Gettin' Sideways: AMA Pro Flat Track Castle Rock TT

Bump-and-grind TT’ing in the Pacific Northwest.

Henry Wiles race action shot

The guys and gals of AMA Pro Flat Track returned to Washington State this past weekend to do battle at Castle Rock Race Park. Riders got a chance to pull out their 450cc single-cylinder motocross-based machines for the first time since March at Daytona International Speedway and race for top honors at the famed Castle Rock TT.

The Mt. St. Helens Motorcycle Club is located right on edge of the Mount St. Helens volcano, and sparks were “erupting” on Saturday night all over the tight, technical track. Typically the weather in Washington is questionable, with overcast skies and likelihood of rain, but the sun was shining throughout the day, and the racing was exciting.

After three years away from TT racing, I finally made my first-ever TT main event. But in the 25-lap Grand National, I apparently forgot how to work the throttle and finished 17th. Here are some highlights from the event:

  • Henry Wiles made an aggressive pass for the lead on lap 17 and checked out to win by more than four seconds and claim his 25th career victory. Watching the Kawasaki rider use the outside berm in the right-hander to make passes was impressive. Most of Wiles' wins have come on TTs, but this was his first victory at Castle Rock.

  • Mikey Rush won his heat race, Dash for Cash, and led most of the main event before Wiles made a pass for the lead. Rush held on to finish second.

  • Washington native Brad Baker was third in the Expert main event, earning his first podium of the season. It's been a sub-par year thus far for Brad, so it was cool to see one of my good friends get a solid result at his home track.

  • Initially the track was supposed to have two jumps, but the last jump before the start/finish line was taken out before practice. I talked to AMA Pro Racing's Director of Flat Track Dan Johnsen before practice, and he said the biggest reason for the change was safety. Most riders were bummed because the test day two weeks ago featured both jumps.

Kenny Coolbeth Jr. race action shot
    Henry Wiles celebrates his 25th national win

      Next race: August 5, Round 10, Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, South Dakota

      Cory Texter is a third-generation motorcycle racer from Willow Street, Pennsylvania. He is currently national number 65 in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship and has also held an AMA Pro Road Racing license. His father, Randy, was the 1990 AMA TwinSports champion, and his sister, Shayna, is the only female to win an AMA Pro Grand National Expert Singles race. Cory also co-hosts Flat Track Weekly Radio.

      Henry Wiles headed to victory.

      Points leader Jared Mees (9) pressures Jeffrey Carver, Jr.

      Kenny Coolbeth, Jr.

      High flying Davis Fisher.

      Dominic Colindres was fast all day.

      Dan Bromley finished third in the Pro Singles main event.

      Castle Rock TT featured just one jump.

      Henry Wiles celebrates his 25th national win.

      Henry Wiles stands atop the Castle Rock TT podium.

      Pro Singles winner Dominic Colindres.