Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.
Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.
Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network.
Contact Adam: Email
David Ostella put the Performance Tech Motorsports machine fourth on the grid in the Prototype Challenge class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship on Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
On his last lap, Ostella jumped from eighth to fourth with a lap time of 1 minute, 20.208 seconds. The quick lap continued a recent trend, as Ostella also posted his best time last month at Watkins Glen International with seconds remaining in the session. Ostella and new teammate James French will start from the second row of the PC class in the 49-car field.
"It was good; I'm happy with qualifying and being so close to the front," Ostella said. "Only four-tenths off Colin (Braun), who got the pole. I think I'm still struggling with qualifying. I'm not happy with how long it takes me to get up to speed. So I'll be working on that. I'm happy with the performance."
Ostella's best qualifying lap was more than a second quicker than his top practice time Friday. He qualified just .359 of a second behind Braun's track-record lap.
It was Ostella's best qualifying performance this season in the No. 38 Dash Neighborhoods/Phillips 66 car. Ostella competed on the historic IMS oval in the Firestone Freedom 100 for Indy Lights in 2011 and 2012, but this was his first day on the new 14-turn, 2.439-mile road circuit at IMS that incorporates part of the famous Indy oval. That mixture creates a complex setup challenge due to the circuit's intricate turns and fast straightaways, said Performance Tech Lead Engineer Ty Sayman.
"It's actually a very difficult track when it comes to setup," Sayman said. "You come off of straightaways into long turns, and you have to find where you can keep your speed. The track has a lot of nuances. I really wasn't too worried about the qualifying setup. I focus on the race. A pole would be nice, but a win is always better."
Team Principal Brent O'Neill joined his crew in applauding Ostella, 22, for his qualifying performance. This was the best qualifying result since the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, when the team started third.
"It was really good for us. The last lap, David was able to pull it out and put all the pieces together," O'Neill said. "David's still young. He's still getting it all together. That was a pretty stellar lap he put together at the end. He's never been a good qualifier. We're getting him to that point, and you're going to see him get better and better. We'll have a good start for tomorrow."
Ostella thinks he still has much to learn about qualifying but is happy to see most of the PC field behind him for the start of the race.
"I'm happy with the performance," Ostella said. "The Performance Tech team put together a great car. Now we just have to focus on race setup and get ready for tomorrow."
The Brickyard Grand Prix begins at 5:45 p.m. (ET) Friday with the live broadcast beginning at 5:30 p.m. on FOX Sports 1. Fans can follow live timing and scoring at IMSA.com and also race details on Twitter at @IMSALive.
For more information or to donate to Dash from Breast Cancer, click the following link: davidostella.com/dash-from-breast-cancer/. For updates on the team, follow Performance Tech Motorsports on Facebook.
AMA Pro SuperSport action from the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend a Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was typical of the class for up-and-coming stars of tomorrow and fast club aces. In other words, it was a full grid's worth of battles and unpredictable skirmishes at the front.
Dustin Dominguez of Houston Superbikes took two wins as the Oklahoman's hot streak extended. Each time out, he topped TOBC Racing's Hayden Gillim as both races were held on Sunday due to track conditions unconducive to racing the day before. With the riders making their bids for the series championship, the New Jersey round will be another winner-take-all showdown in the final chapter of 2014.
The weekend began as a test for three men fighting for the points lead as Corey Alexander (HVMC/Celtic Racing) remained out in front as the teams entered Ohio. Alexander was great early in the season. The reigning East champion, looked nearly unbeatable at Daytona and was almost as strong at Elkhart Lake despite a training accident that put his participation in doubt. However, a subpar Alabama round left Gillim and Dominguez rallying closer.
Mid-Ohio would go be a turning point as Dominguez and Gillim left Alexander behind.
In Race 1, Gillim had the early lead but Dominguez made a great pass on lap two and made it stick. Gillim made a nice move to rip the lead away on lap four but Dominguez repeated his earlier ploy - outbraking Gillim on the main straight. He then cut a blazing lap and when Dominguez encountered lapped traffic, he didn't have Gillim's No. 69 machine directly on his Yamaha's tail anymore. From then on, the Oklahoman held the point position.
"With these races being so short and there's so many riders, I didn't know if there was going to be a red flag so I tried to lead every lap," said Dominguez. "We've finally got this thing the way we wanted it and have been getting good results ever since."
Dominguez had another good race in the second affair. He led Gillim, but the Kentuckian seemed poised on his tail and in good position to make a late-race move. Gillim nearly crashed with a lap and a half to go, avoiding a highside heading onto the main straight.
Gillim tried to rally on the final lap. He made an ambitious move and the two touched. Neither rider fell, and Dominguez pulled away for a 3.510-second victory after 11 laps.
"Mid-Ohio has always been one of my favorite tracks. I knew going into the weekend I had to win both races to have a shot at the championship," Dominguez said. "This was the biggest weekend for me not just because I won both races, but because now I'm two points out of the championship and have good momentum going into the last race of the year. All the glory to God and can't thank my team and sponsors enough for providing me a bike and opportunity to win races. I'm ready to prove I have what it takes to win this championship."
Gillim took two second place finishes on the day. He was disappointed not to win but made the most of a day when he never really got his bike sorted.
"With us getting so little track time before the race, I really didn't have a good setup," said Gillim after Race 1. "I had hardly any weight on the rear so in every turn I was out sideways."
He clearly found some answers for Race 2 but wasn't totally satisfied.
"We were still having some issues with grip," said Gillim, pointing out his near-crash with two to go. "The last lap, I put my head down and pushed as hard as I could. (Dominguez) made a little mistake. Coming into Thunder Valley, I was right next to him I felt like I might have made the pass but I didn't want to risk taking us both out. I'm glad we could give the fans watching a good race. I'm looking forward to New Jersey and (I) have the points lead so it should be fun."
Gillim dueled with Alexander for the East crown at New Jersey last year and the outcome was in doubt until the checkered flag, so he has experience in a championship shootout. The Suzuki pilot holds a slim two-point margin after Ohio.
Alexander lowsided in the Keyhole on lap five of the first race - a tough blow for his championship hopes. In Race 2, he had to pull off before the race started due to an issue with his brakes.
"I guess bad luck comes all at once when it does come," said Alexander. "This weekend started off rough just from the weather alone, which cut down the whole weekend to essentially one day. With that said, I felt we had a really good bike and a lot of potential to do really well. Unfortunately the unpredictable track surface caught us out in Race 1 which ultimately caught us out in Race 2 with a brake failure induced by the crash. With such a short schedule it puts a lot of pressure on the whole team to get everything together in a big hurry, and very little time for the riders to get a feel for everything. It's unfortunate for the team, the sponsors and myself to be plagued with such bad luck especially with such high potential and a strong start to the season. The only thing we can do is move forward and hope to dominate at our home track, New Jersey Motorsports Park, in September. Thanks, to all of the sponsors and people who made this season possible. It is unfortunate when things don't go as expected as we owe it to all of you to get a good result."
Alexander dropped down to fourth in points after his troubles.
His teammate on the HVMC/Celtic Racing squad, Wyatt Farris, earned third in Race 1 after a duel with Conner Blevins. He leapfrogged his stable mate in the points, too. Farris was second in Daytona but off the podium since then.
"I'm happy to get back on the podium with a third, and bring home a fifth for the Celtic/HVMC Suzuki team and our sponsors," said the Californian. "Even though they may not be quite the results I'm looking for, or the results we know we can get, any time you're on the podium it's a good day. I'm going to use this seven-week break to work on a few things, and head to New Jersey looking to improve our results."
Conner Blevins (Excel Machine Racing) earned his first AMA Pro podium in Race 2.
"We had a rough start to the season, but my dad has gotten the bike working really well now," said Blevins, who battled with Farris in Race 1 and finished fourth. "Also, the new tires that Dunlop brought this weekend were great, lots of grip and they looked really good at the end of the races."
Kaleb De Keyrel had been building momentum and earned a double podium in Alabama. The De Keyrel Racing pilot was just a little short of repeating that pace but still earned two nice finishes with sixth and fourth.
J.C. Camacho showed nice speed once again, earning fifth and eighth. The Texan has been solid all year and spent most of the time in the top ten, showing he can duel with the best in class. The House of Paint Designs racer is a lock to do well in the final points standings and is seventh heading into the final round.
Tuned Industries' Jason Aguilar (9-6) and Harv's Harley-Davidson pilot Cody Wyman (7-9) also garnered a pair of top tens in Ohio. Two surprise finishers jumped up this weekend as well. Jimmy Merck (Merck Factory Racing) was seventh in Race 2 after bagging 11th in Race 1. Frankie Gillim, Hayden's older brother, made the most of his appearance in Ohio and took 10th in Race 2.
Youngster Nick McFadden (TOBC Racing) was tenth in the opener.
It's all on the line for New Jersey. It has been an unpredictable season, one that saw Alexander look like a lock to win the title while Dominguez and Gillim had some low moments. With two aggressive, tough riders going for the honor of the number one plate, expect fireworks.
Following the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series' Indianapolis doubleheader Aug. 8-10, the AMA Pro Road Racing season will come to its conclusion and the 2014 champions will be decided at the Kawasaki Devil's Showdown at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J., Sept. 13-14.
FansChoice.tv is the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events in 2014. The site also provides coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.
The event is streamed live. Supporters and fans can track Team IHRA's location via live GPS by AmberAlertGPS.
Exclusive Raffle Offers a Chance to Win a Brand New 2014 Honda CRF450R to Benefit the Asterisk Mobile Medial Center
X Sports Pro Racing is giving away a brand new 2014 Honda CRF450R, courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., to benefit the Asterisk Mobile Medical Center. The contest is open to anyone who purchases a raffle ticket online from now until Saturday, Aug. 15, 2014. The winner will be announced at the inaugural Indiana National in Crawfordsville, Indiana on Saturday, Aug. 16.
The prize, a 2014 Honda CRF450R, resembles the Team Honda Muscle Milk machine ridden by Factory Honda riders Trey Canard and Fredrik Noren in the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. The bike includes a Yoshimura TI exhaust system, Team Honda/Muscle Milk graphics kit, Honda motorcycle stand and a full set of Fly Racing gear and helmet. Proceeds benefit the Asterisk Mobile Medical Center. The Asterisk Mobile Medical Center, and its dedicated staff, has been a mainstay at every Pro Motocross event for more than a decade, in providing on-site emergency medical services to professional motocross riders.
Enter for your chance to win this unique prize package by logging onto http://bit.ly/Honda450 and purchasing your raffle ticket now. The winner does not need to be present to claim the prize. Tickets are only $10 each, and quantities are unlimited. So buy as many as you like - it's for a good cause.
The Asterisk Mobile Medical Center is an emergency care facility available at each Lucas Oil Pro Motocross event to staff, participants, and crew at no cost. The full 53-foot hospital trailer is staffed with qualified and experienced medical personnel and offers specialized equipment for our sport's unique injuries. The Asterisk Mobile Medical Center is provided to the racing community by Asterisk. Their operating budget is made possible by MX Sports Pro Racing, Road 2 Recovery Foundation, as well as individual riders and private donors.
Round 8 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship heads to Washougal, Washington for the MotoSport.com Washougal National on Saturday, July 26.
For event tickets and additional information, please visit www.promotocross.com and LIKE the Pro Motocross Facebook page and follow @ProMotocross on Twitter and Instagram for exclusive content and additional information on the latest Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship news.
Official Sergio Perez Grandstand Ticket Package offered by Circuit of The Americas for the 2014 F1 United States Grand Prix
- Automatic entry for a chance to meet Checo Perez in-person during the Grand Prix;
- a hand-autographed, special edition Sergio Perez cap;
- a commemorative photograph postcard; and
- a custom ticket lanyard and sleeve.
The Official Sergio Perez Grandstand Ticket Package features three-day, reserved seat tickets in a designated section in the best viewing areas of the Circuit so that fans can rally together and support their Mexican driver. The Turn 12 grandstand, a fan favorite due to its direct view of the Back Straight, which is the primary passing area of the track, is $549 for a three-day pass. The Turn 4 grandstand offers a view of the dynamic sweeping curves at $349 for a three-day pass.
“The power and presence of the fans at COTA is unbelievable; it almost feels like home,” said Mexican F1 driver Sergio Perez. “I am very happy to have a dedicated grandstand for my fans to come and show support during the race. I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Austin at one of my favorite circuits this November.”
This year’s 2014 USGP highlights include a robust schedule of support races, an F1 driver showcase with free autograph and interview sessions, enhanced fan hospitality areas throughout the venue, and a post-race track invasion and concert in the Austin360 Amphitheater. Fans who make their travel plans early will find more affordable hotel rooms available through COTA’s online hotel booking portal, http://circuitoftheamericas.com/bookaroom. Official Sergio Perez Grandstand Ticket Packages can be purchased at http://circuitoftheamericas.com/f1/checousgp through Sept. 30, 2014, or while supplies last.
Feld Motor Sports® announced today the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, schedule that will kick off on January 10 at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati. For the first-time ever, the championship will culminate on Friday, May 1 at South Point Arena in Las Vegas, the same weekend as the Monster Energy Supercross Finals and the AMSOIL AMA Amateur National Arenacross Championships.
In addition to the first-ever AMSOIL Arenacross stops in Cincinnati and Las Vegas, the tour will make its debut at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., the Landers Center in Southaven, Miss., and the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
In 2015, a new group of top riders will be chasing their Monster Energy Supercross endorsement through Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, including FMF Orange Brigade KTM rider Alex Frye and Team Green Kawasaki’s Mark Worth, adding even more challenge to the series title contenders as these future stars of supercross develop their skills in preparation for their transition into Monster Energy Supercross.
Click the image below to watch the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross trailer.
“The competition in AMSOIL Arenacross is on another level and the Road to Supercross riders proved they have what it takes to mix it up. From Cincinnati to Las Vegas this season is going to be incredible,” said 5-time Monster Energy Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael. “These are the best of the best riders in the world, showcasing their talents in an atmosphere that can only be seen at AMSOIL Arenacross.”
“The series is growing in 2015 as 15 rounds and 20 nights of racing highlight the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross season. From the high intensity, two-lap sprints of head-to-head bracket racing to the fast-paced and unpredictable dual Arenacross Class Main Events, AMSOIL Arenacross is one of the world’s most intimate and aggressive forms of racing,” said Todd Jendro, vice president of two wheel operations, Feld Motor Sports. “Additionally, the 2015 Race to the Championship kicks off March 21 inside the Smoothie King Arena in New Orleans, La., where the top 10 riders in championship points will find themselves in an all-out battle for the coveted AMSOIL Arenacross title which will be crowned at the season finale at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas.”
On top of all the action on Friday and Saturday at AMSOIL Arenacross, Sundays will feature 29 race classes for amateurs of all ages and skill levels. Amateurs racing on Sunday will be competing for a chance to race in Las Vegas, where they could become an AMA National Champion.
Pre-sale tickets for the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross season will begin September 9. The September 9 on-sale is exclusive to Cross Club members only. To become a Cross Club member for free and have access to the best tickets click on the following link: www.SupercrossOnline.com. The Ticketmaster.com pre-sale kicks off on Tuesday September 16.. The general public on-sale begins on Tuesday, September 9. For more information log onto Arenacross.com
Date(s) Venue City
Jan. 10-11 US Bank Arena Cincinnati
Jan. 16- 18 Van Andel Arena Grand Rapids, Mich.
Jan. 23-25 World Arena Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jan. 31- Feb. 1 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, Tenn.
Feb. 6-8 Mohegan Sun Arena Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Feb. 21-22 Tampa Bay Times Forum Arena Tampa, Fla.
Feb. 28- Mar.1 Sprint Center Kansas City, Mo.
Mar. 6-8 Mid-America Center Council Bluffs, Iowa
Mar. 13-15 Landers Center Southaven, Miss.
Mar. 21-22 Smoothie King Center New Orleans
Mar. 28-29 Frank Erwin Center Austin, Texas
April 11-12 Spokane Arena Spokane, Wash.
April 18-19 Tacoma Dome Tacoma, Wash.
April 25-26 Save Mart Center Fresno, Calif.
May 1-3 South Point Arena Las Vegas
Never miss out on the latest news! For more information on AMSOIL Arenacross, please log on towww.Arenacross.com. To follow AMSOIL Arenacross on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, long on towww.facebook/com/AMAarenacross, www.twitter.com/Arenacross and www.instagram.com/Arenacross. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/ArenacrossLive.
About Feld Motor Sports®
Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is the world leader in specialized arena and stadium-based motor sports entertainment. Feld Motor Sports productions include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross and Nuclear Cowboyz®. Feld Motor Sports is a division of Feld Entertainment, the world’s largest producer of live family entertainment. For more information on Feld Entertainment, visit www.feldentertainment.com.
(AMSOIL Arenacross PR)
Performance Tech Motorsports will roll into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the No. 38 Dash Neighborhoods/ Phillips 66 Prototype Challenge car and a new face to accompany David Ostella behind the wheel.
James French, 22, will share driving duties with Ostella in the Brickyard Grand Prix on Friday, July 25 on the new, 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course that incorporates part of the famous IMS oval. French ran a partial schedule in the PC class in the American Le Mans Series from 2011-13. He primarily races in SCCA competition and also drives a 1997 Formula One car in vintage competition, including the SVRA event in early June at IMS. The Wisconsin native has landed on the podium two of the five PC races he's competed in and hopes to stand on the famed podium atop Victory Circle at IMS during the Brickyard Grand Prix.
"Coming in to a new team obviously has its challenges when they're five races into the season," French said. "There are a little nerves involved. But if there's no pressure, then it isn't fun. The goal is to win, but I'd really love to just not get third. I always seem to end up third. I'm looking forward to racing with David Ostella. He's my age, so I think we'll have similar determination to win."
Ostella, 22, is returning to IMS with hopes of creating a memory of a podium finish. He raced twice on the famed oval, in 2011-12, in the Firestone Freedom 100 during his open-wheel career in Indy Lights.
"I'll be excited to be back in Indy and be on the road course," Ostella said. "Last time I was there on the oval I didn't have such a great time, so I'm looking forward to being on the road course this time around. We'll still use the straightaways, so we'll get some good speed going down into Turn 1. I love Indianapolis; it's a great racing town. There should be good energy there with the fans."
This will be his first start on the infield road course, as he joins the small group of drivers who have raced on both circuits at the Brickyard.
"Back in Indy Lights two years ago I had tested on the road course; it's obviously changed since then," Ostella said. "I know we won't be on the same track that IndyCar ran this season for their Grand Prix - ours is a mix of the old and new. Either way, I don't think anyone will have much of an advantage when it comes to knowing the track."
After a fourth-place finish with a new teammate in late June at Watkins Glen International, Ostella is confident in Team Principal Brent O'Neill's ability to pair him with drivers that compliment his driving style.
"I think it's going to be great to have another guy in the car around the same age as me," Ostella said. "I'm sure he'll have corners where he's faster than me, and I'll have corners where I'm faster than him. It should be fun to compare data with each other to help the other improve. There's a lot of good competition, so we'll have to work hard."
O'Neill, with eyes set on the podium, is excited to see what this new duo will do in Indianapolis.
"James (French) is young and fits Performance Tech's style," O'Neill said. "He is very smooth in the car and does not make mistakes. I think his personality is a lot like David (Ostella), and they will fit really well together. He (French) only got a few laps testing with us, but I look for him to be up to speed right away."
The weekend starts for Performance Tech at 10:45 a.m. (ET) Thursday, July 24 with Practice 1. Later in the day, fans can catch the start of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship qualifying at 4 p.m. with PC qualifying at 4:45 p.m. The Brickyard Grand Prix - a two-hour, 45-minute race - begins at 5:45 p.m. Friday, July 25.
The International Hot Rod Association™ (IHRA) and IRG Sports + Entertainment™ (IRG) unveiled a brand-new website this week for the series' popular Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series.
With a fresh, modernized look, the new www.NitroJam.com features news, stats, photo galleries and more from IHRA's popular national drag racing series. In addition to a new, easy-to-use interface, the new Nitro Jam website is also smart phone and tablet compatible and includes a number of new features which makes following your favorite drag racing series easier than ever.
"As we continue to grow the IHRA and the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, we need a website and supporting media that represent that growth and excitement," said Scott Gardner, President of IHRA Motorsports. "The new Nitro Jam website is modern, it is exciting and it is easy to use. It is also a great tool in promoting and showcasing what the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series is all about."
In addition to highlighting all of the latest news, results and upcoming events, the new Nitro Jam website also shines a spotlight on the drivers and cars of the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, as well as a glimpse into all of the great fan activities available at every IHRA Nitro Jam event.
The website was designed and engineered by the marketing team at IRG, under the leadership of Aidy Alonzo, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and Art Director Manfred Eissner.
Visit the new site today to learn more about upcoming events, featured drivers, Fan Fest, past race results, news and much more at www.NitroJam.com.
WC Vision/Pirelli World Challenge President and CEO Teams Up with Austin Cindric To Run GTS Charity Entry as Part Of Mid-Ohio Cindric Quadruple Race Weekend
SuperBike fans in attendance at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and watching the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend live on FansChoice.tv were treated to a pair classic AMA Pro SuperBike showdowns on Sunday. With Saturday a wash due to uncooperative weather and the complete race program reconfigured to be contested the following day, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammates Josh Hayes and Cameron Beaubier squared off twice in the span of just hours on Sunday.
39-year-old three-time champion Hayes and 21-year-old class rookie Beaubier took both battles down to the wire. In each outing, Beaubier leveraged his compact size and light weight to assume the lead with a draft pass down the back straight and held the lead entering that decisive final circulation. And both times Hayes attempted an infrequently executed inside maneuver in the double-apex Turn 10-11 section.
In the morning contest, Beaubier immediately countered Hayes' attack and slashed right back to the inside to reclaim the position ahead of Hayes, who couldn't hold his line tight enough to solidify the spot. The reigning AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike king held on from there to win by 0.293 seconds.
"I wanted to win it if the opportunity presented itself but I can't be silly either," said Hayes. "I don't like thinking about championships, but you know... I was trying to be careful, but if he gave me a chance take it. I did on the last lap - took one shot at him on the last lap and I think if it had been anybody else, it would have been a little bit closer of a pass. I wanted to make sure I got all the way through to make sure we got through the corner clean. And I overshot it enough that he could zip past through."
The triumph was the third of Beaubier's young AMA Pro SuperBike career.
"It feels great to be able to beat Josh after a really good battle," said Beaubier. "I know he has the championship probably in the back of his head, but I was pushing hard. I was honestly a little nervous going into this race just because of the lack of track time.
"I had the intention to push the last three laps but I made a few mistakes and ran wide here and there. I knew I wasn't going to break him, obviously, so I was just kind of trying to ride protective - brake a little harder going into the corners, try and not use the whole track, and go up the inside of a lot of corners. I knew he was a little stronger than me in on the brakes in the hard-braking zones so I was trying to do my best right there.
"He did sneak up on me and caught me by surprise. I saw him run a little wide so I stayed out a little wide and cut pretty hard on the inside. It was a good clean race and it was fun."
The second time around, Hayes pressed the issue and came in a little harder in the same 10-11 section. Beaubier was forced into second place but he didn't give up despite a lack of prime passing opportunities from there to the checkered flag. Hayes worked hard to block Beaubier's attempts to come back by but he made a significant mistake in the Carousel just prior to the final short chute to the stripe while riding in that defensive manner. That prevented the Mississippian from getting an ideal launch to the flag, while the Californian - who drifted out wide to best power out of the corner - nailed his exit. The No. 2 YZF-R1 pulled right alongside the No. 4 YZF-R1 as the two took the flag.
The race was nearly too close to call. Initially, the transponder data indicated that Beaubier had won by 0.001 seconds but the photo finish proved that Hayes the victor by that same scant margin. The photo of the finish showed a barely visible gap between the two riders' front tires.
"I was pretty sloppy in the Carousel but I thought I had it because there are really no passing opportunities," Hayes said. "I was just trying to get back to the inside and I ended up losing the front and really botching the last two corners. I never upshifted, I just held second and hit the rev limiter at the line. When I glanced over I actually thought Cameron had got me, but it was too hard to tell right at the line. I was pretty relieved to get to the podium and find out I had won the race. I wanted to win it really bad and I had a lot of fun racing with Cam."
The win was the 47th of Hayes' SuperBike career and his eleventh regardless of class at Mid-Ohio, making him the all-time winningest rider in AMA Pro action at the venue.
While Beaubier came up just inches short of claiming the double, he did well to demonstrate he's back to full strength after suffering from a bout of lost confidence due to some mid-season crashes.
"Josh made a hard, clean pass on me," Beaubier said. "After that I was just looking for any way I could to get around him. He was braking pretty deep trying to not give it away. I tried to set him up coming off the last corner and I didn't know who won. Regardless who won today, it was a great race. It's kind of crazy not knowing who won until we came into pitlane."
Hayes came into Mid-Ohio with a 40-point advantage and his 2-1 means that advantage remains unchanged as a result of second-ranked Beaubier's 1-2. With just the New Jersey Motorsports Park doubleheader remaining, all Hayes needs to do is pick up a minimum of 20 points (which could come in a variety of fashions, from a single third to a pair of finishes just outside the top ten) and he'll join Mat Mladin as the only riders to ever win at least four AMA Pro SuperBike titles.
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Roger Hayden picked up a pair of podium finishes at Mid-Ohio but found it difficult to smile too much afterward. The Kentuckian had pushed Hayes for wins at the track in recent seasons and was not pleased to have finished more than ten seconds off the win in the first race, and more than 20 in the second.
"I hung on for a while but I started to make some mistakes," Hayden said after the first race. "I was having trouble getting my bike into the corner and was missing my apex in a couple spots. A little over half way they started pulling away and I didn't want to crash and lose my data for the next race so I kind of put it on cruise control so we could make the bike a little better for the second race. That race was really our first real practice being here on the new bike."
After the completion of the second race, Hayden wasn't as content with just a podium spot.
"Third place is not bad when you're battling for the win but when you're however many seconds back it's not very satisfying. I don't know..." Hayden said. "I'm having trouble keeping up off the corners and on the straights. I'm just riding so far above what I can do every lap and I just start making mistakes. We have some tests lined up and we need to make things a little better and hopefully at New Jersey make a race out of it. It's kind of embarrassing to finish that far back in two races in one day."
KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore was the next most successful racer on the weekend with a pair of lonely rides - one to fifth and the next to fourth. Hayden's works Suzuki teammate, Martin Cardenas, had the speed to claim to fourths at worst, however, he nearly crashed multiple times en route to fourth in the opening race and then did crash out in the second.
"The first race was not what I wanted," Cardenas said. "We were hoping to get on the podium. I was going good, but then I had a few moments with the bike and almost highsided three times in a lap and a half, I so slowed down and I ended up fourth. In Race 2, we made some changes, and the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was working good for the first few laps. Then, when I was on the brakes, I hit a small bump and lost the front end and that was the end of my race. I'm pretty disappointed with that, but now we'll get ready for New Jersey and try to do better."
Cardenas' continued struggles see him facing rather long odds to even break into the championship top five at the NJMP finale. It's looking more and more likely that fourth and fifth will fall to ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony and Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Chris Clark, although in which order is still very much in doubt.
Clark made up some ground on Anthony in Ohio, taking sixth and fifth place finishes after being relegated to ninth at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Anthony, meanwhile, struggled with his electronics as a result of the limited track time. In the end, he simply turned them off and did the best he could, claiming two sevenths.
Anthony is still fourth in points, although Clark is now just eleven back in fifth.
"In the first race, I focused on putting in solid laps and was able to get up to sixth," Clark said. "I had a little better start in the second race and we had a pretty good pace. I was happy to bounce back from Laguna and finish in the top five. Now I'm looking forward to New Jersey and finishing in the top five for the year."
Home track favorite Larry Pegram and TOBC Racing's Taylor Knapp scrapped with Clark and Anthony in Ohio. Pegram was regularly able to make up ground in the twisty sections of the layout aboard his Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing EBR 1190RS but struggled to match the outright speed of the big fours on the critical long straight.
He ended up eighth in the first race and then suffered a mechanical issue in the second while caged up in a similar predicament. Knapp stepped forward and pushed Clark in the second contest, ultimately taking the flag in sixth.
"I couldn't get past Chris Clark or Dave Anthony," Pegram said. "I kind of caught them but couldn't pass them. In the second race I got a much better start but got stuck behind Clark again. His bike just has much better top speed than ours, and really, the only place to pass is at the end of the back straight. I actually passed Chris three times and he just came by me down the back straightaway. Then with a couple laps to go we just had a little problem with the thing so that was it."
GEICO Motorcycle Racing Honda's Chris Ulrich (8-9) and Babuska Racing's Frankie Babuska (10-10) both took a pair of top 10s at Mid-Ohio, while Team AMSOIL Hero EBR's Cory West broke in as well in the afternoon race, finishing ninth.
Following the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series' Indianapolis doubleheader Aug. 9-10, the AMA Pro Road Racing season will come to its conclusion and the 2014 champions will be decided at the Kawasaki Devil's Showdown at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey on September 13-14.
FansChoice.tv is the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events in 2014. The site also provides coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.