Posts Tagged ‘AMA’

Saturday night Square Deal Riders Motorcycle Club opened their 2017 Flat track season in a big way. A record number of riders made their way to Port Crane, NY for the Tribute race for 27u Jamison Minor, and 99a Kyle McGrane. These two young AMA riders lost their lives in separate accidents last year during the 2016 Flat Track Series. 

Both Kyle and Jamison were rising stars in this historic racing series. Family members from both riders were on hand to see 282 riders attending the nights race to honor their loved ones. 

 Over 40 riders from all over the North East were on hand to try and make the 16 riders main event. The pit area was bursting at the seams with the record amount of entries. As always Mike Williams and the club members did a fantastic job with preparation of both the track and the entire grounds.

Along with a full pit area the grandstands were full of dedicated Flat Track motorcycle fans. Early on the sun was shining and temps were in the high 60’s. By the time the main event was rolling out onto the front stretch the temps had fallen down into the 40’s. After all of the heat races and four semis, the field was set. 16 of the top riders brought their machines out to the starting line for introductions. National riders, and past national numbers made up the stout field.

You could feel the sadness in the air as rider introductions were being done. Jamison and Kyle were very nice young men that were exciting to watch at SDR. I have watched both of them grow up both physically and in their riding from behind my camera over the years. I feel

 Lucky to been able to capture them doing what they loved to do at SDR. 
The field was set, riders started their bikes and lined up behind family members on Jamison’s and Kyle’s bikes for a tribute lap around SDR. This gave me chills as the bikes made their way around the oval. 


Riders then picked their starting spots on the two lines in front of a full house. You could feel the tension in the air as the green light came on and the bikes came to life. After a few restarts the race was on. Former National rider Craig Estelle and current National #13 Jake Constantine lead the pack down into turn one. Inches separated 16 riders through the first two turns. These guys are warriors for sure. Estella lead Constantine by 1/2 a bike for the first few laps. Jake worked on Craig trying to find a way around the veteran for the lead. Behind those two were a host of battles going on through out the pack. The top five were all with in striking distance of the leaders. Constantine made a move by Estelle for the lead, but that didn’t last long. Craig drove his #51 Rotax by Jake again for the lead and never looked back. Constantine tried one more time coming out of turn two, but drove it off into the grass on the back stretch. He never lifted and came back up onto the track still on Craig’s rear fender. The ground came to their feet as the riders came by for the white flag. # 26 Lowell Carson from Lansing, NY was within a couple bikes behind the leaders in the third spot. Craig held his line as 2nd, and 3rd place looked for a way to get by. Checker’s flew as the #51 came out of 4 and down the front stretch for the win. 


Estelle picked up Kyle’s mom and did a victory lap with her on the back of his bike, holding the checkered flag. Emotions were high on the podium as the riders said a few words about both Jamison, and Kyle. Everybody loves a great race, and a full field of riders, but I’m sure they would all give it up to have their fellow competitors back on the track with them. 


Square Deal Riders Club did a fantastic job with this race and the amount of riders that paid their respects to Jamison and Kyle. Check out SDR website for the seasons schedule at http://squaredealriders.com/   
See you at the track,
John 


For the past two Saturday’s, Square Deal Riders have tried to get their Flat track race season underway, but the weather had other plans for the 79 year old club. 

Last night 5-21-16 we made our way to Harpersville to cover the first Race at SDR. This week was the annual NYS Quad Championships. Over a 150 riders in both Quads and Bikes filled the pits for the opener. 


Mike Williams and the entire SDR crew did fantastic job preparing the place for another year of racing on the 1/4 mile pee gravel track. The club members installed a new front stretch wall this spring, and also installed a new scoring system that uses transponders to keep track of the action on the track. 

Soon after the riders meeting the sky’s started to open up eith a light rain. Luckily for us the track will take a lot of rain before it becomes to wet to race. All riders were able to get one practice session in before the heat races started.


This year the club decided to start the nights races one hour earlier then past years. Doing this will allow the club to get the entire show completed before their curfew. In recent years with over 200 riders in the pits, caused the show to go longer then they were used too. I guess this is a good problem to have lol. Local first tracks in NY wish they had to many participants in the pit area every week. 


By the way it looks this year will prove to be the same as far as entries at SDR. With the light rain keeping the track moist, the racing was very fast and exciting for the fans that choose to stick it out. SDR officials ran the show along at a good pace trying to beat the heavy rains that were in the forecast.

This weekend the Quads played top bill with their 15 lap Champuonship main event. After the quad heat races we all new that the main was going to be a good one. After the riders were introduced to the fans, they lined up on the front stretch in three rows. 

Still racing the green lights came on and the quads dashed into turn one side by side. Eric Jennings grabbed the hole shot on past race winner Donahue, giving him a slight advantage down the back shoot.


Jennings kept his #401 ride out front until a nasty crash brought. Out the redf flag. The rider involved in the crash walked off the track to the ambulance to be looked at by the medical staff. In flat track racing after a red flag the riders line up one behind each other at the start finish line. Jennings new he needed to get a good gate again, Ahead of the always fast Donahue. Once again the green lights came on and the field headed out for four more laps. This time Donahue stayed real close to the rear bumper of Jennings quad. In between turn one and two Jennings rolled up on two wheels giving Donahue his one shot at the lead. #717 looked low on the leader but #401 gathered his quad up and pulled Donahue down the backstretch. Jennings was able to hang on for the win, with Donahue close behind.


              Dennis Goyer Aboard His #611 Yamaha

After that thrilling race the Bike classes would have to step their game to match that race. A full field of expert riders made their way onto the well watered track for the 450 Expert feature. After the riders placed their machines exactly where they wanted them for the start of the main. As soon as the green lights the riders aimed their 450cc bullets towards the first turn.


This might be  the best part of the night. Watching 15 bikes head off into a left hand turn inches apart.These guys are great at what they do, and it shows week after week. 


Michael Poe #83 from Parkton, Md,rode his Honda to the victory in the Open Experts class. #88 John Wood was in the runner up spot along with Jeremy Higgins, Craig Estelle, and Lowell Carson rounding out the top five. The entire race had good battles through out the field. Sometimes it seems like these main events are to short, just when it gets good it seems like the checkered flag is flying. I guess that is part of the excitement, short and sweet. 

450 am top three Mike Buman Jr, Chris Leviness Jr, Jeremiah Duffy.

450 Expert was one by always fun to watch Lowell Carson, followed by Jeremy Higgins, and open winner Michael Poe. 

The weather tried to stop the racing most of the night, but the SDR crew ran a tight program all night. It was well worth getting a little wet, because the racing was top notch as always. 

Make sure to mark your calanders for June,4 for the annual Scooters for Hooters benefit race. Along with a regular race on tap. 

All pictures can be seen at John Zachary Photography 

Thank you for stopping by,

I will see you at the track 

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Fresh off of two top five finishes at Daytona National 44 USC Kawasaki pilot Brandon Robinson sat down with me for a excellent interview for Under a The Helmet.

Name: Brandon Robinson
Age: 23
Home town: Oxford, PA
Occupation: Professional Motorcycle Racer

When did you start racing career and where? My first taste of the two wheeled world came when I was just four years old, back in 1994 at Trail Way Speedway in Hanover, PA.

What is your favorite surface to race on and track? My favorite surface to race on is just about any track that will form some sort of blue groove and my absolute favorite track is Oglethorpe Speedway in Savannah, GA!

Who did you, or even still do look up to in your sport and why? Growing up the main guy I looked up to was Chris Carr. He was winning everything in sight when I was a kid. I also look up to guys like Jake Johnson and Kenny Coolbeth. They are true professionals on and off the track and awesome competitors.

What was the biggest difference in racing when you became a pro? The biggest difference was just getting use to the pace like from the start to finish. There is little to no room for mistakes when everyone your racing is as just as fast as you. As an amateur I could get a bad start and work my way through the pack and as a pro its much more difficult.

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? A big disappointment for me was letting the 2012 Indy Mile slip away and finishing second. Still a great result, but if there is one place that I would like to win before my career is over its Indy, just because of everything I went through there with getting hurt.

Can you explain to the fans the feeling you get when you are racing handlebar to handlebar for 20-25 laps on the edge? It must be a rush. It’s definitely a blast especially at a place like Springfield where your swapping positions just about every lap. Working the draft and having to make every move with precision is a thing of beauty.

Who have you enjoyed racing against? and what rider do you wish you could have raced with that isn’t racing any more? I really enjoy racing against guys like Jake Johnson and Kenny Coolbeth. Someone I wish I got the chance to race against would be Nicky Hayden. Maybe some day he’ll make a comeback and I’ll get that opportunity.

What are your goals for the 2014 season? My goals for 2014 is to improve on my results from 2013 and make a run at the Grand National Championship!

What is one piece of advice you would give a young or new rider as they enter this great sport? A piece of advice that I would give to a young rider is don’t get discouraged or give up. Learn from your bad days and improve on them the next time.

So how do you feel about your results from both nights at Daytona? I’m pretty satisfied with my results from Daytona. It’s hard to complain about a couple of top 5’s, but that crash on the second night definitely put me behind. I felt like I had something to win that night, but that’s part of racing. It happens.

What changes if any did you make to your bike from Thursday night to Friday? Nothing. I rode the exact same bike with same set up both nights.

How important was tire choice both nights and was there any traction up high? You seemed like you where on a mission after the restart Friday night. Well there is no tire choice. We have a spec tire so everyone is on equal tires. I just knew what I had to do and my USC Kawasaki was working awesome and I was able to work my way forward!

What is your biggest accomplishment so far in your racing career? My biggest accomplishment has to be pulling off the double header sweep at the Springfield Mile last year!

Please mention your sponsors or people that have helped you throughout your racing season.USC Kawasaki, James Hart, Hot Shot Motorworks, James Stevens Racing, R&D Machine, Arai, ATI Physical Therapy, Penske Shocks, AXO, Go Pro, Saddlemen, Pro Plates, Motion Pro, Royal Publishing, VC Graphix, KK Motorcycle Supply, Hartman Photography, Modotek, PMP Sprockets, Spectro Oils, Wiseco Pistons, Cometic Gaskets, Lectron Carburetors, Evans Coolant, G2 Ergonomics, West Coast Hot Shoes, Works Connection, K&N, Impact Armor, DAO, WKR, Race Tech, Jim Chapman, Tom Scibek, John Y, TJB

Where can people follow your on social media, or a website that they can follow you though out your season?
Website: Brandon Robison
Twitter: @BRob44
Instagram: @BRob44
Facebook: Brandon Robinson

Don’t forget to follow this blog for up coming interviews by clicking to follow button below. Check out more Flat Track images at John Zachary Photography

I’ll see you at the track?
John

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