for the factory supported Pat Clark Yamaha team here in the States) the shake down tests in Jennings, FL. were meant more for the new signees to 'come to grips' so to speak with the big Suzukis. Using the '09 models (Suzuki didn't import 2010 models to the U.S. due to the torrid shape of the U.S. economy, let alone motorcycle industry) the new teamsters put in as much time on the track as was allowed, due to the colder then normal weather inundating Northern Florida (and the rest of the U.S. as well!)
Henny Ray Abrams was on hand during the testing and he filed this report late last night on Cycle Read on:
This is the link to the official Jordan team site, but right now the only real updates they have are some Twitter updates. Check it out:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

AMA Flat Track: Chris Carr Talks About 2011 Retirement Tour and Taking Chris Carr Racing Into the Future

One of the most powerful duos in AMA Pro Flat Track Racing are shown at the Springfield Mile on September 5 as legendary tuner Kenny Tolbert gets ready to hand the #4 Lancaster H-D/DFW Honda/Wiseco Pistons/Cometic Gaskets-sponsored XR750 to 7-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Chris Carr for the final qualifying session of the day. After setting the fastest time in combined practice and the 8th fastest time in combined qualifying, Chris went on to finish 2nd on the day, just .048 seconds behind event winner Bryan Smith on the #42 Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki and .048 seconds ahead of 3rd place finisher on the day Jared Mees on the #1 Rogers Lake Racing XR750. The duo finished the year ranked in the 7th position in the overall AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship point standings.
With the announcement last Friday of Chris' retirement after the 2011 season, a pro racing career that started in the 1985 season with winning the AMA Flat Track Rookie of the Year, the future looks very bright for Chris Carr Racing for the '11 season and beyond. Together these two men have won multiple races and championships, and plans to continue into the future with that winning combination are in place, according to the multi-time champ.
Also some of the most personable people you will ever come acrossed at the track, the duo look to add an up-and-coming rider to help carry the winning ways forward for the team. And with the background and abilities of these two gentlemen heading up the effort, the future looks great for the team, as well as for the great sport of AMA Flat Track and The Rolling Thunder Show. With KT's wrenching abilities, and Chris' noted ability to be one of the greatest ambassadors that the sport has ever seen, the groundwork is already in place to make a major assault on the AMA Grand National Championship for 2011 and beyond. And this is great news for ALL fans of the series, especially long-time fans such as this writer. The best sport on wheels just got a major infusion of adrenaline for the future!
Although last Friday's announcement that 7-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Chris Carr would be retiring after the 2011 season was met with some sadness, the best part of this news is that Chris Carr Racing is poised for the future in the great sport of AMA Flat Track. CCR plans to continue into the future, and with Master Tuner Kenny Tolbert, Carr's long-time tuner, to head up the program. In making the announcement, the great news that came out of this for the future is that the long-time duo plans to continue into the future with The Rolling Thunder Show, helping to bring young riders up into the series to showcase their talent, as well as that of Chris Carr Racing.

Most everyone by now has heard the news, but I took the time to put some links/stories together about the announcement and the future for AMA Flat Track and Chris Carr Racing. In spite of the fact that we will be losing one of the greats of the sport on the track, the man's presence will be known, seen and heard in the future of the series. And that in itself is GREAT news for all fans of flat track racing. Chris Carr's abilities to bring outside sponsorship into the sport as well as his teaching abilities in the areas of motorcycle control are legendary, and his role as a spokesperson for the sport should all play major roles in taking Chris Carr Racing and the sport of AMA Flat Track down the road ahead.
Here's the original retirement press release from Chris as it appeared on Larry Lawrence's site, The Rider LL also has the audio portion of his interview with Chris, which is WELL worth the almost 14 minutes to listen in on and hear what the 7-Time Champ has to say about the past, present, and future for Chris Carr and Chris Carr Racing. Great stuff for sure:

And here's Larry's interview with Chris Carr as it appeared on Cycle late last Friday:
Here is the link to the original story I posted when Chris officially announced his retirement tour last Friday:

This was the original story/link as posted over at the Flat forum. You can tell from the different responses just how popular this man is:

Here's Chris' AMA Hall of Fame page:

Here's a nice video that showcases Chris when Ford Quality was his main sponsor, as well as the sponsor for AMA Flat Track from a few years back:

And here is a short video of Chris setting the land speed record a few years ago on Dennis Manning's Streamliner at Bonneville:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

AMA Flat Track: Kenny Coolbeth Moves to Mean Green for 2011 AMA Flat Track Singles Series

The #2 Bettencourt's Honda/Jason Perry/Arai/fox-sponsored Honda CRF450Fs of Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. sit in his pit while being attended to by K.C., Sr. as the former 3-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Twins Champion and '07 AMA Flat Track Singles Champion looks over his Dad's shoulder. The 25-time AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship event winner has long been sponsored by the East Coast's Bettencourt's Honda, but announced yesterday that he would be moving his AMA Flat Track Grand National Singles Class program over to Chaplin's Kawasaki-backed sponsorship, and running one of the 'hot as coals' KX450's that have all but dominated the Singles Series as of late (see Henry Wiles for how well the Kaws are working today in the series.)
Coolbeth is expected to remain with the Screamin Eagle Harley-Davidson Factory team for his Twins Series program of which he has been a member of now for several years. The move to Mean Green in the Singles Series should help to amp up what is already an extremely competitive series, and the aforementioned Henry Wiles won four of the six Singles Series events in 2010 on one of them. Although Honda seems to have had the overall advantage in terms of number of machines entered in the Singles events in the last two years overall, this move by The King of Cool to the ranks will make three, good current riders who are currently ranked in the top ten in the overall points representing the KHI brand (Bryan Smith being the third.)
3-Time AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Twins Champion Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. announced yesterday he would be dropping his long-time Bettencourt's Honda sponsorship in the AMA Flat Track Singles Series to the Chaplin Kawasaki team out of his home state of Connecticut. Chaplin Kawasaki is a New England-based Kawasaki dealership that has been in business for over 60 years, and will be supplying the '07 AMA Flat Track Singles Champion with KHI's superb KX450s for his assault on the Singles events in the upcoming 2011 season.

With Kawasaki Heavy Industries now making one of the more dominant 450s on the market today, this should prove to be an interesting move in putting The King of Cool on equal equipment to that of 2-Time AMA Flat Track Singles Champion Henry Wiles, who won four of the six Singles Series events during the 2010 season. Coolbeth has reportedly been practicing
on the Green Machines for the last couple of months and is expected to make his opening assault on the AMA Flat Track Grand National Singles Series in March at the opening rounds in Daytona.

Stu's Shots is looking forward to the change-up for Kenny for the 2011 season and wishes him the very best of luck in the upcoming year. The new season is four months off and it is already looking super!
Jennifer Sierzega from She Loves Racing and Flat Track has this version of the official press release, which has a nice shot of The King of Cool practicing on one of the new #2 Green Machines:

The always on the scene Larry Lawrence of The Rider has also gotten back together with Cycle's rise from the molten fall-out late this summer, and he posted this great interview with Kenny Coolbeth late yesterday afternoon:

AMA Pro Flat Track posted this official press release of Coolbeth's signing with Chaplin Kawasaki as well, and it has another shot of K.C., Jr. practicing on one of his new KX450s:

Here is the link to Kenny's new sponsor, Chaplin Kawasaki. Check them out:

And here is Kenny's official website:

Friday, December 10, 2010

AMA Flat Track: Chris Carr Announces 2011 Season Last in Full Time Competition

The annual stop at the Springfield Mile over the Labor Day Weekend always means close and exciting action for the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series, and the 2007 round was no exception. With less then five laps to go, the battle had come down to three main riders in the series going for it at nearly 140 MPH on the straight aways. Diving into turn one are Chris Carr #4, the 7-Time AMA Grand National Champion, on his Ford Quality Care Harley-Davidson XR750, Bryan Smith #42 on his Screamin Eagle H-D XR750, and future 3-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Twins Champion Kenny Coolbeth on his #1 Harley-Davidson Factory XR.
Carr, the winner of 29 total mile victories in the AMA Flat Track Series (and second to only Scott Parker in total mile wins 55-29) would pull out the win by inches over Coolbeth, with Smith just a bike length or two behind the duo. Carr, whose last of 78 total wins in the series came at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile in September of 2008, announced today that after the 2011 season he will be stepping down from full time competition after competing on the pro level since the '85 season.
The man from Pennsylvania via California, who earned the nickname 'The Prince of Peoria' for his total domination of the infamous Illinois TT track in the '80s and '90s, would most probably also have an AMA Grand Slam on his record list if not for the lack of a road race National victory. Although he managed to put the H-D Factory VR1000 on the pole while running the AMA Superbike Championship Series in the mid '90s, he was nonetheless kept off of the top step of the podium in the series, but not due to his inability on the track by any means.
One of the nicest guys and most laid-back people in the paddock, Chris Carr will leave a legacy behind in the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series that serves as an example to professionalism in any and all racing series around the world, let alone in how to bring sponsors into the sport, and how to keep the fans coming back for more. Also known for being the fastest man on two wheels for his Bonneville runs in Dennis Manning's Streamliner, Carr will still be seen around the track after hanging up the steel shoe, as he will continue to run Chris Carr Racing while supplying some of the young, up and coming riders with top-notch and bullet-proof equipment. His long-time tuner, Kenny Tolbert, has headed up CC's team for years and the two have visited victory lane numerous times together. And really, when was the last time you saw a Chris Carr/Kenny Tolbert machine sitting off to the side of the track smoking? I sure can't remember when!
One of the nice guys of the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series announced today that the 2011 season will be his last in full time competition. 7-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Chris Carr (and the fastest man on two wheels) will be hanging up the ole steel shoe after racing in the pro/expert ranks since the 1985 season. The winner of 78 AMA Grand National Championship Series events over the years, Carr will continue to head up Chris Carr Racing after '11 and will have his program set-up to help bring and establish new talent to The Rolling Thunder Show. Second only to 9-Time GNC Scott Parker in terms of championships and wins, he stands head-to-toe with all of the best of the best over the years and decades for his never-say-die approach.

And you'll never meet a nicer guy!
You can read the press release from AMA Pro Flat Track here, thanks to the great folks at Road“farewell-to-flat-track”-tour/
Chris Carr's biography over at his official site can be read here. This resume would impress anybody:

AMA Road Racing: Jason DiSalvo Returns in '11 on Latus Ducati for Daytona SportBike Series


Aaron Yates on the #20 Yoshimura American Suzuki GSX-R1000 leads Jason DiSalvo on the #40 Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 during the running of the Repsol Lubricants AMA Superstock Series final at Mid Ohio in July of 2005. Yates went on to win the event over DiSalvo, as well as winning the 2005 AMA Superstock Championship that year by nine points, 323-314 over the Graves Yamaha team member. DiSalvo took one win on the season at Fontana in the 'superbike-lite' class and scored seven other podiums on the year. Yates took four other wins on the year and added three other podiums.
Double A-Ron's return to AMA Road Racing for the 2011 season still hinges on his healing and recovery period after his devastating crash in practice at Fontana back in March. Presumably the Jordan team is 'holding' him a spot, should he be able to return to action in the AMA Superbike Championship Series.
DiSalvo spent the first part of the 2010 season riding for the Triumph BE-1 ParkInGo team in the World Supersport Series, as a team mate to Chaz Davies, but never found the 'feel' of the bike to his liking, and falling out with the team after the Miller round at the end of May. The popular New Yorker was able to pick up a 'wild card' ride at the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP round in August riding in the Moto2 class, scoring an impressive top ten finish along the way. His return to AMA Road Racing with Latus Motors in the AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike Class for the 2011 season should be a good thing for the team (who ran Steve Rapp on their Ducati 848 in '10) as well as for his fans here in the States.

Latus Motors announced today that they have signed Jason DiSalvo, the former Graves Yamaha teamster who ran the first part of the 2010 season in the World Supersport Series, to a ride on the team's Ducati 848 for the upcoming AMA Pro Racing Daytona Sportbike Series. DiSalvo, who put in quite the impressive ride at the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP round of the Moto2 Championship series, spent the better part of 2010 without a ride after splitting from the ParkInGo Triumph team in late May. For those of you familiar with the 'Latus' name, George Latus is a long-time sponsor of 2000 AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Joe Kopp in the AMA Flat Track Series.

The addition (and/or return) of the diminutive New Yorker to the AMA Road Racing grid and paddock add some extra talent to the already 'talent-heavy' Daytona Sportbike Series. With numerous races last year in the underling series to the premier AMA Superbike Championship being decided by thousandths of a second-and one by the finish line camera-action in the DSB class is not lacking in it's second year in the series. Built on the premise of the 600 inline four cylinders, the Ducati 848 has proven to be a good weapon of choice in the class as well. Latus' rider Rapp scored numerous podiums, without a win in 2010, and Bobby Fong won one of the rounds on the popular twin. The class has proven to be a great 'mish-mash' of a combination of the old AMA 600 Supersport and Formula Xtreme Series, with multiple races being what this rider terms 'blanket' races. In other words, multiple riders running so closely together you could nearly toss a blanket over them.

Stu's Shots gives a nod of the helmet and a hearty 'welcome back' to Jason and is looking forward to seeing him mix it up again here in on U.S. terra firma. Welcome back man!

Thanks to Road Racing and Latus Motors for this press release on Jason DiSalvo's return to AMA Pro Road Racing for the 2011 season:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

AMA Road Racing: Off-Season Ramblings & 'Partial' 2011 Schedule Released

Jake Zemke on the #98 Erion Racing/Parts Unlimited/PJ1-sponsored Honda CBR600RR leads Miguel Duhamel on the #17 American Honda/Shoei/Joe Rocket-sponsored Honda CBR600RR during the Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme final event, as part of the Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire at Mid Ohio in July of 2004. Duhamel went on to win and lead the most laps in the process, while Zemke finished just inside the points on the day.
The future team mates would end up ruling the Formula Xtreme Series due to Honda going all out in the class to showcase it's 'mini superbike' in the 600 inline-based class. Duhamel also went on to win the Formula Xtreme Championship over Zemke enroute to winning eight events to Zemke's one win in the eleven race series in '04. Between the two of them they scored 18 podiums that season.
Duhamel has seen limited action in the AMA Road Racing series since the bottom fell out after the end of the '08 season, making an appearance at Daytona in 2009 on a Pascal Picotte-led run in the Daytona 200, and then appearing at Laguna Seca this year on a Ducati. The 5-Time Daytona 200 winner, '95 AMA Superbike Champion and multi-time AMA 600 Supersport and Formula Xtreme Champion was always one of the highlights at any AMA Road Racing event, and was always considered a threat on the track. Off the track, at least to this writer, he was one of the most congenial and approachable, let alone down right comical riders in the paddock.
Zemke, who went on to win the '08 AMA Formula Xtreme Championship, rode an Erion Racing Honda during the '09 season in the Daytona Sportbike Class, and then moved back to the premier AMA Superbike Championship Series in 2010 riding for the Michael Jordan Motorsports/National Guard Suzuki team. That seemed to work out pretty well for Jake in winning both opening rounds at Daytona in March, and despite not being able to duplicate his spot atop the box through the rest of the season, he still finished 3rd in the championship behind eventual champ Josh Hayes and Tommy Hayden.
With the Jordan team signing Ben Bostrom and Roger Lee Hayden for the 2011 season (and possibly still running a third bike for Aaron Yates as of this writing), Zemke was left out in the cold and is still looking for work. Of course, he isn't the only rider 'in waiting' or unsigned as of yet for the 2011 AMA Road Racing season. With the release yesterday of what is being termed a 'partial' schedule, and Dunlop testing tires at Daytona next week and in January, there should be a bunch of dominoes ready to drop in terms of who goes where. Stay tuned!
With AMA Pro Road Racing releasing what is being termed a 'partial' schedule for the 2011 AMA Road Racing Series yesterday, there are still plenty of questions to go around as to who is going where for the upcoming season. And with Dunlop doing some tire testing at Daytona next week (and then another follow-up test scheduled in January) the ball should start to drop pretty soon as to what the rest of the unsigned riders will be doing next season.

At this point in the AMA Superbike Championship for '11 we know Michael Jordan has signed Ben Bostrom and Roger Lee Hayden. There is still a possibility being mentioned that once Aaron Yates heals completely from his March Fontana crash that they may run a third bike for Double A-Ron. 2010 AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes re-signed with Graves Yamaha for a couple more years, Eric Bostrom is 'supposedly' coming back for the full season with the Cycle World/Attack Performance team (and seems to be returning with a Kawasaki from chatter being heard.) Larry Pegram parted ways with Ducati, and less then 10 days later said he would be competing on the BMW for the 2011 championship.

But from there, it gets real murky. 2010 runner-up Tommy Hayden is still unsigned, as is Blake Young. John Hopkins is healed from his wrist surgery, but no mention of him returning-or not-with the Monster Energy/Road Racing team. Chris Ulrich was giving 'two-up' charity rides on the west coast a few weeks ago, and in all probability should be returning with the ME/ team.

The next few weeks should get interesting, and we'll all just have to hang tight and wait and see what happens next. I've posted a couple of links written by Paul Carruthers, who is back at the helm of the newly-risen Cycle (which is great news in itself, as well!)

The first story is the release of the schedule yesterday by AMA Road Racing. Road Atlanta and Fontana are no where to be found, and as of this release, Barber is TBD (to be determined) and the VIR round is shown, but also TBD. Not since the '91 season in AMA Superbike have I seen a slimmer schedule for the U.S. series in what was once one of, if not, the premier superbike championship in the world. In the second story PC talks with Jake Zemke, who was left off the roster at Michael Jordan Motorsports in spite of his 3rd place in the championship this year to go along with his double win at Daytona in March, the first-ever for MJ in the premier series after seven seasons of competition.

Stay tuned, and keep your fingers crossed!
Here's the new schedule as laid out yesterday thanks to Paul Carruthers and Cycle
And last week, Paul also posted this interview with Jake Zemke over at Cycle