Rider Spotlight: Jake Shoemaker
NEWS August 30, 2012
Photo by Dave Hoenig
AMAP: Where are you from?
JS: I’m from Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. I was born and raised here.
AMAP: Are there are some other flat track racers that live nearby?
JS: Yes, Johnny Lewis lives about five miles from my house along with other riders such as Don Mullen and Kevin Varnes. My engine builder, Roy Miller who used to race in the Grand National circuit, lives about 20 minutes from my house.
AMAP: Do you get to go motorcycle riding when you’re not at an AMA Pro Flat Track event?
JS: I go trail riding in the winter months usually. I ride on tight/rocky trails. During the season, I ride at a nearby motocross track for training. I have a membership there, so it helps to train and keep me in shape.
AMAP: How did you get into riding motorcycles?
JS: I started riding because my dad always rode trails on his dirtbike when he was younger. I was about eight years old when I started riding. I raced a couple times between nine and 10 years old at a local track. Then, I started doing the full district six flat track circuit after I got my bike setup for flat track at 11 years old. I started moving through the ranks until I turned 16 years old and got my pro license.
AMAP: What are your thoughts on competing in the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles class?
JS: I really like racing in the Pro Singles class. I’ve been pretty consistent the last five or so rounds, so it’s been helping me get where I’m at in the championship chase. I like the fact that we get the crowd and show our skills in such close, exciting races. I think what our sport needs in general is these action packed races, not long, drawn out and boring programs.
AMAP: You’re competing on a Kawasaki twin in select AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Expert class races. How do you like competing in that particular class?
JS: It’s not too much different. You’re trying to win, just like you would in the Pro Singles class. I’m up and coming in the class, so I’m not running with the top guys. There’s a speed gap between them and me. It’s nice to be out there and striving to become faster and faster. I’m not the fastest or the slowest, but I’m trying to figure it out. I’m enjoying the challenge to be the best rider I can be.
AMAP: Heading into Springfield, you’re only 10 points away from leading the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles Championship. What’s your goal for the rest of the season?
JS: Right now, my goal in the last month has been to win this thing. I came back from Daytona in the beginning of the season 30 or 40 points down, but have been plugging away ever since. I’m going out to win this thing. I don’t want second or third. Top three isn’t as important to me as winning the championship.
AMAP: Earlier this season, you narrowly missed a possible podium or even win at the Springfield Mile. Are you looking to change that this weekend?
JS: Yes. My speed’s there on the short track races, I just want to get better starts. That was my problem last year. I crashed last year in the main event, so my finish wasn’t the best. I’m definitely excited for both the short track and the mile. All the mile tracks this season, I’ve been in the lead pack on the last lap. It’ll be a matter of planning my position so I’m first to cross the checkered this time.
AMAP: What are your expectations for this weekend and the rest of the season?
JS: The best thing that could happen for me would be to lead the points chase coming out of Springfield. I think that it’s a modest goal to start. I’ve been itching for a win this season, so if I can get it either at the short track or mile, I’d be very happy.
AMAP: Do you consider yourself a TT, Short Track, Half-Mile or Mile rider?
JS: I like the TTs because they’re more technical and challenging, but my results aren’t quite there. I got fifth at Peoria. My results would say I’m a half-mile and mile rider. My least favorite track setup would be a half-mile cushion like Lima.
AMAP: In your level of competition, where do you see yourself in 2013?
JS: I want to go expert next year. I’d like to put more of my time and energy into riding my twin and getting more development on it. I would also like to continually keep improving my singles program.
AMAP: Who’s your racing hero?
JS: I’d have to say Roy Miller. He’s the one who got me into this whole flat track thing. He’s the one of the main reasons why I’m at where I am with all the support through the past years with getting my bike setup along with everything else.
Jake would like to thank Montgomeryville Cycle Center, Roy Miller Built Engines, REV-IT Leathers Penske Suspension, Motorcycle-Superstore, Saddlemen Seats, Woody Kyle Racing, K&N Air Filters, Motion Pro, NHF Racing, Silkolene Lube, Nick's Precision Machine, CP Pistons, Sidi Boots, Vortex Sprockets, A&A Racing, Jemco Exhaust, Cycra Handguards, Chicken Hawk Tire, Hot Shoe by George.