Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saddlemen Set to Return as 'Rookie of the Year' Sponsor for 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track Season

In another sponsorship announcement this last week from AMA Pro Flat Track, Saddlemen will be returning as the 'Rookie of the Year' headline sponsor for the series in what will be it's seventh consecutive season. Saddlemen, the makers of the finest seats in racing and for private/street use, will again be putting up a bonus award of $5K to the winner of this year's award.

In the shot above, 2015 Saddlemen Rookie of the Year Jarod Vanderkooi, his father Jerry and younger brother Jake get the #17F Don's Kawasaki/DPC Racing/Floyd Tapp-sponsored Kawasaki EX650-based mount up to the line during the rider intros portion of round 11 of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines series at the Springfield Mile II on September 6.

Vanderkooi finished in the 12th-place spot in the overall standings during the 2015 season, amassing two top-5 finishes (Charlotte, Delaware/both 5th-place finishes) and two more top-10s (Du Quoin/7th-place, SF Mile II/8th-place) to take home the $5K bonus for the season. He will be wearing Grand National #20 in the upcoming season on his Don's Kawasaki Racing mounts.

Saddlemen has awarded the 'Rookie of the Year' to PJ Jacobsen, Brad Baker, Briar Bauman, Jake Shoemaker and Wyatt Maguire along with Vanderkooi for the last six seasons in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship. Jacobsen has since gone on to compete in the World Supersport series, while the rest are still strong front runners in The Rolling Thunder Show, with Baker going on to earn the 2013 Grand National Championship.

Riders including Bronson Bauman, Brandon Wilhelm and 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track GNC2 Champion Davis Fisher will be among a large class of riders moving into the GNC1 class for the 2016 season that will be eligible and competing for the ultra-competitive 'Rookie of the Year' Award.

Check out the full press release below thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track as we all get ready for the season ahead to commence in just 12 short days at the Daytona Short Track on Thursday, March 10.

Saddlemen "Rookie of the Year Award" Returns for Seventh Consecutive AMA Pro Flat Track Season

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2016) - AMA Pro Racing announced that the Saddlemen "Rookie of the Year Award" will be making a return for the seventh consecutive year, as part of the renewed partnership with Saddlemen for the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track season.

"We are very pleased to have Saddlemen on board for another year of partnership," said Michael Lock, CEO of AMA Pro Racing. "Saddlemen's dedication to the AMA Pro Flat Track community goes back decades, and their contribution gives the up-and-coming riders in the sport an important opportunity to showcase their skills. We're very excited to have Saddlemen back for a seventh year."

Each year since the partnership was formed in 2010, rookies in Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines have showcased their talents and accumulated points throughout the season in hopes of winning the coveted award.

At the end of the year, the rookie rider who has earned the most points in the championship will be recognized at the AMA Pro Flat Track awards banquet as the Saddlemen "Rookie of the Year." Previous recipients include AMA Pro Flat Track standouts PJ Jacobsen, Brad Baker, Briar Bauman, Jake Shoemaker, Wyatt Maguire and the most recent awardee, Jarod Vanderkooi.

Not only will the rider's name go down in the history books, they'll also take home, in the words of Saddlemen CEO David Echert, "a big fat check for $5,000."

"We believe that this award allows us to help current and future riders stay motivated to further their careers," said Echert. "Not only will the winning racer receive a check, but he or she will also be sponsored with product gifts, and it will give us the opportunity to mentor the riders with our years of experience in the sport. Racing is deeply ingrained in our heritage, which is why we are so excited to continue our relationship with AMA Pro Racing, a sport that attracts some of the most talented athletes in the world."

Saddlemen, the leading manufacturer of motorcycle seats and luggage, has been a supporter of Flat Track racing since its doors opened in 1987, and has held onto the belief that in order for the sport to move forward, it must continue to produce the most outstanding products for racers.

"The seat is the largest real estate that the body interacts with during a race," Echert continued. "And it's important that we allow new riders to experience that edge from our product because we believe that bringing new talent into the sport is the most important thing for keeping it alive."

For more information regarding the Saddlemen product line, please visit

Next Up:

The 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track season will once again kick off with a doubleheader at the DAYTONA Flat Track during Daytona's Bike Week festivities. The twin short track races will take place at the "World Center of Racing" on Thursday and Friday, March 10 & 11.

For additional information and to purchase tickets, please visit
How to Watch: is the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Flat Track events. The site also provides coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series. Catch all the action at

About AMA Pro Flat Track:

AMA Pro Flat Track is the world's premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or live stream the on-track action on 

About AMA Pro 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,

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