Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wiles Tames the TT and Johnson Masters the Mile at Springfield


The Springfield Mile is one of, if not the most famous venues that the AMA Flat Track series visits each year, and luckily enough that happens twice a year thanks to the efforts of the Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Association (IMDA) who work tirelessly to bring a first class program to the riders and to the fans.
Lining up and getting ready for the final over Labor Day weekend in 2006 are riders Chris Carr #1, Bryan Smith #42, Kenny Coolbeth #31, Joe Kopp #3, Shaun Russell #28, and Jake Johnson on the #14 Suzuki for the front row group. Also seen in this shot are second row riders #80 Rich King, #11 Brian Bigelow and #89 Kevin Varnes. Bringing up the rear, among others, is Mike Hacker on the #67, Jared Mees on the #21 and Henry 'Hammerin' Hank' Wiles on the #17. Johnson, riding the Zanotti Racing #5 entry this year, won it all on Sunday by setting fast time, winning his heat, winning the dash race, and also bagging his second Springfield Mile in a row (he also won the Labor Day event in '09) to win the final by over two seconds on the tightly packed field. Johnson and Kopp are tied in the overall point standings going into the Gas City short track coming up on Saturday June 5th.

Hammerin' Hank Wiles can be seen signing autographs for fans in the pit area during the Springfield Short Track over Labor Day weekend in 2007. Wiles has since traded his #17 number plate for the #1 plate in the Singles Championship part of the program, while retaining the #17 for the Twins Championship part of the program. He also has traded his Yamaha used in this shot for a Kawasaki, but it doesn't seem to matter to Henry just what make he does ride as he has now won singles events on Kaws, Hondas and Yamahas. It's been since '06 that anyone else has won a short track at Springfield and '07 since anyone has won a TT there as well. And add to it his winning streak at Peoria (he has won all main events since '04, with the '07 event being the rained-out exception) and you could say he does pretty darn well in the Illini State. Saturday evening Hank hammered 'em again by passing early leader Jared Mees on the 9th lap of the TT final to go on to win by almost 5.5 seconds. The dude is a natural!

Henry Wiles continued his domination of singles wins at Springfield (and the State of Illinois) and Jake Johnson added his second straight win on the big track to win the TT and Mile races during the Memorial Day weekend running of the AMA Flat Track series stop at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Wiles, who won the Saturday evening short track on his #1 Don's/Kawasaki USA/Shift Kawasaki KXF450 to add to his nine other wins in TT and singles competition in the state. And Johnson, riding his Zanotti Racing #5 H-D XR750, went on to win by over two seconds in the Sunday mile part of the program for his second straight win at The Worlds's Fastest Mile. Action was fast and furious at both venues over the weekend and as had been the case for the previous week in the midwest, the temps were hot and humid. But the racing went off without any major hitches and as usual the venues provided some great racing for all the fans.

My good friend Larry Lawrence, who not only takes care of his bitchin' website The Rider Files.com, was there covering the event for Cycle News, and as always got the goods on what came down at the annual Memorial Day weekend race. You can check out the info and Larry's rundown as well right here:

Cycle News TT coverage:
Cycle News Mile coverage:

Larry's Springfield pictures and info here:

1). http://www.theriderfiles.com/?p=4596
2). http://www.theriderfiles.com/?p=4590
3). http://www.theriderfiles.com/?p=4582

Thanks as always and again to the Double L for the great read, coverage and info from this great event!

AMA Pro Racing's press releases and results here:

TT results:

TT press release:

Mile results:

Mile press release:

The AMA Flat Track/K&N series gets back in action this upcoming Saturday, June 5th, at the I-69 Speedway in Gas City, IN. With new sponsorship announced last week by K&N Filters, the extra boost in championship winnings in each of the singles and twins series will be much appreciated by the riders....not to mention the fans. Hats and helmets off to K&N for coming on board to help out the best show on wheels!

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