Round 10 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com season at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile saw the usual highlights throughout the day for an event that runs in the same city that hosts the premier road racing championship series in the world just down the street. With the 5th Annual Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP Weekend taking place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, everyone knew the real racing was going on at the Indiana State Fairgrounds as The Rolling Thunder Show was ready to take center stage to a stellar crowd of European and American fans alike.
One of the new highlights and surely one of the big hands-on favorites to win the first race back at Indy after last year's cancelation due to the tragic stage rigging collapse just days before the best racing show on wheels in the world was slated to hit the track, was the #42 Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports powered by Eaken Racing Kawasaki/Guts Wear/Dreyer Motorsports-sponsored mount of Bryan Smith.
In it's third overall event and first since winning their first race together, Flyin' Bryan and the west side Indy-based Howerton team headed to the mile oval for the first race to return to the final weekend of the Indiana State Fair in over a decade with high hopes, broad expectations and a home-track advantage that bouyed all of the first year team's hopes. But as fate and rotten tomatoes would have it, in the end the might and fury of the long-running Harley-Davidson XR750 of one Sammy Halbert National #7 would overcome in the end and leave with the spoils of victory over the new and rocket-fast Kawasaki one-off.
Although what was attributed to a faulty battery in Smith's Kawasaki which caused the bike to lose fire, before the evening was finished Smith and the Howerton team had made their mark and had wowwed the fans and folks on-hand in winning their heat and the Dash for Cash event to show everyone in the house that a new force to be reckoned with had hit the dirt ovals of America and was not going to go away soon.
As has been evidenced in every one of the five mile events the machine has campaigned this season, there is a new breed of winning horse in town and a not-so-new sheriff aboard it. In five outings, the team's finishing numbers read 3-1-14-1-3 for a not-too-shabby Olympic scoring average of 4.4. And with the fresh announcement from Wednesday the team has one more round to contest in next weekend's season-finale at Pomona.
Last weekend's final mile event of the season saw Smith start to runaway with the Santa Rosa Mile in what early looked to be a cakewalk to the top step on the victory podium, but as with all things in life this one took a different turn when the high line went away in Sonoma, and again Sammy Halbert came on to take his second mile victory of the year with Bryan having to settle for a mere 3rd-place finish. Still not too shabby in anyone's book!
In the shot above, Flyin' Bryan talks with AMA Pro Flat Track announcer Barry Boone at round 10 at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile on August 18 after winning the Dash for Cash event.
Bryan was a little hard on himself for the way things turned out last weekend at Santa Rosa, and talked with AMA Pro Flat Track's video team about how things transpired throughout the 25-lap National main. Check it out!
Thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track for this great video of action from the Santa Rosa Mile at round 14 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com season last Sunday in Sonoma County, California, and for the great crew of Will Fulford & Yve Assad from The Fast and Dirty.com for putting this together:
And for those that missed the announcement from Wednesday, October 3, here is the link to the original press release story about Howerton Motorsports announcing they will now run the season-finale at the Pomona Half-Mile on Saturday, October 13 to help Bryan out in his chase for the Twins Series Championship and looking forward towards the 2013 season: