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May Recap and Hagerstown Half Mile Race Report

Hello Everyone, I hope you all had an amazing 4th of July weekend!! First off, I want to apologize for not sending you a race report promptly after the month of June. I swear this year has been the worst year in my career of racing for cancelations due to rain! The first weekend of June started off with just a small local short track right outside Indianapolis Indiana that I went to mainly to do some tire testing for my new tire sponsor, Mitas Tires, Developed and handled by Micah Racing Services. The weekend was a success while learning important information on the new tires and winning everything and having fun on the cool little short track called Mid America Speedway. The second weekend of June took me Peoria Illinois. The weekend started off at Spoon River Speedway on a sweet red clay banked half mile. The night went pretty well, I won my heat which was an intense battle with JD Beach, got second in the Dash behind Jeffery Carver and ended up third in the main behind Jd Beach and the GNC Champ, Jared Mees. The next night followed with a really fun short track in Pekin Illinois. All day we were threatened by rain and it actually rained the majority of the morning. This actually helped the track out a lot, even though Mother Nature can ruin a lot of races she definitely is the best water truck! The Program had to be rushed from the time it got started because there was a huge storm fast approaching. We got our open pro heats in and it wasn’t long after that they were calling us back up because it was starting to sprinkle and they really wanted to get the open pro main finished. I nailed the hole shot and led the majority of the race but national number 27 Rob Pearson was glued to my rear tire! With two laps to go he ran it hard into turn 1 and ran me way up the race track until we about ran out of room. I got right back on him but ran out of time to retaliate; it was a super fun race though. Following immediately after the race it started to downpour and continued to rain into the night. This really threatened the Peoria TT that was supposed to start early the next morning. Unfortunately, when I woke up the next morning the pavement was still wet and I knew the chances of racing were slim. I wasn’t at the track for 10 minutes and it was already called, the track was just too wet! Fortunately, the race was rescheduled for this Sunday and they added a race at the Peoria Speedway on Friday night and a race in Macomb Illinois on Saturday night. The following weekend I actually flew home for the first time in 2 ½ months to get some time on the completely remodeled Castle Rock TT that is holding a national on August 3rd. The track was 100 times more racy and fun compared to what is use to be. I ended up winning the 20 lap open pro main event and came in a close second in the short pro am race behind national number 80 Stevey Bonsey. Im feeling really confident for the race coming up in august, my plan is take away the Expert singles points lead that I should have had leaving Daytona! The last weekend of June was supposed to be round 4 of the AMA Pro Racing Grand National Championship held on the cushion lime stone half mile in Lima Ohio. It wasnt to our surprise when mother nature came back and dropped water on us pretty much all through Saturday and Sunday! This was a huge bummer because I hadn’t raced a national since early May and the promoter had no open dates to reschedule so he was forced to cancel the event completely. After that weekend, traveling to all these races to just get rained out was getting pretty old I tell you what!
Now this finally leads up to this last weekend in Hagerstown Maryland. The smooth, banked, red clay half mile was the new round 4 of the AMA Pro Racing Grand National Championship after the Lima cancelation. I alway love coming to Hagerstown because it is so close to our nation’s capital and not to mention I always seem to do well there. By the end of the night I would come to love the place even more! The day started off decent in qualifying. I felt a lot better on the race track then my times showed but a 7th place in combined qualifying would give me a nice spot on the front row for the heat races! When the heats strolled around this is when my night really kicked off! I nailed the hole shot and put my head down! I felt like I was pretty fast and I couldn’t here anyone’s engine noise behind me. About halfway through the race the red lights came out when National Number 17, Henry Wiles, went down hard going into turn three! I finally took a look behind me and the nearest rider was a straight away behind me so I guess I was turning some good laps. The restart would mess me up for setting pole for the main event but that was alright. I nailed the restart again and stretched out another commanding lead and took home the win earning myself a spot in the dash for cash and a front row start in the main event.  The dash went very similar to the heat race! I nailed the hole shot once again and in only 4 laps I won my 3rd dash for cash of my short career by almost a straightaway.  Last but not least is the GNC Main event. I guess I should of felt a little nervous walking out on the track since this was my best shot to win my very first GNC Expert National main event.  I was the complete opposite though, I have been so comfortable on all my bikes lately and my team and I get along so well that there’s no reason to feel nervous. I made the racing that night a little boring as I pretty much repeated what I did in the dash and heat race. The bike was working so good and I felt so comfortable that the win just came natural. I went by the checkered flags with a 7 second lead and a first time GNC Expert Winner! To add to the win I took over the overall GNC points lead and I now sit 20 points out front even after getting one of my second place finishes taken away from me in Daytona. I can’t explain how it felt, I have dedicated my whole life to racing motorcycles and it feels amazing to accomplish another one of my goals! I’m more excited than ever for the next national that will be held in my home state at Grays Harbor Speedway in Elma Washington.

I can’t thank my crew, friends, family, fans, and sponsors for all their love and support. Stay tuned for another report very soon.

Brad Baker #12

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