Arizona Mile: AMA Previews Yavapai Downs

Flat Track News

The 2010 AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com will conclude on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Yavapai Downs in Prescott Valley, Ariz.

The climax of the series at the Budweiser Arizona Mile is expected to be one of the best in the history of the sport as Jake Johnson, Joe Kopp, Jared Mees and Henry Wiles all have a shot at carrying the coveted AMA Number One plate in the 2011 season.

In 1954, the AMA announced the establishment of a Grand National Championship series consisting of 18 points-paying races. While the AMA Grand National Championship format was predominantly made up of flat track events, a number of road race nationals were included to show the versatility of machines and riders.

As the sport grew and machinery became more specialized, the AMA recognized the need to separate these two disciplines. In 1986, flat track and road racing became two distinct AMA Championship series.

In 2006, the AMA Flat Track Championship was restructured to consist of two series: AMA Grand National Twins Championship events held on mile and half-mile courses best suited for the power output of twin-cylinder motors; AMA Grand National Singles Championship races held on TT and short track courses where the power range of single-cylinder motors is preferable.

Beginning this year AMA Pro Racing went back to the original format with points accumulated from short track, TT, 1/2 Mile and Mile races to determine the AMA Pro Grand National Champion.

Included in this traditional format will be a $50,000.00 points fund paying back 10 places in the final point standings.

AMA Pro Racing will still recognize a Singles and Twins Champion with a $2,500.00 bonus to each champion, however the rider to carry the AMA Number One plate in 2011 will the overall Grand National Champion.

In 2009 AMA Pro Racing added the "Dash" taking the 1st and 2nd place riders in the 3 expert heat races for a 4 lap race not only paying $1,000.00 to win, but more importantly 5 championship points for the winner, 4 points to second position, 3 points to third position, 2 points to fourth position, 1 point to fifth position and sixth gaining no points.

How important is the Dash? The Dash at the Arizona Mile may very well be the most important 4 laps of the entire series.

Going into the Arizona Mile Jake Johnson is leading the series with 265 points, Kopp 255, Mees 246 and Wiles 239.

The rider who has earned the most Dash points this season has been Kopp with a total of 41 Dash points, Johnson 30, Wiles 23 and Mees 22. Can Kopp, who won the May Arizona Mile earlier this year, win the Dash and cut the point lead by 5 points going into the 25 lap National Main Event?

As everyone knows…in racing, anything can happen.

Jake Johnson , 2006 & 2008 AMA Pro Singles National Champion – 265 points (2 wins)
Joe Kopp, 2000 AMA Pro Racing Grand National Champion – 255 points (3 wins)
Jared Mees, 2009 AMA Pro Twins National Champion – 246 points
Henry Wiles, 2009 AMA Pro Singles National Champion – 239 points (5 wins)

Points Awarded
Dash: 1st 5, 2nd 4, 3rd 3, 4th 2, 5th 1, 6th 0
National: 1st 23, 2nd 19, 3rd 16, 4th 15, 6th 13, 7th 12, 8th 11, 9th 10, 10th 9, 11th 8, 12th 7, 13th 6, 14th 5, 15th 4, 16th 3, 17th 2, 18th 1