Friday, August 31, 2012

AMA Flat Track: Five Events & Six Weeks Left in the 2012 Season to Get Your Buell Raffle Ticket in the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Air Fence Fund Raffle

Henry Wiles works on final positioning of the controls on the #17 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Italian 'L' twin along with the help of crew chief Dave Gamble during the team's preparation for round 10 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by season at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile on August 18.

After a rough start to the season at the Springfield Mile I round in late May, the Ohio-based LBM team regrouped for the second Twins Series event of the year one month later at the Lima Half-Mile, and along with the hard work and team effort, not to mention Hammerin' Hank's skill on a flat track racing motorcycle, came out of the event with an extremely solid 2nd-place finish.  With a DNQ at Hagerstown and then suffering a blown motor at the Sacramento Mile round in late July, the team was ready for a solid finish to get their top-level program back on track towards the front of the field.

Enter round 10 of the 2012 season at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile and a packed house, thanks to the European contingent on-hand for the Red Bull Indy MotoGP round a few miles down the road at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the LBM/Foremost Insurance Group/Rampsur Winery/ENI USA-sponsored team saw their stellar efforts turn for the better as 2-Time Singles Series Champion Wiles brought the big 1098-based mount home in 4th-place, the team's second top-5 of the year.

These guys never say die and through the thick and thin and the ups and downs that befall racing teams and riders at times, they worked through the muck and came home again with a great finish to show for their hard work.  Between co-owners Dave & Mike Lloyd, crew chief and ex-IndyCar and CART wrench Gamble, frame fabricator Lyle Pizzino and a cast of other family members and crew (and top ace Wiles in the saddle) the long-time contenders in The Rolling Thunder Show could again leave the track with all of their heads held high and proud.

For the second year in-a-row, the team is again putting on what could be an annual event in raffling off a chance to win a 2009 Buell (and should, with the help of AMA Pro Flat Track, Saddlemen, and Arai-last year's fund raiser 2nd-place prize sponsor) that all funds collected will benefit and be given to the RoadRacing World Air Fence Fund for Dirt Track.

What I personally (and many others even more in-the-know then myself) consider the single best thing a race fan can do to help support the sport, and especially the safety of the riders in the sport, is to donate to the Air Fence Fund.  Since air fence has been incorporated as a protective device to keep the riders and machines from bouncing off of or directly striking fixed objects, the injury and loss of life that was once an even more prominent fixture in motorcycle racing of any kind has fallen off dramatically. 

Air fence acts as a protective 'pillow' that not only keeps the aforementioned out of harm's way, but also is designed to help envelope a fallen rider and machine in order to keep them from traveling at an alarming rate of speed into objects that are fixed at any given racetrack.  Whether it would be armco barriers, armco support arms, fencing that lines a track or even light poles placed in a corner. the use of air fence in the last decade-and-a-half or so has lowered the chances of severe injuries at racing events.

The Lloyd Brothers team for the last two years has taken on the task of transporting the '09 Buell AMA Pro Road Racing pace bike to each of the Twins Series event of the season, making up banners and tickets and talking to the fans at each of those events about how important a donation to the fund can be to riders and to racing as a whole.  Last year alone the raffle raised over $11K, overall in the top-5 of donations made to the dirt track side of the donations. 

Obviously times are tough for a lot of us financially speaking, but some of us still get a chance to get to a few races a season in order to enjoy the sport we all so dearly love and live for.  But for the cost of a t-shirt you can help promote the safety of the greatest sport on wheels in the world.

So before the season is over, whether you make it to an event or even just buy your ticket online, take the time to purchase a $20 ticket towards the chance to win a special motorcycle in AMA Pro Road Racing history, and even more importanty making a donation that could pay-off to the fund that has helped save many of those racers we all adore watching swapping handlebars at high speed.  And when you get by the LBM pits to get your ticket, tell 'em Stu's Shots sent you and take the time to talk it up with one of the highest-profile and most professionally run teams in the sport, not to mention one of the funnest and finest group of people that have been campaigning The Rolling Thunder Show for over two decades.

Check out the press release below from the boys to find out where/how you can go about helping to keep the riders in the saddle and out of the fence!

Press release courtesy of the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Twins Series Championship team.
Note: Right click, open in new window to view.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

AMA Flat Track: Weirbach Racing's Dominic Colindres is Moving Fast After 2nd-Place Finish in Pro Singles Ride at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile

Things may look calm and relaxed at this moment in the Weirbach Racing team pit area at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile round of the 2012 AMA Pro Pro Singles Championship Series, but believe me things start to get heated up real quickly just a few minutes after this shot was taken as the 2011 Pro Singles Series Championship-winning team was getting ready to go out and make their mark in the ultra-competitive 'junior' series that accompanies the AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by schedule.

And to say that Richard Weirbach (far right, arms folded) and his son Ted (background left, with water bottle) know how to scout out talent is a serious understatement for the Iowa-based Pro Singles Championship competitors.

After winning the '11 Championship with rider Mikey Martin, the team was forced to revamp over the off season and went into the first events of the season at Daytona in March with former Horizon Award winner Ryan Wells as their rider.  Things were looking good for the team as they were fighting for the championship when suddenly just before the Peoria TT round on August 12, Wells decided to go it alone for the remainder of the season.  But instead of sitting back and wondering what to do, the Weirbachs put their efforts into high gear in order to find a rider for one of the biggest events of the season with just a few days to go before the bikes hit the track.

Well, the talent they picked in Dominic Colindres was by far an excellent choice, as their new rider went out and won the first event of his career with the team and almost immediately jumped into the fire of fighting for the Pro Singles Championship.

Six days later and the team was at the Indiana State Fairgrounds mile oval for their second race outing together, and Colindres and the team fought through what was considered a mediocre qualifying spot, made some changes and adjustments, and by the end of the evening the California teenager had brought the #66Y Weirbach Racing/General Engineering/Barnett/Spectro Oils-sponsored Honda CRF450R home into the 2nd-place spot.  And he has also vaulted himself into the 6th-place spot in the 2012 Pro Singles Championship, only 30 points out of the series' lead.

With a 1.5 finishing average in their first two outings together, again the Weirbach Racing team and rider Dominic Colindres have put a firm exlamation point on their quest to repeat as series champions and garner a rider championship for the youngster from California.  Pretty impressive in anyone's book and assuredly in mine and those that know racing in The Rolling Thunder Show and the greatest racing series on wheels in the world.

With any luck, the upcoming rounds at the Springfield Short Track and Springfield Mile II won't get rained out/postponed/canceled and the little team that could can again put their mark on the rest of the field at the Labor Day Weekend gathering inside the Illinois State Fairgrounds.  At this point, the rest of the field might want rain to wash out the great run these guys are having!

Check out the full press release below while Dominic gets suited-up for Springfield like he is in the shot above, and good luck to him and the Iowa-based team for this weekend and the rest of the season!

Press release courtesy of Weirbach Racing & AMA Pro Pro Singles Championship Series rider Dominic Colindres #66Y

Indy Mile Race Report
Ottumwa, Iowa -- August 29, 2012

This past weekend was the Indy Mile in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Based on the number of riders signed up and MotoGP being the next day, I would consider this one of the biggest races of the year.  I didn't know what to expect heading into this event.  This would be my third mile and first mile being on the Weirbach Racing team.  I thought I could have another podium finish since I had a 4th-place at the previous mile in Sacramento, California.

I started out the day by meeting Ted Weirbach for the first time and then looking over the bike and discussing bike setup.  I walked out onto the track and saw that it was a cushion.  I asked some riders that previously rode this track how it would be and they told me it would groove up, which is to my liking.
I went out for the free practice and struggled with set up and the track.  The gearing was off and I qualified 25th.  We changed the gearing and I qualified 20th in the next session.  Dick and I made some more changes with gearing and suspension for the heat race.
Dominic Colindres #66Y is shown on the Weirbach Racing Honda CRF450R during one of the qualifying sessions for the AMA Pro Pro Singles Series at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile on August 18, 2012.  Photo courtesy of the Weirbach Racing team.

My poor qualifying position put me on the back row for the heat.  I got a great start and was in about 4th place.  I started falling back a little bit but then started to figure out the track.  I was riding the first half of the race in about 6th-place but then started to pass riders every lap.  I caught up to the top-3 and finished the heat in the third position. 

Right before the main event, Dick and I decided to make a last minute gearing change.  I was lined up on the first row, second from the outside.  The race started and I got a horrible start.  Somehow I got up to second place but then overshot turn 3.  The race was red flagged due to a crash in turn 2.
I got the hole shot on the restart and led the first couple of laps.  Vandekuur, Palmer, and I battled the whole race, passing each other a couple times a lap.  The white flag came out and I felt like I was in a position to win.  I slipped up a little in turn 3 and Vandekuur pulled away.   I caught up just to finish .057 seconds behind.  This second place was very good for me and the team and gives me good confidence for the rest of the races.

The next race is Springfield, Illinois with a short track on Saturday and the mile on Sunday.  Stop by the pit and say hey!

Dominic Colindres 66Y

Special Thanks to our sponsors:

Weirbach Racing, General Engineering, Barnett, Spectro, DynoJet, K & N, Saddlemen,, White Lightning Retrievers, PMP sprockets, Motion Pro, Spider Grips, Evans Coolant, Cheney Engineering, G2 Ergonomics, Works Connection, All Balls Racing, Firecoat Custom Powderworks, CP Pistons & Carrillo Rods, Web cams, Foudree’s Graphics, Sunoco, Pro Wheel, Durelle Racing, Supertrapp, T N T Honda, Pingel Products, Regina Chain, Factory Backing, Hinson, MotoBatt, Pit Posse, Jet-Hot, Bell Helmets, Cometic Gaskets,, Rekluse, Chicken Hawk

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

AMA Flat Track: 2012 Lucas Oil Indy Mile Review

There were several good stories and several game-changing plans that came into play at round 10 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by season at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile.  In no particular order, Jake Johnson crashing out of the National main, Bryan Smith looking to make it a runaway before his bike went south, Sammy Halbert taking his first mile win of his young career to seal the deal on the flat track grand slam, and Brandon Robinson bringing the Kawasaki home in the 2nd-place spot for his best-ever finish and first podium of his young career in a Twins Series Expert final.

With Flyin Bryan the hands-down favorite on the #42 Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports powered by Eaken Racing 650R-based parallel twin, it was a big surprise when the electricals appeared to fail on the rocket Kawi just past the half-way point in the race.  With Jersey Jake having just earlier crashed out on the #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D-backed XR750 (and his first crash in a Twins Series race in over two years), it left the door open for Slammin' Sammy to slingshot around JJ in the points race after his strong win at the Indiana State Fairgrounds mile oval. 

Jared Mees' fine run home into the 3rd-place spot on the #9 Rogers Racing/Lucas Oil-sponsored XR750 put him in firm control of the points battle with six events left to go in the season, although at this point you not only can't count out the 2-Time and defending Champ, Johnson, Sammy is also making a strong point to the rest of the competitors that he wants in on the 2012 Grand National Championship chase as well.

One of the best feel-good stories of the day was Brandon Robinson's superb ride onto the podium with his 2nd-place effort on the #44 Werner-Springsteen Racing/Big Dawg Racing-backed Kawasaki after having just scored his previous-best effort of 4th-place at the Sacto Mile some three weeks earlier.  BRob44 looked to be back in top form after his nasty 'out of the park' accident at the 2009 Lucas Oil Indy Mile, and no one was happier for him then himself after all he has come back from while healing from his injuries and surgeries.  And it was a great shot for the iconic pairing of multi-time champion tuner Bill Werner and 3-Time AMA Grand National Champion Jay Springsteen, who struggled throughout the 2011 season and have really turned it around with Robinson on one of their bikes.

Although his 11th-place run wasn't indicative of how hard he had been working all day at Indy, Stevie Bonsey was paired with Robinson on the #80 Werner-Springsteen Kawi and won his heat race and ran up front in the National main until the waning laps where he slipped back.  Still a great effort for the Californian and another reason to keep him on the Mean Green Werner-Springsteen machine to help develop the bike and his talents, which in both cases appeared to be a great match at Indy.

Sammy really had to work for this win at Indy on his #7 South East Harley/The South Ass-backed XR in running down mid-race leader Robinson, but once he got around him with just a few laps to go used his experience to keep it out front and nip him at the line by literally just inches.

Henry Wiles brought home a hard-fought 4th-place effort on the #17 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Foremost Insurance Group-backed Ducati V-twin, after working his way through a mid-pack start.  Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Harley-Davidson Motor Co/Screamin' Eagle-sponsored XR750 sailed home for a 5th-place finish in his first race back after suffering injuries in late June at the Lima Half-Mile.  Brad Baker on the #12 Dodge Bros/Atherton Family-backed XR750 got a 6th-place finish for his great run at Indy, and Rob Pearson brought the #27 Eaken Racing Kawasaki home for a 7th-place finish after opting for the Kawi after having run one of Skip Eaken's Roeder XRs earlier in the day after the Memphis Shades hauler broke down on the way to the track.

Also of note, Shawn Baer made his first-ever Dash for Cash and front row start in a National main on his #32 Baer Racing Products/KB5-sponsored Kawasaki and finished in the 10th-place spot in the main, Matt Weidman in his first ride on the #20 Scott Powersports Kawasaki rode a fine race at Indy for his 8th-place effort, and Jeffrey Carver, Jr. on the #23 Kiesow Racing/Carver's BBQ-sponsored XR ran solid all night for a 9th-place finish.

The shot above shows Johnson, Smith, Bonsey, Halbert, Mees, JD Beach (on the #95 machine who suffered some sort of mechanical for a 16th-place finish on the USC Racing Kawi), Brad Baker (just behind Beach), Shawn Baer and Henry Wiles (just behind Baer) and Carver.  2nd-place finisher Robinson can be seen coming off the line with the pack at the start of the 25-lap National just over Halbert's right shoulder.

The stars of The Rolling Thunder Show head to the Illinois State Fairgrounds this Saturday, September 1 and Sunday, September 2 for the running of the Springfield Short Track and Springfield Mile II, rounds 11 and 12 of the 2012 season.  But with Hurricane Isaac looking to threaten everyone's last holiday weekend of the summer throughout the mid-section of the continental 48, keep an ear and eye open for what changes may have to be made in order to get the weekend of superb racing in.

If you're an Indy local such as we are, seeing Dan Ingram win his semi at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile was like the stuff that dreams are made of.  And apparently almost the whole house was from Indy as Dapper Dan got the biggest response from the crowd when he won the first semi of the night over Matt Weidman and Rob Pearson to slot them all into the National main.  Every paying butt in the house (and even many of us in the pits on-hand to see and cover the race) was on their feet and roaring as Dan worked his way through the semi to get back on the podium again in his 2012 return to The Rolling Thunder Show.  And when that helmet came off on the podium his roar could be heard all the way back to at least his home in Clermont, some 12 miles west of the fairgrounds

For a man 47 years young he looked like the young sensation he was when his career was cut short back in the early '90s.  Dan worked his way through the field like playing a chess game and put the #31J TCR/Indy Southside H-D-backed XR at the front with a run that looked like he had planned it right from the start, and another of the great stories from this year's edition of the Lucas Oil Indy Mile. 

Although the engine on the TCR XR750 went south in the National main relegating the Indy resident to an 18th-place last-place spot, everyone on-hand knew that Ingram was back where he belonged, fighting it out on the track with the other starts of The Rolling Thunder Show.  Great job man!

AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by and Lucas Oil Race Recap: Halbert Pulls Off the Grand Slam With Win at Lucas Oil Indy Mile

AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Grand National Championship presented by and Lucas Oil

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 22, 2012) - Surrounded by hype and hoopla, round 10 of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by and Lucas Oil came to the Indiana State Fairgrounds at the end of the Indiana State Fair and smack in the middle of the Indianapolis MotoGP weekend. The near capacity crowd that turned out on the near perfect night, filling the grandstand and infield were treated to racing action that lived up to the hype and more.

Mile track racing normally requires speed, strategy and stamina, and all three once again came into play in the 25-lap Grand National. When the double checkered flags came out, it was South East Harley-Davidson's Sammy Halbert claiming a narrow victory over Werner Springsteen Racing's Brandon Robinson. Halbert would only lead three laps, but they were the final three laps.  The win gives Halbert a win in all four of the dirt track disciplines Mile, Half-Mile, Short Track and TT. "The grand slam feels awesome. We've been trying for a long time," said Halbert. 'We've come up a few inches short a few times, but this time we are on the other end of it. It feels great."

The race had started with defending AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Champion Jake Johnson getting the hole shot on his Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson. Johnson held the point for six laps, but Bryan Smith pushed his Crosley Radio / Howerton Racing Kawasaki by on lap seven as he looked to repeat his Sacramento Mile dominance.  Johnson was pushing his Harley-Davidson for all it was worth in an attempt to keep even with Smith. On lap 11, it caught up with Johnson going into turn three when he lost his brake and hit the ground at over 100 mph. The red lights brought the field to a stop with 14 laps to go.
Sammy Halbert is shown on the podium after winning the 2012 Lucas Oil Indy Mile on August 18.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
Johnson's night was done, but he would be credited with 15th as three riders had already succumbed to problems. The staggered restart saw Smith flash to the front with current points leader Jared Mees (Rogers Racing / Blue Springs Harley-Davidson) right on his heels. One lap later, Mees would have the lead as the field thundered across the line as Smith's Kawasaki was noticeably slowing. Smith would not finish another lap, stopping on the back straight with reported electrical problems.

Suddenly with the two front runners on the sidelines Robinson grabbed the lead. "It's a dream come true. Leading a national for the first time was pretty nerve racking," said Robinson. "I couldn't believe I was leading the Indy mile, it was insane."  Of course in typical mile racing he was not alone. Halbert, Mees and the hard charging Brad Baker (Dodge Brother Racing) were nipping at his heels. "When Bryan broke leaving me the only Kawasaki up front it made it a lot easier to control the tempo," said Robinson. "It was better not having to pass Bryan because his bike is super fast. He is in my opinion, the best miler on the circuit right now. Everything just played into my favor."
Halbert was able to take advantage of Robinson's relative inexperience late in the race. "On the restart my clutch was going out, so Jared got by me. Then Bryan broke, and I thought all right now we've got a shot at this," said Halbert. "Then another Kawasaki comes blowing by. I thought, 'How do we deal with this?' Luckily I don't think Brandon's was quite as fast. I was able to get by him. It was a late, late kind of stuff move, but the way the rule package is, not only does it suck to race against the Kawasakis, but it's dangerous. You have to really make risky moves to pass them. You have to pass them really late in the corner. That's why Jake went down. You have to risk it extra. We made it happen tonight. The bike was really hooked up and got the win."  Robinson was making his first start after his Castle Rock get off just two weeks ago. "The only thing that was in my mind was that I broke my scapula at Castle Rock and I'm racing four weeks early," said Robinson. "That was always in the back of my mind. I didn't want to fall. I had a lot of confidence coming into here. Once I got up front, it just felt natural again, like it did at Sacramento."
Halbert was able to lead off the last turn and hold off the screaming Kawasaki at the line by just .027 of a second. "It was a tough race. There were a lot of different emotions in that race," said Halbert. "In the beginning I was just bummed out because we were behind Bryan. There was nothing you could do. Jake was trying hard. He ran it inside hard and lost it. My strategy was just to follow Bryan. There was no way you were going to pass him out here. Even though he was slower in the corners, compared to us."

Just a breath back in third was Mees, maintaining his points lead. "I was trying to get by Robinson and then Sammy got by him," said Mees. "Sammy was hauling in the corners and I was thinking I needed to get by that Kawasaki so I could draft him. Then Robinson drafted back by me and he was running Sammy down. I wasn't able to get close enough to him to make the draft, I couldn't double draft them. I thought it was my race to win, but we ended up third. Robinson rode a good race, that bike is just so fast. It too bad for Jake, but it happens."  The battle for fourth went down to the wire with Baker, Kenny Coolbeth (Harley-Davidson Motor Company) and Henry Wiles (Foremost Insurance) fighting over the spot. It turned into a two rider race when Baker's Harley went off song in the last turn. The Harley-Davidson, Ducati battle went to Wiles and his Ducati.  "I was kind of hanging in there after the restart. I was just struggling a little bit getting off the corner," said Wiles. "That is the main problem that we had. It took us a little bit to get going in the beginning of the race. We were turning pretty decent lap times. It was exciting but we still have a few things we are working on to try to sort out on the bike. I was able to kind of draft up around with those guys. We were just right there. It seemed like I just struggled a little bit getting the bike off the corner, but I could keep them in sight."

"The bike was just trying to kill me in the heat race. We made some adjustments after that and it was way better," said Coolbeth. "I just had to knock the rust off a little. Riding with the Jap bikes is just crazy. I rode with the Ducati quite a bit in the main event and you couldn't do anything with it. It was like going 10 mph in the corners and down the straightaway it would just go. You could come off right on them and it would just kill you on the straightaway. Henry did something stupid going into one on the last lap and just about took me out. It's just racing, but I was just kind of mad about that because he didn't really need to do it. I came to win or I wouldn't have come here. I feel good and will go on to Springfield."
Earlier in the night, the four lap dash had gone to Smith as he edged Johnson and JD Beach (USC Kawasaki). Johnson's second place finish allowed him to pick up four points on Mees, who failed to qualify for the dash. The dash had four Kawasaki and two Harley-Davidson entries.

What looked like a big points night for Johnson went for naught with his fall down and Mees recovery for a third place finish. Halbert's win propelled him into second now 21 points back of Mees with Johnson seven more back. The points race has turned into a three rider battle as Smith sits in fourth 78 points off the lead.

The night's MotoBatt "Hard Charger" Award went to Robert Pearson for advancing 11 positions in the Main Event.

GNC Race Results
1 Sammy Halbert 25 Laps
2 Brandon Robinson 0.026
3 Jared Mees 0.194
4 Henry Wiles 2.331
5 Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. 2.378
6 Brad Baker 4.678
7 Robert Pearson 6.653
8 Matt Weidman 6.663
9 Jeffrey Carver Jr. 6.862
10 Shawn Baer 7.132
11 Steven Bonsey 8.637
12 Michael Avila 8.751
13 Willie McCoy 18 Laps
14 Bryan Smith 13 Laps
15 Jake Johnson 11 Laps
16 JD Beach 8 Laps
17 Michael Martin 4 Laps
18 Daniel Ingram 1 Lap

GNC Expert Point Standings
1 Jared Mees 201
2 Sammy Halbert 180
3 Jake Johnson 173
4 Bryan Smith 122
5 Henry Wiles 115
6 Brad Baker 107
7 Jeffrey Carver Jr. 100
8 Johnny Lewis 97
9 Matt Weidman 92
10 Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. 71

Sunoco "Go the Distance" Award

1. Jared Mees - 289.8 miles
2. Jeffrey Carver - 289.08
3. Jake Johnson - 276.64
4. Bryan Smith - 272.89
5. Robert Pearson - 250.08
Saddlemen "Rookie of the Year" Standings
Briar Bauman 71
Michael Avila 20
Michael Martin 12
AMAProNew Class Sponsor

Presenting Sponsors

Photos from Lucas Oil Indy Mile
Johnny Lewis - Hagerstown Track Walk - AMA Pro Flat Track
Indy Mile Behind the Scenes With Bryan Smith
Next Up
Springfield Short Track and Mile II
September 1-2, 2012

Vanderkuur Seals the Deal and Gets AMA Pro Pro Singles Win at Indy Mile

AMA Pro Pro Singles

AMA Pro Pro Singles
Last week's Peoria winner Dominic Colindres (Weirbach Racing) grabbed the hole shot in the 12-lap AMA Pro Pro Singles Main Event with a screaming horde of 450cc singles hot on his heels.
The race turned into an all out war as Colindres was under attack from Zakk Palmer (Western Hills Honda) and Stephen Vanderkuur (Parkinson Brothers Racing). Jake Shoemaker (Montgomeryville Cycle Center), Jason Isennock (Highs Dairy Stores), Ryan Wells (5 Star Steel & Fabricating) and Jake Cunningham (Schiller's Tree Service) all made up the lead pack.
The race to the checkers would come down to Palmer, who led at the white flag, Vanderkuur and Colindres. "It was an awesome race, I knew I had to get a good restart and I did," Vanderkuur said. "I knew there would be a bunch of passing and that I was going to have my work cut out. It was a toss-up and I just went for it. I gave it my all and I'm just so excited."

Stephen Vanderkuur celebrates on the podium after winning the Lucas Oil Indy Mile round of the 2012 AMA Pro Pro Singles Championship Series at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on August 18.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
Vanderkuur won by a relatively large margin, compared to the tightness of the rest of the race, .058 of a second ( a little over a bike length). Colindres was second with Palmer rounding out the podium.  Shoemaker was a solid fourth by half a second over Isennock. Wells finished sixth with the top six separated by less than a second.  The win allowed Vanderkuur to leap frog into the points lead over Wells by one point. Shoemaker is ten back in third with Isennock just two more back in fourth.

The injured Gerit Callies dropped from the lead all the way to fifth in points.

Pro Singles Race Results                        Pro Singles Point Standings 

1 Stephen Vanderkuur 12 Laps 1 Stephen Vanderkuur 121
2 Dominic Colindres 0.057 2 Ryan Wells 119
3 Zakk Palmer 0.153 3 Jake Shoemaker 111
4 Jake Shoemaker 0.225 4 Jason Isennock 109
5 Jason Isennock 0.737 5 Gerit Callies 107
6 Ryan Wells 0.787 6 Dominic Colindres 90
7 Jake Cunningham 1.358 7 Shayna Texter 68
8 Michael LaBelle 1.73 8 Jake Cunningham 63
9 Brandon Wilhelm 1.799 9 Zakk Palmer 59
10 Cole Anderson 2.828 10 Wyatt Maguire 55
11 Michael Bickerton 6.412

12 Dustin Cassidy 6.444

13 Wyatt Maguire 6.47

14 Kurtis Lee 6.504

15 Shayna Texter 9.089

16 Nick Mataya 15.118

17 Cody Johncox 9 Laps

18 Eric Stump DNF

Sunoco "Go the Distance" Award Update
Jason Isennock - 194.14
Jake Shoemaker - 191.97
Ryan Wells - 186.19
Wyatt Maguire - 182.81
Stephen Vanderkuur 174.33

Next Up
The stars of AMA Pro Flat Track will return to the Illinois State Fairgrounds on September 1-2, 2012. For tickets and information, please visit

AMAProNew Class Sponsor

Photos from Lucas Oil Indy Mile

Next Up
Springfield Short Track & Mile II
September 1-2, 2012

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,

Monday, August 27, 2012

AMA Flat Track: Kawasaki Shows the Love to 8-Time Peoria TT Winner Henry Wiles

Round 9 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by season saw 2-Time Singles Series Champion Henry Wiles add to his string of wins at the fabled Peoria TT as the 7-time and defending event winner again took home all the gold aboard his #17 Don's Kawasaki/DPC Racing/Nick Nazzisi/Schiller's Tree Service-sponsored KX450F.  Shown during final qualifying squirting it into turn two and all but ready to pop the rear DT-8 off of the rim, Hammerin' Hank added to his record-tying wins at the track, not to mention his overall win list in the State of Illinois.

Heading into round 11 of the season this coming Saturday, the series is set to hit what in all likelihood will be the last AMA Pro event on the Springfield Short Track for the near future.  For 2012 the IMDA is taking over running of the 'nights before' events over the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends and will feature amateur races and Steve Nace Racing Promotions-helmed 'mini Nationals' or All-Star races, with a double mile round scheduled for Labor Day Weekend.

But the main question will be, can Henry Wiles be beaten at Springfield after winning five straight on the short track and four of five on the TT (Wiles was forced to sit out the May '11 event due to knee injuries and surgery)?  In a few short days we will know as The Rolling Thunder Show heads to the Multipurpose Arena on the Illinois State Fairgrounds for Saturday night's running of the Springfield Short Track, and the last Singles Series event of the 2012 season.

While we are waiting for this jam-packed weekend of racing in the best racing series on wheels in the world, check out the great stuff that Kawasaki put up a few days back to help celebrate Henry's 8th win at the Peoria TT.  And a big thanks to Mean Green for showing the love to Henry and AMA Pro Flat Track!

Thanks to Kawasaki for this link to the news and a few shots of Hammerin' Hank putting it to them at the Peoria TT on August 12, 2012:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Reflections of the 5th Annual Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP Weekend August 17-19, 2012

The 5th Annual Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP Weekend saw the first repeat winner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when 2010 winner Dani Pedrosa on the #26 Repsol Honda RC213V took home the top honors on a weekend that will be remembered for the Spaniard's second win on the oldest race track in America, but also for the carnage that littered the track and paddock long after the checkered flag had fallen.

Pedrosa is seen at high speed rocketing down the long front straight at Indy during the first practice session of the weekend, where speeds of 208 MPH were recorded during the 3-day weekend in the series' first visit to Indy in the 1000cc era of MotoGP World Championship racing.

Pedrosa's team mate, Casey Stoner on the #1 Repsol Honda (and the defending MotoGP Champion and Indy winner) faired much worse then his double-winning team mate over the long weekend at The Brickyard.  After a seriously nasty highside during the qualifying round that saw the Australian suffer serious ankle injuries, Stoner at first wasn't expected to contest the weekend.  But like the tough competitor he is, the #1 machine soldiered on to a strong 4th-place finish at Indy.

Stoner however had to sit out this weekend's Brno event and is hopeful for the next round at San Marino on September 14-16.  This was Stoner's last trip to the track he loves to hate as he announced his retirement from the sport earlier this summer after the 2012 season.

Honda was one of the many manufacturers on-hand for the 5th Annual Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP Weekend, and one of theirs and all of the displays that was catching a lot of interest was the new Honda CBR1000RR.

Ben Spies' 2012 season troubles continued at Indy in spite of his 4th-place qualifying effort on the #11 Yamaha Factory YZR-M1.  Elbowz got a monster start at the drop of the green in the MotoGP main event and led a few laps before being passed by eventual-winner Dani Pedrosa.  But while giving chase, the motor expired on the long front straight and was highly reminiscent of his 2012 season in which he has suffered a series of maladies and get-offs.

On a brighter side for the 2009 World Superbike and 3-Time AMA Superbike Champion, the 2011 Petronas Factory Yamaha M1 that Spies rode at the Laguna Seca and Indy rounds last year graced the Yamaha display in the infield at IMS.  The paint job helped Yamaha celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Andreas Dovizioso continued his season of superior runs on the #4 Monster Energy Tech 3 Yamaha M1 with a 3rd-place finish at the 2012 version of the Red Bull MotoGP Weekend. Dovi signed between Sunday's Brno round and Indy to ride for the Ducati factory in the 2013 season alongside America's own Nicky Hayden.

You can't talk MotoGP without making a shoutout to and about 9-Time World Champion and 7-Time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi.  The Italian was the first Ducati home at Indy, bringing the #46 Marlboro Factory Ducati GP12 home in the 7th-place spot.

Rossi was also on-hand at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile on Saturday, August 18, hanging out with Tommy Hayden and Chris Carr on the stage as a special guest of Family Events Promotions and AMA Pro Flat Track.  He also went home with his own Harley-Davidson XR750 to ride on his backyard track, and it was reported that Carr helped to broker the deal for the popular MotoGP icon.

Ducati Island at The Brickyard was at the usual level of excitement that is seen amongst the 'Ducatista' fans and one of the nicest displays at the track was set up for the Ducati compatriots and other fans on-hand throughout the weekend.  The display included two street versions of two of the three Ducatis that 3-Time World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss rode to his titles, and a Ben Bostrom #1 Vance & Hines Ducati from the '99 AMA Superbike Championship season.  Can you say drool...............

The #17 Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati GP12 of Karel Abraham and the #69 Marlboro Ducati Factory GP12 enter the garage area at Indianapolis after the end of the first practice session of the weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway-hosted 2012 MotoGP World Championship round.

In another case of two ends of the spectrum, Abraham brought the satellite machine home in the 8th-place spot (and just under 11 seconds behind Rossi) while The Kentucky Kid saw air/sky/ground in a brutal crash during qualifying that saw him suffer serious wrist injuries and miss his first home race in the five years that the series has visited Indy.  It was a sad weekend for fans of the popular former '06 MotoGP World Championship and former '02 AMA Superbike Champion.

Teknic Leathers had one of the coolest displays on-hand in the Gasoline Alley vendors area at IMS, which among others included a pair of Miguel Duhamel's leathers from his season of racing the Harley-Davidson VR1000 in the '94 AMA Superbike Championship and a pair of Kurtis Roberts' leathers from his days with the Erion Racing Honda team in the early '00s in the AMA Superbike Championship.  Alongside are a set of Aaron Yates' leathers from one of his years with the Yoshimura Suzuki team and John Hopkins' leathers from his days with the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP squad.

In what was a joint effort among IMS, AMA Pro Flat Track and Family Event Promotions, the promoters of the 2012 Lucas Oil Indy Mile on August 18, 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Saddlemen Rookie of the Year Brad Baker and Bryan Smith were on-hand Friday afternoon, August 17 to sign autographs for the fans and talk about the next night's great racing at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  AMA Pro Flat Track announcer Scottie Duebler talks with the boys while Baker's #12 Dodge Brothers XR750 and Smith's #42 Crosley/Howerton/Eaken Kawasaki sit on display for the several hundred fans that showed up to talk to the two stars of the greatest racing series on wheels in the world.

For the first time ever, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted a garage at the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP round called the Social Media Garage.  Set-up for the fans with several laptops, big screens showing the action and racing simulators, the lounge-like atmosphere was a very cool place for fans to come and hang out and chat with some invitees that were on-hand to cover the action at the track for Twitter, Facebook and their respective websites.

Stu's Shots was one of the five invited guests to this special event, thanks to Cassie Conklin with the Indianapolis Motor Speeway, along with Lance Lau, Terry Hampton, Daniel Lo and Larry Lawrence of The Rider  It was due to LL's kind mention of Stu's Shots to Ms. Conklin that we were invited and I owe a big thanks to both for allowing me to attend this special event, which included among other perks full access to any stand in the house and free premium parking and credentials that made it a breeze to enter and exit the track I have been stalking since the spring of '69 when I was just a wee junior high student still living in Iowa.

For what was started this year as an experiment with the Indy 500 and The Brickyard 400, the special event was a big hit with fans and with Stu's Shots.  I was and still am humbled by the invite and the great treatment that was given me and I appreciate the efforts of all in putting this super weekend together!

In a finishing touch to wrap-up the 5th Annual Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP Weekend review, and a shallow and self-serving mode of self-promotion, 'Stu's Shots' was advertised inside the Social Media Garage over the weekend along with the other four invitees with scrolling LED read-outs of each of our respective sites and/or Twitter feeds. 

I'm still not quite sure to know what to do with seeing my name in lights for the first time in my life, but I guarantee you I won't let it go to my head!

Again, a big thanks to the folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a great weekend of racing and for the special invite.  It was a blast and again a stellar running of another World Class event.

Bravo and thank you!