Tuesday, July 12, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Johnny Lewis Takes Scott Powersports Kawasaki to 2nd Place Finish at Hagerstown Half-Mile

Johnny Lewis and the #10 Scott Powersports/Dubach Racing Developments/Saddlemen/Triple J Racing-sponsored Kawasaki 650R-based team finish up getting their pit area in order after a late start to the day at the Springfield Mile, round 6 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series season in May.  Lewis and the Scott Powersports team have slowly been knocking on the door in getting the 650R-based twin working to their liking and getting solid results along the way as well, in only their second year of development on the bike together.

JL10, a former AMA Supermoto Champion, is making serious headway in the Twins Series events, with just into the half-way point of the 2011 season.  After an 8th place finish at Springfield, a 5th place at Hartford, and a definite out of place 17th at Lima, Lewis and the team pulled it out of the hat at Hagerstown last Saturday to take home his first Twins Series event podium, and the very first podium finish for Kawasaki in a half-mile Grand National Series event.

In what was described by Chew Larcom/FlatTrack.com as 'riding on rails and being the highlight film of the evening,' JL10 hung in throughout the double restarts on the evening to garner a very hard fought second place finish for the evening.  After the second restart, Lewis hung in for the last eight lap dash to come in only .682 seconds behind event winner Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Harley Factory/Screamin Eagle XR-750.  A very worthy feat indeed, considering long-time veterans Jared Mees, Jake Johnson and Jethro Halbert followed him home as he was able to hold off their late-race advances.  Lewis finished his great run as the only non-Harley XR in the top 8 of the main, with the Kawasakis of Jimmy Wood #37 and Shaun Russell #28 finishing 9th and 10th, respectively.

Congrats are in order to Johnny for a super run at Hagerstown, and a great year so far, indeed! 

Johnny now sits a solid 6th in the overall 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series standings, and is looking good to move up with the solid results this fine young man is bringing to the track.  Keep an eye out for this guy, he's not only the future of this great sport, by he is on a path to be a future champion the way he is learning and riding and processing the big picture.  Already highly capable of getting solid results/podiums in the Singles Series events, we could be seeing the final pieces of the puzzle falling together for him and the Scott Powersports team to put it on the box on a regular basis in the Twins Series, making for some very tough competition at each and every race.

Scott Powersports’ Johnny Lewis earns career-best GNC
Twins finish with second place at Hagerstown Half-Mile

Athlete becomes the first Kawasaki rider to ever make the
podium at an AMA Pro Flat Track Half-Mile race

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (July 12, 2011) – It takes significant effort to put a professional racing program together, let alone build a brand-new custom race bike. Last season, Johnny Lewis and Mike Scott of Scott Powersports set out to develop a competitive AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship GNC Twins race program using a Kawasaki Ninja 650 as a base. The ingenuity and work paid off this past Saturday night, July 9, when Lewis battled in the Hagerstown Half-Mile main, earning second place on his Scott Powersports/Triple J Racing/DR.D Kawasaki.

The Hagerstown Half-Mile finish recorded two firsts in the series’ history. While this marked the third podium for Lewis this season, it was his first GNC Twins podium. His previous best GNC Twins finish was fifth last month in Michigan. The podium finish was a victory of sorts after the extensive development work on the Scott Powersports’ Kawasaki 650. Second, this is the first podium for any Kawasaki rider – factory supported or privateer – in an AMA Pro Flat Track Half-Mile race.

Fans packed the stands at the Hagerstown Half-Mile on Saturday to watch America’s elite racers on the dirt oval. This was the largest and loudest crowd since the opening round in Daytona. Lewis reflected, “I have never heard that many fans cheer for me as I walked my number 10 Kawasaki to the starting grid for the main. It pumped me up for the race!”

Scott Powersports/Triple J Racing/DR.D’s Lewis went into the first practice at the Hagerstown Half-Mile with his back-up bike in order to look at various set-up options. He notched a top ten lap time. In the second practice he went to his primary bike and ran a similar time. After changing a few items, Lewis stayed with his primary Pit Posse-sponsored race bike for the final timed qualifying practice. He qualified in second and was fourth-tenths of a second faster than the previous outing.

Johnny Lewis throws the #10 Scott Powersports Kawasaki into a turn during  action at the Hagerstown Half-Mile Hub City Classic, round 10 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series.  Lewis took the #10 home into 2nd place in the main event in Maryland for the very first Twins Series event podium in his promising young career.  MotoPR & Johnny Lewis-provided press release photo by Yve Assad from The Fast and Dirty.com.

In front of the enthusiastic Hagerstown Half-Mile crowd, Lewis was in the second heat race during the night program. He led for a few laps on his Penske Racing-suspended Scott Powersports’ Kawasaki before Bryan Smith passed him off turn two. Due to the different power band, Lewis’ bike was spinning harder than the traditional H-D flat trackers; however that would be an advantage later. At the checkers, he crossed in second earning a direct transfer to the main and a spot in the six-rider Dash for Cash.

More adjustments were made to his Scott Powersports’ 650 flat tracker when Lewis got to the line in his black custom AXO leathers for the Dash for Cash. He noticed a solid difference. At the finish, Lewis came across the line in third place.

Prior to the 25-lap main event, one more change was made to the bike. Off the line, Lewis got a great start on his TRX-sponsored Kawasaki and was running second behind the leader Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. He remained in second fending off any challengers during the first 18 laps. Then a crash by another rider red-flagged the main event. On the restart, Lewis spun the tire due to an overheating issue with his bike, moving back to fourth place. He was determined more than ever to take advantage of his riding style and the DR.D-sponsored Kawasaki 650 twin motor by battling for a podium spot. In the final seven laps, Lewis moved past the two riders and at the finish earned a hard-fought and well-deserved second place.

“On the warm-up lap before the main I tested a spot on the track I never rode,” said Lewis. “I realized it could be something to try during the main. Possibly a faster line. With only eight laps after the red flag restart in the main, I had to get by Jake Johnson and Jared Mees quickly to have anything for Coolbeth. So I tried my new line and it worked! It took me four laps to completely get in the clear of Jake and Jared to go back to my normal line. Once I did, Coolbeth had ten bike lengths on me. I had nothing for him. But man, I was super-pumped for the second place finish!”

Scott Powersports-sponsored Johnny Lewis #10 in action on his Kawasaki 650R-based machine at the Hagerstown Half-Mile event on July 9.  MotoPR & Johnny Lewis-provided press release photo by Yve Assad of The Fast and Dirty.com.

Lewis continued, “This second place is like a win for us. The fans were so pumped up too. Many of them hung out at our pit area after the main checking out the bike and talking about the race. I invited fans to take photos with my second place trophy. This podium meant a lot to me, my wife Alysha, Mike and everyone involved in our program – to see the fans be into our result that much made it even sweeter!”

The Hagerstown Half-Mile finish moved Lewis up to sixth in the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Championship standings with 116, only three points from the top five.

Race fans head to the I-96 Half-Mile on Saturday, July 23 at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan, round 11 of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship. Stop by the Scott Powersports pit to meet Lewis, watch flat track racing videos from this season courtesy of TheFastandDirty.com, and enter his JL10 Sponsor Giveaway drawing and get an autographed poster. Then, watch him at the Michigan track on his Scott Powersports/Triple J Racing/DR.D #10 Kawasaki 650 flat tracker in his custom AXO leathers. Keep up with Lewis on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lewis10 and his new website at www.lewis10.com.

Johnny Lewis, National #10, hoists his 2nd place finish trophy at the Hub City Classic in Hagerstown, MD. on July 9.  MotoPR & Johnny Lewis-provided press release photo by Yve Assad from The Fast and Dirty.com.

About Johnny Lewis

Professional athlete Johnny Lewis of Coatesville, Pennsylvania has been competing in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship (GNC) for the past two seasons, earning tenth during the 2010 season. The 2010 season was his first full year racing in both the Singles (short track and TT) and Twins (half-mile and mile) events. Prior to flat track, Lewis raced in the AMA Pro Supermoto Championship for three full seasons where he was the youngest to ever win in the Unlimited Class. He won many championships and races as an amateur dirt track competitor. In 2011, the 21 year-old Lewis will race the number 10 Scott Powersports/DR.D/Pit Posse/Monster Energy Honda CRF450F in AMA Pro Flat Track Singles events and the number 10 custom Kawasaki Ninja 650 flat tracker in AMA Pro Flat Track Twins races. Lewis would like to thank his sponsors that make the 2011 season possible: Scott Powersports, Dubach Racing Development (DR.D), Saddleman, Triple J Racing, Pit Posse, Monster Energy. AXO, Arai, Kicker Audio, K&N Filters, Matrix Concepts, Axis Designs, Silkolene, Penske Racing Shocks, Pro Moto Billet, Factory Box, Engine Ice, ALL Balls, Boyesen, TRX Fitness Anywhere, Myers Trucking, Metro Racing, FLUIDYNE, Violation Goggles, Victory Circle Graphics, Spider Grips, ActionSportsTV.com, and MotoPR. Visit www.lewis10.com to follow Johnny Lewis' season.

About MotoPR

Detroit, Michigan-based Moto Public Relations, LLC (MotoPR) brings best practice public relations and marketing to action sports to increase public interest and corporate support. Our integrated services include public relations programming, media relations, media training, promotion development, social media, sponsorship acquisition and management, and event production. Visit us online at www.motopr.com.


Bryan Peckinpaugh



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