Monday, August 22, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Henry Wiles Takes His #17 Monster Energy Kawasaki to The #1 Spot at the Peoria TT for 7th Win in a Row

Henry Wiles showed his hand early in the day at round 14 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series at the Peoria TT in running 3rd in practice behind Jared Mees and Brad Baker.  After that, it was almost all Hammerin Hank on his #17 Monster Energy/Jones Bros/Don's Kawasaki/Arai-sponsored KX450F as he set fast time in qualifying and had the fastest heat race of the day, which put him on the pole for the National main event.

After finishing 2nd to Mees in the Dash for Cash event, Henry went into overdrive mode for the final and lead The Jammer home by 1.560 seconds in the final.  What would have surely been a larger winning margin was slimmed down during the final when Wiles missed one of his marks coming off the jump on the backstretch at the Peoria Motorcycle Club's annual event.  By the end of the day, he left little doubt in anyone's mind that he was back, and as strong as ever after winning his 7th National main event in a row at the legendary Peoria TT event. 

Jared Mees on his #9 Lucas Oil/National Cycle/Rogers Lake/Montgomeryville Cycle-sponsored Honda CRF450 R leads Sammy Halbert on his #7 Woody Kyle Racing/Fredericktown Yamaha/AGV/Kings Kustoms-sponsored YZ450F, with Jake Johnson on his #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D/Boughner Racing/MotionPro-sponsored Honda keeping it close early in the 25-lap main event at Peoria on August 21.  The trio finished in this order behind winner Wiles, with Slammin' Sammy coming home 5.767 seconds behind Henry and Jersey Jake another 3.574 seconds in arrears of the #7. 

Mees gained the most points on the day after leading Wiles home in the Dash event, with Johnson 3rd, Morton, IL. resident Rob Pearson #27 4th and Sammy finishing 5th, to gain the final point in the extra-dough and extra-points paying 4 lap event.  Sammy leaves Peoria with a slim 3 point lead in the overall championship standings behind Mees, with Johnson only gaining an extra point in the overall championship standings to make it Sammy 268 to Mees' 265 points, with Johnson now at 249 points.

The series now has the next weekend off due to the cancelation of the Lucas Oil Indy Mile, and next heads to the Labor Day Weekend doubleheader round at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on September 3-4.

Stay tuned throughout the rest of the week as we bring you more shots from the great day of racing at what was another stellar event at the Peoria TT.

Monster Energy Kawasaki's Wiles Claims Seventh Consecutive Victory at Peoria TT!

PEORIA, IL (August 22, 2011) - Monster Energy Kawasaki's Henry Wiles came off the injured list to continue his winning ways at the historic Peoria Motorcycle Club Grounds, dominating the Peoria TT -- Round 14 of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship -- to claim the seventh consecutive victory of his career at the popular TT track. The win didn't come as easily as some of his past versions, however, as Jared Mees (Lucas Oils/National Cycle/Rogers Lake Racing) forced Wiles to earn every inch of his advantage.

"That was the hardest race I've ever had here," said Wiles. "It was like a twenty-five-lap wrestling match. When I was rehabbing from my knee surgery, the hope was just to be able to ride here. I just rode as hard as I could, and it was good enough for the win."

Wiles spent those twenty-five-laps working to hold off Mees' unrelenting charge, but by the finish Wiles had eked out a 1.560-second margin of victory. Series points-leader Sammy Halbert (Woody Kyle Racing/Fredericktown Yamaha) was a lonely third more than five seconds back, but Halbert at least managed to build a safe cushion of four seconds between himself and defending AMA Pro Grand National Champion Jake Johnson (Zanotti Racing).

"Henry just has this place wired," said Mees. "He rode great. Last year we were second to Henry by 11.5 seconds and this year it's 1.5 seconds, so we're getting closer."

Henry Wiles sails off the jump on the backstretch of the Peoria TT in route to his 7th win in a row on his #17 Monster Energy Kawasaki.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

While Henry kicked off the race with a holeshot, there was plenty of action farther back in the running order, as Halbert and Mees exchanged second on Lap 4 and the battle for fifth was fierce. Rob Pearson (Matt Reecy Racing), Bryan Smith (, Johnny Lewis (Scott's Powersports), Matt Weidman (Snip/Shoei), Chris Carr (AMA/DFW Honda), and Kenny Coolbeth (Chaplin Kawasaki) all fought tooth-and-nail for the position, Pearson regaining it late in the race. Making the best of his final race at the challenging TT venue, the "Prince of Peoria," Chris Carr, slipped around Pearson briefly, but the local rider quickly charged back to hold Carr to a sixth-place finish. Weidman, Smith, Coolbeth, and Lewis filled out the top ten.

In the overall points standings, Mees coupled his second-place finish with a victory in the Dash for Cash to close to within just three points of Halbert. Their tallies currently stand at 268 to 265.

Henry Wiles celebrates on the podium after winning the Peoria TT on August 21, 2011.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

The Pro Singles class had its twist and turns -- and heartbreak -- as young Briar Bauman triumphed over a mechanical, a back-row start in the Last Chance race, and a last-row start in the main to claim his first win in the Pro Singles class, only to have to relinquish it moments later when his fuel was found to be out of compliance.

"It's the kind of news AMA Pro tech officials really hate to deliver," said AMA Pro Flat Track Director Dan Johnsen, "especially when we know it was inadvertent on the part of the rider and team in question. We're obviously duty-bound to follow our own rules, though, so all we can do is wish Briar and his supporters much future success -- he certainly showed he's capable of it tonight."

AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Series riders head into turn one during the Pro Singles main event at the Peoria TT.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

Following Bauman's disqualification, runner-up Mike Avila and the rest of the field advanced one position in the results. While Avila took the points for a win, second went to Gerit Callies (Twenty Six Suspension/G2 Ergonomics), with Mack Daddy Racing's Stephen Vanderkuur, TNT Harley-Davidson's Andrew Smith, and points-leader Mikey Martin (Weirbach Racing) filling out the top five.

Despite Avila's five wins, he remains third in points behind Martin and Callies. The championship race between these three has narrowed to a fifteen-point spread.

The AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship next heads to Springfield's Illinois State Fairgrounds for the Springfield TT on September 3, followed by the Springfield Mile II on September 4. Rounds 15 and 16 on the schedule add up to the best way for any flat track fan to spend the Labor Day weekend; for Springfield tickets and information, visit or call (217) 753-8866 or (888) 468-1622.

To be a part of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship, please visit and join us on and

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at
For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014,

AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series round 14 at the Peoria TT results can be found here:

Full results (PDF versions):

Here's Larry Lawrence's story of the race at Cycle  A big thanks goes out to LL for letting Stu's Shots tag along to this great event:

And a big thanks to LL at his The Rider site for showing that Stu's Shots does occassionally get down and close to the action:

AMA Pro Flat Track has this album of shots from the Peoria TT thanks to official photographer Dave Hoenig:

And here's the link to Dave's official site, Flat Trak, where he has results and (soon to be posted) his full catalog of photos from the Peoria TT:

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