Championship battles heating up as AMA Pro Flat Track rolls into Hagerstown
NEWS July 2, 2014
PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG
HAGERSTOWN, Md., (July 2, 2014) - The 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track season is in full-swing and Hagerstown Speedway and the Hagerstown Half-Mile promises to be a make-or-break round for the Grand National Championship title hopefuls this Fourth of July weekend.
Opening ceremonies are set for 8 p.m. and the GNC main event is scheduled to see the green flag drop at 11 p.m. All the action can all be seen live in high definition at FansChoice.tv.
Jared Mees will come to Hagerstown, Md., as the man with all the momentum having just won the Lima Half-Mile on Saturday night aboard his No. 9 Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson. But Mess is just one of a handful of former GNC championship trophy hoisters who can claim to be the one to beat coming into this weekend’s action.
Kenny Coolbeth has been the model of consistency this season after opening the year with a 17th place effort at Daytona. Since then, the Zanotti Racing pilot has two wins and has finished no worse than fourth. Coolbeth comes to Maryland with the overall points lead.
Jake Johnson is one of six riders who could leave Maryland with the points lead. The Ramspur Winery Ducati rider sits nine points behind Coolbeth (95-86) in the championship hunt and is looking for his first checkered flag of the season.
Brandon Robinson, on his No. 44 USC Kawasaki entry, is one of just two riders along with Johnson to finish inside the top 10 in all five races this season. Robinson was second at Lima and, like Johnson, is still looking for his first victory of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track season.
Sammy Halbert looked like he was going to cruise to the win at Lima until a mechanical ended his night prematurely. Still, Halbert will roll into Hagerstown on his No. 7 South East Harley-Davidson fifth in points.
The defending winner of the Hagerstown Half-Mile, Brad Baker, has had an uncharacteristically difficult season. The No. 1 plate holder is yet to hit the podium and sits 10th in points. In 2013, Baker paced the field by more than six seconds, so if there is a track for the defending GNC champion to get his season back on track, it’s Hagerstown.
The win in Maryland last year was Baker’s first GNC victory, and it helped catapult him to the overall championship, proof that this stop can be a game-change in the title chase.
Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radios pilot Bryan Smith and Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Briar Bauman have also picked up wins thus far in 2014, making it four different riders in five races to stand atop the podium.
Shayna Texter is coming off her second straight main event appearance on her Latus Motors Triumph.
The AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles title chase is even tighter than the GNC. The top four riders are separated by just three points coming into Hagerstown.
Sylvester Farms’ Brandon Wilhelm and TJ Burnett Farms’ Davis Fisher are tied for the championship lead with 64 points each. Ryan Wells on his GE Capital KTM sits third andKyle Johnson is fourth, but charging up the standings on his Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda, having won the last two races in dominating fashion.
How to Watch
FansChoice.tv will be the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Flat Track and AMA Pro Road Racing events in 2014. The site will also provide coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.
About AMA Pro Flat Track
AMA Pro Flat Track is a national motorcycle racing series in North America and is considered one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the Series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track racing in the world. The 2014 schedule consists of 16 rounds on the country's finest flat track courses. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft.