2014 Castle Rock TT AMA Pro Flat Track Preview
AMA Pro Flat Track began its West Coast stint earlier this month when the series rolled into Elma, Wash., for Round 7. Last weekend, the Sacramento Mile marked the first of three scheduled California races.
This weekend, the series reverts back to the Pacific Northwest as it makes its way up to Castle Rock, Wash., for the Castle Rock TT at Castle Rock Race Park. The event is scheduled to go off Aug. 2 with opening ceremonies slated to begin at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET).
As the season closes in on its midpoint, the AMA Pro Expert points race is airtight, with eight points separating the top three contestants.
Bryan Smith’s fourth consecutive Sacramento Mile victory last weekend put him atop the standings for the first time this season. The Flint, Mich., native stands alone in first place with 150 points. Jared Mees remains two points back with 148 and Jake Johnson has 142 points to his credit heading into Round 9 of 16.
Smith has proven time and time again this year that he has what it takes to perform at a high level aboard his two-cylinder Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki EX650, but the question remains whether or not he can get it done on a 450cc machine. Smith will ride his Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki KX450 at Castle Rock.
Smith’s only test in AMA Pro Expert Singles competition so far this year came at the season opening doubleheader at Daytona back in March. The result? A missed main event and an eighth-place finish. This time around, though, Smith enters Castle Rock with the utmost confidence having won three of the last six main events.
Mees is entered to compete aboard his Montgomeryville Cycle Honda CRF450R this weekend at Castle Rock, the very same motorcycle that he finished second on at the northwest venue a year ago. The Clio, Mich., native is having a stellar season, as he’s finished no worse than fourth in every race since Daytona.
Entered to ride a Ramspur Winery Honda CRF450R, Jake Johnson has now competed on a total of four different branded motorcycles in 2014, and he’s experienced success on every one. Johnson, only eight points shy of the overall lead, has been consistent all year long, as he is yet to finish outside of the top ten in every main event.
If it weren’t for his lackluster Hagerstown Half-Mile effort a few weeks ago, three-time Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth would be a lot closer in the standings than 21 points off the leader heading into Castle Rock. Coolbeth and Zanotti Racing have made huge strides together in 2014, and this next event could easily go in their favor. The last time Coolbeth threw a leg over a Zanotti Racing 450cc machine, he won.
After having his homecoming ruined a couple weeks ago in Elma, Wash., Sammy Halbert returns to his home state with some sort of chip on his shoulder. Halbert, a native to Graham, Wash., is entered to compete aboard his Fredericktown Yamaha YZ 450.
Brandon Robinson is slowly but surely creeping his way back into championship discussions. The Oxford, Pa., product sits sixth in the standings and has finished in the top four in three of the last four main events. Robinson also recorded third and fifth place finishes at Daytona to begin the season, so he’s battletested on the shorter circuits and is clearly a threat to make some noise at Castle Rock’s .6-mile track this weekend aboard his USC Kawasaki KX450.
How to Watch
FansChoice.tv 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.