Dustin Brown celebrated his 17th birthday in style at Georgian Downs Raceway near Barrie, ON, on Saturday night, dominating round ten of the 12 event Harley-Davidson Canada Flat Track Series presented by Parts Canada. Brown earned his third Feature race win in a row, moving steadily closer to his first overall number one plate for Canadian Flat Track – Brown holds a solid lead atop the Expert Open points standings.
With lightning on the horizon and rain threatening, the Flat Track Canada sanctioning group hurried the schedule, and Brown ran away with the 15 Lap expert Open Feature. Earlier Brown won the Expert Open race as well as the Dash for Cash at the venue described as the biggest track on the National tour.
“My plan was to put my head down after a good start and just check out, and that’s what happened,” smiled an elated Brown from the centre of the Podium. “I want to say a big thanks to all my local fans, it was just a great day. With two races left in the Series, the goals are still consistency, and then see how we do at the end of each race and now the end of the day for the series.”
After thanking main backers Sehl Racing, Kurt Beiger Racing and Yamaha Canada, Brown confirmed that he was lucky to earn the win in the main event.
“I guess the bike more or less blew up when I crossed the finish line,” confirmed Brown, who pulled off outside turn one and had to be pushed to the Podium, skipping the usual victory lap. “We really don’t know what happened, it just started bogging down on the last lap, and then just quit.”
Brown was aboard a well-travelled and well-sorted C&J framed, air-cooled Rotax single, in fact the same bike that Scott Sehl used to win with in 2000. The bike displaces 614cc, “as big as a short stroke Rotax can be and still stay reliable.”
Well behind victor Brown, 2018 multi-National victor Dave Pouliot aboard a Woods-Rotax held on to earn second after a near event-long fight against veteran fast guy Chris Evans. Evans netted third aboard a Honda-powered “framer.”
Following the Final, Pouliot admitted that his “framer” had lost the rear brake mid-event, perhaps as a result of an earlier crash. “I was trying hard, we were good, but we just were not quite there, and Dustin pulled away.” Pouliot thanked mentor and bike builder John Parker as well as Canadian Kawasaki, Moto Vanier and Inglis Cycle.
“I feel like I pushed the number 16 all day,” explained 55-year-old Evans of his pursuit of Pouliot. “It got a little exciting over those last few laps. I plan to race a few more years, and we have a couple of irons in the fire.”
Reigning National Champ Brodie Buchan was back in action after missing the past four National Feature races due to an arm injury. The current number one opted to skip the production-framed DTX event, his typical speciality, and make his twin cylinder debut aboard a borrowed Kawasaki 650 powered “framer” belonging to American sponsor Tim Wells.
Buchan held fourth for most of the Main, showing good form on the rambunctious Twin, but was caught late in the race by the framer of a hard-charging Tyler Seguin. Seguin took fourth, Buchan fifth ahead of DTX Yamaha mounted Jimmy McCullough and the Honda framer of American Brandon Newman.
In the early-program Heats to determined grids for the Feature race, Brown dominated the opener as Buchan held off Newman for third. Seguin borrowed Evans bike but dropped out with a mechanical issue, meaning he did not qualify for the fan-favorite Dash for Cash.
In Open Expert Heat Two, Pouliot on his DTX-class Kawasaki edged Evans in a good dice, Evans aboard Seguin’s machine! Luke Rahm completed the Dash for Cash grid, battling to a strong third in Open Expert Heat Two.
Production Yamaha-mounted Brown also ran off with the mid-evening, ten lap DTX event, winding up almost four seconds up on Pouliot’s Kawasaki. Pouliot kept the pressure on in the overall season class points standings by coming out on top in a good battle with third overall Newman. Honda pilot Trent Pickle backed up his first Pro Heat win with a strong fourth ahead of McCullough.
As is frequently the case, the Dash for Cash was action packed, Pouliot crashing to cause an early red flag. After the second start, the motivated Buchan fell from his twin for the first time, but didn’t stop the action. Both riders were quickly back in action.
Brown ended up taking “Dash” victory, while Evans came out on top of Pouliot in another fight for second. Newman was fourth while Rahm completed the finishers with his Honda.
The next round of the tour is scheduled for Wheatley, ON, September 22, with the season wrapping up a week later at Sarnia’s Hiawatha Downs, September 29.
Sunday, 02 September 2018 00:31 Published in News
(VAUGHAN, ON) – The new Harley-Davidson® FXDRTM 114 delivers hard-core drag- strip aggression with a technical edge. It’s an unapologetic power cruiser bringing a new level of all-out performance to the Harley-Davidson line-up, combining the unrelenting torque of the Milwaukee-Eight® 114 engine with the liberal use of weight-saving aluminium and composite components. As a result every aspect of performance is amplified.
Tuesday, 21 August 2018 13:05 Published in Industry News
VAUGHAN, ON – To appeal to a broad range of customer tastes each new 2019 CVO machine is offered in three distinctly different styling treatments, from a look with a bright powertrain and chrome details with two-tone paint, to a combination of dark and bright finishes and to a very dark look with a monochrome or fade paint.
Tuesday, 21 August 2018 12:58 Published in Industry News
MILWAUKEE (July 30, 2018) – To inspire even more people around the world to experience the exhilaration of riding a motorcycle, Harley-Davidson today shared details of its “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan through 2022.
Monday, 30 July 2018 10:20 Published in Industry News
Dave Pouliot won his first National of the season at Flamboro Downs, near Hamilton, ON, in round five action of the 2018 Harley-Davidson Canada Flat Track Series presented by Parts Canada. The Kawasaki-backed Quebecer took control early and held off Dustin Brown of Utterson, ON, for the win over 15 laps in a big evening for the classic Rotax single cylinder powered flat track “framer” combination around “Canada’s Fastest Half Mile.”
Pouliot now leads the Open Expert series as the National Championship heads to the mid-point of the 12 event schedule.
Another classic race design netted third, Michigan-based American Stephen Vanderkurr completing the podium aboard a Harley-Davidson XR750 twin.
Veteran part-time National racer Dominic Beaulac of Trois-Riviere, Quebec, was a pre-race favorite, but a first-try jump start moved him to the back of the second start grid on his Rotax-framer. From there, the aggressive Beaulac charged up to earn fourth.
Missing from the race was reigning overall Flat Track Canada Champion Brodie Buchan of Leamington, ON. The Honda-backed Expert was scheduled to ride a borrowed Rotax-Framer in the main event, but injured his left arm in a crash during the twice-restarted “Dash for Cash” race.
Already the victor in two Feature races in 2018, Buchan’s injury throws his Championship chase in to question for the Parts Canada/Phibbs-baced rising star. Next weekend, the series has a rare double-header oval/TT combo at famed four-wheel venue Ohsweken Speedway.
The “Dash for Cash” ended with a wild battle between Pouliot and Beaulac, but Beaulac ended inches behind rival Pouliot at the finish line in a photo finish.
In the eight lap DTX Expert race, Tyler Seguin of Welland, ON, jumped into an early lead aboard his Parts Canada-backed Honda moto crosser. Class points leader Buchan worked up from a bad start to put pressure on the leader, but couldn’t make a pass stick. Seguin too his first DTX win of the year from Buchan, Pouliot third on his John Parker Racing built entry.
Fourth in DTX belonged to Brown on a Sehl Yamaha. In a tight battle for fifth place in DTX, former number one Don Taylor of Port Colborne, ON, on a KBR Honda just edged Luke Rahm’s Honda.
Following the main event, Pouliot didn’t want to be considered the man to beat for the Title, but admitted that “things are shaping up for the rest of the season.” Pouliot’s bike was built over the course of a year by mentor Parker, with backing form Moto Vanier.
Post win, Parker confirmed that the classic Woods-Rotax racer was created with “no budget, brand new build, it’s an exact replica of the bike that I won all those races with in 1999.”
For runner up Brown, just 16-years-old and second in the standings, the result came from “focusing on improvements with me and the bike, and doing my best to be consistent. I feel like I’m becoming a consistent rider, and I can put together a good run for the rest of the season.”
Third overall Vanderkurr appreciated the attention he received for racing a classic H-D twin against the classic singles. “I knew we could do well”, explained the Amsoil/RK -backer American, “but it is a challenge with this bike against the lighter bikes.”
Sunday, 29 July 2018 11:34 Published in News
Nitro methane was in the air when the motorcycles hit the drag strip during the 2018 NHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals at Edmonton Castrol Raceway on July 13 to 15.
Friday, 20 July 2018 11:30 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Public filings made on June 25, 2018 by Harley-Davidson Inc. have confirmed that in response to recently implemented tariffs the company will be shifting production of motorcycles destined for the European Union to facilities located outside of the United States.
Monday, 25 June 2018 13:34 Published in Industry News
CAMBRIDGE, ON – May 7, 2018 – Flat Track Canada is excited to announce a new Title Sponsor to the National Championship Series. The long-term OEM sponsor, Harley-Davidson Canada is increasing its support for the 2018 race season and is now the series Title Sponsor.
Monday, 07 May 2018 14:15 Published in News
Former Flat Track Canada National Champ Doug Lawrence is just about ready for his first National of the season, round two of the American Flat Track National Championship, coming up this weekend in Georgia. Lawrence will compete in the Harley-Davidson Atlanta Short Track presented by Hellbender Harley-Davidson at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock on Saturday, April 7.
“Atlanta, round two, was always part of the plan,” explained Lawrence prior to his next trip south. “We’re warmed up, and getting back in the game. This should be a good track for us, a forgiving track, it’s round and slippery, so that should work for us. The stage is set to get back on the pace.”
After skipping most of the American Flat Track series last season, this year Lawrence plans to compete on the tour full-time for the next couple of months.
“For Atlanta, it will be one motorcycle only, and that is our Harley-Davidson XR750,” confirms Lawrence. “We always had the plan to use the XR for the half miles, and then move to our new Kawasaki at the big (mile) tracks.”
Last month, Lawrence and his tuner/father Doug Sr. went south for the traditional warm-up events, bringing both their established XR and brand new Ninja twins. That program was a success, so now they are ready to get back on the premier Flat Track tour.
“We had two days with the Kawasaki testing at Savannah, and then raced the XR. Then we went to Volusia and raced the Kawasaki, and we were satisfied with the progress overall from those events.
“We had slow starts racing the XR, but we worked up good enough to get third, we were really going good on my kind of track, behind Brad Baker (Indian) and Kenny Coolbeth (Indian). As far as the slow start, my excuse is that it is tough to come off the bench!”
“At Volusia, we maybe should have ridden our XR, but we needed to race the Kawasaki, learn about that bike, so I knew going in that would be the harder plan. We were getting there with the Ninja, getting faster, and the shorter 15 lap race actually helped us.”
“We defiantly would have done really well with the XR at Volusia, but that wasn’t a goal. We got a 4th and a 6th with our Kawasaki, and we are getting there with the chassis and the handling in terms of set-up. Our whole mission for the trip south was accomplished, the lap times on the XR750 were fast, we are right there, where we need to be.”
“With the Kawasaki, we were about .2 of a second behind Jared Mees (Indian FTR750 mounted National Champ), so that is a positive. I’m not planning to race the Kawasaki on the Half Miles, it is there for the Mile races.”
“At Atlanta this weekend, the goal is obviously to make the Main event,” considers Lawrence. “With the new format down there, you only really have one shot to make it into the feature, and you can’t risk any kind of issue.
“Things have changed with the American Flat Track tour, and it will take some adjustments,” continues Lawrence. “People are riding all the time, practicing, where as ten ears ago, people were busy working on their bikes. Now the top guys have paid mechanics to look after their twins. It’s tougher now, and you have to be mentally stronger.”
“Things are really serious now, everyone is in this to make a living,” continues Lawrence of the revamped National Tour. “It is different to before, and the little guy doesn’t really get much play. I’m going to be that little guy who makes it out of the Heat race, who makes his mark. I respect these guys, and I want to be part of all of this.
“We will have to see how we make out with our new plan in this new atmosphere. After this weekend, we have a short break and then we are on the road for five races. J.R. Addison will be taking my bikes across the country, we will share expenses.
“After the big Springfield AFT National (May 26/27), the next weekend is the Flat Track Canada National at Welland, and we will take our single to that if everything works out. And I’m still trying to work out a program for Mopar CSBK, maybe a 600cc program for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in August.”
Among the supporters for Lawrence on the American Flat Track tour in 2018 are Town Moto, John Briggs, American Harley-Davidson, Arai Helmets, Full Bore, Side Boots and MotoNation.
Wednesday, 04 April 2018 22:03 Published in News
When we reached Doug Lawrence early (very early!) on Tuesday, March 6, he is heading south for the traditional launch of the flat track racing season. The 32-year-old former Flat Track Canada National Champ is in a van with his father, taking their twin cylinder “framers” to Georgia and then Florida.
“We’re going to South Carolina for a Wednesday Practice Day, on their three-eighths of a mile track,” starts Lawrence, who is letting Doug Sr. handle the driving on this leg of the trip. “Then we head to Savanah, Georgia for another three-eights mile facility and another Test Day. On Friday, we race the opening AMA All-Stars round at Savannah, the series that is a step below the American Flat Track National tour.”
“Then it’s on to Volusia Speedway Park in Florida for another All-Star round. We’ll be back in Canada on the 17th, and then we will announce our 2018 sponsorship package. Right now, I can confirm that my long-time supporters John Briggs and Town Moto are on-board.”
Lawrence has some choices to make in terms of equipment, and one of the goals of the trip will be to develop their years-in-the-making, Big A-framed Kawasaki 650 Ninja Twin. As well, their established and successful Harley-Davidson XR750 will be available, and likely be the preferred option, at least initially, on the short ovals. For the first time, Lawrence is not bringing any single cylinder racers with his for his spring journey south.
“I think the Harley will be better at first, but the goal is to get up to speed with the Kawasaki. We have a couple of engine packages available for the Kawasaki, different set-ups. We want to get the most out of each package, and ride the bike that works the best for the specific track conditions.
“We’re uncomfortable with the idea of using the Harley a lot,” admits the junior Lawrence, referring to the rare, collectable and costly to run air-cooled v-twins. “We don’t want to waste the XR750. The bigger tracks will suit the Kawasaki for sure, it will be more reliable and have better acceleration off the corners. The cornering speed is higher with the Harley, but the Kawasaki works better in a pack situation.”
Lawrence has achieved significant success on American-based Kawasaki liquid-cooled twins, riding for other teams, during the past few seasons in the U.S.
“I’ve had a few offers to ride for American Teams, but to be honest, these opportunities appeal but the machinery would not be as good as our bikes. I know what it takes to win, and the key is preparation.”
Talking about the opposition at the major races south of the border, Lawrence explains that “the Indians will be good again in American Flat Track, there could be as many as ten Indians in a Main event, but the new privateer bikes will take some figuring out.
“My goal is to get up to the pace, and that shouldn’t take too long,” continues the racer known as Fresh. “We’re not going to do the opening American Flt Track round, the Daytona TT, but we are aiming for the second event a month from now at Atlanta. That track is ‘D shaped,’ another three-eighths mile layout, and this year will be the second year Atlanta is a National.
“My initial plans for this year involve a focus on the States, as well as some races in Canada, places like Welland and Ohsweken. Right now I have eight races of American Flat Track circled on the calendar, and then we will see how it is all going.
“Our plan is to do the initial sweep out West in the U.S., and then regroup during the break and see what makes sense. In Canada, we’re looking toward the possible all-Twins feature class in 2019 with Flat Track Canada, and the goal is to come up with a sensible plan with sensible budget numbers.
“Recently, it has taken at least two or three bikes to win the National Championship in Canada, and the Twins class would match us up with what is going on south of the border, and control some cost factors. This would also allow more young Canadian racers to compete in the States, too.
“For me, I aim to do less but be more focused, be happy with my overall effort and confident in the direction. I want to get back to where I’ve been in terms of success, and I can do that.
“I still plan to roadrace at the Mopar CSBK rounds if I can, but those plans are still in the works and I don’t want to spread myself too thin. It will be a weird year, it will be busy early in the States, and then we will make plans for the rest of the season based on how things are going.
Lawrence aims to open his 2018 National Tour in a month at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Georgia, April 7. From there, he aims to head west to Texas, California and Arizona.
Tuesday, 06 March 2018 08:13 Published in News