Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship Year-End Awards Overview

The season ending awards for the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship were handed out after the season-finale round at the Pomona Half-Mile on October 12, and although the monetary totals were not what a lot of people would have liked to see, the sport is still thriving in it's overall adrenaline boosting attraction.

Many will probably bit.h and moan about the lack of the big dollars that once were apart of the sport several decades ago, but the fact is The Rolling Thunder Show has not had the thousands of dollars available in sponsorship that was a part of the sport in the days of the heavy tobacco sponsorship that many of the old fans (like myself) remember. And some will bemoan the fact that 'today's economy' is not a good reason for the lack of dollars, but it's pretty plain to see that it has a big impact on what two and four wheeled sports have and are attracting in the way of corporate dollars, whether they are inside the industry or outside the industry.

But anyone with half a clue will also realize that with so many things going on in today's world, people have more of a choice in ways to spend their hard-earned money, if they are able to do so in terms of entertainment, and a big slice of that money once seen in AMA Pro Flat Track is being funneled to other areas-if the companies that have or were involved in the sport are even spending it in terms of any type of sponsorship or advertising. Yeah, excuses, excuses, excuses, but look at the big picture and you will see-and know as I do as a full-time fan of The Rolling Thunder Show, and who follows it with the utmost of sincerity, seriousness and adrenaline just like I did over forty years ago when I first found it, those excuses are plain old reality, and anyone thinking different simply doesn't have that clue.

And of course the costs of operating are higher than what they were in those days for not only the track promoters and the vendors, not to mention the teams, riders and sponsors of the greatest racing show on two wheels in the world.

But bottom line, at least some money is still being funneled and set aside for the year-end awards, and those pay-outs were awarded after the final checkered flag of the season at Pomona, with many a rider being recognized for their accomplishments throughout the season as a result. And with money being paid out to many of those riders, things have improved over what they were several years ago when no year-end bonuses or monies were paid-out to the riders.

The big winner of the big slice of the pie of course went to your new 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Champion, Brad Baker, who in just his third season as an Expert-ranked rider won his first of what could be many championships in the top level flat track series in the world. 

Baker took home the lion's share of the dough this season for winning the Grand National Championship and for also scoring the Singles Series title earlier in the season at the Peoria TT on August 11 while riding for the Dodge Brothers Racing team and campaigning his own Honda in the Singles events.

Bryan Smith was next in line after capturing the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track Twins Series Championship for the second year running for the Howerton Motorsports team, while newbie to the top-3 this season, Brandon Robinson, took the 3rd-place honors for the TJ Burnett Farms team. Robinson was easily the most-improved rider this season, and his stunning double win at the Springfield Mile over the Labor Day weekend was enough to make even the most casual fan take notice of his presence at the top of the heap.

Jake Shoemaker won the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track Saddlemen Rookie of the Year honors, joining former winners Baker, Matt Weidman, Jake Johnson and a host of other riders who went on to bigger and even better things as their careers progressed. Shoemaker's run this season was impressive in that he campaigned a privately-owned Kawasaki in the Twins events with an extremely tight-almost nil-budget, and did so in fine form.

There were several other awards presented this season, so a big congrats go out to all of the riders who took home the hard-earned dollars, as well as to those who didn't but yet fought the good fight throughout the season and added to what is still the greatest racing on the planet (as Dakota Dan Johnson from Today's Cycle Coverage likes to say!)

In the shot above from the Indy Mile on August 17, the top-3 finishers in the championship and at Indy-but in a different order than their season-ending battle-celebrate on the podium after what was another great show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds-hosted event run along with the 6th Annual Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP weekend and the last weekend of the Indiana State Fair shining bright in the background.

3rd-place finisher Brad Baker, event winner Bryan Smith and 2nd-place man Brandon Robinson (being interviewed by one of the golden voices of AMA Pro Flat Track, Barry Boone) all show the emotion of what Indy and most especially The Rolling Thunder Show brings after the 25-lap National main had flown the final checkers for the evening.

Flyin' Bryan had just taken the #42 Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki rocket to the win at the legendary Indy Mile and had captured the hometown win for his team owner, Rick Howerton. Robinson had followed him home on the TJ Burnett Farms/James Hart Racing Kawi while The Bullet had taken the #12 Dodge Brothers Racing/Sefnco Communications H-D XR750 to the final spot on the box.

Just shy of two months after Indy these three men would also celebrate their stellar seasons in what was another great year of racing.

Check out the full press release below to get a better rundown of the awards handed out at Pomona a couple of weeks ago, and be thankful and happy that these guys (and gals) were able to pocket ANY extra dollars for their great efforts this season.

And when you want to bit.h and moan about the lack of money in the sport, get off the couch and go to a race and support the riders, teams and sponsors of the sport to help do something about it, because if you are just complaining and not giving anything back, YOU are part of the problem, and NOT the solution. And you are missing one heckuva great show!

AMA Pro Racing Recognizes Top Performers of 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Season 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 24, 2013) - Following the conclusion of the AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles season finale at the LA County Fairplex in Pomona Calif., a year-end celebration was held on victory podium and streamed live as awards and accolades were distributed to the sport's top performers from 2013.
Bryan Smith on the #42 Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki battles with Brad Baker on the #12 Dodge Brothers Racing/Specialty Fabrication Harley-Davidson XR750 during round 13 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship at the season-finale at the Pomona Half-Mile. Smith scored his second Twins Series Championship in a row, while Baker took the overall 2013 AMA Grand National Championship after winning the Singles Series Championship earlier in the season at Peoria. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
For their integral part in the success of the 2013 season, the AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles community would like to extend many thanks to all of the sponsors that supported these important year-end awards.
AMA Pro Grand National Championship
Brad Baker (Dodge Bros Racing) claimed his first ever overall Grand National Championship and it took a brilliant final-round effort to do it. Baker's two wins and seven total podiums were enough to edge out a worthy opponent in Bryan Smith (Crosley Radio) by 17 points in the overall standings. The Dryad, Wash. product was recognized for his astonishing achievements this season and was awarded $13,000 and the coveted Grand National Championship No. 1 plate for winning the title.
The following awards were given out on behalf of AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles to the outstanding participants in AMA Pro Grand National Championship competition:
1.       Brad Baker - $13,000
2.       Bryan Smith - $7,000
3.       Brandon Robinson - $4,000
4.       Jared Mees - $3,000
5.       Henry Wiles - $2,000
6.       Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. - $1,000
AMA Pro Grand National Expert Twins Championship
Bryan Smith won two mile-long races in 2013 on the back of his powerful Kawasaki and earned his second consecutive AMA Pro Grand National Expert Twins Championship. Smith's two victories and six podiums lifted him over Brad Baker in Expert Twins competition by 11 points in the standings, adding heat to an already scorching hot rivalry between the two superstars.
AMA Pro Grand National Expert Singles Championship
Brad Baker became a force on the AMA Pro circuit this season as he not only claimed the overall Grand National Championship but also wrapped up the 2013 AMA Pro Grand National Expert Singles Championship as well early on after edging out Henry Wiles by just two points in the standings. Baker's consistency on his 450cc Specialty Fabrication Inc. Honda and KTM this season led to three second-place finishes and his first ever championship of any kind at the elite expert level.
AMA Pro J&P Cycles Pro Singles Championship
Wyatt Maguire (Kirkland Racing) and Ryan Wells (Waters Auto Body) found themselves in a tight-fight against each other all season and it was only fitting that the AMA Pro J&P Cycles Pro Singles Championship came down to a single marker separating the two to decide the winner. Maguire edged out Wells 137-136 in the points to claim his first ever championship to earn the No. 1 plate in J&P Cycles Pro Singles competition for the 2014 season.
The following awards were given out on behalf of AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles to the outstanding participants in AMA Pro J&P Cycles Pro Singles competition.
1.       Wyatt Maguire - $10,000
2.       Ryan Wells - $5,000
3.       Stephen Vanderkuur - $4,000
4.       Shayna Texter - $3,000
5.       Kyle Johnson - $2,000
6.       Rodney Spencer, Jr. - $1,000
Additional Sponsor Awards
The Sunoco Go the Distance Award went to the top-four riders that completed the furthest distance in their respective classes in 2013.
Grand National Championship
1.       Jeffrey Carver, Jr. (417.55 miles) - $4,000
2.       Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. (412.6 miles) - $3,000
3.       Bryan Smith (411.6 miles) - $2,000
4.       Brad Baker (408.8 miles) - $1,000
J&P Cycles Pro Singles
1.       Dominic Colindres (229.45 miles) - $2,000
2.       Ryan Wells (227.75 miles) - $1,500
3.       Wyatt Maguire (224.5 miles) - $1,000
4.       Hunter Taylor (221.75 miles) - $500
The Cortech Performance Edge Award went to the Grand National Championship rider who posted the highest number of "fastest lap of the race" in event finals during the 2013 season.
Winner - Brad Baker (5) - $1,000
The Saddlemen Rookie of the Year Award went to the eligible rookie rider who earned the most points in Grand National Championship competition this season.
Winner - Jacob Shoemaker (66 points) - $5,000
The MotoBatt Hard Charger Award, worth $250, went to the rider who improved the most positions from each weekend's main events.
Final results:
1.     Matt Weidman - Daytona Flat Track I
2.     Mikey Rush - Daytona Flat Track Daytona II
3.     Kenny Coolbeth Jr. - Stockton Half-Mile
4.     Henry Wiles - Hagerstown Half-Mile
5.     Jake Johnson - Sacramento Mile
6.     Henry Wiles - Castle Rock TT
7.     Henry Wiles - Peoria TT
8.     Jake Johnson - Indy Mile
9.     Kenny Coolbeth Jr. - Virginia Mega Mile
11.   JD Beach - Springfield Mile II
12.   Johnny Lewis - Flat Track Finals
About AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles: 
AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles is a national motorcycle racing series in North America. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the Series is one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing and is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track racing in the world. The 2013 schedule consists of rounds on the country's finest dirt track courses. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft.
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 www.amaproracing.com.  

For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014, communications@amaproracing.com


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