Brandon Robinson made a pass on his TJ Burnett Farms/USC/James Hart Racing Kawasaki team mate JD Beach on the 6th lap of the 25-lap National main today at the Springfield Mile I and the rest, literally was history as the personable young man from Oxford, PA. went on to run away from the field and make his mark at the Illinois State Fairgrounds-hosted event.
Robinson on the #44 TJ Burnett Farms Kawasaki made a clean sweep of the day in the process from the start by taking fast time in qualifying, running away in his heat in what looked like could have been a good battle with Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Harley factory XR before clearing out and winning by just over .6 second, winning the Dash for Cash and then winning the main by just over 5.2 seconds.
Bryan Smith, on the #42 Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki suffered an unknown mechanical in his heat race which forced him to come back and win his semi, started the main from the outside of row three, fighting his way through the pack to the front before running with 3rd-place finisher JD Beach on the #95 Burnett Kawi, 4th-place finisher Willie McCoy on the #59 H-D of Wausau XR and 5th-place finisher Brad Baker on the #12 Dodge Brothers Racing XR750.
To give you an idea of how tight the battle for 2nd through 7th-place was, Robinson's victory of 5.299 seconds over Smith, with Beach in 3rd-place another .237 seconds back, making it a Kawasaki sweep of a mile National, which I believe is a first for AMA Grand National Championship racing. McCoy, in 4th was .004 seconds in arrears to Beach, Baker another .287 seconds back in 5th, Coolbeth just .014 seconds behind overall points leader Baker and last week's winner Jared Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing XR in 7th-place another .166 seconds back. That's a spread of just .608 seconds from 2nd to 7th-place which translated to a barn burner of a battle just behind winner BRob44.
Robinson's win makes it his second of the season, after winning round 2 in mid-March at the Daytona Short Track II, and was his fifth podium of the year and sixth top-5 of the season as well. In the last three weeks and events, he has finished 2nd at Indy and last week's 3rd-place in Virginia for a great streak heading into the last three rounds of the season.
Baker still holds the overall points lead with by 17 points over now Smith, who leap frogged Henry Wiles after Wiles' 9th-place finish on the #17 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati (170-153-149). Robinson moved up to 4th in the championship in a tie with Mees but holds the tie breaker in wins for the season (142 points.)
Retirees in today's race included Johnny Lewis who borrowed an XR750 after the new motor in his Latus Triumph went south early in the day and made less then one lap before coasting to a stop on the front straight, Steve Bonsey on the #80 Zanotti Racing XR with an unreported mechanical, Rob Pearson on the Weirbach Racing XR whose motor went up in smoke on the 13th lap of the main, Jake Johnson on the other LBM Ducati with an unknown mechanical that dropped him out of the battle for the 2nd-8th places early in the race when coming out of four he went high, threw his arm up and came down with plenty of room to spare to coast to a stop just out of sight in turn one. Mikey Martin on the Bonneville Triumph also only made 18 laps in the main.
A big congrats to the TJ Burnett Farms Kawasaki team for their 1st and 3rd-place finishes today at the Springfield Mile I by totally dominating the day at the rain delayed round.
In the podium shot above while AMA Pro Flat Track official announcer Barry Boone talks to the crowd, team mates Beach and Robinson share the TJ Burnett Farms love after their dominating afternoon at Springfield, while 2nd-place finisher Smith cools off awaiting the podium ceremonies to begin.
Tomorrow's events get rolling again at 11:15 EDT/10:15 CDT with first practice as another full day of racing is on-tap at the mecca of flat track that is the Springfield Mile II in round 11 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship.
You can check out the full results of today's great day at Springfield here, and you can also check out my traveling companion Larry Lawrence's article at Cycle News here for a round up of today's action.
Brandon Robinson Heats Up at the Right Time with AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Springfield Mile Victory
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