As a middle-aged man, there are many random thoughts running through my head at any given time. The good news is that random thoughts seem to be the way to go when it comes to a blog. So here are some things to ponder after the first rounds in both the Flat Track Canada and CSBK series.
As I predicted in the current issue of Inside Motorcycles magazine, 14-year-old rookie Expert Hunter “Showtime” Bauer is going to be one to watch. I first profiled a then 6-year-old Bauer in the magazine way back in 2011 when he was included in a story I did on kids taking part in flat track. Even then I saw something special in the kid and on Saturday in Trois Rivieres the kid had an Expert debut for the ages. Bauer not only won both his DTX and Open heats, but he set the fastest lap time in both classes during each race. Bauer finished second behind KBR teammate Dustin Brown in the Open Expert final and likely only a last row start on a back-up bike in the DTX final prevented him from grabbing a podium in that class as well. Although he admitted he was nervous the night before the race, Bauer showed no signs of those nerves on race night and looked right at home on the front row between former champions Brodie Buchan and Dominic Beaulac.
Speaking of Beaulac I spent a few minutes talking to him after the races on Saturday. Beaulac told me he is hard to impress but even he was taken aback by Bauer’s Expert debut. Beaulac told me he watched Bauer’s DTX heat race and his mouth was hanging open the whole time because he was caught off guard by the talent of the young rookie. Beaulac also reflected on his AMA Grand National win in Lima in 2006. He said it was just one of those nights where he knew right after practice that he was going to win. His crew took a bit of convincing, but no doubt they were asking him for lottery numbers after his prediction came true on that magical night. Beaulac also had a funny story of a fan talking to him the other night and telling Beaulac that he used to watch his dad race about twenty years ago (must have been his dad because they have the same last name) and he was fast as hell. After a few minutes going back and forth Beaulac was finally able to convince the fan that it was actually him that he had been watching and that he indeed was fast as hell 20 years ago and hasn’t slowed down much these days.
Big news for the Flat Track Canada series. President Aaron Hesmer has announced that the series will be shown on both TSN and FansChoice this season. This is major exposure for the series and Hesmer is thrilled at the direction things are headed.
Dustin Brown has continued where he left off last season as the 2018 champ won both the DTX and Open races at Trois Rivieres on his new KBR ride. If the first race is any indication Jarrett Phibbs will be one to watch in the Intermediate class. Phibbs had a dominant victory in the DTX class and after an early lead in the Open race he came in second after a wild battle with Gabriel Beaulac. Speaking of Beaulac (part 2) Gabriel had an amazing charge from the last row to take the victory after having a textbook sky shot wheelie from hell that saw him flip his bike in his heat race.
Turns out Jordan Szoke is human after all. Szoke crashed hard in practice at the season opener on Saturday in Shannonville and put in a brave ride on Sunday to take a third place finish. Szoke doesn’t hit the ground very often which is one of the reasons he has pretty well owned the past two decades of Superbike racing here in Canada. One race doesn’t win you a championship but it can help you lose one so the damage control done by Szoke on Sunday was commendable.
Congrats to Ben Young for taking his second career victory at the CSBK opener. Don’t let the fact that Szoke was riding hurt fool you, Young is fast and he is also one of the nicest young men in the paddock.
Finally my posse and I usually head to Springfield for the May race and have done so for a few years now. This year we’ve changed it up a bit and instead will be going to check out the Red Mile in Lexington Kentucky on June 1st. We will have some Canadian boys to cheer for while we are there as Brodie Buchan will be racing the Production Twins class on his Baer Racing Kawasaki and Trent “Sweet Heat” Pickle will be trying his luck in the ever competitive Singles class. This will be my first trip to Kentucky and I’m eager to try out some of the local fare. Apparently KFC isn’t on the menu there but squirrel and raccoon are. Can’t wait. I’m sure they taste like chicken…