AMA Flat Track Wraps Up Year In Las Vegas

The AMA Pro Flat Track season concludes this weekend in Las Vegas. (Brian J. Nelson/AMA Pro Racing photo)
The AMA Pro Flat Track season concludes this weekend in Las Vegas. (Brian J. Nelson/AMA Pro Racing photo)
The AMA Pro Flat Track season concludes this weekend in Las Vegas. (Brian J. Nelson/AMA Pro Racing photo)

LAS VEGAS – The battle for the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines championship will end in Las Vegas on Friday night on a purpose-built short track inside the dome of the Orleans Arena.

Defending champion Jared Mees has put together another monster year and he’ll enter the season’s final round with a seven-point advantage over Bryan Smith and a 20-point edge over Kenny Coolbeth Jr.

The rivalry between Mees and Smith this season has been nothing short of fascinating, and the two will duke it out one final time on a track that neither have competed on before. The event format has been specifically tuned to provide a full night of compelling racing on the purpose-built short track, including six GNC1 heat races and a B Main prior to the night’s 25-lap main event.

Mees will ride the No. 1 Montgomeryville Cycle Center Honda CRF450R in Las Vegas and Smith will pilot the No. 42 Crosley Radio Kawasaki KX450F. Smith, a Mile specialist, will be giving it all he’s got in a attempt to claim his first-career Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines championship. If Mees is able to hold off Smith and win the championship, it will be his third title in the premier class in the last four years.

Coolbeth is the only other rider besides Mees and Smith in the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines field who has a chance at winning the 2015 championship. Despite being 20 points behind down, he will have an outside chance to win it all on Friday aboard the No. 2 Zanotti Racing Honda CRF450R if the night doesn’t play out in favor of Mees or Smith.

Aside from the championship fight between the trio of contenders, one of the most intriguing storylines entering the weekend is the return of Brad Baker. Baker was injured during the Black Hills Half-Mile in August and the 2012 GNC1 champion hasn’t raced in AMA Pro Flat Track competition in over three months. Baker will ride the No. 6 Brothers Powersports Honda CRF450R on Friday night and again on Saturday during the Superprestigio of the Americas presented by Yamaha.

Filling in for Baker during the last four rounds has been Jake Johnson, and the two-time champion has performed very well. Johnson has recorded back-to-back third-place finishes and he’ll look to roll some of his momentum into this weekend when he takes to the track aboard the No. 5 Honda CRF450R in Vegas.

Sammy Halbert has put together another strong season and he’ll enter Vegas sitting fourth in the GNC1 point standings.

It has been a year to remember for Davis Fisher. The 17-year-old clinched the GNC2 championship at the penultimate round of the 2015 season with his victory at the Roar on the Shore in Delmar, Del.

The second-year competitor entered the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track season as the odds-on favorite to claim the GNC2 championship after coming up one point shy of the title a year ago, and he’ll sport the No. 1 plate in Vegas on his Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda CRF450R this Friday for the final event of the season.

Although the GNC2 championship is locked up, the next three riders in the standings are all within three points of each other in the standings.

Second-place rider Bronson Bauman has 145 points to his credit, Dan Bromley sits in third with 144, and Jamison Minor comes into Last Vegas fourth in the points with 143.