American Flat Track (formerly AMA Pro Racing) has announced its official schedule for 2017.
This is what I find interesting...
1. The first round is a TT at Daytona, within the enormous speedway on a Chris Carr designed track. Remember, the GNC1 (Pro, Experts, call them what you will depending on your age) will all be on TWINS!
2. The next round is a short track in Georgia, meaning there is no short track in Daytona.
3. Peoria is on. I'm most surprised about this. There must be some changes happening at the track because riders weren't happy about the safety there (Dominic Colindres was paralysed after a crash there this year). Brad Baker had a lucky escape. Now they're doing it on twins.
4. The Buffalo Chip TT. To appeal to the massive biker crowds at Sturgis, this race borders on exhibition. Again, it's going to be on twins. That makes three TT rounds in one season. The most there's been since I've been following GNC, I think (used to be Peoria and Castle Rock).
5. Perris is the final round. Not the tiny track, but the adjacent Auto Speedway. It's still regarded as a short track, so that's two short track races for the twins too.
6. There are 18 rounds. Santa Rosa dropped itself, after being on the preliminary list announced in September. California still gets three rounds, equal with Illinois.
March 16: DAYTONA TT – Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
March 25: Georgia Short Track – Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, Ga.
April 1: Charlotte Half-Mile – Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
May 13: Arizona Mile – Turf Paradise, Phoenix, Ariz.
May 20: Sacramento Mile – Cal Expo Fairgrounds, Sacramento, Calif.
May 27-28: Springfield Mile I* – Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ill.
June 3: Red Mile – The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.
June 17: OKC Mile – Remington Park, Oklahoma City
June 24: Lima Half-Mile – Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, Ohio
July 8: Rolling Wheels Half-Mile – Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, Elbridge, N.Y.
July 29: Calistoga Half-Mile – Calistoga Speedway, Calistoga, Calif.
Aug. 6: Buffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycle – Buffalo Chip Campgrounds, Sturgis, S.D. Aug. 8: Black Hills Half-Mile – Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, S.D.
Aug. 13: Peoria TT – Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, Ill.
Sept. 2-3: Springfield Mile II** – Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ill.
Sept. 9: Williams Grove Half-Mile – Williams Gove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Sept. 23: Lone Star Half-Mile – Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas
Oct. 7: Perris Short Track – Perris Auto Speedway, Perris, Calif.
* AFT Singles will race a TT on May 27
** AFT Singles will race a Short Track on Sept. 2
Photo: Brian J Nelson/ AFT