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TOPIC: Weekend at the Races

Weekend at the Races 12 Oct 2018 10:17 #71

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Still kind of reeling about the loss pf pics I've posted to this forum and especially to this thread. Oh, well. Just move on, I guess.

It's been a very busy couple of weeks. I used the last of my vaca from work to travel to two events on consecutive weekends in Minnesota and New Jersey, which hasn't left time for much else.

Two weekends ago, Sept. 29, the race was at the Canterbury Downs mile-long horse track near Minneapolis. This a thoroughbred track, so the ground is quite fluffy. Thoroughbred horses race on cushion tracks, where trotters pulling sulkies race on tracks that are packed harder. A great quantity of the cushion was scraped to the inside of the oval to reveal a harder base for the motorcycles to ride on. You can see the big dirt berm in the first pic below.The track held up well, without getting ruts of holes or developing a single preferred line that would make passing hard.

It says something about the local climate when the grand stands are enclosed in glass. In moderate climates the stands are wide open. In Arizona, they're glassed in to keep out the heat. In Minnesota they're glassed in to keep out the cold. And it was cool, with temps in the 40s all day. This was the first race all year where I've worn long pants. Riders and crew were all bundled up in hats and coats and teams used special heated covers in the pits to keep their tires warm.

The race for big bikes was won by Indian Factory rider Bryan Smith (4), who is a former champion. He held a solid third place through most of the main event, but inherited the lead and the win then the leader ran out of fuel and and then the second place machine broke down. Everyone was quite surprised by that outcome.

The race for single cylinder bikes was won by Kolby Carlile (1), last year's champion, riding a Yamaha. Carlile is nicknamed The Flying Tomato because of his long, bright red hair, which you can see in the final photo







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Weekend at the Races 12 Oct 2018 10:22 #72

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I stayed over an extra day in Minneapolis to look around a little. I hadn't been there in decades. Naturally I had to visit the house used for exterior shots in the old "Mary Tyler Moore" TV show. I also went downtown to see the actress's statue on the Nicollet Mall.





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Weekend at the Races 12 Oct 2018 11:31 #73

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Bobv07662 wrote: Last week I attended the AFT season finale here in East Rutherford NJ at the Meadowlands Mile. The twins were great but the singles were even more competive.
If you get a chance to see these riders compete near you don't miss it!


Right on, Bob. Glad that you were able to go. Wasn't that great fun? Many said that it was the best race of the year. It was also the first national championship flat track race ever held in New Jersey.

You can see my race report and more photos on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/pg/NorthwestTrackShots/..._id=1397396037057960

The mile-long Meadowlands circuit is black and from a distance it looks like it's paved. That is because it's a cushion track made of crushed black gravel. The gravel was kept moist by a light drizzle on and off during the day, and it made for a track with lots of lines and passing opportunities. Visibility was difficult as face shields became muddy, even with plastic tear-off covers. It also really stings when you get hit by the roost from another bike.

The twin cylinder class was won by Bryan Smith (4), who had also won the week prior in Minnesota. He followed in second place Behind Jared Mees (1) for much of the race, but it was pretty apparent that he was faster than the leader. He bided his time, then moved into the lead with two turns left and won going away. Both riders were on Indians.

The single cylinder class was won by Shayna Texter (52), riding a Husqvarna. Shayna is one of the few women racing in this series and is a former class champion. Barely 5 feet tall and weighing little more than 100 pounds, she is very tough woman and a great racer. She had a very close race with Dan Bromley (1) on his KTM. Bromley is one of the biggest racers in the series, standing well over 6 feet. Texter's margin of victory was only 00.006 seconds, and the two were bumping against each other as they crossed the finish line side by side.














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Weekend at the Races 12 Oct 2018 17:44 #74

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Tell us about what Bryan Smith is doing next year. B)

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Weekend at the Races 12 Oct 2018 20:52 #75

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B.C. wrote: Tell us about what Bryan Smith is doing next year. B)


Smith and his tuner, Ricky Howerton, are leaving the Indian factory team to run Kawasakis as a privateer team in 2019.

The night after the Meadowlands Mile race, the AFT 2018 awards banquet was held at Classic Car Club Manhattan, a car club / event venue sited at a pier on the Hudson River in midtown Manhattan. It was a cool location and a good party. Speaking from the stage, Smith and Howerton said that while they very much appreciated the opportunity to be part of a factory effort for two years, they missed the freedom that comes with being privateers.

Here's the back story:

Smith won his sole season championship in 2016 on a Howerton-tuned Kawasaki with backing from the Crosley radio company. Smith beat Harley-Davidson XR750-mounted Jared Mees for that championship by five points. Each rider had four wins in the fourteen-race series. It was at the final race of 2016 in Santa Rosa, Calif., that Smith clenched the championship. Indian introduced the FTR750 at the same race. Indian had not participated in the modern era of championship flat track racing before this. Former champion Joe Kopp rode the new Indian to 7th place at that event. Indian then immediately announced a 3-rider factory team for the 2017 season, with Smith, Mees, and Brad Baker as the riders. Mees and Baker were both also former series champs.

On the factory Indian, Mees went on to claim championships in 2017 and 2018. Smith never seemed as comfortable as Mees on the Indian and although he did well, winning races and getting lots of podium finishes, he did not match Mees' success. Baker was also on the podium a lot but he struggled to get wins.

Indians are available pretty much race-ready for around $50K and are now the dominant machine in the series.

The Kawasakis, with almost no factory participation, gave the Harley teams fits for awhile. Now, both brands are effectively obsolete. Only one H-D XR750 was entered in the final two races of this season and it did not make it into the main event at either race. More people than that are entering Kawasakis, but fewer and fewer are making it to main events and none got that far at The Meadowlands. Last weekend, the 18-rider main event included thirteen Indians, three Harleys, and one Yamaha FZ-07 . The Yamaha, BTW, was ridden by series part-timer and new 2018 MotoAmerica Supersport road race champion JD Beach. He finished the race in sixth place.

The Harley factory team is now equipped with bikes using engines from their XG750 entry-level street bike. Operation of the team has been outsourced to Vance & Hines. It's a good night if they all finish the race and if any of the three can avoid being lapped. It's not the fault of their riders, either. H-D has a very solid team of riders with Sam Halbert, Brandon Robinson, and Jarod Vanderkooi.

Smith and Howerton have a big job in store trying to beat the Indians. There is general agreement that they have the best chance of pulling it off if anyone can.

Pics below include Smith (42) on his Kawasaki at the Sacramento Mile in early in 2016, and Mees (1) on his XR750 at the same race. Kopp (3), is seen on the Indian FTR750 in it's premier showing at a non-sanctioned short track race the night before the 2016 Santa Rosa Mile. Halbert (69) is on the XG750 at The Meadowlands, and Beach (95) on his Yamaha, also at The Meadowlands.













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Weekend at the Races 27 Feb 2019 09:52 #76

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I haven't visited this site in awhile. Glad to be back. To update briefly, in January I retired from my job of thirty-six years. I'm looking forward to having free time to follow through on all of the new projects I've been accumulating and old ones that have been put off, including my DT400, Ducati 450 flat tracker, MGA sports car, and others. I plan to cover AFT flat track races for at least one more year, but the day job was a big help when it came time to buy all of those airplane tickets. The photo/reporting deal really doesn't generate any significant income.

Earlier this month I attended The One Pro races in Salem, Ore. This is part of the big The One Show for custom and vintage bikes in Portland. It's a big deal. Another member on this board posted that he won a DT 250 in a raffle at the show.

I was at the races not just for photos and reporting, but also for the first time as a team owner. They had a class for pull-start minibikes. I have several of those, and one was ready to go. I recruited a fast teenage 85cc racer to pilot my #116 1971 Fimco Lil' Butch minibike w/modified Harbor Freight Predator 212cc engine. He won going away and lapped about half of the field. The win paid $115. It was supposed to pay $114, but the organizers had no $1 bills. Rider kept the money at my urging, but he insisted that I take the trophy so it would stay with the bike. It was my own little Roger Penske moment. :)

Besides minibikes, there was a big pro class, hooligans, and others. There were several Yamaha enduros in the vintage classes. AFT racer Sam Halbert (69) earned $5,000 for his pro class win and another $1,000 for winning the dash for cash. Former national flat track champ Joe Kopp won the hooligan class. This race was round # of the Roland Sands/Indian national hooligan series.

Here are a few pics and a link to vid of the minibike final. All of the race videos can be seen in the "More" section on fanschoice.tv. More photos and a race report have been posted to my FB page, Northwest Track Shots.

www.fanschoice.tv/more/player/other-seri...ebruary-10-201925889











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Weekend at the Races 27 Feb 2019 10:39 #77

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Congrats!

Always love your posts and pictures Tom!
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1963 YG1-T, 1965 MG1-T, Allstate 250, 1970 CT1b, 1971 R5, 1973 AT3MX, 1974 TS400L, 1975 RD350, 1976 DT175C, 1976 Husqvarna 250CR, 1981 DT175G, 1988 DT50, 1990 "Super" DT50, 1991 RT180, 2017 XT250

Weekend at the Races 27 Feb 2019 11:16 #78

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I've left a couple of walls in my small shop bare to make a nice backdrop for photographs. That was where I took the photo of my minibike in the post above. While things were pushed aside for the minibike shoot, a friend brought over his Rotax-powered flat tracker for some pictures. Here are those pics, and the writeup that was posted to my FB page. I've also attached a photo of the bike prior to restoration.









From Northwest Track Shots on Facebook:

Former racer Tony Thom visited our shop/studio earlier this week for some shots of his Rotax-powered framer. Thom said the #47 machine was ridden by Northwest racer Ryan Anderson, who perished in a street bike accident in 2017.

Thom said that he purchased two nearly identical machines ridden by Anderson from longtime owner Don Wiltse, and credited racer Dan Stanley with helping to make the connection. A third bike went to Brad Baker's collection. Thom provided the attached photos of the machine when he got it in as-raced condition. We also found a period photo of Anderson on #47.

"I knew Ryan from the racetrack from when he was on mini bikes," said Thom. "His father (the late Derryl Anderson) used to take pictures of me when I raced at Sidewinders and Castle Rock. In 1987 I had a brand new Honda CR250 that I loaned to him to ride and train all winter at Woodland MX, and were friends ever since."

Freshly restored, the motorcycle features a plated C&J frame, Penske rear shock and Honda F4 fork legs. The mighty 660cc Rotax engine sports a 102mm CP piston, EDCO big-valve cylinder head with Darcy billet rocker arms, a Carrillo connecting rod, and more. He said that the sister machine he bought will likely carry a fuel tank and paint scheme similar to what is seen in the old photos.

Thom said he intends to return both of his bikes to competition, and is planning to contest non-championship races at the Perris short track, Lodi Cycle Bowl, Willow Springs, and other venues during the AFT western swing this spring and summer. He mentioned California racer Michael Inderbitzin as a likely pilot.

Anderson rode with a few different numbers during his racing career. We will always remember him as #23 from those 1980s minibike days. Thom prefers the #47 that Anderson ran as an adult. He said that he wants to maintain the bike's legacy and keep Flyin' Ryan's memory alive. "Just remember whoever rides the bike will always and forever have to run #47," Thom said.
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Weekend at the Races 27 Feb 2019 13:12 #79

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Congrats on the retirement Tom. I also look forward to your pictures, they are outstanding!
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68 DT1, 70 DT1C MX, 71 CT1C, 71 RT1B, 71 DT1E MX, 73 AT3MX, 70 Husqvarna 250 Cross, 57 Matchless G80CS, 76 Honda Elsinore; 2015 Yamaha FZ-09

Weekend at the Races 27 Feb 2019 17:39 #80

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Ditto here, congratulations on your retirement! I also look forward to your flat trackerror photos.
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