AMA Pro Flat Track racers get their first crack at a half-mile track this weekend as they travel to Knoxville, Iowa, to battle for the GNC title.
AMA Pro Flat Track will return to Knoxville, Iowa, on Sunday, June 15, after taking a break from the Marion County venue in 2013, and fans can watch all the action live from Knoxville Raceway on FansChoice.tv. AMA Pro Flat Track will be marking its third trip to the half-mile oval and will run in conjunction with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.
In 2012, fans witnessed Kenny Coolbeth earn a split-second victory over defending champion Jake Johnson to claim the coveted Knoxville Half-Mile victory. This season, Coolbeth will be looking for a repeat performance aboard his Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson. Coolbeth has gotten off to a fast start in 2014, sealing a victory to open the season at Daytona before claiming a second place finish at the legendary Springfield Mile last round. Coolbeth’s strong start has him entering the Knoxville Half-Mile leading the overall Grand National Championship point standings.
Johnson, a two-time Grand National Champion, looks more alive than ever in 2014. Aboard his Ramspur Winery Ducati, Johnson sits second in the points, and has recorded two second place finishes in both AMA Pro Flat Track main events at Knoxville Raceway in the past. Given his resume and strong start to the season, Johnson is clearly a threat to make a prominent impact on this weekend’s festivities once the green flag drops in Knoxville.
So far this season, AMA Pro Flat Track riders have been tested on a mile-long track (Springfield) and a quarter mile oval circuit (Daytona). This weekend marks the first time in 2014 that the stars of the series will face off on a half-mile course.
The last rider to win an AMA Pro Flat Track half-mile event was none other than current defending Grand National Champion Brad Baker when he sealed his first ever title last October at Pomona. Baker, who has gotten off to an uncharacteristically slow start this season, finds himself 11th in the points with zero podium appearances. However, fans shouldn’t be surprised if Baker stifles the competition this weekend aboard his Factory Harley-Davidson and gets back on track and into position to compete for another championship.
Sammy Halbert will be on the attack this weekend when he rolls his South East Harley-Davidson off the truck at Knoxville. Halbert currently sits third in the points but the Graham, Wash., product could potentially be higher if not for a mechanical issue at Springfield that set him back and forced him to finish dead last in the main event. Halbert is always dangerous on half-mile circuits and he should be a threat to go the distance Sunday afternoon.
Bryan Smith will ride his Crosley Radio/Villa-Esparza Kawasaki this weekend in hopes of following up his impressive Springfield Mile victory with another strong performance at Knoxville. Smith, who currently sits fifth in points, typically performs best on mile-long courses, so the Flint, Mich., native will have his work cut out for him on the shorter circuit this weekend.
Brandon Robinson, who is currently tied for third in points, will also threaten for a spot on the podium on his USC Kawasaki.
More Grand National Championship riders that have a chance to take the coveted checkered flag this weekend include the likes of Shayna Texter, aboard her Latus Motors Triumph Bonneville, Henry Wiles, aboard his Dons Kawasaki, Briar Bauman, aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki and several other worthy competitors.
Tune into FansChoice.tv to catch all of the action
Fans are encouraged to tune into FansChoice.tv on Sunday, June 15, to catch all of the AMA Pro Flat Track action from Knoxville beginning with practice scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m. EST (8:15 a.m. PST) and opening ceremonies scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. EST (11 a.m. PST).
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.