Fresh of his first AMA Pro Hillclimb podium, Cory Strickler is ready to race with AMA Pro Flat Track at the Hagerstown Half-Mile
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (June 18, 2015) – From the names alone, flat track and hillclimb seem like polar opposites in terms of motorcycle racing disciplines.
But that hasn’t stopped Cory Strickler from competing in both. In fact, the Pennsylvanian is pulling a rare feat this week. Strickler just scored his first career podium finish – third in the Unlimited Class – at the AMA Pro Hillclimb event in Canaan, N.H., on Wednesday and he’ll be in the field for the AMA Pro Flat Track Hagerstown Half-Mile Saturday at Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, Md.
Strickler’s passion for two-wheel racing runs deep, and it was a third discipline where he actually got his start.
“I motocrossed pretty much my whole life until I was 20,” Stricker said.
The 32-year-old received his AMA Pro Flat Track license in 2007 and has competed in select events on a regular basis since then. Through flat track, Strickler met hillclimb standout Phil Libhart, who also has a flat track background. The connection with Libhart got Strickler a ride on a BSA and he competed in three hillclimb events in 2014, earning Xtreme Class Rookie of the Year honors in the process.
Hillclimb quickly became Strickler’s primary focus, and he’ll race the entire season in 2015, competing in both the Xtreme and Unlimited classes. It’s not to say his love of flat track is waning, Strickler said it’s just in his personality to latch onto a new passion from time to time.
“I see something shiny, and I’m over there,” Strickler said. “It was a good opportunity that I got with hillclimb, and now I’m on some pretty good bikes, so it’s even more fun.”
This weekend, though, the focus is on Hagerstown, which Strickler considers his home track with his residence in Delta, Pa., just two hours away.
Last year, Strickler was third in his heat and 12th in the GNC2 main event. He’ll be competing again in 2015 in the GNC2 class.
“I haven’t ridden my flat track bike yet this year, so I’m hoping to put it in the main event, and a top-10 finish would be great,” said Strickler, who isn’t sure of his flat track plans for the rest of the season, but thinks the race in Delaware on Sept. 19 could be in the cards.
As for hillclimb, the goals are quickly becoming more and more lofty.
“After seven rounds, we’re already on the podium, so I’m pretty happy,” Strickler said. “I would really like to get a top-five finish in points this year. My plan is to get at least one win, then we’re going to hit it hard in preparation for next year.”