In a Class of Its Own
NEWS March 22, 2013
Story by Dan Jacobson Sr. Photos by Larry Janssen, courtesy of Today's Cycle Coverage:
DAYTONA BEACH, FL, (MAR. 15, 2013) - The J&P Cycles Pro Singles class is in a class of its own, and deserves the same attention as the Expert class. The entire field of the 32 fastest was just eight-tenths of a second apart and five-tenths of a second – that’s half a second, or half a bikelength, if your prefer – off the fast time of Expert rider Brad Baker. So yes – the Pro Singles class gets a story of its own.
Starting out with qualifying, round-one winner Kyle Johnson was just inches back from 2012 round-two winner Ryan Wells, and the previous night’s runner-up, Jason Isennock, completed the top three. Looking through the field of past winners, current champion Steven Vanderkuur was midfield... The truth is, any one of the thirty-two qualifiers could win on this night.
By the end of the opening ceremonies, the riders were on the grid for heat one, were introduced to the audience and instructed by assistant starter Kelly Bell to fire their engines. After one quick sighting lap, the computer-controlled starting light went green for the first race of the night.
Round-one runner-up Jason Isennock (30S) absconds with the holeshot and leads the field through turn three in heat one.
Jason Isennock, coming from the front row, had Kyle Johnson at his hip until Isennock slipped and Johnson, Gerit Callies and Wyatt Maguire drove by. On the move was Hunter Taylor, coming from ninth and into the top seven, which was what he needed to transfer directly to the main. Taylor replaced first Jesse Long, then Dominic Colindres and then, with two laps to go, Dan Bromley. J.R. Addison dropped Isennock back to fifth as the changing limestone surface was slowing from qualifying speeds.
The second heat race saw Ryan Wells setting the pace and leading from flag to flag. Jake Constantine seemed hooked to the leader. Mike Poe was back in a solid third. Rodney Spencer Jr. and Brandon Wilhelm diced for fourth, with Spencer taking that spot at the line. The big race was for the last transfer spot among Robert Lewis, Steven Vanderkuur and Shayna Texter; those three mixed it up lap after lap. At the checkers, the top seven heading to the main were Wells, Constantine, Poe, Spencer, Lewis, Wilhelm and Vanderkuur.
In the last-chance qualifier, Shane Narbonne found all the right changes to run up front, and Dominic Colindres did likewise, running in second place from green to checkers. Shayna Texter moved up from fifth and found herself in third, slowing the charge of Austin Luczak, who came from sixth on lap one. The last four qualifiers for the main join the third row, along with the seven-place finisher from each of the two heat races. From the 55 entries, we now had the 18 riders set for the 16-lap J&P Cycles Pro Singles main event.
One by one, the riders and teams were introduced to the crowd. With anticipation high and an outright favorite impossible to choose, the three rows of six were ready to go.
At the flash of the green, the turn-one war was on – only to be red-flagged when Gerit Callies went down in front of the field. This called for a complete restart.
Gerit Callies (76L) loses the front wheel on the entrance to turn one on lap one…
…the results of which would be a complete restart.
The restart saw Jake Constantine leading on lap one. Behind him, the massive pushing and bar-banging throughout the field took down Robert Lewis and Jason Isennock on the exit of turn two, bringing out another race-stopping red flag. The riders untangled themselves, and Isennock lifted his 200-pound bike off his fellow racer Lewis, who would retire from the event.
Jason Isennock (30S, left) and Robert Lewis (68C) go down in the exit from turn two.
Jason Isennock lifts the bike off the trapped Robert Lewis, who then sat out the rest of the race.
The staggered start played out well for leader Constantine, as Ryan Wells was looking for a way to run with the leaders’ pace. Wyatt Maguire had his hands full with Mike Poe; the two swapped tire marks until lap 11, when Poe slipped past Maguire. Current champion Steven Vanderkuur made a steady march forward from 12th on lap one to settle in fifth just past the halfway point.
After the red flag, the restart was a scramble for positions, with Jake Constantine (59B) battling Ryan Wells (94B), Wyatt Maguire (18M) and round-one winner Kyle Johnson (77J).
The war continued throughout the field; with laps running out, no one was giving up. Isennock, coming from the end of the staggered restart, had joined the midpack bar-banging battles, reaching eighth place – until lap 12, when his enthusiasm cost him a backward slide.
The same held true for Gerit Callies, who was making his comeback after a season-ending injury last August at the Peoria TT. Dominic Colindres took the sixth spot away from Callies with two laps to go.
Jake Constantine (59B) leads Ryan Wells (94B) and Wyatt Maguire (18M) midway through the main.
Ryan Wells (94B) would end up as runner-up; Wyatt Maguire (18M) finished in fourth.
The last-lap run to Kevin Clark’s double checked flags was all Jake Constantine’s, on the Allphase Masonry and Chimney/ Matt’s Cycle Center-backed Honda. The runner-up was Ryan Wells, riding the Waters Auto Body Racing/ RLJ Racing/ Motion Pro/ K&N Filters-sponsored Honda. For the second night in a row, third went to Mike Poe, racing the Jason Isennock/ CCBC/ Blevins/ Triple J Racing Honda. The margin of Constantine’s victory was 2.018 seconds, with an average lap time of 17.561 seconds. Wells’ average lap time was 17.687 seconds.
Jake Constantine gaps last year’s runaway winner, Ryan Wells, on the run to the checkers on the last lap.
It is hard to convey the true excitement of J&P Cycles AMA Pro Singles racing in mere words. These racers have so much talent, skill and motivation to win at every event, and the AMA Pro Racing Flat Track crew puts on a quality race program at every venue. My advice is to come out and see this live, come early for practice and qualifying, visit the racers and teams in the open paddock hour – and then get ready for the best motor racing on the planet: AMA Pro Grand National Championship Flat Track Racing.
Jake Constantine takes a victory lap around Daytona International Speedway.
On the J&P Cycles Pro Singles victory podium, winner Jake Constantine (center) is flanked by runner-up Ryan Wells (left), third-place finisher Mike Poe (right), and the J&P Cycles girls.
The next event will be the Stockton, California, Half Mile at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds on May 11, 2013. It’s a day race, starting at noon.
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
Results: March 15, 2013 (Round 2)
PRO SINGLES MAIN: 1. Jake Constantine (Hon); 2. Ryan Wells (Hon); 3. Mike Poe (Hon); 4. Wyatt Maguire (Yam); 5. Steven Vanderkuur (Yam); 6. Dominic Colindres (Hon); 7. Gerit Callies (KTM); 8. Rodney Spencer (Hon); 9. Brandon Wilhelm (Hon); 10. Kyle Johnson (Kaw); 11. Jason Isennock (Hon); 12. Shane Narbonne (Hon); 13. Hunter Taylor (Hon); 14. Dan Bromley (KTM); 15. J.R. Addison (Hon); 16. Austin Luczak (Hon); 17. Shayna Texter (Hon); 18. Robert Lewis (Hon).