CALISTOGA, Calif. – The AMA Pro Racing Grand National Series will return to Calistoga Speedway on Sept. 27, bringing the chase for the national championship of flat-track motorcycle racing back to the Napa Valley after a two-year absence.
The Ramspur Winery Calistoga Half-Mile presented by Victory Chevrolet at the Napa County Fairgrounds will be the 15th and next to last chance for riders in both the big-bore Twin and Single Pro categories to earn precious championship points in the series that will have criss-crossed the country, beginning in Daytona in January and ending in Pomona on Oct 11.
Top riders expected at Calistoga include Bryan Smith, Flint Michigan, the defending national champion and a two time winner in 2014, including the most recent race in Hagerstown, Md.; and Jared Mees, the 2012 AMA Pro Grand National Champion who leads the current standings.
Also expected is Jake Johnson, the 2011 winner at Calistoga and Mees’ toughest early-season championship challenger. The three time AMA national champion sponsored by Napa Valley’s Ramspur Winery, sits just one point behind Mees (104 points-103) through the first five races this year.
Known for its long straightaways, Calistoga Speedway will offer riders plenty of room for passing and drafting in a series that is renowned for close action in which the race lead can change several times a lap. The track is also substantially different from what the riders saw during their last visit to Calistoga, with wider straightaways and progressive banking in the corners, the result of the most significant upgrade in its storied, 75-year history.