Posts Tagged ‘ama flat track’


Yes it’s true so far this summer my lens has been full of sprint cars. I was born and raised on Dirt Modifieds, and I still love ❤️ attending a good Big block race. With this being said there is nothing like a winged sprint car running wide open on a tight dirt track. This summer I am shooting for Race Pro Weekly, so this has giving me more opertunities to cover races that I might not have been able to in the past. 


My Spring started at the Utica Rome Speedway for a 360 Sprint car show, as well as Big Block Modifieds. This years spring was very wet, so the Utica Rome track was a bit of a challenge for the track crew. It felt great getting back to the track to cover some of my favorite race cars on earth.  Both classes had a good amount of entries for the nights racing action. 360 sprint cars hit the track first for their heat races. A couple laps into the first race the dust was so bad they had to stop the race to apply more water. I know with all the rain we had you would think dust wouldn’t be an issue, but it was. After a ton of water was put on to the parched surface, and the sun made its way behind the grand stands, the track was all set for a good night of racing. A few teams pulled out early. They should have stayed put, because the track and racing was great for the rest of the night. 



Next up was a Sunday trip to Pennsylvania. We made our way to Action Track USA  for the 4th annual “Dick Tobias Classic”. This was my first visit to the popular track that runs SpeeedSTR’s, 600cc Micros, and Modified like Slingshots. The place was packed with both cars and fans. I absolutely loved this place. The racing was top notch, as well as the facility. Richie Tobias and crew do a fantastic job with this little jewel of a race track.  I hope to get back to The Action Track again this year. 


Third on my summer schedule was the World Of Outlaws Sprint Cars at Weedsport Speedway. If you haven’t been to the newly redone Weedsport Speedway I highly suggest you do. The WOO sprint cars do not make as many visits to upstate NY as they used to but, when they do it is awesome. I was blessed to be able to cover this race for Race Pro Weekly this year. Butterfly’s filled my gut as I walked into the pit area looking at the line of stacker trailers, and the best sprint cars in the nation. 


The track was perfect during hot laps, qualifying and the first few heat races. Unforchanitly Mother Nature thought the track needed some water. 😩 we waited it out for a while but the rain held on long enough that they had to reschedule the race in October. Sad night, but I was able to get some good shots. I will see you in October lol. 


In between these sprint car races that I was covering, I was also covering Flat Track motorcycles, and big block Modified action around central NY. 

Last winter I made plans to head to PA for the USAC Eastern Storm week. A full week of wingless sprint cars, Midgets, and the historic Silver Crown cars. My wife Tammy and I made our way to Lincoln Speedway for round two of the Eastern Eastern Storm. 


This was my first time seeing USAC Sprint Cars, and boy am I glad I did. These things are awesome. I love winged sprint cars, but this is a whole different deal. As far as picture taking they are just beautiful to shoot. Winged cars stay as straight as they can for speed, these guys do the complete opposite. They drive down into the corners and throw it completely sideways. Wow 😳 that is wicked. 


I was able to shoot from both the inside and outside of the track. I was smiling the entire night. It was great watching the top drivers from USAC battling on the popular tracks in PA. The racing was good from green to checkard at Lincoln. We absolutely loved it. 


Tammy and I left Lincoln and headed toward Williams Grove to spend the night. Thursday we woke up had breakfast and cruised  around PA killing time before we headed the the famous Williams Grove Speedway. Along with the sprint cars, we were also going to see some USAC/ ARDC Midgets on the fast 1/2 mile oval. 


We pulled into the track a bit early, so we set up our lawn chairs, and watched the race cars pull in for the nights action. I wasn’t shooting for anybody but my self at the Grove. It was fine because of the nice access that is avalible to the fans in the infield. We walked through the pits checking out the cars and drivers. It was very cool getting up close to these guys that we see on TV during the year. 

Tammy and I made our way over to turns 1 & 2 with our chairs to enjoy the nights races. Both races were great from start to finish. I have found a new love in racing. Wingless sprint cars are great to watch. A bucket list item for all race fans. 


After the full night of  racing we started our 3 1/2 hr trip home. We pulled into our driveway at 3:10am Friday morning. I’m not 18 any more but getting home that late was worth every minute of lost sleep. 😴

Again gin between these races I was going to motorcycle races and covered some local car shows. My summer was kicking into high gear for sure. 


In June I made my way back to Weedsport Speedway for the first ever Ultimate Wingless Shootout. Empire Super Sprints/ URC drivers removed their wings for a shot of winning $5000 at Weedsport.  Again rain threatened us all night long. It did rain a bit early on, setting the race back a bit, but we were able to get the entire show in. Along with the sprintcars, the very popular Sportsman Modifieds were on the card as well. 


The night was full of action, from great side by side racing to sprint cars flipping and landing in trees. Yes I said landing in trees. Three laps into practice one driver launched his car over the turn one wall perching himself in a tree just outside of the track. The driver was un injured, and the track crew learned how to get a race car out of a tree. That wasn’t the only incident we had during the night. Three or four more cars got in their top before the final checkard flag flew. 

Below is Mark Smith the winner of the A-Main and $5000. 
My self I really enjoyed the show, and I hope this becomes a regular thing up here in NY. I think this might be a way to get more young race fans to the track. 

July 1st I made my way back to the Fulton Speedway for some 360 Sprint Cars, Big block mods, sports and, latemodles, and fireworks 💥. I know that’s a full night of racing. This was the second to last night of Sprint week for the Empire Super Sprints (ESS). The weather was great and the pit area was full of top runners in all divisions. With all of the rain we have had the track was fast and heavy the entire night. 


As usual The racing was excellent in all classes. Fulton is a great place for dirt track racing. It seems like there is always a battle going on in the front of the field. Above ESS Feature winner Jason Barney at speed during his heat race. 


So that’s if for now, my summer is cranking up with lots more racing ahead of me for the three months. And yes a lot more sprint cars. Look for my Motorcycle, and Modified post coming here soon.

Take Care

 I will see you at the track. 

John 

Advertisements

 
 June is always an exciting  month in Central NY,  summer is on its way, schools start their summer vacations, and most importantly it’s AMA Vintage National weekend at Square Deal Riders In Port Crane, NY. The second weekend in June SDR host rounds 7-8 of the AMA Vintage Flat track National Series. This fast 1/4 mile track is the perfect place to hold a national event like this. Riders come from all over to compete on their vintage iron against some of the best in the buisness. Past years this event has welcomed former AMA Grandnational champions like Jay Sprinsteen, On any Sunday’s star Mert Lawill, Bubba Shobert, and 9 time GNC1 National champion Scotty Parker.

   
     Don and Peg Miller from Metro Racing brought these heroes of the sport to central NY every year for fans to enjoy. 

Friday night at SDR is round 7 of the vintage National series. Saturday is round 8 along with the annual Larry Weiss memoial race. The club has one of Larry’s bike In front of the podium, and all the the winners tradionally spray champagne on the bike after their event. The winner of the Weiss race also gets to keep the unique trophy for a year to show off to friends and family. Craig Estelle has been the man to beat for the last four years in this popular race at SDR.
Friday night the pits had well over 100 entires for the vintage national. All of the riders compete on old flat track bikes in a variety of different classes. From brakeless ( yes I said brakeless) to the crowd favorite, all Harley Davidson class. Theses guys are crazy. Some of these bikes are really rough looking, but boy do they put on a good show. Every year this class has grown and grown. Some of these bikes look like they rode them there, remove a few lights and bolted on a number plate. 

 
Friday night there was weather coming later in the evening, so the SDR crew ran the show as best they could to beat the rain. After all of the heat races and LCQ’s were ran,  it started to get dark to the north. Rain was really close, so they went into the features, planning on going as long as they could. Right after the first main was complete, lighting started to fill the sky, and the wind started to pick up as well. The track decided to call it off for the night and start again  up Saturday afternoon.

 
Saturday was a perfect day for racing. Temps in the lower 80’s and low humidity.  1:00 pm the first race of the day was on the track for their feature event from the night before. With the sun beating down on the track, it didn’t take long for it to dry out. Mike Williams stayed on top of the track prep all day keeping it nice and racey for the Vintage riders. Not only was Mike busting his back with the track he also was riding a Rotax owned by fellow rider Dennis Goyer. 

 
Saturday SDR ran 12 main events to finish off the AMA National race from the rain out Friday. Everything went well for most of the riders, there were not any major accidents or too many restarts.  SDR members Handed out very cool plaques, and a bottle of champagne to all (over 21) that finished on  the podium.  Soon after the awards ceremonies, the hard working crew started taking sign ups for the nights Larrry Weiss race. Saturday there seemed to be a few more bikes in the pits then on Friday. 

Like years past the completion was fierce in all of the classes at SDR. The stands started to fill up around 5:00pm for a 6 o’clock start time. The parking area is like its own motorcycle show with beautiful road bikes. If you ride a bike to races you pay only $5 admission, how can you beat that?  You can’t!  With all the cash you save at the gate you can feed the family at SDR’s  brand new “Holeshot”. They offer 1/2 chicken dinners, sausage, hamburgers, hotdogs, and ice cold drinks. If a snack is all you need then you can visit the Club house and grab a bag of popcorn, or some sweet treats to satisfy your cravings. 

While you are in the Club House you can look through some pictures, and check out the history behind the Motorcycle club. SDR was established in 1937, and is still going strong. I highly recommend taking a ride to SDR to watch a race some time this summer. You won’t be disappointed. 

 
Ok back to the racing action. After the riders meeting all of the riders filled the lanes to get a few laps of practice before the heat races hit the track. Most nights after the sun goes down the track holds the moisture verywell making for a high bite track. Mike socked the water to the 1/4 oval soon after practice and dragged the track a bit. Making it was brand new again. 

I almost forgot. the last few years there hasn’t been a special guest appearance at the National, but still a ton of great racing both nights. This year SDR had a very well known National Champion in the pits by the name of Chris “The Prince Of Peioria” Carr. For the last couple years Chris has been selling “Goldentyre” motorcycle tires at SDR. It’s been pretty cool seeing him at the track, but now everybody gets to see him race.😎. Carr was piloting two Bultaco motorcycles owned by the Hawkins Brothers, in a few different classes. Chris won all four classes he entered both nights. He looked like he was having a blast racing these bikes. In a interview with Joe Brombley from AMA he stated that he had been getting the itch to ride something different at SDR, well I guess he scratched his itch, in these Bultaco’s. 

   
  


With all of the qualifying races in the books, it was time for the for the long awaited Larry Weiss Memoriable Race. Eight laps of pure excitement for both riders and fans. Like every big event at SDR the riders and mechanics pushed their bikes out onto the from stretch in front of the fans. This is really cool for the fans to see what their favorite rider looks like without a helmet on. Each rider is introduced, and thanks their sponsors on the mic before they fire their vintage machines. 

Three rows made up the field with most of the fast guys on the front row. Anybody that started on the other two rows had their work cut out for them with only eight laps to get it done. The crowd rises to their feet as the bikes revved up anticipating the green light for the start of the race. I position my self in turn one trying to get a shot of the gaggle of bikes looking for the lead. 

   

By the time the pack entered turn three long time Flat track rider Shane Livingston was out front, and looking to go hide for eight laps. #495 Nick Weimer, #43 Kyle Zajaceskowski, and #51 Craig Estelle were going to make sure Shane didn’t get out front to far. After Estelle worked his way past Weimer, and # Zajaceskowski he set his sites on the #73 bike of Livigston. With such a stout field every move was huge in this short race. With less than three laps left, Craig pulled within  a bike and1/2 from Livingston. Shane held his line on the bottom,making sure anyone who wanted to get by him, had to do it around the top. The track was good on both the top and bottom, but it was Shane’s night. He rode his #73 Rotax to his second Larry Weiss Memorial victory. 

   
  
Estelle, and Weimer joined Shane on the podium for second and third. Both Craig and Nick had a great weekend winning several different mains in different classes. Weimer even crashed on one race, and he got back up and won the race. Very cool 😎

 
The night went great for most of the riders. Carr won two more mains, and more champagne was sprayed on Larry’s motorcycle. Once again SDR put on an epic show for fans and competitors alike. All the racers  I spoke with agree, they love racing at SDR and plan on visiting again soon. So I say check out the Flat Track schedule on their website, and plan on a night of bar to bar racing. 

The next race is The Lee Thomas Cup on July 11th, this race always brings in some national riders from all over the country. Well that’s a wrap. Check out all of my images from the Vintage weekend at John Zachary Photography

I will see you at the track.

Take care, 

John

 

20140806-182728-66448764.jpg

Here is a interview with a young man
that is fun to watch and fast at the same time.

Name: Brandon Michael Price
Age: 14
Home town: White Hall, MD
Occupation: Student and Amateur Dirt Track Rider

Hello Brandon welcome to under the helmet. Thank you for

How did you get started in racing, and how old were you when you started?

I was 6 and my dad took me to watch the Timonium indoor races. I watched everybody race and some kids I know, too. I told my dad I wanted to race. Soon after that my dad got me a bike to ride.

What make and size was your first motorcycle? Do you still own it?

It was a 50 Honda, and no we don’t own it anymore we sold it to buy a cobra 50.

What is your favorite track, and what type of surface do you enjoy racing on the most?

I would say my favorite track is square deal and I love racing pea gravel.

Why do you think this type of track serves your style best?

It is the kind of track where you can be really aggressive and just rip around the corners.

Is flat track racing the only form of motorcycle racing you participate in? If so what other type would you consider racing?

I did a little motocross but I would consider all forms of racing if I had the opportunity.

Who did you look up to in your sport? Has there been a rider that has giving you advice through out your career?

I really like #44 Brandon Robinson’s riding style. He is a local rider and I grew up watching him race. I’ve had many pro/expert riders give me advice throughout the years, I couldn’t choose just one.

How many times a week do you race? And what tracks do you race at?

I race usually about once a week. I race at SDR, Shippensburg Speedway, Path valley Speedway, Timonium indoors/outdoors, Delta, Lampeter, York, Trailways, Gratz, Piston Poppers TT, Airport speedway.

I’m sure that you have had one or two races slip through your hands in your young career, what one do you wish you could do over again if any and why?

At DTGC on the tt track at Springfield. I was going around the outside of everybody in turn one, and I stalled the bike while trying to go for the lead. If I got a good finish on that race I would’ve gained enough points to possibly win the National Championship on my 450 Mod.

Brandon what has been your biggest win or championship that you are most proud of?

My biggest win of my career would have to be the Springfield half mile in the 450 open singles class this year when I battled against Hunter Edwards the whole race.

How many hours a week do you and your crew spend on preparing your bike for the next race?

About 10 hours a week.

How is your season going so far? What has been you biggest accomplishment so far this season?

My season is going great so far, I moved up to the A class so its made me a better overall rider. My biggest accomplishment this season would be winning the 250 modified amateur grand national championship.

What rider do you wish you could race against, but haven’t had opportunity to compete against yet?

I would like to race against Henry Wiles at the Peoria tt. I’m looking forward to it when I go expert.

Traveling seems to take up a lot of riders time during the season, how do you cope with the long drives and still stay fresh for the event?

I talk race strategy with my dad and try to get as much rest as possible, so I can be on my game for the races.

Is there any other sport that you enjoy participating in?

I like playing football for a rec sport and I’m going to try out for my high school’s JV football team. I enjoy deer season, so I can hunt with my friends and family.

What advice would you give to a young or new rider trying to make in the sport?

Have fun and if you don’t win the first time never give up.

It seems like everybody has a traing program do you have one? If so what does it consist of? How much riding do you do during the week and off season?

I weight train for 6 hours a week and run for 3 hours also I practice on my dirt bike for 3 days a week.

What are your goals for the 2014 season?

I would like to get an expert win at square deal. I also want to win my race classes at York Fairgrounds.

Where do you see yourself in five years, as far as
Flat track Racing?

I see myself as a top contending expert rider.

Please mention your sponsors and anybody that has helped you throughout your career.

my Dad, Mom, Family, Don’s Kawasaki, Don and Erin Kissinger, Blettner Powersports, F3videos, Thor, Alpinestars, TXR Construction Inc.

I would like to thank for your time, Good luck to you.

Get out to support Brandon at some if the tracks that he rides. He is going to be some one to reckon with soon.

Check out my images at John Zachary Photography

I’ll see you at the track.

Take care
John

20140806-190440-68680368.jpg

20140806-190510-68710285.jpg

20140806-190606-68766061.jpg

20140806-190638-68798497.jpg

20140806-190723-68843081.jpg