Posts Tagged ‘AMA GNC’

20130603-182141.jpgName: Justin Velicky
Age: 33
Home town: Amsterdam NY
Occupation: Bridge Inspector

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

I started when I was maybe 8 or 9 on mini bikes. My father would bring home some pretty interesting pieces and we would pull a motor from a tiller or snowblower or find something to get in the frame and ride around the neighborhood. The first mini bike was pimped out to with red grips and a blue fur seat that was a cover for a toilet. The first real bike I got was at 12 – an 88 rm 80 and I was hooked from then on. I would ride it mainly in trails and rip the rear fender off as much as I could and one day my father and his buddy took me to electric city after hours ( kinda snuck in) and started burning in some laps. The next race they were holding I was in, new stickers all over the bike to make it fast, work boots, jeans, sweatshirt, and leather gloves. I got 5th and was pretty happy with that. There was 6 of us but it sounds better as a 5th than a second to last.

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

Its a toss up for me cause anything with stones and water is my fav. Square Deal is my favorite place to be if I have to pick. The guys there are amazing with the track. You know everytime its Race day that track is going to be one of the raciest tracks in the country. It brings out some heavy hitters every year to battle on that surface, and usually the fastest guy with the most balls wins and I like that.

Who did you look up to as a young rider? Was there a rider that gave you advice or support when you were trying to make it to the big bikes?

Roger Durkee GNC 69. I mean I loved to watch Scott Parker and he was my all time fav but my local guy who still in my head was one or the best technical short track riders was the great Roger. When I first started I used to watch him come out of turn 4 at electric city – sat back completely crossed up, wide open, with the wheel 2 -3 inches off the ground gone week after week win after win. He helped me a lot with learning his famous square off move that I like to think I use pretty effectively.

How has the sport changed since you started racing? And what would you like to see happen in flat track racing in the future?

It seems like it made it easier for kids to come through the ranks using this DTX style bike but, I feel like we lost a little of the flat track heiritage that came with the sport. I have a very one sided answer with this question cause I came through the AMA ranks on a framed rotax . I thought that it was a good bike to make the advance on from a DTX style motocross bike that most riders used coming through the AMA ranks and then make the switch to a framed bike with a little more weight before it was time for the XR. I guess that is what I would like to see come back – a big single pro race, and you know all the big boys in the pro ranks all have a fast rotax stored away.

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

Well I would like to lie to you on this one and say there were none but the one that comes to my mind the most was an Aaron Creamer race at Square Deal where I led 22 laps and slipped high and lost it to Mike Radley. I am sure there were more that were even worse but, the Aaron Creamer race holds a lot of weight in my heart so those days stick out the most.

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

Every win to me is a great one. I never had a GNC win and im sure that would do it but if I had to choose it would be the Aaron Creamer Memorial race at Square Deal. I came close a bunch of times and really wanted my name on the checkered flag. I got it 2 years ago and I was pretty happy with that, I even wrote it on Aaron legacy page.

As a spectator I see you and your father in the pits working on your bikes together. It’s seems that both of you enjoy the sport and are working toward the same end goal (winning). What role do each of you play in bike set up and race prep during the week?

He does the inside of the motor and i do the outside and they usually meet together well. I would like to say that we get it done early in the week but, usually we are both working all over and it seems like we find our only and best time to work is under extreme preasure the couple nights before. We work around the clock and show up late ready to win with no oil in the bike and the air cleaners still drying with a paper on the tank that says no oil.

You and your framers are always fast, why do you like the framers better than the new style DTX bikes?

They turn, hook up, and weigh less period. These frames and the general geometry of a flat track bike hasn’t changed that much since it started. These are custom one of a kind purpose built bikes for an individuals personal liking. I mean for me it’s the only way to ride on a flattrack – you ride the flat track bike on the flattrack and you ride the motocross bike on the motocross track…right?

Justin I have seen you have some good battles at SDR over the last five years, who do enjoy running bar to bar with these days? What rider do you wish you could have raced against but never had the opportunity?

I like to run next to Craig Estell. He is a smooth rider and runs a consistant lap so it makes it easy to judge where he will be for close racing. During practice though on my own time pretty much the only rider I ride real close with lap after lap is Adam Carpenello GNC 58. We put in a lot of great battles and get to laugh about it after. Except one time when I was leading a heat race he had second and he completely took the two of us out on the last lap. I sent him the pic of that move he pulled but we still are great friends. The one rider I would have loved to ride with would def be Scott Parker. I got to race the same race but, we were in different heats down at the stadium in Daytona my first year expert on a rotax sponsered to me by Frank Carpenello and another bike By Tom Buzzi. So close.

Can you tell the fans how important the bike setup is and what changes make the biggest difference?

I mean the set up is everything. I’m generally a stone guy and a throttle junkie so I need traction as much as possible – swing arm angle and wheel placement is very critical for me along with tires. If you ever see me in the pits there is a good chance that I have a razor or grooving iron in my hand.

If you couldn’t have been a Flat track racer what other sport would you have liked to have done as a pro?

Is porn a sport?? Nah just kidding. Maybe offshore boating ??? it looks like a lot off fun and pretty risky. I need a certain amount of risk in my life or I get shakey.

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

Work hard all the time, talk to the fast guys at the races and start practicing. You can slow yourself down during practice and practice individual technics and then apply them when your racing. Be in shape and try to eat healthy. Most important be a good kid. Its an expensive sport and very demanding same as all the other sports when you want to go to the top level. Your parents will be flipping the bill so be good and keep the family close and keep them paying as long as possible.

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?

Unfortunatly i had to grow up and do the whole college and job thing so I don’t get to enjoy as much riding as I used too but, during the race year I like to ride dirt bikes a couple times a week. We built a flat track and a motocross track at my house so it makes it a little easier. I try to eat healthy, lift light, and ride a bike also as much as I can fit in. At a minimum just do some stretches, sit ups, and push ups. During off season im on the ice a lot. I try to get at least 30 rides in before season starts.

What are your goals for the 2014 season?

Keep it on two wheels, try and have fun, see all the racers I love to see and most important WIN!

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

My whole family and friends, Harts MotorSports out of Mayfield NY 518-661-part, Killer Kyle 43, Jon lutzman, Doug Armstrong, Marks Const., Pilot Racing, Resist Ind., and my GF – who keeps me moving forward.

Check out Justin on his always fast No.12 at http://squaredealriders.comImageImageSquareImageImageImageImage

Check out more pictures of Justin and all of the riders at SDR at my site http://johnzacharyphotography.com

20140516-073228.jpg

Name: Shayna Texter
Age:23
Hometown: Willow Street, PA
Occupation: College Student

When did you start your racing career and where?

I have been riding since I was 3 years old. However because my Dad, Randy Texter raced in both AMA Flat Track and AMA Road Race I had to wait until he retired. I have been racing indoors on concrete since I was 4 and racing outdoors full time since 2003. My first outdoors race was at Trail-Ways Speedway in Hanover, PA.

What is your favorite surface to race on and track?

It really varies. I really enjoyed racing the cushion tracks this past season because of how much harder I could race the other riders on. However I also grew up on grooved car tracks, so any day that we attend a good car track with a wide groove and tons of grip I enjoy those as well.

Who do you look up to in your sport and why?

I look up to a few riders within the sport, one of those individuals being Chris Carr. He has been around and apart of our sport for a long time and is an honest person. If I am looking for some honest feedback or guidance he is definitely the guy to go to and I respect him a lot for that. The other two riders I really have looked up to are Jake Johnson and Kenny Coolbeth. Two past champions in our sport that both have more love and passion for riding motorcycles than anyone else I have met. I look up to these guys because of how grounded they are. You would never know the difference in their attitude whether they win or lose or have a factory ride or are wrenching for themselves come race day.

Who has helped you the most with riding advice or just good advice on how to be a Pro Rider in the AMA?

Before my Dad died he really set Cory and I up for success. He was a part of the sport not only has a rider, but also a team sponsor of the series. He is a lot of the reason I am the type of individual I am today. Since he has passed away, I really have turned to the entire Flat Track family for help, support, and guidance. I really won’t ever be able to thank my family, friends, sponsors, fans, or fellow riders enough for pushing me through and helping me get to where I am today.

What was the biggest difference that you have noticed so far riding in the a GNC Series?

The biggest difference in riding in the GNC Series is the speed and the little room for error. When racing at local races the speed and fast paced environment that you experience at Grand National each and every weekend isn’t always there at local race. One thing I learned as a rider is that I ride to my full potential and want it a lot more at a Grand National versus an outlaw race.

During your racing career what has been your biggest disappointment. Is there a race that got away from you or a championship that you have always wanted to get but just haven’t been able to reach?

I believe every rider has some sort of disappointment that we have put on ourselves. Some things like not qualifying for the short track at a Hotshoe National or crashing on the TT at Amateur Nationals my Horizon award year or even drafting too late at a National are things that come to mind. However these are all races that I could have raced differently that could have possibly had a different outcome, but I can’t change that now. I continue on the next day and continue to live my dream of racing motorcycles.

Shayna you must be so pumped to be riding the Triumph for Latus Motors Racing, and having a great champion like Joe Kopp as your Team Manager?

Yes, I am truly blessed to have been given this opportunity to work with the Latus Motors Racing Triumph team and Joe Kopp this season.

I know it’s early in the season, but how do you like the Castrol Triumph?

I love it! The changes we made this off-season were spot on and I have never truthfully been more comfortable on a twin cylinder chassis before.

What is one thing that you think is an advantage to you and your team aboard the Triumph?

I think one thing that is an advantage for myself and the team is how well the chemistry is. We are all on the same page each and every day at the track and we are all having fun! It has been a long time since I haven’t had to work on my bikes and could just focus on riding them, so that is really nice.

Who have you enjoyed racing against? and what rider do you wish you could have raced with that isn’t racing any more?

There is a bunch of riders that I enjoy racing with and that is what is so awesome about our sport. When I get to ride handlebar to bar with them and smile when the race is over it is considered by me to be another good day of racing.

What are your goals for the 2014 season?

My main goal is to learn. There is so much yet for me to learn in this sport as a rookie from the veterans, that I just want to soak up as much as I can this year. My second goal is to qualify for my first Grand National so that I can drop my letter “A” and my final goal is to be a tough contender for the Rookie of the Year award.

What is one piece of advice you would give a young or new rider as they enter this great sport?

This sport is tough and the one thing that I have learned along the way is to never give up. I could have easily quit when my Dad died. However I pushed myself to continue because I wanted it. Sometimes I think some of these younger kids get pushed to ride and at the end of the day these younger kids need to remember to only ride if it is what they truly want.

Fresh from the opening season of the GNC series, what did you learn at Daytona that you will continue to build on as the season continues?

Confidence. I learned that if I have complete confidence in myself as a rider, the team, and the bike at the end of the day no matter what it will be a rewarding day. The expert riders are the best in the country and right now I just need to continue being me and find myself in the class.

Through out the year what kind of training program to you have to keep in race shape? also Shayna how many hours of seat time do you get in during the week?

As a Pro Singles rider I truthfully never trained. All of my time went into building my bikes and getting them ready each week. I didn’t have a mechanic at home to work on the bikes, clean them, load them, or even drive them to the track. It was all on me. However now that I relived of working on bikes I really have been training. I have been going to the gym during the week and riding bicycles at least twice a week. Seat time on a motorcycle has really been tough since I lost my practice track when my Dad died, however the team and I do have a testing schedule in place to get some additional seat time before my first Expert twins race in Springfield, IL.

I am sure you have been asked this question a lot in your career, but how tough is it to compete at this level as a women in AMA Flat Track Racing? Or do you feel that it’s the same for any young rider that is breaking into GNC?

Like every sport, the men and women have advantages and disadvantages that come on race day. I obviously do not know what it is like to be a male rider, however I do know that some work just as hard and/or harder as I do to be there each and every race. We all love the sport and are grateful because we all know how tough it is to compete in each and every weekend.

Please mention your sponsors or people that have helped you throughout your racing season.

Latus Motors Racing, DFW Honda, Castrol Oil, Triumph North America, McElroy Packagaing, Crosley Radio, RLT Racing, Wright Way Racing, Arai, Brain Leathers, Alpinestars, Kicker, Motion Pro, K&N Filters, Saddlemen, G2 Ergonomics, Evans, 100%, RASE, Weiss Racing, Design Star 3, Go Pro, West Coast Hotshoes, PMP Sprockets, Spider Grips, Fly Racing, Racing Optics, Falicon, and last but not least my Family, Friends, and Fans…THANK YOU!

The images in this Blog were taken by Tom Stein you can check out all of his great work at Northwest Track Shots Thank you again Tom.

20140516-073301.jpg

20140516-074135.jpg

20140516-074141.jpg

20140516-074147.jpg

20140301-103242.jpg

Three time Grand National Flat Track Champion, Kenny Coolbeth was kind enough to do this interview with me as he was getting ready for Daytona bike week 2014. I would like to thank Kenny for this interview, and wish him luck with his new team.

Name: Kenny Coolbeth
Age: 36
Home town: Morris, CT
Occupation: Professional Motorcycle Racer

What class do you participate in and what brand of bikes do you ride?
GNC Expert- I race both Honda 450 and a Harley XR 750.

When did you start your racing career, and where?
I started racing when I was 5 years old. I raced a lot at SDR in BInghamton, Electric City and Hanover, PA. My parents really took me everywhere,

What is your favorite surface to race on and track?
Clay Tracks are my favorite surface,and my favorite track is Hagerstown.

Who did you, or even still do look up to in your sport and why?
I looked up to Bubba Shobert, he was the best in my eyes and if he didn’t get hurt I’m sure he would have won more championships. The way he rode, and his style was great. He was always in the top three.

During your racing career what has been your biggest disappointment. Is there a race that got away from you or a championship that you have always wanted to get but just haven’t been able to reach?
My biggest disappointment was in 2009, I was leading the points with one race to go and I broke my collarbone and lost the championship.

What is your biggest accomplishment so far in your career?
My biggest accomplishment was winning my first championship in 2006,

Who have you enjoyed racing against? and what rider do you wish you could have raced with that isn’t racing any more?
I have enjoyed racing against Jared Mees. I wish I could have raced against Bubba Shoebert, but he got hurt before I turned pro.

What is something that you have always wanted to do while racing but haven’t been able to do yet?
I would love to go to another country and race against different people, I hope I have the opportunity to do this some day. I was going to race in the Troy Bayless Classic this past year but the timing wasn’t right with me joining a new team and figuring out stuff for the 2014 season.

What is one piece of advice you would give a young or new rider as they enter this great sport?
My advice that I would give is to always have fun, but be serious about it.

Please mention your sponsors or people that have helped you throughout your racing season.
My sponsors are Zanotti Racing, Burt Ives Honda, Moroneys HD, Trantolo & Trantolo, RLJ Racing, Arai, Cometic, Motion Pro, K&N, Bazzaz, Votex, Works Connection, Ride Academy, Millenium Technologies, Spectro, G2 Ergonomics, EBC Brakes, Weiss Racing, Saddlemen, Pro Plates, Wiseco, Boughner Racing, Strictly Dirt, Acerbis, Prewitt Automotive, HBD Motografx

Where can people follow you on social media, or a website that they can follow you though out your season?
You can find me on…
Facebook – Kenny Coolbeth Jr
Instagram – coolbeth2
Website – Kennycoolbeth.com
Also info on AMA Pro Flat Track website

20140301-104915.jpg

20140301-105332.jpg

20140301-105341.jpg

20140301-110217.jpg