DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 21, 2016) – The Allen County Fairgrounds is held in special regard among AMA Pro Flat Track fans for its cushion pea-gravel, Half-Mile circuit, and on Saturday, June 25, riders will return to Lima, Ohio for an event that’s quite unique in comparison to most of the other races on the 2016 schedule.
The Lima Half-Mile’s wide, sweeping corners and soft track surface provide a variety of racing lines that emerge from huge rooster tails behind the bikes as they speed around the track.
Saturday’s appearance marks the 31st time AMA Pro Flat Track will come to Ohio’s famed pea-gravel track, and virtually all of the top names have battled there since Scott Parker took top honors in the first race held at the Half-Mile circuit in June of 1984.
The 2016 Lima Half-Mile will host a full program featuring the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines and GNC2 classes. The Round 8 affair will be broadcast live on FansChoice.tv and is scheduled to kick off with Opening Ceremonies at 7:00 p.m. local time, followed by Heat races set for 7:30 p.m. The green flag for the GNC2 Main Event is scheduled to fly at 9:25 p.m., and the night will be capped off with the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines Main Event at 9:50 p.m.
Last season, Brad Baker put together his finest performance of 2015. Not only did he claim the Lima Half-Mile checkered flag, but he was flawless throughout the entire affair, posting the fastest qualifying time and winning his Heat race prior to his Main Event domination.
The Dryad, Wash., pilot will look to kick-start his season this time around by putting all of the pieces together in Lima this Saturday aboard the No. 6 Factory Harley-Davidson XR750.
Entering the weekend fresh off of his second win of the 2016 season is defending Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines champion Jared Mees. Mees edged out rival Bryan Smith in last Saturday’s Oklahoma City Mile by 2.114 seconds and the No. 1 Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XR750 rider appears to be hitting his stride just in time for a run at his fourth GNC1 championship in five years.
Smith, mounted on the No. 42 Crosley/Howerton Kawasaki Ninja 650, failed to win his fourth consecutive Mile last weekend, but his second-place effort keeps him sitting comfortably atop the GNC1 point standings entering this Saturday’s contest in Lima.
Entering the weekend sitting third in the GNC1 point standings is Washington’s Sammy Halbert. The No. 69 Briggs Auto.com Harley-Davidson XR750 pilot recorded another eighth-place finish in Oklahoma last weekend due to a late-race crash. Halbert is one of the few riders who hasn’t finished outside of the top ten so far in 2016, quite an impressive feat considering the tough competition. Despite best efforts, however, his recent performances have dampened his chances of competing for the championship this season.
Three-time GNC1 champion and fan favorite, Kenny Coolbeth Jr., had a weekend to forget in Oklahoma last Saturday, as the No. 2 Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson XR750 pilot suffered an early-race mechanical and finished last in the Main Event. He now finds himself sitting seventh in the point standings heading into the weekend.
Coolbeth’s Zanotti Racing teammate, Jake Johnson, finished 13th at Remington Park and he’ll enter Saturday’s contest sitting fourth in the GNC1 point standings.
Former Zanotti Racing rider, Henry Wiles, recorded his best finish of 2016 in Oklahoma, as the No. 17 USC Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650 pilot finished third and will look to carry that momentum into Round 8 on Saturday and improve his eighth-place position in the GNC1 point standings.
Tristan Avery battled to the top of the podium for the second time in three races last round, and the No. 16S Ron Ayers Honda CRF450R rider will look to earn another victory in the GNC2 competition this Saturday. The Virginian sits fourth in the point standings and is seeking to win his first championship at just 17 years old.
Current GNC2 points leader, Ryan Wells, finished fifth in Oklahoma and he’ll ride the No. 94B Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda CRF450R at Lima this Saturday.
Young guns Dalton Gauthier and Jamison Minor round out the top three in the point standings heading into the weekend. If the GNC2 class has proven anything over the years, it’s that you never know what to expect out of the feeder class come race day.
HOW TO WATCH
Gates for this weekend’s Lima Half-Mile open at 2:00 p.m. local time, with opening ceremonies set to kick off at 7:00 p.m. Tickets start at just $30 and are going fast. Get yours by calling 419-991-1491 today. For additional information, please visit http://www.limahalfmile.com/.
FansChoice.tv will broadcast the entire Lima Half-Mile in high definition at www.fanschoice.tv/watch-live/ama/flat-track. Coverage will begin with practice and qualifying at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:00 p.m. PT). The Pre-Race Show will take place at 6:00 p.m. ET (3:00 p.m. PT), followed by Opening Ceremonies at 7:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. PT) and Heat Races immediately afterwards at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. PT). The GNC2 class will grid up for their Main Event at 9:15 p.m. ET (6:15 p.m. PT) followed by the 18 fastest flat track motorcycle racers in the world at 9:40 p.m. ET (6:40 p.m. PT). Fans that aren’t able to make the trek to Ohio this weekend are invited to follow all of the live action at http://www.fanschoice.tv.