So far, the Grand National Championship entry lists for both events contain over 40 pre-entered riders, while both AMA Pro Singles entry lists exceed 50 pre-entered riders with more riders from both classes expected to enter leading up to the day of the race.
At the 2013 season opener, fans witnessed four riders claim their first career victories at the professional level in dramatic fashion. Mike Rush and Brandon Robinson each earned close wins in Grand National Expert Singles competition while Kyle Johnson and Jake Constantine captured the first checkered flags of their careers at the Pro Singles level.
Going into 2014, fans can expect a strong talent pool for all classes. Brad Baker will look to defend his No. 1 plate aboard his Factory Harley-Davidson XR750 for all 12 AMA Pro Expert Twins events scheduled for 2014. The defending champ inked a deal with the heavily sought-after race team this offseason and will surely be a top candidate to make a run at the title again this season. However, for the season opening doubleheader at Daytona later this week, Baker will be mounted on his No. 1 FMC Dyno Center backed KTM 450 SX-F.
Female sensation Shayna Texter made waves this offseason as she elected to graduate to the Grand National Championship. Texter signed a deal with Latus Motors Racing this offseason for all 12 AMA Pro Expert Twins events but will ride a No. 25A DFW Honda CRF450R for both AMA Pro Expert Singles events at Daytona. The Willow Street, Penn. product won four total races last season and will look to carry over that momentum into 2014.
Brandon Robinson made his mark at DAYTONA Flat Track roughly a year ago when he earned his first victory at the professional level after an impressive Race 2 performance. The win catapulted him in the standings and he eventually finished third in the overall points. At just 23 years old, the Oxford, Penn. native is already considered one of the finest dirt track racing talents in the world and a clear-cut favorite to contend for the overall championship this season. Robinson will compete aboard a No. 44 USC Kawasaki KX450F later this week when the season kicks off at Daytona.
Another threat to go the distance later this week and contend throughout the duration of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track season is Jared Mees. The 2012 Grand National Champion and Clio, Mich. product will ride a No. 9 Montgomeryville Cycle backed Honda CRF450R this Thursday and Friday as he intends to get back to his winning ways.
An injury-free Sammy Halbert will be amongst the front-end competitors this weekend when the lights go green at Daytona. Halbert battled through an injury-plagued 2013 season which left him unable to compete in several races. However, the Graham, Wash. native has declared himself healthy for the season opener and will surely be a competitor to keep an eye on. Halbert will ride a No. 7 Vans Yamaha YZ 450F this weekend.
The AMA Pro Flat Track season opener begins this Thursday, March 13, 2014 with live streaming of the opening ceremonies scheduled to commence at 7:30 p.m. ET. Round 2 will follow on Friday, March 14, 2014 with the same time and live streaming schedule. For tickets and more information regarding the events, please visit http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/.
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. Complete details about FansChoice.tv will be released in the coming days.
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.
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
Photo credit to AMA Pro Racing/Dave Hoenig