In less then seven days, the bulk of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season kicks off at the Memorial Day weekend running of the Springfield Mile I on Sunday, May 24. But the big question on everyone's mind out west now is whether anyone can bust the streak that Bryan Smith has going at the next round on Saturday, May 30 at the Sacramento Mile.
Springfield is known as not only the fastest circuit on the series' calendar, but arguably the most popular as well. At least for the majority of fans residing in or near the iconic mecca of speed located at the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile oval. But if you're from the Left Coast, Sacramento's version of the run for the money at the Cal-Expo Fairgrounds located at the California Capitol is also a very popular place. Having hosted what will be 50 editions of this great race, The Rolling Thunder Show's trek west will not only make it five decades of racing out west, but will also conjure up the big gamble to many as to whether there is another rider in competition today who can dethrone Bryan Smith's #42 from the top of the box at the end of what will be a very long day for some in Sacto.
As is widely known, Smith has reset the bar in terms of wins at Cal-Expo, starting during the 2011 season while riding his father's Moroney's Harley-Davidson XR750 to his first of four-straight wins. Since that time, on somewhat similar Villa-Esparza/Howerton Motorsports & Products/Crosley Radio-sponsored Kawasakis. And although those wins didn't come easy for the Michigan born and bred rider, his streak may leave another thought about the ease of those wins just looking at the final tallies over the course of the last four seasons. But is this the year that someone else steps up to take away that streak?
In the shot above, riders rocket off the line in the Dash for Cash event at the Springfield Mile I round on May 25 during the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship's stop over the Memorial Day weekend hosting of the great American race in the Illinois State Capitol.
(L-R) Jared Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing/Las Vegas H-D/Blue Springs H-D-sponsored Harley-Davidson XR750, Brandon Robinson on the #44 USC Kawasaki/Hot Shots/Hart Racing-backed Kawasaki EX650, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Zanotti Racing/Moroney's H-D/Burt Ives Honda-sponsored XR750, Henry Wiles on the #17 Don's Kawasaki/DPC Racing/EA Racing-sponsored Kawasaki and Jake Johnson on the #5 Ramspur Winery/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Parkinson Brothers Racing-backed Ducati 'L' twin all try to get the jump on Bryan Smith on the #42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radios/Howerton Products-sponsored Kawasaki at the start of the four-lap money race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
After next Sunday's running of Springfield, the troops in the greatest racing series on two wheels in the world will pack up and head west for the quick turnaround to do battle at the Sacramento Mile, and all of those men pictured above and several other contenders in this year's championship will do their best to keep Flyin' Bryan from making it five-straight.
Check out the full release below thanks to SMI as we all get ready to rumble and watch what great action there is to come in the next 13 days that will kick off the bulk of what will surely be a bar banging action packed season in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship.
Press release courtesy of SMI Promotions, the promoters of the Sacramento Mile.
Sacramento Streak Buster
When asked what it might take to beat Smith at Sacramento, Mees joked, “I think taking him out in the first corner.” And then he continued, “Bryan’s always strong there, but I think he can be beat. I had a shot last year, but we had a small issue with the adjustment on my clutch. I’m not saying that would have made the difference, but we were close.
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