Doug Lawrence of Mississauga, ON rode the Town Moto/Motovan/26 Suspension-sponsored Honda CRF450 to a 12th place finish at the Daytona Short Track, the first race in the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship. He was the only Canadian entered and earned seven GNC points for his efforts. It was Lawrence’s best career finish in the annual season opener at Daytona.
Lawrence qualified 16th out of 44 riders entered through the two four-lap sessions, and then just missed a direct transfer to the main event by placing sixth in his heat race. He then made his intentions clear with a spirited second place ride in the 10-lap semi, his ticket to ‘The Show’.
Track surface conditions were so slick for the 25-lap final that AMA Pro officials gave the 19-rider field an extra three sighting laps to test for traction. In spite of this, there was but one red flag and that happened on Lap 1, with no injuries incurred to the rider involved, Kenny Coolbeth.
It was a dissapointing night for defending AMA champ Brad Baker, as his A bike gave difficulties just before the start of the final. He quickly jumped on the backup KTM, but the bike had not been properly impounded by AMA rules. Baker was four laps into the final when the officials black flagged him.
The race was won by Briar Bauman, the young California Honda rider scoring his first national win. Fast qualifier Sammy Halbert settled for second on a Yamaha, while Pennsylvania tallboy Brandon Robinson took the final podium spot.
— From Frank Wood