Posts Tagged ‘motorcycles’

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   
See you at the track,

 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, 




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