John Fernandez was untouchable...
John Fernandez was untouchable in Super Street this season and won the Valdosta final for Jones Performance Cycles.
2009 was a tough year for AMA Dragbike. Persistent weather issues hampered, delayed and even cancelled events, sponsorships were hard to secure and racer entries became stagnated. But all was forgotten at the finals in Valdosta, Georgia though. Racer participation was up, fans came out to watch and great on-track action gave the series a strong finish, spawning huge anticipation for 2010.
One class that won't see the New Year is Super Street, however. Rumors of the demise of the class began at Indy, and race officials made it official at the Valdosta finals.
Super Street was started in 2006 as a stepping-stone to Pro Street and featured scaled-down turbos, shortened wheelbases and stock bodywork. It was intended as an intermediate and more tangible stop before riders stepped up to the high-dollar Pro Street class.
Everyone thought Jeremy Teasley's...
Everyone thought Jeremy Teasley's defense of his 2008 Real Street championship would be a walk in the park. He managed to eek out his second number one plate by 26 points.
Stacey Smith was Super Street's...
Stacey Smith was Super Street's number two rider all year long. Running a GSX-R1000 he took a win, two runner-ups and three number one qualifiers.
The Real Street Championship...
The Real Street Championship came down to this semifinal match-up between Keith Thompson (near lane) and Jeremy Teasley. Teasley's win locked up his second straight championship.
The downfall began with the announcement of the Real Street class for 2008. Intended as an even more affordable way to run a streetbike with a power adder in a heads-up pro format, it has been wildly successful.
Super Street took the brunt of Real Street's success because riders looking to take the step from the sportsman ranks would inevitably enter Real Street instead.
While the competition remained fierce for the top riders in Super Street, the cast of supporting players trickled away, leaving a half-dozen standouts that should have been slugging it out in the quarterfinals, not the opening round of eliminations.
Victor Gotay came back from...
Victor Gotay came back from a top-end crash at Atco to bring Ken Edwards' Hayabusa to its first ever Pro Street victory at Valdosta.
Rickey Gadson won his first...
Rickey Gadson won his first SuperSport championship back in 1996 and added to his large collection with another number one plate this year.
The dominant player in Super Street this season was John Fernandez. Riding the Jones Performance Cycles ZX-14 out of Florida, Fernandez came out of the gate on a rampage in 2009 by winning the first four races. At the Valdosta finals he put a fine end to his spectacular season by taking the championship easily.
Fernandez and bike owner Chris Jones will not be able to defend their number one plate in 2010, but there are other options. They can certainly scale the bike back and run Real Street or look for more speed and try their luck in Pro Street.