Lewis Top Qualifier at AMA Road Race Grand Championships

Cycle News Staff | October 8, 2011

MT.MERIDIAN, Ind. (Oct. 8, 2011) –

 Jake Lewis topped the charts all day at Putnam Park Road Course in qualifying for Sunday’s AMA Road Race Grand Championships. The lanky 15-year-old racer from Princeton, Kentucky, rode his Earl’s Racing Team/Sportbike Track Time Yamaha R6 to the fastest time of the day with a lap at one minute, 10.622 seconds. He turned that lap in qualifying for Open Supersport. Lewis earned the pole in all four classes he entered.Lewis said in spite of running such a fast lap, he felt he might have an even faster lap in him.

“I would have liked to have gone a little faster than a 10.6, but it was hard to put a good lap together here because the corners are so fast and flowing,” Lewis said. “If you mess up one little part at this track it messes up your whole lap, but other than that it was a good day.”Lewis is considered the pre-event favorite to earn the AMA’s prestigious Horizon Award. Instead of letting the pressure of high expectations get to him, Lewis instead is focusing on goals for Sunday.”Mark Junge has the track record here (1:09.6) and he set that in 2002,” Lewis smiled. “Hopefully I can break that tomorrow and it will bring some good press. I’m going to try everything I can to break that record and do the best I can in the races. I was holding a little bit back today because I didn’t want anyone to see the lines I was running. We’ll save that for race day and put down the hammer.”

Lewis is part of the Owensboro Posse who hang out and train with the Hayden brothers at Earl Hayden’s ranch. Watching from the Lewis pits was one of Lewis’ mentors Tommy Hayden. Hayden said he liked what he saw from Lewis.”I’m here to watch Jake and my neighbor Nick McFadden,” Hayden said. “He (Jake) comes out and practices with us and we don’t make it easy on him. It’s good to see young talent coming up. It’s fun to watch. They’ve got a bright future. Jake and Nick both are two of the young talents who have a lot of potential. Hopefully we can see them come through the ranks and make a profession out of racing.”McFadden, a 14-year-old flat tracker turned development road racer with Vesrah Suzuki, clocked the fastest time in three classes, with a 1:16.163 his best in the Middleweight Twins Superbike class.Andre Ochs, 15, from Fallbrook, Calif., also set fast time in two classes, as did veteran Hoosier racer Gene Burcham.The AMA Horizon Award for road racing will be presented on Sunday. Past winners of the award include Jason DiSalvo, Ben Spies and Blake Young.

Practice starts Sunday morning at 9:00 am and the finals kick off at 10:00 am. You can find additional race details at http://usgpru.net/ama-grand-championship/.