Springfield, Ill. (2017 May 24) –Arriving with the momentum of two consecutive American Flat Track Singles victories on Mile tracks, Richie Morris Racing (RMR) rider Shayna Texter will be doing double duty in this weekend’s action at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
Texter takes the AFT Singles point lead into Saturday’s Springfield TT, and then switches to a Twins motorcycle, joining RMR teammate Jarod Vanderkooi in Sunday’s Harley-Davidson Springfield Mile I.
The Pennsylvania rider scored back-to-back wins at the Law Tigers Arizona Mile and Saturday’s Harley-Davidson Sacramento Mile, continuing a streak which saw her place third in the Atlanta Short Track and second in the Charlotte Half-Mile aboard the No. 52 RMR McElroy Packaging Honda CFR450R that also carries support from American Honda, Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda, Tucker Rocky, Performance Electronics, ProTaper and Roland Sands Design.
An eight-time winner in AFT Singles competition, Texter also won a pair of races on the Springfield Mile in the Basic Expert Twins class in 2013. The move to the TT format is one that has Texter focused on the end results from the weekend.
“I’ll be putting my head down and trying to do as good of a job as possible, pushing to get up front in the TT,” said Texter, who doesn’t consider the TT format to be her strongest point. “Then on Sunday, I’ll be racing one of the Richie Morris Racing team bikes for the Twins event. It will be good to get back on a Twins motorcycle, and hopefully I can help the team continue to develop the bike and give the team added feedback to help Jarod (Vanderkooi).”
Vanderkooi finished 10th at Sacramento in the AFT Twins Main Event, giving him four consecutive top-10 finishes riding the No. 20 RMR 750 Twin that is sponsored by McElroy Packaging, Tucker Rocky, Roland Sands Design, ProTaper and Performance Electronics.
“We’re really looking forward to Springfield,” Vanderkooi said. “Last week was a bit rough on us but we’ve continued to work as a team to make progress. Springfield would be a perfect place to showcase what we are capable of doing”
“We’re going to do the best we can and try to get a good finish,” Vanderkooi said. “Last week was a bit rough on us but we’ve continued to work as a team to figure everything out. Hopefully we will be fine. I’ve always qualified well at Springfield in the past, but I’ve had bad luck and mechanical issues on my personal bikes. I’m looking to rebound at Springfield – it’s a little more consistent than the Miles we’ve raced on the past two weekends.”
Springfield will be the third consecutive AFT Twins Mile race on consecutive weekends. That streak continues when both the AFT Singles and AFT Twins compete on the Red Mile in Lexington, Ky., on June 3. American Flat Track returns to Springfield on Labor Day weekend with a Short Track race for the AFT Singles on Saturday (Sept. 2) and an AFT Twins race on Sunday.
“I think she’s a much more confident rider than she was at Daytona, where we missed the setting on her last qualifying run,” said Team Principal Richie Morris, referring to the season-opening DAYTONA TT where Texter failed to qualify for the evening program. “We’ll have a much better bike for her for the TT, and she has a much better mindset now. Since the Singles race is on Saturday, there will be no pressure on her on Sunday – she will be able to go out and ride the Twin on her favorite track. When she decided to concentrate on racing Singles this year, we also wanted her to run the two Springfield Miles since they didn’t conflict with the Singles. I think she’s got a chance to win the darn thing!
“The noise-reducing rule that was put in place right before Arizona really hurt us,” Morris said of the Twins bikes. “We found a few things this week that I think will help us and get us past the Indians. We’re doing everything we can to make up the horsepower we lost. I think Jarod (Vanderkooi) will be much more competitive this weekend.”
Saturday’s program begins at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET), while Sunday’s action gets underway with the opening heat race at 1:30 p.m. CT (2:30 p.m. ET). All on-track activity for both days will be streamed live on www.FansChoice.TV.