The dirt track racing festivities at the Illinois State Fairgrounds will get started on Friday, August 30th, with amateur races set to begin at 7:00 p.m. local time on the short track located in the multipurpose arena. The stars of the Grand National Championship will then take to the mile-long circuit for Round 10 on Saturday, August 31, with opening ceremonies scheduled for 1:00 p.m. local time. Round 11 will bring the weekend to a close the following day, with opening ceremonies set to begin at 1:00 p.m. local time on Sunday, September 1.
No one enters the highly anticipated weekend with a bigger chip on his shoulder than Bryan Smith (Crosley Radio/Kawasaki). The Flint, Mich. product had a third 2013 victory within his grasp last weekend at Colonial Downs before an unexpected letdown dashed his efforts. The veteran started strong and was leading at the midway point before experiencing a mechanical blip that resulted in a lackluster 12th-place finish.
Luckily for Smith, rival Brad Baker (Dodge Bros Racing/Harley-Davidson) also had a weekend to forget in Virginia. Baker also fell victim to a motorcycle malfunction, but — unlike Smith — he was unable to complete the race. His 19th-place result allowed for Smith to take the lead in the Grand National Expert Twins point standings heading into Springfield.
JD Beach (TJ Burnett Farms/Kawasaki) is enjoying a brief gap in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing schedule and the GoPro Daytona SportBike competitor will be back for more AMA Pro Flat Track action this weekend in Illinois. Beach has shown moments of brilliance in each of his last three GNC outings, recording one podium finish, in addition to fifth- and sixth-place results. If history is any indication, Beach can be expected to challenge for the podium at Springfield, as the Philpot, Ky. native earned a fourth-place result here last fall.
Henry Wiles and Jake Johnson — newly formed teammates on the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports squad — will be on the attack this weekend. Harley-Davidson-mounted Johnson earned a second-place result in the first Springfield Mile held last year, but the New Jersey native has had a frustrating season so far and will be on a mission to take home his first podium in 2013 this time around. Wiles, known for his impeccable versatility on the shorter, more dynamic circuits featured in Grand National Singles competition, raised eyebrows last weekend at the Virginia Mega Mile with a strong second-place finish on his Ducati. The Winn, Mich. native will look to carry that momentum into this weekend.
Defending Grand National Champion Jared Mees (Rogers Racing/Harley-Davidson) comes into the weekend sitting fourth in the Grand National Championship point standings and will need big performances in both miles if he hopes to have a chance at defending his title. Mees recorded fourth- and third-place finishes at Springfield last year and comes into this weekend with a significant amount of confidence after winning at Colonial Downs.
AMA Pro J&P Cycles Basic Twins
The long anticipated arrival of the AMA Pro Basic Twins, a new class designed to provide AMA Pro J&P Cycles Pro Singles riders with a transition to the Grand National Expert level, is finally here.
The AMA Pro Basic Twins class has been designed specifically for Pro Singles riders that have the aspiration of one day competing at the Grand National Expert level. This stepping stone division will provide a way for the Pro Singles riders to get a feel for the powerful twin-cylinder motorcycles at the professional level without the added pressure of competing against the already proven Grand National Experts.
There are 12 riders pre-entered for Saturday’s inaugural event and 10 riders set to run on day two, and that number is expected to increase as post-entry is available for the class.
Among the AMA Pro Basic Twins contenders already entered, Shayna Texter looks to be the class of the field. The young star already has two AMA Pro J&P Cycles Pro Singles victories on mile-long circuits under her belt thus far in 2013 and she was just .008 of a second away from claiming a third win last weekend at Colonial Downs, finishing second behind Cody Johncox. Texter will be mounted on a Crosley Radio Kawasaki EX650 for both AMA Pro Basic Twins races scheduled this weekend at Springfield.
Johncox will look to repeat last weekend’s result at Colonial Downs, his first win in J&P Cycles Pro Singles competition this season. This time around, however, Johncox will put his single-cylinder Yamaha YZ 450F on the shelf and ride a Harley-Davidson.
Johncox claimed victory at the second running of the Springfield Mile here a year ago and the young star will certainly be looking for a repeat performance this weekend.
In his first year as a professional rider in J&P Cycles Pro Singles competition, Kyle Johnson is another rider that will make the leap to Basic Twins class this weekend. Johnson has been consistent for the majority of the season and has one win to his credit. The Twin Lake, Mich. product will be mounted on a Harley-Davidson with support from Sunnyside Cycle and Top Gun Construction.
Other notable riders slated to compete in the 12-lap AMA Pro Basic Twins mains include Jason Isennock (High Dairy Stores/Kawasaki EX650), Bronson Bauman (Goodwin Racing/Harley-Davidson), Michael Bickerton (DCT/Kawasaki EX650).
Aside from the incredible on-track racing action that the dual miles will provide this weekend, fans that will be in attendance for Sunday’s races will get a chance to witness two AMA Pro Flat Track superstars get married on center stage in front of the entire flat track community. Jared Mees and Nichole Cheza will tie the knot at 12:30 p.m. local time, just 30 minutes before Opening Ceremonies are scheduled to commence. The two have had the wedding planned for quite some time now and it will surely be a sight to see as both Mees and Cheza are nationwide fan favorites. For fans who are unable to be in attendance, the entire wedding will be available to view live on AMA Pro Racing’s live streaming video website at www.amaprolive.com/ft.
After Saturday’s AMA Pro Flat Track races, there will be a “Rookie’s Class of ’79 & Friends After-Party” scheduled to be held in the Orr Building at the fairgrounds, with doors opening at 6:00 p.m. local time. So far, there are already 54 GNC riders – past and present – expected to be in attendance. Notable riders include: Scotty Parker, Ronnie Jones, Wayne Rainey, Chas Roberts, Tommy Duma and many more. There will be autograph sessions, photo opportunities, meet and greets, raffle drawings, a memorabilia auction and live music, with all of the proceeds generated at the event going to the Aid to Injured Riders (AIR) Foundation.
How to Catch the Action
AMA Pro Racing will be live streaming multiple channels of in-depth and behind-the-scenes multimedia content from this weekend’s event on the AMA Pro Live streaming video website. AMA Pro Live puts fans in the director’s chair, allowing them to choose from a variety of viewpoints alongside Live Timing & Scoring data. Log on and tune in at http://www.amaprolive.com/ft/.
Round 10 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles season will take place at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill. this Saturday, August 31, 2013, with practice and qualifying set to begin at 10:15 a.m. local time. Round 11 will take place this Sunday, September 1, with practice beginning at 10:15 a.m. local time. For tickets and additional information about the event, please visit www.illinoismda.com or call 217-753-8866.
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.