Local runner JD Beach returns to roots with a series of full-time dirt tracks


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Professional motorcycle racer JD Beach returned to his roots by competing full-time in the American Flat Track series (track racing) with Estenson Racing, a team now based in Owensboro.

Beach signed with Estenson Racing in 2018. At the time, he was racing in two series simultaneously: the MotoAmerica road racing series (in which he holds two Supersport championship titles) and the American Flat Track series.

But for the 2019 season, Beach is committed to clay racing full time with Estenson.

The first round of the 2021 season ran from March 12-13, when Beach placed second in the weekend’s first race and ninth in race two.

“We’ve improved a lot since last year,” Beach said. “Last year I only had one top 10. So now we know the speed is there. Finishing second was great for us, but even that ninth was a good performance for us because we were having problems. I had to start last and it’s a very difficult trail to pass. We did a few laps where we were racing alongside the race leaders. Now we know that when we show up on the track we can fight for a place in the top three or five.

Like most professional runners, Beach started competing on dirt tracks as a child and switched to road racing when he turned pro, so he admits he always felt at home in Earth.

He took another big step forward last weekend by winning the Atlanta Super TT American Flat Track title.

If the start of this racing season is any indication, Beach said it would be a fun year.

The “DuQuoin Mile” race scheduled for July 17 at Duquoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois is considered Beach’s home track because it is the closest to Owensboro on the schedule – about a 2.5 hour drive.

Beach and Estenson Racing are working with American Flat Track to give Owensboro fans a promo code for a discount on tickets, as well as to reserve a section in the grandstand for the people of Owensboro.

“The thing about the Illinois run is it’s a one mile oval, so wherever you sit you can see the whole track,” Beach said. “With a mile long, the bikes will produce a lot of power. We can have top speeds of 140 to 150 mph. We’re going to run so close that you could reach out and touch the guy next to you – it’s really fun to watch.

Estenson Racing originally started in Arizona, but as the team has evolved it has recently moved its operations to a store in Owensboro. One of the reasons for this is simply the logistics. Most dirt track races take place on this side of the country, so Owensboro is more at the heart of the travel program.

Not to mention that Beach – one of the best drivers on the team – lives and trains in Philpot, and team manager Tommy Hayden (of the famous Hayden brothers) also lives in Owensboro. According to Beach, five Estenson employees now live in Owensboro full time, including a few mechanics. The rest of the team flies in a few weeks during the season before each race.

“We see each other working hard week after week,” he said. “The team sees the runners training hard, and the runners see all the work the rest of the team puts into preparation – it makes us all better.”

Beach said working closely with Hayden was a huge reason for his improvement as well.

“Tommy has been racing for so long, he knows motorcycles,” he said. “He knows the race. He can suggest a change and then look at me and see if that change made a difference or not. It helps so much because he can tell me what’s working, which line to run, and what the other guys are doing.

He continued, “There are times when I was really upset by something that happened on the track, but Tommy didn’t react. He’ll just listen and let me get it all out. Then he’ll calmly tell me the positives to focus on. He has this way of him and it helps because I’ve known him for so long. I know what he’s accomplished in his own career – he helps me see the big picture.


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