Friday, September 30, 2011

AMA Flat Track: You Still Have 16 Days to Get In On The Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Buell Air Fence Fund Raiser Raffle

Early in the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series season, AMA Pro Racing and the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team banded together to work towards a very worthy cause.  That cause was the raffling off of a bike that would see the funds raised from that raffle used to put into the Air Fence Fund for AMA Pro Flat Track.

Since the inception of air fence usage in AMA Pro Flat Track (and many other premier racing series in the world, as well) many lives have been spared due to the use of these protective 'air bag' barriers that now line the tracks all over the world.  Used as a great tool to not only protect barriers, but also as a 'pillowing cushion' to help 'swallow' a rider up and prevent that rider from coming into contact with a solid/immobile object around the track.

With the pairing up of the LBM team and AMA Pro Racing, LBM took possession of the 2009 AMA Pro Road Racing Pace Motorcycle, a 2009 Buell XB12XP.  Their job:  to transport the grand prize in the raffle to all of the AMA Pro Flat Track Twins Series events, set it up on display, and sell the fans on purchasing a chance on winning the machine that paced all of the AMA Pro Road Racing events during the '09 season, and most importantly, putting the money earned towards the AMA Pro Flat Track Air Fence Fund.

With the approach the Lloyd Brothers team has shown in their professional and always-sano look on and off the track, co-owners Dave & Mike Lloyd would dutifully unload the Buell at each event, set up a seperate 'pop-up' awning in their pit area, and hawk the ticket purchase and fund raiser's value to the fans during the fan walk at each AMA Pro Flat Track Twins Series event.  And at the the three Twins Series events that I hit up this year, they did a wonderful job of 'selling the goods' to the fans and anyone who wandered by to take a look-see.

Round 11 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series stop at the I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, MI. was no exception, as can be seen in the shot above taken at the half-mile event's on-track break during the fan walk around.  As AMA Pro Flat Track announcer Barry Boone talks to the crowd about the team's efforts in displaying the Buell and selling the raffle tickets, team co-owner Mike Lloyd can be seen on the left side of the shot (partially obscured) talking with fans and sponsors.  The team's frame fabricator, Lyle Pizzino (of VMC Racing Frames/Pizzino Fabrication) is just to Mike's left in the sunglasses, flanking the end of the Buell XB.  Brother Dave is just out of sight talking with one of the team's sponsor-reps from Foremost Insurance.

Former National #23 and Michigan Mafia member Kevin Atherton, who also acts as a rider/coach/tech for the team and rider Brad Baker, can be seen talking with some of the other fans in the LBM pit area in between the team's two #12 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/ Insurance/Nicky Hayden-sponsored Ducati 1098s.  Rider Brad Baker, the '09 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Champion (and most assuredly the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Saddlemen Rookie of the Year) is in the far right rear of the team's area, and can be partially seen in the red shirt talking with another group of LBM/Ducati/Brad 'The Bullet' Baker fans.  Needless to say, these guys stay busy at the track no matter what they are doing, and look great doing it too!

Read on below how to go about getting your shot at a great chance to win this machine,  and more importantly, help the AMA Pro Flat Track Air Fence Fund Raiser to save a life on the track.  The life you save may be the rider you admire and/or follow in the series.  And just think how good you'll look on that sweet XB!


Time Is Running Out to Score Your Ticket to the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Buell Giveaway/Air Fence Fund Raiser

Tickets are still available to raise money for the air fence. You can use PayPal or Credit Card if you can't make it to one of the final two nationals.

Just over 2 weeks are left to purchase a chance to win an AMA Pro Racing Pace Buell Ulysses XB12XP or an Arai Helmet and at the same time help support the flat track portion of the Roadracing World Action Fund.

Lloyd Brothers Motorsports, Inc. with support from Foremost Insurance Company, Arai Helmets, and AMA Pro Racing is running a very exciting fundraiser for the flat track portion of the Roadracing World Action Fund, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization with a mission of reducing racetrack injuries by advocating and promoting the use of soft barriers, like Air Fence*.

To get a better understanding or what soft barriers do and why they are so important, go to .

The grand prize in the raffle is a 2009 Buell Ulysses XB12XP that was used as the official Pace Motorcycle during the 2009 AMA Pro Road Racing season. The Buell, which has less than 210 original miles, was donated by AMA Pro Racing.

Tickets are $20.00 each and can be purchased at the following upcoming AMA Pro Flat Track events:

Oct. 1 Calistoga Half-Mile, Calistoga, CA

Oct. 15 AMA Pro Flat Track Season Finale, Pomona, CA

A website has also been set up ( where donations can be made via PayPal and credit cards. A donation of $20 will receive a free entry in the raffle.

For more information about any of these events, go to .

The winning tickets will be drawn and announced at the season finale October 15 in Pomona, California. Winners do not need to be present to win and will be notified after their ticket is drawn.

To learn more about soft barriers or to donate directly to the Roadracing World Action Fund visit

A complete list of tickets sold and who bought them is at:

To date your chances are 1 in 222 to win one of the two prizes!

Press release courtesy of Dave & Mike Lloyd, co-owners of the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/ Insurance/Nicky Hayden/ENI USA-sponsored Ducati AMA Pro Flat Track team.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Jared Mees Reports on Winning His 5th Event of the Season at the Brainerd Half-Mile

Jared Mees and the #9 Rogers Lake Racing/Blue Springs H-D/Screamin' Eagle/Lucas Oil-sponsored team roll out one of the team's XR750s in preparation for round 16 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series at the Springfield Mile II on Sunday, September 3.  Mees took 5th in the main, after earlier in the day winning the Dash for Cash event, to go along with the major-cool Nicky Hayden Tissot Watch that went to the victor of the Labor Day Weekend event.

Mees debuted his set of retro Gary Nixon riding gear at the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile oval, to honor the loss of one of the sport's icons, who had passed away in early August.  From his helmet down to his riding boots, The Jammer had it going on and was big-time styling in the looks department, and along with the re-worked #9 number plate, looked every bit the part as the late 2-Time AMA Grand National Champion did back in the late '60s and early '70s when he was still active on the American flat track scene.  Mees' tuner, Brent Armbruster, rolls the machine out while Jammin' Jared walks along with another of his crewmen.

After taking his 5th win of the season at the North Central Speedway 'half-mile' last Saturday, Mees and company took a commanding lead in the overall championship series with an 18 point edge on defending AMA Grand National Champion Jake Johnson (348-330), and a 20 point lead over former series point leader, and now 3rd in the standings, Sammy Halbert (328 points.)  With the run in the Twins Series events that Mees has established for himself and the Rogers Lake Racing team, the championship is arguably his to lose with the final two west coast events to run this season.  Johnson and Halbert are the only riders left at this point in the championship hunt with a matematical chance of taking the title away in the final stretch.

Although the Brainerd track was reported to be closer to '3/8ths' of a mile as opposed to the half-mile it was advertised at, Mees' win in Minnesota made his tally for the season 4 half-mile wins and 1 mile win, all since late May at the Springfield Mile I (Hartford, Lake Odessa and Knoxville are the other rounds The Jammer has bagged in the last four months of racing.)

Obviously the big question and/or thought on everyone's mind going into round 19 this Saturday at Calistoga, CA. and the season finale in Pomona, CA. on October 15, is can Jared and The Rogers Lake Racing team be stopped?  With both of those remaining events on half-mile tracks, going in you have to give the overall on-track advantage to Mees and Company.  At this point, if you don't, you could be the big loser when Jared and the team hoist that #1 plate over their heads in just over two weeks time.  Mees also won the 2009 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Twins Series Championship, but should he accomplish this great feat after the Pomona checkers have flown, it will be his (and tuner Armbruster's) first AMA Grand National Championship, a very worthy feat by anyone's standards.

I'm not a betting man, but if I was......I'd wish The Jammer the best of luck and let them all have at it, and may the best man win!

Jared Mees checks in after winning round 18 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series at the North Central Speedway in Brainerd, MN., for his series-leading 5th win of the season.

BRAINERD MN – 24 September 2011

I was told this track was small. I didn’t know quite what to expect, but when we got there it was small ! When we finally got on the track it seemed even smaller yet. I have never run on a track this small before racing a Harley-Davidson XR750. Well I thought, hope for the best.

Qualifying went well… it was my first time this year as Fast Qualifier. This put me in the 1st Heat Race with Kenny Coolbeth among others. I got a lousy start behind Mick Kirkness but made my way up to the front after getting past Jake Mataya. From then on I was able to run my own race but felt someone on my heels the rest of the way. Coolbeth was right on me as I looked back after crossing the line to win the First Heat. I needed just a little more from somewhere.

For the Dash for Cash we tried a couple of different things. I got off the line well but halfway thru Bryan Smith went down, bringing out the red flag. On the re-start I got another decent jump, but Coolbeth and Matt Weidman were getting it done. I finished 3rd. I needed a little bit more speed in turns 3 and 4, so we changed a few minor things and My mechanic, Brent Armbruster, pounded in my head a few small things to pick up, and it worked.

In the Main Event I nailed the holeshot and was in the lead. Those “few small things” I had picked up from Brent made the difference. Halfway flags and I was still in the lead. Five to go and I was still in the lead. I didn’t look back a single time but heard people behind me. I was able to hold them off and win my 5th race of the season, extending my points lead to 18 ahead of second place Jake Johnson. It felt great to make it happen. After my Heat and the Dash I had thought that Kenny Coolbeth was the guy to beat and maybe, had he gotten the holeshot in the Main, he may have been the race winner, but we got it done on this night.

We are now on our way out West, with Calistoga CA this weekend. I really like the track a lot, so I’m looking to have some fun and get another good finish, and gain even more points on the Championship run.

Thanks to all my supporters and fans. Until next Saturday, Jammin’ Jared Mees # 9

Jared Mees' #9 Rogers Lake Racing Sponsors:

Rogers Lake Racing, Blue Springs H-D, Screamin’ Eagle, Lucas Oil, National Cycle, Twisted Beverage CompanyTM, Saddlemen, Digger Helm 57, M.E.H. Corp, Rod Lake, Goodwin Racing, Rockysonline .com, Arai Helmets, Speed Strength Leathers, KK Motorcycle Supply, A&A Racing, Steve & Cindy Vizzo, Battley Cycles, MRT Racing, Kelly’s, MTA, JE Pistons, Cometic Gaskets, VP Racing Fuels,Tsubaki, Motion Pro, TCX Boots, Troy Lee Designs, K&N Filters, Millennium Technologies, Vortex, Craig Pickett, Goodridge, Works Connection, Rekluse Clutches, Gene & Gail Cummings, Eddie Mulder, NGK, Z Gallerie, Dick Winters, Oakley, WestCoast Hot Shoes, Jupiter Wheels, Supertrapp, ARC Levers, Moto Tassinari, EBC, Mikuni, Web Cam, Ancra, J&M Racing Frames, Pro Plates, Kold Kutter, Turn 1 Distributing, Crank Works Crank Shafts, EZ-up, Suburban H-D, Twenty Six Suspension, Flash, G2, Penske Racing, Chicken Hawk, Ferrea Valves, J2 Motorsports, Royal Publishing Co., Applied Diamond Coatings, M&Z Anodizing, Brent Armbruster, CV4, Bristol Core, Universal Coatings, Hammer Head , Hot Rods, TSS Graphics, Dyno Jet, DVS Shoes, Xtremely Fit, Aerodyne, Boyesen, Wrex .ca, Fluidyne, Helix, Gunk, Kicker.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Jimmy Wood Recovers from Peoria TT Heat Crash to Take 7th at Brainerd Half-Mile

Round 14 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series got off to a rough start for a couple of the competitors in the 3rd heat race right from the start.  With the Peoria TT being the longest running and current event held on the series' schedule, the fight to make the 18-rider main event can sometimes turn into a war zone.  And that's exactly what happened to Jimmy Wood and Brad Baker on the first lap of their heat race in turn one.

With eventual 1st and 2nd place finishers in heat 3, Jake Johnson on the #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D/Boughner Racing/Motion Pro-sponsored Honda CRF450R and Bryan Smith on his #42 Moroney's H-D/ Racing-backed Honda able to shuffle through without any mishaps, the rest of the field starts to get caught up in what looks like a demo derby.  Jimmy Wood on his #37 A&J/Southland Racing/M.E.H. Corp/Race Tech-sponsored Honda CRF450R has already gone down after running into/over Brad Baker on his #12 Brothers Powersports/MVR/Schenk Racing/Major League Moto-backed Honda while trying to negotiate the tight turn into one after the start.

As JW #37 is doing a face plant and his bike is getting ready to slam down on top of him, Baker is already down after the contact between the two.  Matt Weidman on his #20 SNIP/Shoei/R&D Springs/Silkolene-sponsored Honda has managed to avoid the rag-dolling Wood, missing Baker in the process (you can just see The Bullet's arm through the gap in Matt's machine between the front tire and frame.)  Baker's machine also came down to tag him during the aftermath.  Ion Stear on his #19 Mack Daddy Racing/Performance Cycle & Dyno/Motion Pro/Fight For Dirt Honda manages to slip through unscathed, with Mikey Rush on his #54Z Ride Nasty Clothing/GP Sports/Rod Lake Racing/Hooper Motorsports-sponsored Honda getting it slowed down in time to avoid the fallen riders.

After the dust and parts had settled, Baker was lucky to make the restart and race the semi to make the main event, for a hard-fought (and sore) 12th place finish. Several weeks later, he still had a burn/hematoma spot on his stomach at least half the size of a football.   Jimmy, however, was not so lucky.

Breaking bones in his left hand, Jimmy was forced to not only miss the re-start of the heat, but the main event, and the next three events on the schedule as well.  With pins and rods inserted to bring his hand back into working shape, the California resident was able to return to action in round 18, just a little over a month after the accident.  Don't EVER say that AMA Pro Flat Track racers aren't tough!

Jimmy Wood can be seen in his pit area working on his #37 A&J/Southland Racing/M.E.H. Corp/Race Tech/Hostility Clothing-sponsored Kawasaki 650R-based machine during the Lake Odessa Half-Mile at I-96 Speedway in July 2011.  The Redlands, CA. resident is a regular competitor in the west coast flat track series (among them Eddie Mulder's and Gene Romero's flat track series), and was set to go road racing this year until a last minute change brought him onto the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series as a full-time competitor.

Banding together with his cousin, they started building this great looking machine and team back in January.  With a new motor and a C&J frame wrapped around the Ninja 650R-based parallel twin, Wood has had some impressive results this year, but the most impressive without a doubt was bringing it home into the 7th spot at last Saturday's Brainerd Half-Mile, only two days over a month after his Peoria debacle.  And with enough hardware in his hand to set off an airport metal detector, the man has guts and is as tough as nails.

Jimmy currently sits in the 13th overall spot in the point standings with 100 points, and if not for his having to miss out on the four rounds he missed overall (Peoria, both Springfields and Knoxville), would surely be in the top 10. 

You can read all about Jimmy's recovery and his surgery on his hand below, and we wish him the best of luck for the two remaining rounds this year, and look forward to seeing him back in the saddle during the 2012 season, too.  Great job JW, you're too tough for me, man!

You can read here what Jimmy Wood had to say after his fine 7th place finish at round 18 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series event at the Brainerd Half-Mile round held at the North Central Speedway on Saturday, September 24, below.

A BIG thanks to Tyler Porter from Fight For Dirt for this great interview with Jimmy after he brought his #37 A&J/Southland Racing-sponsored Kawasaki 650R-based machine home into the 7th spot in the 18-rider main in Minnesota last Saturday.  Read on:

Jimmy Wood Interview courtesy of and by Tyler Porter/

Jimmy Wood is a man on a mission. After a
crash in Peoria that left him with a seriously
damaged hand, Jimmy rebounded in Brainerd
With a 7th place finish on his Kawasaki 650.

FFDT: Hey Jimmy, nice ride in Brainerd, walk us
through your night.

JW: The night started off with me being terrified,
just hoping I could hang onto my bike without it
trying to kill me. I had the crash at Peoria, had 4
plates and 26 screws put in my hand and I had
surgery right after Peoria so it has been about 4
weeks or something since the surgery. My hand is
super tender, not getting a lot of movement out of
it yet, no strength or anything, so it was been a
struggle. My doctor told me that if I could hang on,
I could ride so it's really strong, it's all bolted
together, I just have to be able to hang on. I cut
one of my Spider Grips open and put it over the
other one so I had a big 'ole grip to hold on to and
I gave it a go. My bike worked really good. I
qualified, I think, 5th, then got 3rd in my heat and
put it into the main event. I feel like the bike was a
lot better than my results showed. I just couldn't
ride it through the middle of the corners very well,
I just couldn't hold onto the handlebars. The bike
was really really good.

FFDT: With the hand injury, was there any kind
of rehab you were doing to try to get it a little
closer to 100% before the race?

JW: Pretty much all I do is try to wiggle my fingers
around. The doctors put me through a little rehab,
but that's really all it was, just trying to move it
around. Just keep everything moving, keep it kind
of mobile. By the end of the day I can pretty much
ball up a fist, but then I wake up in the morning and
it's locked back straight again. Everyday I make
progress through the day and then I wake up in
the morning and it's, "Aw man!" It's like starting
from scratch.

FFDT: How much is the injury going to affect you
in the next two races?

JW: You know, I don't know. I would think with
another week, well, so far with the first 4 weeks,
when I look at it week by week I have made a lot
of progress. Leaps and bounds. With another
week, I should be good to go. I think I might feel
it a little bit, but it'll be a lot better than it was over
the weekend.

FFDT: Talk about your Kawasaki 650. You've
made some big changes to it this year. How close
is it to being right where you want it?

JW: We've made some really big changes.
Actually, some of the biggest changes came from
John at Jet Tuning. They did a motor for me and
it's great. It makes really equal power to the other
bikes and I'm happy with that. That was a big deal
for us and when Jet Tuning got ahold of the thing,
it's got a noticeable advantage on the
straightaways. I'm really happy with that. Brent
Armbruster, Jared Mees' mechanic took me out
testing one day right before Peoria and helped me
out a lot with the geometry. We moved things up
and down changed everything around until I was
really comfortable. We got the front end like I like
it, made it a lot easier to ride. I was excited to get
out there this weekend on it. One of the reasons I
was in such a hurry to come back was because I
was excited to ride the bike after all of the
improvements that we made. It's been one of
those deals where, my cousin and I decided to put
this team together in January, right at the last
second and we're kind of under prepared I guess
you could say. It's been a learning curve all year
long, trying to get to all the race tracks, then trying
to get the bike dialed in and we built this in a
garage and have something that nobody else has I
guess with the C&J Chassis and that whole deal.
It's come a long ways, but we were the only
Kawasaki in the top 10 last night, so we were first
Kawasaki. I feel like we have one of the best bikes
on the track and we keep making improvements.
We'll go into next year maybe with some more
equipment, but a lot more test time for sure.
We'll be prepared to move forward next season.

FFDT: What did you think about the track at

JW: Everybody had to ride on the same race track.
Even though it was a bit small for a twin, we were
all on them, so I guess it doesn't matter. It was a
good racy race track. I think we put on a good
show for the people who were in the grandstands
and that's really what matters. It might not have
been the most fun for all the riders, but nobody
went out and got hurt and we put on a show for
the fans. In my opinion it was a good venue, one
that we should probably go back to in the future.

FFDT: This summer you've stayed and traveled
with Jared Mees. Was this the first time you
stayed East and how much did it affect your

JW: Years ago I stayed the summer in Jefferson
City Missouri with Dave Burks and Travis Smith
with the Suzuki crew. They let me ride some of
their singles bikes, so I stayed out there for quite
a while. I've gotten used to the whole "back east"
lifestyle thing. I've been mainly road racing the last
couple of years, staying mainly out west for that,
doing that whole deal. This summer living with
Jared has helped out a lot. Being in Michigan like
he is, is just the perfect place. You're pretty close
to all of the nationals and All-Star races. It was
just nice having somebody with me on these road

FFDT: Do you have any good Jared Mees

JW: Of course I do! I have 100 of them!

FFDT: Now your finishing out the series in your
home state of California. Are you expecting to do
better since you're going to be right at home before
the races?

JW: yeah, I actually left early so I can get home,
get bikes prepared and stuff like that. We'll do the
last two nationals and then Eddie Mulder's big race
at Willow Springs also. But being at home, we're
going to have a lot more time to test with the bike.

FFDT: Best of luck and congratulations on your
top 10 at Brainerd!

JW: Thanks man, I appreciate it!

Thanks again to Tyler Porter for this interview with Jimmy Wood.  You can find it as well as Tyler's other great stuff going on in the flat track world right here--make sure to bookmark his site!

And you can read all about round 18 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series at the North Central Speedway in Brainerd, MN. here thanks to Dave Hoenig and Cycle's Digital edition:

AMA Road Racing: 2011 AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes Collect Cortech Fast Man Standing Award

Cortech Fast Man Standing Award Goes to 2011 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes

Hayes, Young and Hayden Tied With Four Cortech Fastest Laps Apiece

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (September 27, 2011) - Cortech Apparel & Gear, presenting sponsor of AMA Pro Road Racing's Live Timing & Scoring webpage and mobile applications, presented the Cortech Fast Man Standing Award at the September 5th season-ending banquet in Atlantic City, NJ. Cortech's Dan Thomas presented the $2,000 check to Monster Energy Graves Yamaha and 2011 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion, Josh Hayes.

The award was created to recognize the rider that turned the highest number of overall fast lap times in National Guard SuperBike races during the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing season. Known for high-performance lines of motorcycle apparel, gear, and accessories, Cortech has recognized five different Fast Man Standing candidates this year, as Ben Bostrom, Blake Young, Tommy Hayden, Josh Hayes and Steve Rapp have each claimed fast laps at AMA Pro events this year. But in a twist, Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammates Blake Young and Tommy Hayden and AMA Pro SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes all tied for the top honors with four fastest race laps each. The tie break was actual pole positions won and with his impressive seven pole positions this season, Hayes was declared the winner of the 2011 Cortech Fast Man Standing Award of $2,000.00.

Jordan Suzuki's Bostrom drew first blood at Daytona International Speedway, posting a blistering lap of 1:37.657 around the circuit's legendary high banks in Race 1 only to see Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Young strike back with his fast lap of 1:37.561 in the opening round's second race. Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's reigning AMA Pro SuperBike champion, Josh Hayes jumped into contention by notching the quickest lap (1:36.236) in Race 1 at Infineon Raceway, but was forced to split weekend
honors when Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Hayden outdid him in Race 2 with the fastest lap of 1:36.698.

2011 AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes collects the Cortech Fast Man Standing Award at the AMA Pro Road Racing season's ending banquet awards ceremony.  AMA Pro Road Racing photo by Brian J. Nelson.

With all four superstars already firmly in the hunt for the Cortech Fast Man Standing Award following the second round, they blazed through the next five AMA Pro Road Racing events, trading race victories while breaking ties and swapping leads in the overall Fast Man Standing chase.

As the series headed into the final round of the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing Championship, the Fast Man Standing competition was closer than ever: Young and Hayden were tied with four fast-laps each, while Hayes lurked just behind with three. Surely, the tie would be broken, but the battle really got interesting when Josh Hayes took the fastest lap in race one on his way to his clutch victory. Hayes turned in a lap of 1:21.264 and now all three championship contenders had four fastest laps in the books. Not only would the National Guard SuperBike title be settled on the final day of the season, but so would the Cortech Fast Man Standing Award!

In one of the most thrilling races in recent memory, the championship contenders battled back and fourth for the entire 23 laps and the title was finally settled on the very last lap. But in the meantime, it was Steve Rapp, making his first appearance on the Cycle World Attack Performance Kawasaki that upset the applecart in the Cortech Award standings with his fastest lap of the race of 1:21.589. In the process, he joined Ben Bostrom as the only other rider beside the top three of Hayes, Young and Hayden to break into the Cortech Fast Man Standing Award standings in 2011.

At the end of the day, it was Josh Hayes who received the Cortech Fast Man Standing Award based on his seven pole positions along with his AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Championship #1 plate for the second year in a row!

Cortech's support of the new AMA Pro Live Timing offerings were critical in supplying not only the fans of AMA Pro Racing with the essential session timing information but the competitors also made use of the Cortech Live Timing & Scoring Apps during the races throughout the 2011 season.

For more information about Cortech and Cortech products, visit To experience Live Timing & Scoring presented by Cortech, visit or download apps for iPhones and Androids from iTunes and the Android Market, respectively.

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at

For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Indy Mile for 2012 Season In Doubt Due to Scheduling Conflict

In one of the best shows in motorsports, AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series mile races showcase 18 riders, at speeds in excess of 135 MPH, drafting, dodging and swapping positions in a 25-lap final that has the best in the business racing inches apart from one another, and leaving the paying crowd in the stands gasping in awe at the skill achievement that they have just witnessed. 

Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Harley-Davidson Motor Co/Screamin' Eagle/Spectro Oils/Fox-sponsored factory H-D XR750 holds the point during a qualifying session at the Springfield Mile I round of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series on May 29.  Keeping him honest during the session are Sammy Halbert on the #7 Kings Kustoms/White's H-D/LZ Racing/KK Supply-sponsored XR, with eventual event winner Jared Mees on his #9 Rogers Lake Racing/Blue Springs H-D/Screamin' Eagle/Lucas Oil-backed XR breathing down their necks.  The trio would finish 4-2-1 respectively in the National main event in May, with defending AMA Grand National Champion Jake Johnson taking the 3rd spot on the day.

Due to the rigging collapse over the stage during a concert at the Indiana State Fair last month, AMA Pro Flat Track unfortunately was only able to run three mile events for the 2011 season, the two Springfield events and the late July event at Sacramento, CA.  The 2011 version of the Lucas Oil Indy Mile was canceled due to that rigging collapse and subsequent accident investigation. 

It now looks as if the 2012 version of the Indy Mile may now also be in limbo, due to the newly rescheduled RedBull Indy MotoGP Weekend, which for the 5th stop at IMS now happens the same weekend as the Indiana State Fair in mid-August, as opposed to the last weekend in August the series has visited since it's second year at the World Capital of Racing.  Hopefully this can all be worked out and the home race for Stu's Shots gets put back on the schedule for the upcoming 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series season, and is able to take advantage of the great crowds that descend upon the legendary speedway's premier motorcycle event.

Read the story here about the possibility that the Lucas Oil Indy Mile could be in doubt due to the scheduling conflict with the Indiana State Fair for the 2012 season, thanks to Cycle's In The Wind and Larry Lawrence:

Monday, September 26, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Mees Takes Win #5 of Season at Brainerd Half-Mile

In the course of the last three races in the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series presented by, the pendulum has swung dramatically in favor of '09 AMA Grand National Twins Champion Jared Mees on his #9 Rogers Lake/Blue Springs Screamin' Eagle/Lucas Oil/National Cycle-sponsored XR750.  Winning his 5th race of the season on Saturday in Paul Bunyan Land, Jammin' Jared grabbed a firm hold on the overall point standings after having taken the lead two weeks prior in winning the Knoxville round.  With just two rounds remaining in the season, Mees now holds an 18 point lead over new runner-up Jake Johnson (348-330 points.)

Defending AMA Grand National Champion Johnson did all he could do to keep Mees in his sights the last two rounds, finishing runner-up at Knoxville on his #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D/Boughner Racing/Arai-backed XR and in the 3rd spot Saturday night at Brainerd.  Even though Johnson managed to take over the 2nd spot in the standings from last week's new runner-up, Sammy Halbert, it was not enough to keep the title from slipping further from his grasp with the two west coast rounds left in the season.  Johnson also finished 4th in the Dash, but Mees gained another point on The Champ by finishing 3rd.

Slammin' Sammy came back from his heat race crash at Brainerd on Saturday night to win his semi on his #7 Kings Kustoms/White's H-D/LZ Racing/KK Supply-sponsored XR, but was only able to work his way up to 8th on the night on the tight circuit at the North Central Speedway, and fell to 3rd in the overall standings with 328 points.  The five point lead he had held going into Knoxville has now turned into a 20 point deficit in the course of two rounds after having led the series standings since the opening doubleheader rounds at Daytona back in March.  There is still time for the tough Washington State rider, but it's running out quickly.

Bryan Smith won the fastest heat race on the night at Brainerd to nab the pole for the National main on his #42 Moroney's H-D/ Racing-sponsored XR, and eventually came home 5th after having finished 6th in the Dash event.  Coupled with Matt Weidman #20's great run into 6th in the final, Smith now sits 9th in the overall hunt (166 points) behind Weidman in 8th (172 points.)  This should be a great battle to the finish between Michigan resident Flyin' Bryan and New York State homeboy Mad Matt.  Both are well-experienced on half-miles and with both remaining races on half-mile tracks, we should see some great action out of these two to finish out the season on a strong note.

Brad Baker took his #12 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/ Hayden/Foremost Insurance-sponsored Ducati 1098 to the 2nd spot in the semi behind winner Jeffrey Carver, Jr. to earn his spot in the main at Brainerd, but only finished 16th, 11.979 seconds behind winner Mees.  Baker sits a solid 6th in the overall standings with 201 points, and is still a lock for the 2011 Saddlemen Rookie of the Year Award.  And you can't fault The Bullet OR the team in their great first year together, and should add a lot of promise going forward for their 2012 plans.

Carver made the main at Brainerd on his #23 Eddie Adkins Racing/Van's Yamaha/Stevens Racing/Leo Welch-backed XR750, and finished just behind Baker in the 17th spot.  Carver left Brainerd in a tie for the 11th spot in the championship standings (108 points) with Illinois resident Rob Pearson, but holds the tie-breaker on the season.  Carver has had a great rookie season on the big Twins Series bikes after winning the 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Championship, and he surely going to keep getting even better. 

The shot used for this week's wrap-up for round 18 was taken at Lake Odessa in July 2011 during the Dash for Cash event. 

With the series making it's last stop in the Midwest, rounds 19 and 20 now head to the West Coast with this coming Saturday's event at the Calistoga Half-Mile and the season finale at the Pomona Half-Mile on October 15.  At this point, the big question on everyone's mind has to be can anyone derail the train that is Jammin' Jared Mees and his Brent Armbruster-tuned stable of H-D XR750s?  And I would have to say that his prowess on the half-miles all season at this point makes a great case for 'no.'  As we all know, anything can happen in racing, but at this point, the wheels look to be pretty well greased on the Rogers Lake team and rider!

Stay tuned this Saturday, October 1 for round 19 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series presented by as the boys and girls of The Rolling Thunder Show make the penultimate stop of the season at the Calistoga Half-Mile.

Jared Mees Pads AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Grand National Championship Points Lead with Win in Brainerd National

BRAINERD, Minn. (September 25, 2011) - Rogers Lake Racing / Blue Springs Harley-Davidson's Jared Mees notched his fifth win of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by season Saturday night in cool conditions at North Central Speedway in Brainerd, Minn. Mees led the 25-lap National race wire-to-wire to win over Harley-Davidson Motor Company rider Kenny Coolbeth.

It was the first time that AMA Pro Flat Track has appeared at North Central Speedway, and the tight "D" shaped 3/8-mile oval proved to be a challenge on the fire-breathing twin-cylinder machines. Challenging or not, the racing action was fierce and exciting for the crowd that braved the cold fall temperatures.

Early in the race, it appeared Mees and Zanotti Racing / Schaeffer's Harley-Davidson's Jake Johnson would be repeating the Knoxville duel, but Coolbeth slipped between them on lap 14.

"I knew I wasn't the fastest rider out there tonight, I think Kenny was, but I just got a great start and kept hitting my marks," Mees said. "I could hear someone behind me the whole way, but we made small changes all day long and I think the track just came to me in the end."

Jared Mees #9 leads Jake Johnson #1, Sammy Halbert #7 and Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. #2 during action at round 18 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series presented by in Brainerd, MN. on Saturday, September 24.  Mees won his 5th race of the season to strengthen his lead in the overall point standings over defending Grand National Champion Johnson.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

After battling with Johnson for a few laps, Coolbeth closed the gap on Mees to about half a second, but stalled out there.

"I think I was faster than Jared," Coolbeth said. "I moved up from a bad start and was making passes pretty easy, but it took me too long to get by Jake, then I just seemed to lose my drive and couldn't catch Jared."

Johnson lost contact with the two leaders and settled into a solid third. American Motorcyclist Association / Classic Harley-Davidson's Chris Carr moved from seventh to fourth as he worked his way through traffic.

Mees got the hole shot in the National, with Johnson, White's Harley-Davidson / SNIP's Matt Weidman and / American Harley-Davidson's Bryan Smith in tow.

Coolbeth and Carr got by Smith on lap four, with Coolbeth getting by Weidman three laps later. It took Carr until just passed the half way mark to get into fourth and let Smith and Weidman battle over fifth. Smith would come out on top there.

Making his first National appearance since breaking his hand at Peoria, A&J Racing / Southland Racing's Jimmy Wood was an impressive seventh.

"After Peoria, they put 27 screws and two plates in my hand," Wood sad. "I'm just lucky to be back, but I think this was my kind of track, had I been healthy. My bike was really working."

Finishing a disappointing eighth was Kings Kustoms / White's Harley-Davidson's Sammy Halbert. A heat race crash had forced the former points leader to his back-up bike. After finishing his heat out of the transfer spots, he won the fastest semi of the night, but had to start on the third row in the main and eighth was as far as he could move up.

Kenny Coolbeth and Matt Weidman led Mees home in the Dash and that was a temporary help to Halbert, but with Mees and Johnson first and third in the National, Halbert has now slipped to third in the standings, 20 points down on Mees. Defending Grand National Champion Johnson moved into second, 18 points behind Mees with two races remaining on the schedule.

The Pro Singles class belonged to Mikey Avila as he dominated on his Joe Bisha tuned SDI Insulation / MEH Corp backed Honda. Series Points leader Weirbach Racing's Mikey Martin held second early, but ANT Racing / Star School's James Rispoli was giving Martin fits as Avila pulled away.

Rispoli, the 2011 AMA Pro SuperSport road racing National Champion, finally locked the second position down on lap six, but Avila proved to be uncatchable. Twenty Six Suspension's Gerit Callies was able to grab the last podium spot from Martin on lap 14 of the 16 lap race.

With just two races remaining in the Pro Singles Series Martin holds a 16 point advantage on Avila with Callies another four back in third. They are the only riders with a shot at the Pro Singles title.

Next up for the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship will be the high-speed half-mile of Calistoga Speedway in Calistoga, Calif. on October 1.

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at

For additional information contact:

AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014,

AMA Pro Flat Track event results from Brainerd Half-Mile (standard version):

Full event results for the Brainerd Half-Mile from AMA Pro Flat Track (PDF versions):

AMA Pro Flat Track official photographer Dave Hoenig gallery:

Dave Hoenig's official website, Flat Trak with full results (and soon to be posted gallery):

And a big thanks again goes out to Miriam Deitcher, for her Flat Track Live @ Facebook for this video of the National main event at the North Central Speedway:

And here is Cycle's brief story of the race at round 18 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series presented by event at the Brainerd Half-Mile:


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cycle's Larry Lawrence Talks Exciting Finishes to AMA Superbike Championship Over the Years

The Coca-Cola Super Cycle Classic Weekend at Road America in June 1994 witnessed one of the most controversial race finishes in the history of the AMA Superbike Championship Series, to go along with some of the best on-track action that the riders and machines had put on in front of the crowds at the sprawling Elkhart Lake, WI. facility since the series first hit the scene north of Milwaukee in the early '80s. 

Eventual '94 series champion Troy Corser is shown leading the pack on the first lap of the AMA Superbike Championship main event at the end of lap one coming out of turn 14 for the run up the hill on his #19 Ducati Motorcycles/Pro Grip/Dunlop/Fast By Ferracci Racing Products-backed Ducati 955 as team mate Pascal Picotte on his #21 Ducati/Fast By Ferracci/Pro Grip/Dunlop-sponsored 955 gives chase.  Jamie James on the #2 Vance & Hines/Yamaha/Dunlop/Bell-sponsored YZF750 follows, along with Mike Smith on his #68 American Honda/Smokin' Joe's Racing/Dunlop/Pro Honda Oils-backed RC45, 3-Time AMA Superbike Champion Fred Merkel on the #27 Muzzy Kawasaki/Dunlop/Motul/SBS-sponsored ZX-7R, Dave Sadowski on the #25 Desmo/FBF/Dunlop/RK-sponsored Ducati 955 and Thomas Stevens on his #11 American Suzuki/Yoshimura Racing/Dunlop/NGK-backed GSX-R750.  Also keeping things close are Kevin Magee on the #23 American Honda/Smokin' Joe's Racing/Dunlop/Pro Honda Oils-sponsored RC45, Tiger Sohwa on the #41 Muzzy Kawasaki/Dunlop/Motul/SBS-backed ZX-7R and Colin Edwards on the #45 Vance & Hines/Yamaha/Arai/Dunlop-backed YZF750.

In what would come down to James' losing the series title to Corser at the season finale by mere points due to a mechanical, pundits could point to the outcome of this race as being the true culprit in James' failure to secure his second premier championship after having won the title riding for Yoshimura Suzuki in the '89 season.  With a handful of laps to go, James' team mate Edwards threw it away on the outside of 14, with the battle having whittled down to the two Yamaha and two Ducati factory pilots, with Merkel trying his best to keep them honest.  With the waving yellow being presented on the lap after the crash for the field, leader Picotte was passed by James coming out of 14 for the run up the hill.  But the AMA officials ruled that since no passing is allowed under those conditions, James pass was voided and his failure to meet the black flag for a stop-and-go meant he was eventually relegated down the field in the final results.

Eventually at the season-ender at Road Atlanta, a mechanical having to do with the power valve on James' Yamaha caused the machine to slow with the laps winding down in the season finale, and gave Corser the edge he needed to finish enough ahead of his title rival to clinch the championship by just a few points.  James at least got the consolation, as earlier in the day he had clinched the '94 AMA 600 Supersport Championship, but his second premier title in the over-four decades old Superbike Series was not to come. 

With the great finale in the 2011 version of the AMA Superbike Championship coming down to the final event of the year at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Cycle's Larry Lawrence talks about some of the other close finishes in the premier road racing series in America over the years in this week's 'Archives' column in the Digital Edition of CN.  Read on as one of the best in the sport takes us for a trip down memory lane as he talks some of the closest finishes over the years in the AMA Superbike Championship Series:

AMA Flat Track: Fly With Jared Mees at the Peoria TT Video by The Fast &

Jared Mees has his #9 Lucas Oil/National Cycle/Rogers Lake/Montgomeryville Cycle Center-sponsored Honda CRF450R all but ready to pop the rear tire off the rim as he exits turn 5 for the run to the stripe during qualifying for the Peoria TT on August 21.  The runner-up at the time in the overall point standings in the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series had a great outing at the amphitheater setting in the lower Peoria valley as he won the Dash for Cash event over eventual main event winner Henry Wiles and defending AMA Grand National Champion Jake Johnson.  With then-point leader Sammy Halbert finishing 5th in the Dash, coupled with his 3rd in the National main, Mees was able to close the point gap from a 10 point deficit to a 3 point deficit after his runner-up finish in the main.

Mees has made a statement the last few years in the AMA Grand National Championship Series in terms of strong, consistent finishes in all of the events on the series' calendar.  After having won the '09 AMA Grand National Twins Series Championship based on consistent, but no-win finishes, Mees added to his great track consistency in the 2010 season by scoring another season's boatload of podiums, but again no wins, to finish 3rd in the overall championship behind Johnson and runner-up and retiring 2000 AMA Grand National Champion Joe Kopp.

But 2011 has brought an even more focused, winning attitude to the Michigan veteran and former AMA Horizon Award winner.  Taking his first win in almost four years at the Springfield Mile I event in late May, The Jammer has since been on a streak that has included three more wins and two-handfuls of 2nd and 3rd place finishes.  And with his win two weeks ago at Knoxville in the main and in the Dash event, Mees took the overall points lead in the series over season-long leader Sammy Halbert. 

As this story is being written, Mees and the rest of the AMA Grand National regulars are rolling onto the track at the 18th round of the season in Brainerd, MN.  With two west coast rounds remaining after that romp in Minnesota, the fight for the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship is heating up into a big barn burner.  And Jared Mees has the fuel to light them all up!

As 2nd-place finisher Jared Mees talks with the Peoria Motorcycle Club track announcer about his great run during the Peoria TT, 7-Time winner of the event Henry Wiles reflects on the top step after doing the near-impossible in his run for the win at the legendary facility on August 21.  3rd place finisher Sammy Halbert waits to talk about his great run on the day.

Round 14 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series saw Wiles take home the lion's share of the goods on the day riding his #17 Monster Energy Kawasaki/Jones Bros/Don's Kawasaki/Arai-sponsored KX450F, and Mees closing the gap towards the end to finish in the runner-up spot on his #9 Lucas Oil/National Cycle/Rogers Lake/Montgomeryville Cycle Center-backed Honda CRF450R just 1.560 seconds behind Hammerin' Hank.  Slammin' Sammy took his #7 Woody Kyle Racing/Fredericktown Yamaha/AGV/Kings Kustoms-sponsored YZ450F to the last step on the podium just 4.206 seconds behind The Jammer.

A big thanks again go out to Will and Yve from The Fast and for bringing us this great video of highlights from Jared Mees' 2nd place run at the Peoria TT from August 21, round 14 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series.  Thanks guys for all you do for AMA Pro Flat Track!

AMA Flat Track: The Fast & Bring You Knoxville Video as We Get Fired Up for Today's Brainerd Half-Mile

In what is being called the closest-ever finish in an AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series race, Jared Mees and Jake Johnson took it right down to the wire at round 17 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series at the Knoxville Raceway two weeks ago. Mees, on his #9 Rogers Lake Racing/Screamin' Eagle/Blue Springs H-D/Lucas Oil-sponsored H-D XR-750 edged out defending AMA Grand National Champion Johnson on his #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D/Boughner Racing/Arai-backed XR in a virtual photo finish, to win by just .004 seconds and take the overall point lead in the championship for the first time this season.

As we look at a shot from the Stu's Shots vaults of the two men getting ready to roll out for their heat race earlier this year at the I-96 Speedway at Lake Odessa, MI., we ponder the championship battle at hand in what has become one of the closest title fights in the decades old serie,s that for all intents and purposes now pits Mees, Johnson and Sammy Halbert on his #7 Kings Kustoms XR-750 into a three-way battle going into the last three events of the 20-event 2011 season.  With Halbert having led the way the entire way going into Knoxville, after his 3rd place finish at Knoxville two weeks ago, he now finds himself 4 points behind new leader Mees (321-317.)  Defending champ Jersey Jake lies a mere 5 behind Slammin' Sammy with 312 markers, and Mees now out front in what has been a stellar run on his part in the Twins Series events that started over half a season ago at the Springfield Mile I event. 

With Mees's win on the half-mile in the midst of Iowa's corn fields, Jammin' Jared equaled Halbert's four wins on the season, with Johnson having two wins on the year, but coming in the Singles Series events.  He has yet to see the top step on the box in the 2011 season, but was oh-so-close just two weeks ago. 

So what will happen today as the riders unload at the North Central Speedway in Brainerd?  Will the defending champ pull out the stops and show what champions do and what the advantage of having that #1 plate on your machine can be?  Will Halbert regain his form from the first 16 events of the year and leave the north country and head to the final two rounds on the west coast with the point lead firmly in hand again?  Or will The Jammer outshine them both in what has been a virtual career-year for the Michigan resident?

Only time will tell, and with practice scheduled to roll off at 4:30 EDT/3:30 EDT this afternoon, the steam train that is The Rolling Thunder Show is going at full speed ahead and ready to knock the socks off of the fans in Minnesota!

To help relive the action at round 17 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series at the Knoxville Raceway from two weeks ago, Will and Yve from The Fast and bring you this super video of the great battle at the World Capital of Sprint Car Racing:

And you can read up on the story of the great race at Knoxville here with the race report filed by two of the best in the business, Larry Lawrence and Cycle's Digital Edition:

You can follow ALL the action below from the North Central Speedway in Brainerd, MN. today as round 18 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series rolls into the last round of the year to be held in the Midwest.  Located approximately 75 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, the Home of Paul Bunyan Land will play host to the boys and girls of The Rolling Thunder Show are set to put on a show for the Minnesota fans that will have them shaking their heads and shouting with glee.

AMA Pro Flat Track Live Timing & Scoring:

AMA Pro Flat Track round 18 event results (standard version, and posted as they happen):

AMA Pro Flat Track round 18 complete event results (PDF version, includes complete entry lists, event results and point standings-all posted within minutes of each session):

Event schedule from AMA Pro Flat Track (PDF version):

And a big thanks to Miriam Deitcher, for her Flat Track Live @ Facebook for providing fans away from the track with constant updates, photos and videos of what is happening AT the track:

And for those of you wanting to keep an eye on the weather at Brainerd, thanks go out to the great folks at The Weather for this link:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Kawasaki Racing Reviews Henry Wiles' 5th Win at the Springfield Short Track

During one of the early practice sessions at round 15 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series, Henry Wiles on his #17 Monster Energy/Jones Bros/Don's Kawasaki/Arai-sponsored Kawasaki KX450F leads a duo of riders coming out of the fourth turn onto the front straight at the annual Labor Day Weekend stop at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. 

The Springfield Short Track historically hosts a great turn-out in terms of riders--this year over 60 Experts AND Pro Singles riders signed up for duty on the Springfield Rodeo/Multipurpose Arena.  Do the math, and that's over 120 riders vying for 48 spots in the National qualifying field, and 32 for the Pro Singles main event.  To put this into real terms, the top 30 in the Expert Singles Series class qualified within .531 seconds of one another, and the 48-rider cut-off was .652 seconds from fast qualifier Jake Johnson to 48th qualifier Jon Goodwin. 

Which makes Henry Wiles' 5th win in a row at Springfield that much more amazing, considering the level of competition, and the fact that in spite of winning at the Peoria TT two weeks earlier (after returning from his knee surgery in late April) there were still doubts that The Hammer could do it again on the little Springfield track.  I doubt after this too many people will be doubting him anymore.

Following Wiles during the practice session are '07 AMA Pro Flat Track Singles Champion Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on his #2 Chaplin Kawasaki/Spectro Oils/Wiseco/Fox-backed Kawasaki KX450F, with '09 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Champion Brad Baker keeping things close on his #12 Brother Powersports/MVR/Schenk Racing/Major League Moto-sponsored Honda CRF450R.  Baker had the best outing of the night behind Wiles, finishing 4h, with The King of Cool coming home 6th after a great battle in the National main event with Sammy Halbert.

I (obviously) missed this Kawasaki Racing news report from a couple of weeks ago, that reviews Henry Wiles' 5th win at the Springfield Short Track on Saturday, September 3 at round 15 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series.  Held since the early '00s, the annual Labor Day Weekend stop at the Springfield Rodeo/Multipurpose Arena, the event has become one of THE domain's of Hammerin Hank's romps in the State of Illinois (and for those of you who just woke up from Slumber Landville, the other would be Peoria.)

Read on and thanks to Kawasaki Racing for going all out in presenting the news from the AMA Pro Flat Track Series scene and taking the time to spotlight not only the series itself, but one of it's fine and fast racers in Henry Wiles!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

AMA Flat Track: With 3 To Go In the '11 Season, The Stars of the AMA Grand National Championship Series Head to Paul Bunyan Land

The Dash for Cash entrants at the Springfield Mile I line up and get ready to go at round 6 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on May 29.  The top two finishers in the three heat races on the day lined up as the last event at the rain-delayed round, and when the four-lap race was over, Sammy Halbert had again added valuable points to his then-lead in the overall championship standings.

Halbert on his #7 Kings Kustoms/White's H-D/LZ Racing/KK Supply-sponsored XR750 had led the entire 16 rounds in the overall point standings after winning the doubleheader opening rounds at Daytona in March, and backing those up with wins at the Lima Half-Mile and at his home event, the Castle Rock TT.  But the wheels started losing grease and with his 3rd place finish at Knoxville some 10 days ago, lost the lead in the standings to Jared Mees.  With three rounds to go, can Slammin Sammy climb back on top to take his first official Grand National Championship?  Only time will tell.

Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on his #2 Harley-Davidson Motor Co/Screamin Eagle/Spectro Oils/Fox-backed factory Harley-Davidson XR750 has kept himself in the hunt the entire season, especially after winning round 3 back in April at the Duquoin Indoor Short Track.  But the top 3 have left the former 3-Time Grand National Twins Series Champion in their dust, and going into round 18 this weekend at Brainerd, The King of Cool sits in the 4th overall spot with 256 points.  With still a slim, but fighting chance to battle for the 2011 AMA Grand National Championship, he will have to beat those top 3 in the end and hope the wheels on their machines also start to lose some grease.

7-Time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr has three races remaining on his 2011 Farewell to Flat Track Tour, and you can bet the #4 American Motorcyclist Assoc/DFW Honda/Arai/Phoenix Racing-sponsored and Kenny Tolbert-tuned XR750 pilot will be in the thick of things trying to get that last, but elusive win, before he hangs up his steel shoe for good.  The Prince of Peoria hasn't missed a beat all year long, in spite of not being able to bag another win since the '08 Lucas Oil Indy Mile, but his 5th place in the overall standings (206 points) would just about tell another story on what he HAS done this year in terms of hanging with the crowd.  The 26 season veteran came within .012 seconds of getting that final win at the Springfield Mile earlier in the month, but was beat out by his former team mate and student, Willie McCoy.

Bryan Smith rolled out his new look at Springfield back in May, with a pair of sparkling aqua/white/red and black XR750s with his #42 hanging from the number plates, after having ridden for the Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki team during the 2010 season.  The Moroney's H-D/ Racing-backed rider was able to get right back into the mix again, winning his heat race and running at the front until his mount broke in the main.  Flyin Bryan hung with the crowd, though, and with solid results and hard work, finally bagged his first win of the 2011 season at the Sacramento Mile in late July.  Even though Smith is out of the title hunt in the 9th spot of the standings (152 points), he could still be the one to win some battles while the top 3 are fighting their own war.

Brad 'The Bullet' Baker burst into the first Twins Series event of the year at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in a REAL big way to kick off his first full year in the Expert class--he went out and set fast time, won fast heat, led some laps on the fastest mile in the nation, and fought a bucking and weaving and wobbling Ducati to the end and brought it home in the 5th spot while doing so.  The #12 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/ Hayden/ENI USA-sponsored and Ducati 1098-mounted rider has held solid all year, slipping some in missing the mains at Hagerstown (due to a bad throttle position sensor) and Knoxville.  It did cause him to slip to 6th in the overall standings (198 points), but the '09 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Series Champion is still a virtual shoe-in for the Saddlemen Rookie of the Year Award, and is still likely to be in the mix to the end.  For what should have been a learning year for the Expert rookie, he has more then stood tall several times, not only in the saddle on the track, but with his million dollar smile off the track as well.  Once Baker and the Big Duc get their irons out and all of the wrinkles taken out of the linen, the rest of the competitors in the series better watch out.

Defending AMA Grand National Champion Jake Johnson is the racer's racer.  Quiet off the track, laid back and poised.  But on the track, the #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D/Boughner Racing/Arai-sponsored and XR750-mounted veteran is a machine that rolls fast, hard and deliberate.  Currently sitting in the 3rd spot of the standings, 9 points out of the championship lead behind Mees, Jersey Jake was over 20 points out of the lead in the 2010 season with 3 to go when it all came together for him and the Zanotti team.  In order to do that this year, Johnson has no other choice in the final three rounds but to finish ahead of Mees and Halbert, no matter where that may be on the track.  The cool and calculated Pennsylvania resident has been here before, and like champions do, this champion will be there fighting to the very end.  And remember as I have said all year, you NEVER count the guy out with the #1 plate on his machine and on his back.  As long as he shows the other two guys his back during the last three rounds, Johnson will be the first repeat champion since Chris Carr in the '02-'03 seasons.

So strap in, buckle down and give your tickets to the conductor when he comes around, as the men and women of The Rolling Thunder Show are going to let off some major steam in the last three events of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series and they aren't going to stop until the final checkered flag waves at Pomona on October 15.  In the meantime, tune in, turn on and drop in to check out the action from Paul Bunyan Land in Brainerd, MN. this Saturday, September 24. 

Jared Mees checks out from the field during the Lake Odessa Half-Mile event at I-96 Speedway on July 23, during round 11 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series.  Mees was in the middle of a serious romp on a variety of tracks at the time on his #9 Rogers Lake Racing/Blue Springs H-D/Screamin' Eagle/Lucas Oil-sponsored and Brent Armbruster-tuned XR750, and has not let up since. 

Mees beat out defending Grand National Champion Jake Johnson by just .004 seconds on September 10 at the Knoxville Raceway Half-Mile, in a virtual photo finish that could very well be the closest-ever finish in the decades old AMA Grand National Championship Series.

In doing so, Mees took over the point standings for the first time this season, and now leads former overall point leader Sammy Halbert, 321-317, with Johnson another 5 points behind Slammin Sammy.  With the three remaining rounds in the 2011 season all half-miles, you have to ask yourself whether The Jammer could sweep them all after the stellar year he has had, especially since the Spring round at Springfield back in late May.  I wouldn't bet against him at this point!

AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Moves North for New Event

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2011) - Following one of the closest finishes in the history of AMA Pro Racing, the Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series moves from the high-speed Knoxville Raceway to a brand new event at the North Central Speedway located in Brainerd, Minn., scheduled for Saturday, September 24th.

Located in the picturesque "Land of 10,000 Lakes," it will be the first time the northern Minnesota track will host the stars of AMA Pro Flat Track. With only three races left to settle the 2011 AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship, a battle for the championship has come down to three riders.

Until the Knoxville race, Sammy Halbert (Kings Kustoms / White's Harley-Davidson) had controlled the points lead, but his main challengers Jared Mees (Rogers Lake Racing / Blue Springs Harley-Davidson) and defending Grand National Champion Jake Johnson (Zanotti Racing / Schaeffer's Harley-Davidson) finished in a virtual dead heat for the win at Knoxville. Halbert held on for third, putting the top three in points up on the podium.

Luke Gough #62, Jared Mees #9, Sammy Halbert #7 (partially hidden), Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. #2 and Jake Johnson #1 split from the starting line as the Dash for Cash event gets underway at the Knoxville Raceway on Saturday, September 10.  Mees, Johnson and Halbert finished 1-2-3 in the Dash AND in the National main event at the half-mile event.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

As a result of the photo finish, Jared Mees now holds the championship lead by a scant four points over Halbert with Johnson another five back. A perfect night (Dash win, National win and most laps led) will net a rider 29 points, but with the competition so tight, perfect nights are hard to come by.

Even though Harley-Davidson Motor Company's Kenny Coolbeth has a mathematical shot at the title, it would take major problems for the top three to let the three-time champion back into the race for the title.

The first-time event will also feature the AMA Pro Pro Singles class with riders on 450cc single-cylinder motorcycles from a variety of manufacturers.

Shayna Texter on her #25A RLT Racing-sponsored Honda CRF450R stole the show at the Knoxville Half-Mile in winning the AMA Pro Pro Singles main event, becoming the first woman to win a main event for the first-time ever in AMA Pro Flat Track history.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

Another historic first was achieved at Knoxville with the sensational accomplishment of Shayna Texter, who firmly placed her name in the history books by becoming the first female to win a Pro Singles main event in the long history of this great sport. Texter (RLT Racing / Lancaster Harley-Davidson), overcame a poor start to pass her way to an extremely popular and well-deserved win. With her first win in the books, Texter is sure to carry momentum to Brainerd. The crowd is guaranteed to get a great show from Texter and the rest of the Pro Singles riders.

Mikey Martin (Weirbach Racing) has stretched his Pro Singles points lead after most of his competition suffered fall downs and mechanical problems in the last few races. Martin's lead stands at 21 over Gerit Callies and Mikey Avila.

Make sure you visit  to check up on all the action and results from the first time venture to North Central Speedway, in the Brainerd, Minnesota area for one of America's oldest and most popular forms of racing.

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at

For additional information contact:

AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014,

Important event links for round 18 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series at North Central Raceway this Saturday, September 24.

AMA Pro Flat Track event results (with schedule link):

AMA Pro Flat Track Brainerd Half-Mile complete event info (PDF version):

AMA Pro Flat Track Live Timing & Scoring:

And be sure to keep up with all of the action from the North Central Speedway, in Brainerd, MN. with Miriam Deitcher's excellent Facebook Flat Track Live:

Brainerd, MN. weather courtesy of The Weather Underground:

North Central Speedway official website: