Flat Out Friday 2017 Preview
Here are a few images from tonight's intense and insane shenanigans that went down at Flat Friday 2017 held at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwuakee Wisconsin. From crazy hooligan races to vintage bikes, and even some weird mini bike racing. There was something for everyone tonight, we even got a small taste of what it was like to be in the "Thunder Dome". Can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store with the Mama Tried Show. More photos to come from Flat out Friday.
Flat Out Friday 2018 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin 02.23.2018
Once a year in the dead of winter, thousands of motorcycle loving enthusiasts migrate to the Midwest to a beautiful city known as Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a party like no other, simply called Mama Tried. The team at Mama Tried work extremely hard to bring a weekend filled with entertainment, racing, parties, and of course brilliant motorcycles from all over the world.
Three years ago Jeremy Prach (founder of Flat Out Friday) reached out to Scott Johnson and Warren Heir Jr. (founders of Mama Tried) about doing an indoor flat track motorcycle race in conjunction with the show. Being a no brainer, Scott and Warren said "Hell yeah!" and Flat Out Friday was born. Since its debut in the winter of 2016 Flat Out Friday has made a real name for itself in the racing and in the motorcycle community as one of the premier races to attend and also participate in.
The excitement of Flat Out Friday brings high action packed racing filled with chaos, thrills, and spills which gives everyone a real buzz that stays with them throughout the weekend. With multiple es, semi finals heats and final heats as a part of the show, those in attendance get three hours of amazing motorcycle racing. There is a bit of something for everyone which makes it feel overall more entertaining then just one dead set of racing. From Pro, to semi pro style flat track racing, to Hooligan, women only, inappropriate , mini bikes, vintage, and even a little kids (which stole the show this year) Flat out Friday has got it all.
After the National Anthem is sung and the clock hits 7pm. The first begin the Semi-final heats and take to the Dr. Pepper covered concrete floor in front of 10,000 plus people in attendance. The smell of race gas pollutes the air and the sounds from the motorcycle exhausts take over any other senses you have left. The announcer starts yelling over the arena speakers, getting the crowd amped and ready.
As the line judge makes his final look at the front wheels all lined up perfectly to the starting line, he walks toward the starter, who has his foot on a pedal and a thumb on a red switch. He hits the pedal and it sets a white light small and to the left of the racers vision, this means get set... the racers start revving up their engines as the exhausts get louder and louder. The starter hits the small red button which triggers the green light next to the white light and their off.
As the racers enter turn one everyones looking for the hole shot but in those brief three seconds is where most of the chaos happens and tons of spills. Once the pack frees from turn one, it becomes a neck and neck race for 10 laps. Cheers from the crowd make you jerk your neck fast in hopes of seeing something you missed. Motorcycles flying around curves sideways and at the end of the very first semi-final race there's a photo finish... What a way to kick it off a races and a weekend
Ask yourself, when is the last time you have ever seen a gang of Evel Knievel motorcycle trick gurus and a pack of Mad Max Warriors LARPing in front of you? Most likely never, well at Flat Out Friday chaos broke loose for about 10 mins of battling nonsense and excitement. Lets just say this isn't your super sports ball game half time show featuring your favorite artists like JT or Mis Gaagaaaa but more of a ridiculous battle between good and Evel...
There was a point in time where I wasn't sure where to point the camera because there was just so much stuff going on at one time. From wheelies, to battle axes and bats being lunged at characters, to tons of burn outs all over the arena. It was pure anarchy and I couldn't believe everyone walked away ok.. all except the Evel zombie, he got dragged out of the arena.
One of the coolest part about Flat Out Friday is there is a open call out for registration a few months before the race where anyone willing, can sign up! From Pro's to the average Joe's everyone has a place at Flat Out Friday and it makes the racing that more special. If you missed out on Milwaukee and are still looking to get into or watch the action there are some more opportunities for you coming in the very near future.
Flat Out Friday - Cleveland - 2018
Over the past 4 years or so we have been going up to Milwuakee, WI during the winter to see Flat Track racing and the Mama Tried show. After last year's Fuel Cleveland we had a chance to sit down and talk to Scott Johnson and Warren Heir (co-founders of The Mama Tried show) for a bit about the possibilities of making Flat Out Friday not just a Milwuakee thing but a Cleveland thing too. They both seemed into the idea right away and told us they needed to get back to us after discussing it further with Flat Out Friday founder Jermey Prach. With a few meetings in Milwaukee and Cleveland, the Milwuakee crew figured out the logistics of how it could be pulled off. "Lets take this show on the road!" said Jeremy Prach after our second meeting.
Racing in an arena type setting hasn't happened in Cleveland, Ohio since the late 60's early 70's. With a ton of planning and months of work, Flat Out Friday finally took it's place in history for the first time in Cleveland on July 27th, 2018 at the Wolstein Center. Though the seats didn't sell out, the crowd that was present was intense, engaged, and enthusiastic cheering at every class. Fans started learning who their favorite racers were from the beginning heats and tons of "OOOOOs" and "OOOHHHS" flooded from the stands after some close calls and a few minor wrecks. With tons of high action racing, the crowd and the guys risking there necks on the race floor were having a blast!
One of the craziest things that happened at Flat Out Friday CLE was North Eastern Ohio native Corey Preston wrecked his daily chopper in the inappropriate class and got run over by another chopper. Jennifer Farris had the camera on him at the right time and captured the whole thing! Corey was able to walk off the race track on his own power but later went to the hospital to find out he had fractured his spine in 4 different places along with getting road burn all over his body. We talked to Corey a couple days ago and he's in good spirits and will be ok with in 6 to 8 weeks of rest. That's racing, some you win, some you lose and sometimes you get run over by a chopper, literally...
Personally I think my favorite part about Flat Out Friday is the comradery between the racers. No matter if they are racing for the first time or they have been doing it their entire life, everyone is out there just having fun. There's no egos or bull shit going on, everyone is giving a helping hand in the pits and giving each other helpful tips on how to take the turns harder and get more aggressive. Its just something you don't see all the time in a lot of racing competition type events. Yes everyone wants to win and thats the point of racing but it's really cool to see that its not the only thing that matters at Flat Out Friday. It's more about the love of racing and the culture that surrounds the DIY motorcycle life in general.
At the half way point of the races Flat Out Friday took another page out of the amazing book of being awesome and stuck to a philosophy we hold dear, "Start'em Young". They put together a kids race with pedal bikes, razor powered and other two wheeled things. Talk about pulling mom's and dad's heart strings in the crowd. It was a pretty neat thing to see, and who knows maybe they will catch the bug and want to actually race a motorcycle when they get older. It's those little things that make Flat Out Friday so great! After the kids raced around the track, there was a small stunt show on a portable funbox ramp with bmx dudes and one crazy JJ Flarity jumping a pit bike!
With countless close races through out the night, I think the one that was most memorable for me was in the women's class. There were only 2 ladies racing, Brooke Samples on a Honda Rebel and Zaria Martens on a dirt bike. The race itself Zaria had the lead most the time but Brooke gave her a run for her money on that little Rebel, almost passing her a few times. Brooke was doing so well and holding her own right up until lap 6 or so when she took turn 3 into 4 a little too hard, causing the bike to almost slide out.
She saved it but in doing so, popped the wheel up and she ended up whiskey throttling right into the side wall by the finish line. She lost her grip on the bars completely as she hit and I thought to myself while clicking my camera button rapidly "She's going to fall off the back, oh man." Somehow she grabbed a hold of the bars and pulled the banners off the wall with her as she made it out with out actually falling off or wrecking. The crowd erupted in cheers that filled the arena as if it was sold out crowd, it was an absolutely incredible save.
Anyway you look at it, Flat Out Friday CLE was a fantastic start to the Fuel Cleveland weekend and you couldn't ask for a more family friendly extremely fun time. The Milwuakee crew had so much fun, and immediately after the races wrapped up told us they would definitely be coming back to do Flat Out Friday CLE before Fuel Cleveland in 2019! This race is open to the public and anyone can register to race, so if you are feeling up for the challenge, want to have some fun and learn from some of the best, make sure to keep www.flatoutfriday.com in your bookmarks and keep your eyes peeled for open registrations for their Milwuakee, Cleveland and other race dates! If you missed out this year, make sure not to make that mistake again and come be apart of the action.
Big Thanks to Jeremy Prach, Warren Heir, Scott Johnson, Maureen Post, Joey Turbo, and all of the staff and volunteers at Flat Out Friday for an epic time!