Hartford Half-Mile to Host Venue’s First AMA Pro H-D Flat Track Event

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (June 5, 2011) – The AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship will visit the Hartford Motor Speedway in Hartford, Michigan, for the first time in its history this Saturday, June 11. Known as the “Wicked Fast Half Mile,” the high-banked oval has held a number of high-profile car races, but AMA Pro’s Round 8 will mark the first time Hartford has played host to the country’s premier flat track racing league.

Fresh off the Springfield Mile, the big twin-cylinder bikes will be featured again for only the second time this year. Additionally, the multi-brand racing continues at Hartford, with the venerable Harley-Davidson XR-750 going up against steep competition from Kawasaki, Ducati, Triumph, Suzuki, and KTM.

Sammy Halbert will arrive in Hartford still in control of the combined Grand National Championship points. The Kings Kustoms/LZ Racing Harley-Davidson rider has maintained the lead he initially established by sweeping the first two events in Daytona Beach, Florida, this year, but defending GNC champion Jake Johnson (Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson) lurks a mere seven points back.

Third in points is Michigan native Jared Mees. Historically, Michigan has produced some of the most talented riders ever to participate in the AMA Pro Flat Track Championship, and 2009 Twins National Champion Mees is no exception. Looking to build on his win from this past Memorial Day Weekend, Mees plans to give Halbert and Johnson a run for their proverbial money on his home track.

Another Michigan rider of note is Bryan Smith, who returned to the Harley-Davidson fold aboard the Fasthog.com/American Harley-Davidson-backed XR-750. Mechanical problems resulted in Smith dropping out of the lead pack at Springfield, but he did finish second to Halbert in the Dash for Cash.

Also from Michigan is Nichole Cheza, the only woman to regularly contest the Grand National circuit. Cheza qualified for her first main at the recent Springfield event and raced her Global Products/Harley-Davidson-backed Harley to a respectable 12th-place finish.

Meanwhile, 2009 Pro Singles Champion Brad Baker celebrated his inaugural ride on his Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/HurtByAccident.com Ducati by being fast qualifier, taking a heat win, and carding a fifth-place finish in the main event. Together, this all but guarantees Baker Saddlemen’s Rookie of the Year title.

Also on the docket for Hartford is the AMA Pro Motorcycle-SuperStore.com Pro Singles Championship, which runs stock-framed motocross bikes that have been modified for the oval track. This class is a stepping-stone for the Grand National Series and features mainly up-and-coming riders under the age of 18. There’s no official age limit to this class, however, and several well-known veteran riders have found a home in the series as well.

For tickets and information, visit www.hartfordmotorspeedway.net or call (269) 764-0514. To become a part of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship, visit www.amaproracing.com/ft and join us on facebook.com/AMAProFlatTrackSeries and twitter.com/AMAProFlatTrack.

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