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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sunoco "Going the Distance"

AMA and Sunoco put out a press release yesterday saying that they were putting up $15,000 in contingency.

Good. Great. Grand. Wonderful.

So we have 70-80 guys a weekend, that HAVE to run Sunoco Supreme 112. Prices I've been told vary from $7.75 a gallon ($39/5gal) to $72 for a sealed 5 gallon can. Like I said before, and I still believe. We shouldn't be running a spec fuel if the spec fuel isn't going to be supplied at the race track by the distributor. This is too much of a cluster. You know have people who are going to a distributor, having 5 gallons of gas pumped into a previously used can (that very well could be contaminated) being dumped into a gas tank (that if not properly cleaned out can contaminate fuel as well). There is too many variables for one of the series that is the most strict on fuel that I know of in the motorcycle world.

For Example in 20010 I rode Mike Boughner's 450 Honda at the Springfield TT. We used a sealed can of VP C12. After the main event it tested legal. It went home, sat in Mike's garage untouched until we showed up for Gas City. Going out for the first practice that gas in the tank (that tested legal at Springfield) was now illegal. Had the gas can checked and it was now contaminated (at least to the point of being outside of the allowable margins). We had to buy another tank of gas. That was a sealed can of C12 and a bike that had been flushed with C12 before running it. Now we add a bunch of variables for fuel to go bad. This is going to work out awesome for Sunoco and Jared Mees (who will be selling fuel at the track for $72 a can) when someone's gas fails and they have to scramble for a quick 5 gallons.

Outside of that, we're not giving contingency to 8 people. The top 4 in Pro Singles and the top 4 Experts based on the amount of mileage they did on the race track. Tie breakers to go by wins, then points. So just a real clever way of saying the top 4 in points. Once again, EVERYBODY is paying and only the top 4 are getting any sort of cutback for it.

The spec fuel is bullshit. What if I just want to run some damned premium pump gas like I did in 2008. Go back to have's and have not's. At least we're not all paying so that the have's have more...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Pro Singles Series

Hey, while I'm at it I may as well throw it out there what I think about the Pro Singles class also. I don't think it should be a national series. I think it should be a "Regional" series much like the AMA Lites Supercross class. I say this because they're not making enough money ($1000 to win) to support traveling the country for 20 races a year. So why not split it up into an east and west and let guys on both sides of the country to opportunity to race without going broke as shit. It sucks that DuQuoin is no longer the last race of the year, cuz that would have made an awesome chance for a Showdown between the 2 "coasts." But Pomona would work just as well. Give them a stepping stone to riding a twin.

As far as the Provisional Twins licenses the Top 20 of the Pro Singles were given. That's horse shit also. It should be given off of points. Whether that's the top 20 or the top 5, it should go off the riders that were able to gain their points. For Example when I was going from Pro Sport to go expert you had to have earned 60 points on a Twin or 120 points on a Single in a single 365 calendar year. That would have given only the top 8 in pro singles points the eligibility to even gain an expert license, but we're going to give 12 more guys the option to race a twin with experts just to essentially boost numbers? I'm guessing because why the hell else would someone open up a pro singles rider to racing a twin at 10 of 11 twins events so far posted (History proves at least 1 of those will fall off also).

Don't even get me started on those idiots banging into eachother at Springfield Mile... Sorry for being harsh, but thats what they all say about eachother and the racing, yet they're all still smashing into the sides of eachother at over 100 mph.

Great ideas guys. Does anyone over there think about the results of their actions?

My thoughts on Spec Parts...

With AMA Dirt Track now having to run Sunoco Fuels and Dunlop tires, there are a few things that bother me about them. So on with my rant... However wrong it may be.

My first belief is that if it's a spec aftermarket part, that the supplier (Sunoco/Dunlop) should not just be offering contingency to the top 10. I think that's total horse shit and only the rich get richer. Meaning that Only the Top 10 are benefitting (they're the only ones receiving the contingency(they'd probably argue with me they're not benefitting)), AMA Pro Racing (They have to be getting some sort of financial reimbursement for this right?) and Sunoco/Dunlop (after all these guys now have no competition and a monopoly). In all my years of the Spec Dunlop tire (which in a way I do support) I only received a kickback from Goodyear once...

For it to really work and be beneficial for everyone, the suppliers of anything aftermark and spec, especially something that EVERYBODY has to use the same of, such as fuel and tires, that these suppliers need to be at every race, supplying product at a racer friendly cost. If I go to an AMA Road Race I can show up, pay Dunlop to mount and balance brand new spec tires, go to a pump and buy my Sunoco fuel for $7 a gallon...

Instead... I'm a dirttracker, I have to buy my own out of round, horrible quality control Dunlop tires from a distributor, where prices are now rumored to be $190/ea (I was paying $136 in 2008) then mount and balance them myself or pay to have a local shop to mount and balance them (as i'm sure many do). I then have to buy Sunoco from wherever I can find it for as CHEAP as $10/gal (killer deal right?). BUTT I have to make sure the can I put it in is flushed out, possibly waste a gallon washing that out, then another gallon washing out the fuel tank on each bike or bikes. Cool, so if I have 2 cans and 3 bikes I just wasted $50 and 5 gallons in gas to wash my cans out just so hopefully they don't contaminate the new gas. In 2009 with VP I had horrible luck with cans going bad in the weeks between races. Testing just off enough to be illegal and causing me to buy a new can of gas. Luckily then Randy Texter had taken it upon himself to transport VP Fuels to the track so they were available.

I don't understand who makes these plans, I hope to god they don't actually think they're doing something good for us. I understand we're a small market but we're getting taken advantage of bigger than shit on these... Until these manufacturers offer support at the race track for us, and their products, at a reasonable price. This spec shit is just that, shit.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

AMA Pro Racing Adds Tucson on Oct. 6th

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 9, 2012) - AMA Pro Racing is excited to add USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz. to the 2012 AMA Pro Racing Flat Track Schedule. The event will fill the October 6, 2012 TBA date on the previously-announced 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by schedule.

Arizona's premier 3/8-mile dirt track, USA Raceway is a relatively new track. The modern facility, which opened in 2005, normally hosts Late Model Stock Cars and Sprints Cars, but the AMA Pro Grand National Championship has visited Tucson before. In 2007, there were actually two Nationals in one weekend there.

The Raceway hosted both GNC Singles and GNC Twins rounds in what would be the last races of the year. Jake Johnson, aboard a factory-backed Suzuki, won the first night over teammate JR Schnabel and Bryan Smith on a Honda. The next night, Kenny Coolbeth locked up the number one plate with a second-place finish behind Joe Kopp, with Rich King taking third to make it an all Harley-Davidson podium.

The AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by and the AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles will conclude the 2012 season on the west coast, the October 6 date placing the Tucson, Ariz. event on the weekend between California races in Santa Rosa and the finale at Pomona.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Anaheim 1 After Thoughts....

After the Supercross Series Opener at Anaheim 1 ran this Saturday, this is what I would take from the race...

The riders didn't like the track, but that typically leads to good racing. Dirt Track example, Daytona. Most of us hate the track in Daytona, can tell you I don't know of anyone (outside of maybe Slammy) that like the shorttrack in Daytona but it has lead to really good racing in the past. As riders we usually don't like tracks where we struggle to find a set up and get into a good rythym. Not to mention as the night went on the track got rougher, had more ruts, and got slick. A stark contrast to the hard packed blue groove smooth as asphalt test tracks most of these guys have been testing on. That's probably why so many good guys hit the ground. Dean Wilson and Wil Hahn in the 250F's. Reed, Stewart, Dungey, Tedesco, Josh Grant, and T. Hahn in the 450's.

Stewart will come around, even after "Tire Gate" where he ran both a Bridgestone and a Dunlop tire during practice, so they had a baseline to compare against the Pirelli's. They admitted that the track was much different than what they had been testing on and they wanted to eliminate all variables. The next time they have a track that technical don't count #7 out...

Villopoto rode awesome, as expected. Dude is a robot. Reed put in a solid effort and despite a late race crash held on for 2nd. Dungey had a mid race bobble also but held on for 3rd, and in doing so gave KTM it's first supercross podium in the premier class. Justin Brayton was very surprising to finish 4th after coming from the LCQ. Jake Weimer was a big surprise to me also finishing 5th, and Stewart came home 6th. Outside of that, not a whole lot exciting, Tommy Hahn was turning really good turns but must have crashed and busted himself up good. Nick Wey didn't make the main. Which is a bummer. Josh Hill struggled to ride through his injury which is amazing, I'm hearing he'll miss Phoenix this weekend. Hope the kid heals up and comes back. Got serious damage in that left ankle/foot of his.

Cole Seely put a hurt on the 250F guys. Passing Wilson and Rattray of the Pro Circuit team and riding real solid for a great win for the TLD Honda Crew. Good for him. Wilson crashed on the last lap to give up 3rd spot to Tomac. Tomac rode awesome. Hammering a triple out of a corner that only Reed, Stewart, and Dungey were the other ones jumping. And doing it on a 250F.

Was surprised to see Jeff Ward Racing Kawasaki have both it's riders in the main, apparently no growing pains there as Josh Grant and Kyle Chisholm both had solid rides.

Also Andrew Short on the new L&Mc team sponsored by was solid and can't expect a team with those guys behind it to ever do bad. I was surprised to see them rocking FMF Exhausts, and it looks like a ton of people are rocking them this year.

Factory Kawasaki is back to Pro Circuit exhausts. Also rocking white rear fenders trying to copy Honda or something. Which I think is not cool. But hey they don't really care what I think do they. At least I don't think they do because they haven't expressed any interest in my feelings yet.

EmSee Custom Paint

Matt at EmSee Custom Paint out of Springfield, Illinois has come on board for 2012. Matt paints for the Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, and Justin Algaier in the Nascar world. A Springfield native, and an ex motocrosser of 10 years turned into Paint Booth Junkie, All Around Race Fan, and helluva good guy. It should be coming up with some sweet paint jobs on the Bell Moto 9s and Bell Stars that I'll be wearing this year.

Keep an eye out as it will be here that the paint is introduced first...

Thanks for the love EmSee Custom

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Anaheim 1 This Weekend!

Anaheim 1 Supercross is this weekend and it will be live on Speedvision. No idea what time but I would guess the night show starts about 7pm PST and typically ends around 10pm PST. This event is always super hyped up and it ends what I call "Survival Season." Most notable victims of survival season: Ken Roczen, Trey Canard, PJ Larsen and I know there are others that I'm forgetting. As always, this is the time of year to catch the first glimpse of 2013 gear, the new bikes, new teams, new haulers, new team/rider relationships, and the whole shebang.

Things that stand out to me the most... right now...

Moto Concepts Racing - Not sure how I feel about these guys going all Team Nami (thanks Porter) and calling their bikes MCR 450's and MCR 250's because of the lack of support they get from the industry. By doing this, and making their bikes white instead of the OEM color. The teams riders are sacrificing the OEM contingency money put up by Suzuki and Honda (i'm guessing that their 250F guess will be on Honda's but could very well be white Suzukis). Although the freedom to ride what they like, and use what they like, with no pressure from a OEM is pretty cool. If it wasn't an all Alessi team in JT gear I would almost like them... Maybe next year.

Dodge/Hart and Huntingon/Sycuan Casino/Kawasaki/Loc Tite/We'reSponsoredByTheWorld - These guys have an awesome pit presence. Everything is branded and tagged with their logos and colors and looks real professional for as busy as it. Stark contrast to the usually very bland and simple Factory Honda set up. I think that the H&H Team along with the KTM team have the best pit set ups. But also these guys have alot of support from Pro Circuit using their Suspension and Motors and have very capable riders in Ivan Tedesco #9, Josh Hill #74, and Kyle Partridge #??, and Josh Hansen #100. The raw talent in that team is insane. Hill and Hansen are flashy and fast but hopefully Carey Hart and Kenny Watson can keep them in line and focusing on winning races and they have potential to be real upsetters. Tedesco isnt nearly as flashy but rock solid. Tedesco was strong last year even with knee/hip problems. Kyle Partridge is also on the team but I don't know shit about him. He's tall.

Nick Wey - NYK is back with Alan Brown of Brown Racing (XXX Fame) and made the choice to purchase his own 2012 Kawasaki KX 450's. Nyk is super talented but has been pinched in alot of deals in the past but he's a solid performer and in the action week and week out. Rarely injured I think only Kevin Windham has lined up for as many races as ole Nick. Plus i'm a Nyk fan cuz I grew up about 60 miles east of him. Keep an eye for the ole Michigan Mafia and the number two-seven from the big city of Dewitt come A1.

Two Two Racing - Will they do as good as they did last year? In the off season Chad went out and hired Mike Gosselaar and Sergio Avanto. Everybody knows Goose from success with RC. And i believe Sergio is an engineer that used to work for KYB suspensions back in the day for Kawasaki (think bubba on a 2 stroke)... I think. I could be wrong. Chad is now armed with full
factory Honda 450's so he can pick n choose n build a bike of what he think works best and I think for Chad this will work again this year as it did last year. Dude is happy and can do what he wants and that's coo.

Ryan Dungey / KTM - KTM announced today the 2012 KTM Factory SX-F 450 which is essentially a prototype 450 and they'll get around the rule by importing 50 of them and selling them at 10g a piece. It has a new frame and new body work (probably a preview of 2013). Cool to see KTM making such an effort. Hopefully it pays off for them. Hopefully Dungey finds a personality in the process...

James Stewart / JGR / Davi Millsaps - I think Stewart is going to be unreal. I think Millsaps will surprise and I think Pirelli will sell alot more tires after Stewart wins a few races on them despite that what he rides on and what we can buy are nothing alike. Not alot to say about these guys.

250F's - Well I don't know jack because nobody ever says what coast they're riding until the last minute so i'm going to throw out my favorites. Wil Hahn, Comeon mane! Dean Wilson, Dude is killer. Eli Tomac, turned into a monster at the end of the SX series last year. Justin Barcia, comeon he has a #1 plate! Daryn Durham, ever seen this kid ride? Got style for days! Malcom Stewart, he's the little bro of James, and he's hilarious. Enough for me! Kill it kid! All of the Troy Lee guys. Those guys are all cool on that team. Seely is the shit! and i think they have a #51 over there too. Hope that dude wins them all!

And here is the animated track map.