After mother nature caused Saturday night's first shot to get postponed, round 7 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship at the Grays Harbor Raceway-hosted event finally got rolling yesterday, and Jared 'The Jammer' Mees managed to swipe the win away late in the running of the 25-lap National main event.
In what could easily have been the most exciting half-mile event of the season to date, Bryan Smith on the #42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio/Howerton Products Kawasaki took over the lead after early favorite Sammy Halbert on his #7 South East H-D/Specialty Fabrications/White's H-D led the opening eight laps, only to start fading to Flyin' Bryan. Smith held the point for the next 11 laps and looked to be ready to seal his second half-mile win in-a-row in the Pacific Northwest, until Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing/Las Vegas H-D/Blue-Springs H-D started coming and worked his way under Smith on lap 20 and sailed on to take the checkers just .369 seconds ahead of the mile rocket Kawasaki.
Mees had earlier in the day missed the Dash and had to start on row 2, but made the best of his time as his Kenny Tolbert-prepped XR started to come around and was working on the tacky surface at Grays Harbor. Jake Johnson on the #5 Ramspur Winery/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Parkinson Brothers H-D XR750 came home in 3rd-place for what was his fifth top-5 in the last six races.
Mees now leads the championship standings over Smith by five points (127-122) with Johnson another tic behind in 3rd (121) and Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. in 4th (114) with Halbert, who held on to 4th-place yesterday now in 5th in the championship standings (108 points.)
Cycle News.com's Andrea Wilson was on-hand yesterday and filed this race report, with full results here thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track. And you can check out the great race here thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track's FansChoice.tv--well worth the watch!
In the shot above, Henry Wiles on the #17 Don' Kawasaki/DPC Racing/EA Racing-sponsored Kawasaki EX650 leads Jared Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing/Las Vegas H-D/Blue Springs H-D-backed XR750 late in heat race #3 coming out of turn four at the Springfield Mile I during round 3 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship on May 25. Dustin Crow on the #61 Greg Crow Racing/Gardner Racing/H-D of Salina-sponsored XR750 and Mikey Martin on the #91 Bonneville Performance/Factory Triumph Racing/Castrol Racing-backed Triumph Bonneville work on who is going to get the final direct transfer spot to the National main at the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile oval.
The Rolling Thunder Show now heads to the second mile event of the season in round 8 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship with the running of the Sacramento Mile this Saturday, July 26 for the half-way point in the season in what is turning into a very serious run for the 2014 AMA Grand National Championship.
ELMA, Wash. (July 20, 2014) - Sunday's AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship main event at Grays Harbor Raceway featured an adrenaline-charged showdown between several of the world's most prominent riders, and in the end it was Jared Mees who took home the coveted checkered flag, making it his second victory of the 2014 season, and his 15th career GNC win.
Mees started all the way back at seventh on the grid and proved yet again why patience is vital to his success. It wasn't until lap 20 when the Clio, Mich., product, aboard his Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson, passed Bryan Smith on the front stretch and eventually went onto earn the victory.
The battle between Mees and Smith has been one of epic proportions so far this season, as the two have been virtually neck and neck in four of the last five main events. Though Smith took a back seat to Mees this go-around, fans shouldn't be surprised if the Flint, Mich., product, aboard his Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki, gets back in the winner's circle next weekend when the series heads to Sacramento.
Jared Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing XR750 slides under early leader Bryan Smith on the #42 Villa-Esparza Kawasaki on lap 20 and went on to take his second win of the season at the Grays Harbor Half-Mile yesterday. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
Closing out the podium with a third place finish was Mr. Consistent himself - Jake Johnson, aboard his Ramspur Winery Ducati. The Coatesville, Pa., native earned his fifth top five finish of the year and now sits third in the points. After a couple of years without the strongest results, the two-time Grand National Champion has proved time and time again this season that he is for real in 2014, and his performance today didn't do anything to indicate otherwise.
Fourth place finishes are never anything to lose sleep over, but it certainly couldn't have been the kind of homecoming performance that Sammy Halbert was hoping for. The Graham, Wash., native seemed to have all of his ducks in a row throughout the course of the day. He won his heat race and the Dash for Cash. He then got out to a monstrous lead for the first half of Sunday's main event before giving it all away on lap nine. Halbert, aboard his South East Harley-Davidson, slipped all the way back to fourth following his forfeiture of the lead, and the 2009 Grand National Champion never could find his rhythm again, as that's exactly where he would finish.
Kenny Coolbeth started from fifth on the grid and that's eventually where he ended up by the race's conclusion. The Morris, Conn., product, mounted on his Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson, sits fourth in the points standings and is poised for a championship run in the coming weeks.
AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles
Back in May, Jarod Vanderkooi ousted AMA Pro Twins competition for his first professional win. On Sunday, the Mt. Gilead, Ohio, product proved he could also achieve victory aboard a 450cc machine when he rode his Johnny's Vintage Motorcycle Honda to his first AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles checkered flag. Vanderkooi started from fourth on the grid to seal the victory by just under one full second, and with the win, now sits eighth in points.
Coming in second place was Davis Fisher. Fisher, aboard his T.J. Burnett Farms Honda, started from fifth to earn his fifth consecutive podium and is now tied with Kyle Johnson for first in the point standings. Ryan Wells, aboard his KTM, closed out the podium with a third place finish and now sits just one point behind Johnson and Fisher in the standings.
Johnson, aboard his Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda and Cole Frederickson, aboard his Ride Motorsports Honda, rounded out the top five, respectfully.
The stars of AMA Pro Flat Track will head to Sacramento, Calif., for the Sacramento Mile at the Cal Expo on July 26, 2014. Footage of the Grays Harbor Half-Mile will be available to view on AMA Pro Racing's YouTube portal at www.youtube.com/amaprovids in the coming days.
How to Watch
FansChoice.tv will be the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Flat Track and AMA Pro Road Racing events in 2014. The site will also provide coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.
About AMA Pro Flat Track
AMA Pro Flat Track is a national motorcycle racing series in North America and is considered one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the Series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track racing in the world. The 2014 schedule consists of 16 rounds on the country's finest flat track courses. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft.
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