Motorcycle Types Cruiser 2011 AMA Flat Track: DuQuoin Preview

2011 AMA Flat Track: DuQuoin Preview

2011 Flat Track

After a short break to recover from the “Daytona Double” at Daytona International Speedway, the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship will be back in action Saturday, April 16, at the Southern Illinois Center in DuQuoin, Illinois.

The AMA Pro Pro Singles class, packed with the rising stars of AMA Pro Flat Track racing, will join the Expert Singles at the third round of the 21-race series.

This highly anticipated race will mark the first time the series’ Grand National heroes have raced indoors at the Southern Illinois Center since 2004, which itself was the only non-mile exception in the series’ twenty-five DuQuoin Grand Nationals history.

Current defending Grand National Champion Jake Johnson came away with the win that night on a Honda, while JR Schnabel (then Yamaha-mounted) and Kenny Coolbeth (aboard a KTM at the time) filled out the podium.

In 2011, Johnson will be returning on his Zanotti Racing Honda with the big #1 on his back, while both Schnabel (Monster Energy Kawasaki Werner Springsteen Racing) and Coolbeth (Chaplin Kawasaki) will be Kawasaki-mounted.

Current points leader Sammy Halbert (Woody Kyle Racing/Fredericktown Yamaha) will be trying to make it three in a row after sweeping the Daytona opening rounds. Nicknamed “Slammin’ Sammy” for his aggressive riding style, Halbert’s technique is a perfect fit for the tight confines of indoor motorcycle racing.

There’s a good chance one or more of the young lions emerging in the series will make their mark at DuQuoin: both JD Beach (USC Motorsports) and Jeffery Carver (Woody Kyle Racing) have likely turned more laps on the small track than anyone else, as they’ve ridden almost all the Pro-Am races that have been held there during the last few winters.

Fellow Rookie Brad Baker (ENI USA) has similarly honed his talent at indoor races in his home state of Washington, and he came out swinging in Daytona with a very respectable third and fourth. Baker is leading the Saddlemen Rookie of the Year chase while sitting third in the Grand National Points standings.

Johnny Lewis (Scott Powersports), meanwhile, is a veteran of East Coast indoor races, but his pair of second-place Daytona finishes have left him hungrier than ever for his first GNC victory. He’ll have plenty of competition, though; the biggest news of the “Spring Break” has been Bryan Smith’s departure from the potent Monster Energy Werner Springsteen Team. Smith will campaign his own equipment for the rest of 2011, riding a Kawasaki with help from Moroney’s Harley-Davidson and RHC.

As the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship looks ahead to Round 3 at the Southern Illinois Center, the only certainty is tight, bar-banging action that’s sure to produce surprises, and perhaps some hard feelings, as indoor racing is guaranteed to deliver an intensity like no other in the series. The ultra-fast dirt oval could produce single-second lap times, and the 30-lap National will no doubt become the roller derby of motorcycle racing.

For tickets and event info, click here. For more information about Harley-Davidson insurance, visit For more information about the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship, visit

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2021 Indian Springfield Lineup First Look (5 Fast Facts)

There are two motorcycles in the 2021 Indian Springfield lineup, with the standard Springfield focused on longer-distance touring, and the Springfield Dark Horse pulling...

2021 BMW R 18 Review (19 Fast Facts on the First Edition)

Over a year after its concept debut, the 2021 BMW R 18 has made its way to production. Much has been written about its...

2021 Honda CRF450R Review (12 First Ride Fast Facts from Glen Helen)

The 2021 Honda CRF450R is all-new for 2021. The entirely new chassis, bodywork, exhaust, and hydraulic clutch highlight the changes to the CRF450R. Add to...

Arai Spoiler EX2 for the Corsair-X Helmet First Look

The Arai Corsair-X is the Japanese company’s flagship helmet and intended for riders of the highest performance motorcycle. MotoGP racers Maverick Viñales of Monster...

2021 Indian Scout Lineup First Look: Five Models (Photos, Specs + Prices)

Although the five-motorcycle Indian Scout lineup is functionally unchanged for 2021—last year was a major expansion of the line—this year, Indian is offering new...

2020 Ural Weekender SE First Look: Special Edition Sidecar

Just in time for autumn, Ural lets loose with the 2020 Ural Weekender SE. Based on the 2WD Gear Up model, the Weekender SE...