AMA Pro Flat Track announced earlier this week that they will be instituting a change to the 2015 rulebook that will see only a single point awarded for the win in the Dash for Cash events in order to better balance the overall points system for the newly renamed GNC1 class.
Beginning with the season opening doubleheader at the Daytona Short Track on March 12-13, the former Expert Series (now renamed GNC1) will see one (1) single point awarded to all of the Dash winners on the 2015 series' stops, with zero (0) points awarded to the 2nd-5th-place finishers which has been the case since the Dash event's inception with the 2009 season. In the past six seasons of competition, the Dash payout would also award 4 points for 2nd, three points for 3rd and on down to one point for a 5th-place finish in the Dash. A 6th-place finish in the Dash would pay zero points.
Also beginning with the season opener at Daytona, the finishing order in the Dash will set the starting field for the front row of each of the current 14 events on the series' National main event schedule. In the past, the starting line-up on the front row had been based on 1-2 finishes in each of the three heat race finishes at each event.
The complete rulebook for the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season can be found here.
In the shot above, the six riders in the Dash for Cash event at the Springfield Mile I get ready to drop the hammer at the Illinois State Fairgrounds during the Memorial Day weekend running of the fastest mile in the country on May 25 in round 3 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season.
(L-R) Jared Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing/Las Vegas H-D/Blue Springs H-D-sponsored Harley-Davidson XR750, Brandon Robinson on the #44 USC Kawasaki/Hart Racing/Hot Shots-backed Kawasaki EX650, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Zanotti Racing/Moroney's H-D/Burt Ives Honda-sponsored XR750, Henry Wiles on the #17 Don's Kawasaki/DPC Racing/EA Racing-backed EX650, Jake Johnson on the #5 Ramspur Winery/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Parkinson Brothers Racing-backed Ducati 'L' twin and eventual winner Bryan Smith on the #42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio/Howerton Products-sponsored Kawasaki all get a grip as they await the green light to let 'er rip in the four-lap Dash event at the mecca of speed at the Illinois capitol-hosted event.
This change in the rulebook for points awarded in the Dash going forward should really tighten things up in terms of the chase for the championship in The Rolling Thunder Show, especially considering in the 15 races run last season, a total of 75 points were awarded for wins in the Dash events. For the upcoming season, and based on the currently-listed 14 events on the series' schedule, that means that only 14 total points are up for grabs, and strictly for the winner of each of those Dash events. Talk about cutting out some fat in your diet!
As always, the season ahead should have some of the great racing that is always prevalent in the greatest racing series on two wheels in the world, and with fewer points in the mix for the overall run for the championship, the competition should be even hotter then what it has been in the past-if that's possible in the bar-swapping world of AMA Pro Flat Track's Grand National Championship!
You can check out the full press release below thanks to the great folks out of Daytona as we watch the countdown to the first race of the season at Daytona--now at 54 days and counting--and ready ourselves for some of the great action that will be afforded us this season in The Rolling Thunder Show.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2015) - AMA Pro Flat Track released the 2015 Operational and Technical rules Friday, and the most notable change was made to the Dash For Cash format based on rider feedback.
For the 2015 season, the winner of the Dash for Cash will be awarded one championship point, but no other finishers will earn points for their performance. Instead, the starting lineup for the GNC1 main will be based on finishing position in the Dash.
Previously, the top five finishers in the six-rider Dash for Cash earned championship points, with five points awarded to the winner. The change in point distribution promises to keep championship battles even tighter as the season progresses.
In 2014, three riders were alive for the title at the season finale in Pomona, Calif., but under the new point schedule, even more would have had a shot at the championship in the final round.
Jared Mees #9, Brandon Robinson #44, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. #2, Henry Wiles #17, Jake Johnson #5 and eventual Dash winner Bryan Smith #42 roar off the line in the Dash for Cash event at the Springfield Mile I on May 25, 2014. AMA Pro Flat Track announced earlier this week a new and updated points payout change for the Dash events for the 2015 season which will see just a single point awarded to the winner. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
"It's a good thing, for sure," 2013 Grand National Champion Brad Baker and rider of the No. 6 Factory Harley-Davidson said. "The Dash for Cash, you're not recognized for second, third, fourth or fifth. You go out there and you should want to win it."
Riders feel the new format levels the playing field.
"I'm excited about it," said Kenny Coolbeth, rider of the No. 2 Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson and the series' winningest active rider. "Especially for me, I'm not that good of a starter. I'm better at the end of the race. For (AMA Pro Flat Track) to take the points away, I think it's going to be better."
Starting position can be key in a race, so there's still plenty on the line.
"I think it's really good that (AMA Pro Flat Track) is going to line us up for the main event from placement in the Dash for Cash. I'm happy for that," Coolbeth said.
And with a point and some cash still available for the winner, the battle for the checkered flag promises to be just as exciting, if not more.
"I think it'll add excitement for the race," said Baker. "Now, you'll be out there like, win or don't do anything. It'll boost everybody's intensity for the Dash."
The season begins with a double header at DAYTONA Flat Track March 12 and 13.
Every round of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track season will be available live, in high definition and free of charge for fans to watch online at www.FansChoice.tv.
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.