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Richie Morris Racing (RMR) Shows Strength at Dixie Speedway

27 March 2017—Richie Morris Racing (RMR) motorcycle riders Jarod Vanderkooi and Shayna Texter bounced back from disappointment at the American Flat Track season opener at Daytona International Speedway with strong performances in last weekend’s Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle at Dixie Speedway  in Woodstock, Ga.

Texter, aboard the No. 52 RMR McElroy Packaging Honda CRF450R that also carries support from American Honda, Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda, Tucker Rocky, Performance Electronics, ProTaper and Roland Sands Design, had a flag-to-flag victory in the AFT Pro Singles class and ended the night with a come-from-behind third-place finish in the Singles main event.

The Dixie Speedway race was an up-and-down event for the rider from Lancaster, Pa.  After leading all the way to win her semi, Texter dropped to 10that the start of the main event. She worked her way up to sixth before a red flag halted the action with three laps remaining. On the restart, she charged past three riders to capture the final podium position to the rousing overwhelming approval of the crowd on hand.

“I was kicking myself in the butt the entire race,” Texter said. “This year they implemented a new light system that’s the opposite of last year, and I messed up a little. I had to make up for it, and I kept praying and praying. It also takes a little bit of luck to get a break like that. I thought the race was over for us. I was just trying to get as many riders as I could. Then the red came out. I was real confident in my starts all day, so I was stoked to get another chance.”

Winning is nothing new for Texter. She became the first female to win the Grand National Championship main event when she won a Singles race (then known as GNC2) at Knoxville Raceway in 2011. The following year, she won three races and finished fifth in the final standings. For 2017, Texter is making her return to Singles competition after racing in the Twins category the past three seasons.

Vanderkooi, who rides the No. 20 RMR Kawasaki Ninja 650 in the AFT Pro Twins class, finished fifth in the feature race.  The result marked a satisfying race finish following the DAYTONA TT round, which saw Vanderkooi eliminated late in the race due to a mechanical issue as he ran in second position and was closing in on eventual winner Jared Mees.

“A 10 cent screw that held a 50 cent wire, suddenly stopped doing it’s job,” he explained. “That was a tough break for sure, because we had the setup and were feeling good. It just wasn’t our day.”

The top-five feature finish was a solid demonstration of what Vanderkooi will look to do this season as he continues to develop as an RMR rider with his sponsors McElroy Packaging, Tucker Rocky, Roland Sands Design, ProTaper and Performance Electronics.

“It was definitely a good finish for us,” said Vanderkooi, who qualified for the main event with second-place finishes in both his heat and semi races. “It was a tough race, and the guys in front of us were going good. I felt like we had the pace, we just missed the setup a little bit to get those extra tenths. It was a good team effort, for sure.”

AFT’s Southern Swing wraps up next weekend with Saturday’s Harley-Davidson Charlotte Half-Mile at The Short Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“We’re looking forward to Charlotte,” Vanderkooi said. “It’s a pretty fast track, and it’s going to be good racing. The line moves around, so it’s going to be pretty intense battling.”

Practice and qualifying begins at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon, with the first heat race taking the green light at 6:30 p.m. All of the on-track action will be streamed live on