They were taking advantage of the last hours of dry weather mid-day Friday on a motorcycle dirt racing layout a couple of miles off Highway 54.

JD Beach was one of several riders on his track, getting in some riding time during a two-week break in his AMA schedule that has been pretty busy this spring and summer.

Beach, a 27-year-old from Daviess County, has had a sizable amount of success on the AMA MotoAmerica Supersport circuit the last few years. He is two-time defending champion of that division and is running on the Superbike series this season.

He just picked up his first Superbike win in early May in the Championship of Virginia at the Virginia International Raceway. That came a week after his first career win in the AMA Grand National Flat Track division at the Super TT in Arizona.

Yes, Beach is running in two AMA divisions this year.

"I was racing a twin, that's the highest class in dirt track, that was my first win, the team's first win with that bike, it was the first win on that brand since 1982. It was a really big weekend. Our race shop was 10 minutes away from the track," Beach said. Beach rides for the Attack Estenson Racing team. "To get my first Superbike win the next week was awesome, to do it with the same team. It was on May 5, the anniversary of Ethan Gillim passing away, me and Hayden (Gillim) both won that day, so it was pretty special."

Ethan Gillim was a good friend of Beach's who passed away 12 years ago. Beach lives with the Gillim family, which includes Supersport racer Hayden Gillim.

Nicky Hayden, the iconic late motorcycle racing world champion who was a hero to Beach, was the last rider to win a Superbike National and a Flat Track National in the same season, or on consecutive weekends, in 2002.

"This has a little bit of a sweeter feel to it," Beach said after the Superbike National win.

The Hayden racing crew have always been encouraging to Beach and other riders. Roger Hayden was one of the other guys riding on the motocross course Friday.

"He's improved a lot," Roger said. "It's just learning so much. The big thing about JD is he has a tremendous work ethic, that's one reason why he can do both series."

"When Nicky was home he was always pushing us," Beach said. "Roger, it's been awesome, now that he's done racing kind of, it's great, he still trains with us, rides with us. Even when we're at the races, he'll watch and text me 'hey you need to try this' -- it's really cool."

Racing both Superbike and Flat Track series has been somewhat hectic.

"It's been crazy, a good year, I've done better than I thought I would but I haven't done as well as I would have hoped," Beach said. "I did take two big steps, I moved up a class on the street bike and I took on a full year of dirt track too. Doing both has been a lot of work, but it's been good so far."

As the 2018 season was coming to a close, Beach wasn't sure if he would have a ride for this season.

"It was kind of a weird thing," Beach said. "I won the championship last year, road racing on the 600, but the team I was on was done. I was kind of left without a ride. There were still two more dirt track races (in the season), one of my friends was on a team, they had an extra bike, I called them and asked 'do you care if I come and do the last two races?'

"I did well for the first time on those bikes, first twin races I had done in five years. They offered me a deal to race dirt track for this year. I was pumped, I wasn't gonna be racing. He knew I wanted to get on a Superbike too, and he was like 'why don't I support you in both?' It was Thanksgiving he called me, I had no idea he was working on it. He said 'hey I got you a Superbike ride, you can do that and race dirt track.' I was like sign me up."

From the first weekend of March until the middle of June Beach was gone every weekend racing.

"It was crazy," Beach said. "In June and July I have a total of four races. Then in August we have four weekends and I think I have seven races."

Being off for a few extra days gave Beach some additional time to practice.

"This year I've only been home three to four days between each race," Beach said. "We usually try to ride dirt bikes, we've got a track at the house too. There's a motocross track in Poole, Kentucky (Webster County). We'll go ride there. If we're not doing this we're riding bicycles, and I spend a lot of time in the gym, run and stuff like that too."

Beach has plenty on his own personal list to do this season.

"For me I've got some goals set, that makes me work toward it," Beach said. "The racing part of it, that's not work, that's the fun part of it. It's the travel, training at home and stuff. The results I'm getting really helps. Even when I have the bad weekends I know what I can do and I can come back home and just work hard.

"For me it's really just getting some more race wins, being up front in the road stuff. If I could finish top three in points (superbike) it would be awesome. Dirt track I've missed a few races, we're not really worried about points there, we're on a brand new bike, just trying to make that thing better for next year.

Beach has been racing for 10 seasons and is going strong.

"I think on paper I have (done a lot) but I don't really think I have," Beach said. "There is still a lot of stuff I want to do, still win, I feel like I should have another 10 years, I hope."

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.