Kirkness battles hard in Arizona Flat Track
May 12, 2010

Mick Kirkness

Aussie Track rider Mick Kirkness is competing in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship in 2010, and he provides his first-hand account of the Arizona round here.

The opening round for the twins was held in font of a sell out crowd in Prescott Valley, Arizona on the 1st of May at the Yavapai Downs mile track.

It was the first time anything had been raced on the track besides horses and with that being said, although there were a few problems, it all went fairly smoothly.

The 1370 mile drive out there became an adventure in itself, the fuel filter in our van picked up some trash and would only let the van run at 55 miles an hour, we called every town along the way and couldnt get one until Albuquerque, New Mexico. 11 hours at 55 miles an hour is enough to make you carzy!

They tried to gule the track together with some type of liquid that they use to make landing strips in the desert, turns three and four were great but one and two fell apart. getting off turn was two a big factor in going fast and alot of people were having a hard time of it, until later in the day when everyone started running up in the cushion by the fence.

I qualified 17th which was not the greatest but on the front row at least. I got a great start and lead down the back straight away on the first lap but slid off the groove exiting turn four and got drafted down the front straight by Pearson, Johnson, Carr, Wiles and Schnabel! Bad time to make that mistake, I never did get back any of them and was semi bound.

Brian Smith got the hole shot in the semi and made the same mistake I had made in the heat and blew the groove in turn three and four handing me the lead, he drafted back by on the back straight and left me to battle with Robbie Pearson for third, he eventually took the spot and put a little gap on me, I was not setting the world on fire by any means and had hoped to turn things around in the main.

I changed bikes for the main event and had to start on the fourth row all by myself, the light went green and I got a great start, going high and rolling around half the field in the first two turns and I was inside the top ten going down the back straight, when the pack exited turn four the dust was so bad that I could not see the front wheel.

It was like putting your hand over your face. By the time we got back on the back straight the red lights were on and they pulled us up so as they could give it a little water. They gave the straights a splash and left the turns as they were.

After the restart the middle of the straights were great but you couldnt see the inside guard rail, any of other bikes or outside fence through the turns, I guess it was worse the further back you were and I had to start from the penalty line..... Or maybe I'm just soft!

I would have to say that I didnt let it all hang out during the main event either, I did learn a few things and used it as time on the harley which is still new to me.

We swung by the Grand Canyon on the way home and checked it out for about ten minutes and then started the journey back to Jefferson City. Its amazing the things you go through when you drive that far, freezing weather, snow ball fights, snow storms (in may!) and long talks to the highway patrol!!

On April tenth and eleventh we went to Alexander Illinois for the first two rounds of the "Hole shot" Dirt Track Series, with a tt and a short track on saturday and then a short track on the sunday. Myself, Wiles, Pearson and Carver all had some good battles over the weekend, I finished 3rd in saturdays short track and fell in the tt. I won the shot track on sunday after a good battle with Wiles.

This weekend just passed we went to Little Rock Arkansas for an "All Star" Series race, Entries were low but the crowd was great.

We ran ten lap scratch heats, and I won mine over Carr and it was the fastest heat by over four seconds.

I fell in the heat though and had to start the main from the back row, I passed my way through to fourth but ran out of laps. That was a little dissapointing because I know I had the speed to have won it.
Steve Nace runs both of these series and is doing a great job, they are fun well run events.

Thanks a lot to everyone that helps out, it really is appreciated.

Thanks for reading.

Mick Kirkness #87