After a thrilling 15 1/2 minutes and 25 laps of bar-to-bar racing, round 6 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series at the Springfield Mile I would come down to the three men who would control the championship throughout the year ahead and provide fans with a battle for the ages. And it would provide a glimpse of what the chase for the championship would bring through the next 14 rounds of the long season ahead.
As winner Jared Mees' crew steadies his #9 Rogers Lake Racing/Blue Springs H-D/Lucas Oil/Saddlemen-sponsored XR-750, Jammin' Jared adjusts his series sponsor hat and possibly reflects on winning his first-ever Springfield Mile National main event. AMA Pro Flat Track announcer Barry Boone discusses the day's events with 3rd place finisher Jake Johnson, and runner-up Sammy Halbert looks to be thinking what the season ahead could bring.
Mees won by a margin of .016 seconds over Halbert, with Johnson just a scant .052 seconds adrift of Slammin' Sammy. The margin of victory and the three men that shared the podium that day all-but set the stage for a championship chase that would go down to the final round of the season at Pomona in October, some 18 weeks away, in a battle to the end with three of the finest, fastest and smoothest that the sport has to offer.
In the end, Jersey Jake would triumph again, garnering a repeat AMA Grand National Championship for the '11 season to go along with the '10 AMA Grand National Championship that he won with the Zanotti Racing team in his first year with them. Mees would finish in the runner-up spot (386-370 points) after mounting a charge in the mid-section of the season that would see him eventually win 5 National mains on the year. And Halbert would slide home in the 3rd spot in the championship battle on his Kings Kustoms machines after holding claim to the title for the better part of the year, and equaling Johnson's four wins on the season (369 points.)
As mentioned in an earlier story from this morning, after the 2012 season the Springfield TT and Short Track rounds that have made for a super double-weekend of racing since the '00 season will be going by the wayside, thanks mainly to a still-lousy economy and essentially not being able to put and keep paying butts in the seats.
Of course, there are many who come to Springfield only for the 135 MPH+ battles on the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile oval. But for many truly-diehard fans who have lived for the doubleheader rounds that the Multipurpose/Rodeo Arena offered in conjunction with the most famous race in the flat tracking nation, the TT and Short Track offerings have been like a gift from above. And they will be sorely missed.
You can get your tickets now for both doubleheader rounds over the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends for the '12 and final season of double-fun. And maybe with any luck, the increased crowds this year will help to re-justify to the IMDA that the Singles Series rounds need to be put back on the schedule after all.
So come one and come all for some of the best racing that The Rolling Thunder Show has to offer in the greatest sport on wheels in the world!
You can read the official press release below courtesy of AMA Pro Flat Track and the IMDA.
Tickets On Sale Now For All Four 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Springfield Races
A press release issued by the IMDA, promoters of the Springfield Nationals
- Legislation regarding franchise bills, and helmet laws
- Assistance to State and Federal agencies
- Garage liability and worker's compensation
- Assisted in establishing Illinois' Motorcycle Safety Training Program
- Assisted in providing funding protection for the Motorcycle Safety Training Program
- Returned AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship motorcycle races to the historic "Springfield Mile"
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 www.amaproracing.com.
For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014, firstname.lastname@example.org