Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

2014 Triumph AMA Superbike Classic - Birmingham Alabama

Written by  August 1, 2014

We heard the thunder as thousands of bikes rolled into Barber Motorsports Park on June 21, 2014 for the first 2-day weekend event of the 2014 Pro Road Racing season, featuring with the Triumph AMA Superbike Classic.

There was no practice, racing or anything on Friday, which was a little strange, and meant that everything would be squeezed into Saturday and Sunday. It was beautiful, but very hot, so it was probably a good thing it was shortened.

Castrol was in charge of the Fan Zone Attractions, with official merchandise tents, motorcycle accessory vendors, displays from Kymco Motorcycles, EBR Motorcycles, Triumph Motorcycles, and Suzuki Motorcycles who were also offering demo rides, and of course, concessions.

On Saturday, Triumph held a rider’s meet and greet, and events also included Motorcycles in the Park and a ride in bike show hosted by the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum; the world’s largest motorcycle museum.

On Saturday and Sunday there were three Freestyle Mx Shows each day, with performances by a trio of riders led by X Games silver medal holder, Dustin Miller. These guys are nuts! They were performing flips, kicks, and other mind-blowing stunts! Adding to the craziness, the Triumph Stunt Show took place on the track, with Nick “Apex” Brocha and Ernie “EDub” Vigil. The background music for this show went a little something like this: Ohhh!...Damn…and Wow!

They were able to get all of the qualifying and practice in Saturday morning, along with the first races of the weekend for GoPro Daytona Sportbike, American Superbike and Supersport. The Harley guys with Vance & Hines were only on the track to qualify and practice.

At the end of each day, you ride on this world renowned track. All you needed to do was buy a parade lap pass, and you’re out cruising on the same track as these professional riders from all over the world. Pretty damn cool; especially if you’ve never done it before.

Sunday came, and it was still beautiful, but so very hot! Track officials had towels soaking in the ice water containers that held the celebratory champagne, which is where we made frequent stops, because they were nice enough to also let me drop my towel in there as well, and OMG! That and the trips to the media center for water and Gatorade kept us from melting away. We thank you guys so much!

We used to think these racers were little snots, but after getting to know a lot of them over the years, we’ve come to discover that most of them are actually just a bunch of good ole boys that would do most anything for you. They are very accommodating to the media and very approachable for their fans. The guys at TOBC Racing were so accommodating, and I just wanted to hug them. We got a Koozie from them earlier, which was really nice, and fit our Gatorade bottle perfectly, so we went back as they were loading up and asked them if they had one more. They were so nice, they gave us a handful of them. Too cool, right?

The 1st race of the day was and 11-lap race by the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson bunch. The 2013 Harley-Davidson champion #1 Steve Rapp with Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson was center stage on the podium at the end of that race. Standing next to him in 2nd place was #69 Danny Eslick with Ruthless Racing and Trev Deeley Motorcycles. And last, but not least, #45-Ben Carlson with Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson, Suburban Speed, and Bell Helmets took home 3rd place.

The 2nd race of the day was the 15-lap Supersport Race which saw #68 Dustin Dominquez with HSBK Racing, on his Yamaha YZF-R6 come in 1st and take the checkered flag, followed closely by 2nd place winner #69 Hayden Gillim with TOBC Racing, on his Suzuki GSX-R600, and 3rd place was #51 Kaleb De Keyrel with De Keyrel Racing on his Yamaha YZF-R6. It was so hot, it was taking a toll on everyone and at the end of the race, Hayden was kinda slumped over his bike. It was clear just how much distress he was under during the interviews, but it didn’t stop him from coming over and posing for a shot next to his bike for us, with a smile on his face to boot! Much admiration dude!

The next race was the Go-Pro Daytona Sportbike 19-lap race. Dane Westby #00 with Yamalube Westby Racing and riding his Yamaha YZF-R6 took the checkered flag for 1st place while Jake Lewis #85 with MotoSport.com/Meen Yamaha on his Yamaha YZF-R6 came in 2nd. 3rd place went to #32 Jake Gagne with Road Race Factory/Red Bull on his Yamaha YZF-R6.

The last race of the day was the American Superbike 21-lap race. Josh Hayes #4 with Monster Energy and Graves Yamaha took home the 1st place trophy on his Yamaha R1, #36 Martin Cardenas with Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing took 2nd place on his Suzuki GSX-R1000, and #2 Cameron Beaubier, also with Monster Energy and Graves Yamaha went home with a 3rd place trophy on his Yamaha R1.

This is truly and international event and I love seeing all of these people coming into our little part of the world. I also ran into Mr. George Barber, who always has a smile on his face, and always takes time to talk with us. Sometimes we can even get him to pose for a picture. He’s so down to earth, and just a super nice person. You’d never know he owns the place, but it’s quite obvious how proud he is of what he’s built here, and with good reason.