Grand National Championship contenders are set to roll their motorcycles off their trucks and onto West Coast soil for the first time this season. Round 7 of AMA Pro Flat Track is scheduled to take place this Saturday, July 19, at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash., for the first ever Grand National Grays Harbor Half-Mile.
The venue will serve as a homecoming for some of AMA Pro Flat Track's most notable riders, including Brad Baker, who resides just south of Elma in Dryad, Wash. The defending Grand National Champion will look to capitalize on his home-field advantage as he's gotten off to an uncharacteristically slow start to the 2014 season. Baker sits 10th in the point standings and has only cracked the top five once after six rounds of action. Look for Baker, aboard his No. 1 Factory Harley-Davidson to try to get back on track this weekend on the half-mile circuit.
Washington's other ace, Sammy Halbert, is native to Graham, Wash., just east of Elma. Mounted on his South East Harley-Davidson, Halbert will look to keep his momentum rolling in his home state as he currently sits sixth in the point standings and is fresh off of a fifth-place finish at Hagerstown two weeks ago.
Jared Mees isn't from the state of Washington, but he is arguably the hottest rider in the paddock right now, as he followed up his Lima Half-Mile win in Round 5 with a second place finish at Hagerstown last time out. Mees, aboard his Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson, now holds the overall points lead and is certainly considered one of the favorites to claim victory this weekend when the lights go green in Elma.
This season, Jake Johnson is looking more and more like the Jake Johnson of old when he won back-to-back Grand National Championships in 2010 and 2011. His consistent finishes week-in and week-out this year have him sitting second in the points heading into the weekend. Johnson is entered to ride his Rampsur Winery Ducati on Saturday.
This weekend can't come fast enough for Kenny Coolbeth. The three-time Grand National Champion suffered a bike malfunction halfway through the Hagerstown main event. The mishap couldn't have come at a worse time for the Morris, Conn., product, as it cost him the lead in the race and forced him to finish 19th. As a result, he forfeited the points lead as well. Coolbeth will look to get back on track at Elma aboard his Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson.
As unkind as Hagerstown was to Coolbeth, it was fortuitous to Bryan Smith. Smith earned the Round 6 win to mark the first time in series history that a rider has won the Hagerstown Half-Mile aboard a Kawasaki. Smith enters the weekend at Elma positioned fourth in the points and carries a ton of momentum with him. He will compete aboard his Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki this weekend.
The AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles title chase is just as close as the GNC, as four points separate the top three positions. Kyle Johnson's back-to-back main event victories in the entry level class has him atop the points, two ahead of Ryan Wells.
Davis Fisher sits third in the points and only two behind Wells. The three are all entered for this weekend's West Coast festivities. Kyle Johnson will ride his Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda, Wells will mount his KTM, and Fisher is entered to compete aboard his TJ Burnett Farms Honda at Elma.
How to Watch
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.
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.