Monday, August 1, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Flyin' Bryan Smith Takes His Moroney's XR-750 to the Win at Sacramento Mile

Bryan Smith talks with his Dad, Barry Smith, after coming home in 2nd place on his #42 Moroney's H-D/ Racing-sponsored H-D XR-750, at round 11 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series in Lake Odessa, MI. at the I-96 Speedway Half-Mile event on July 23.  Smith, who has been knocking on the door of taking that top spot on the podium in all of the Twins Series events this year, finally got his breakout win for the 2011 season by leading 9-Time Sacramento Mile winner Chris Carr on his #4 American Motorcyclist Assoc. XR-750, across the stripe by the slimmest of margins, .042 seconds. 

Jake Johnson on his #1 Zanotti Racing XR came home in 3rd, .223 seconds behind winner Smith, with last week's Lake Odessa round winner, Jared Mees #9 in 4th, and current overall point leader Sammy Halbert #7 in the 5th spot.  Rookie of the Year contender, Brad Baker on the #12 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati, finished 6th on the night.  

The overall point standings still has Slammin' Sammy leading the charge (222 points), with Mees in 2nd just four points back (218 points), Johnson in 3rd (218 points, but with only 2 wins on the year to Mees' three), Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. in 4th (188 points), Baker in 5th (144 points), and Chris Carr in 6th (141 points).  Johnny Lewis #10 Scott Powersports Kawasaki failed to make the main at Sacramento, and fell to 7th in the standings (122 points), with Bryan Smith jumping into the 8th spot (121 points), Matt Weidman #20 falling back to 9th after his 12th place finish at Sacto (111 points), and Jimmy Wood rounding out the top 10 (88 points.)

The series heads to round 13 at the Castle Rock Race Park TT event set to run on Saturday, August 6 in Washington.  Former '00 AMA Grand National Champion Joe Kopp is entered to run his first event in the series since competing in the Daytona season-opening rounds, and will help to make a full house of Washington State residents to enter the event along with Sammy and Jethro Halbert and Brad Baker.

Sold-Out Crowd Witnesses Dramatic Smith Victory at Sacramento Mile

SACRAMENTO, CA (July 31, 2011) - An estimated 9,000 people cheered on a star-studded AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track field when the championship returned to the Cal-Expo Fairground's Sacramento Mile, and the sold-out, standing-room-only crowd was treated to one of the most dramatic wins in recent history. After twenty-five furious laps, Harley-Davidson's Bryan Smith claimed victory over local hero Chris Carr (American Motorcyclist Association/Classic Harley-Davidson) by a margin of just .042 seconds.

"Nobody is more surprised than me," said a joyful Smith after running down early leaders Carr and Jake Johnson (Zanotti Racing). "I thought Chris was just playing with me -- it seemed like he could pass me any time he wanted to. He has that 'Tolbert Horsepower,' you know."

Round 12 winner Flyin' Bryan Smith hoists the checkers from his #42 Moroney's winning XR-750, after winning his first event of the year on his newly formed team, at the Sacramento Mile on July 30.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

Carr led the eighteen-rider field into Turn 1, but had fallen back to third by the end of the lap, trailing defending Grand National Champion Johnson and reigning points leader Sammy Halbert (Kings Kustoms/Larry Zumbrun Racing). By Lap 2, Carr was back at the front -- looking to repeat the '99 Sacramento victory he'd earned when the series last visited the venue -- and had Johnson in his hip pocket. Harley-Davidson Motor Company's Kenny Coolbeth slipped into a short-lived third place, but with the two leaders pulling away, Smith took over third and set out after them.

Carr and Johnson continued to swap the lead all around the track, but by Lap 16, Smith had caught the leaders and split them. From there it was a battle to the finish, all while Carr craftily managed to rack up laps-led honors by frequently leading the trio across the line. It didn't look like Carr would be satisfied with the point for most laps led, however -- it looked like he had a plan.
"I thought I could draft him at the line," said Carr, "but I spun up off [Turn] 4 and that was the end. Throughout my career," Carr added, "I've said second sucks -- and I haven't changed my mind."

Jake Johnson #1 takes the early lead, and went on to win the Dash for Cash event at the Sacramento Mile, to collect another valuable five points in his quest to repeat as the 2011 AMA Grand National Champion.  Sammy Halbert #7, Luke Gough #62, Bryan Smith #42, Chris Carr #4 and Brad Baker #12 follow him into turn one. 

Gough, making the main for the first time this year on the new-for 2011 Skip Eaken/Ricky Howerton Kawasaki, also made his first Dash event appearance for the year.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

Johnson filled out the podium, just .139 of a second behind runner-up Carr, while last round's winner, Roger Lake Racing/Blue Springs Harley-Davidson's Jared Mees, recovered from a second-row start to finish fourth over Halbert. Lloyd Brothers Motorsports' Brad Baker came out on top of a very tight race for sixth, bringing his Ducati in ahead of Coolbeth and Jeff Carver (Eddie Adkins Racing/Van's Yamaha), while Luke Gough (Digger 57/Dick Ford) and Willie McCoy (Harley-Davidson of Wausau) rounded out the top ten.

The results added a single point to Halbert's overall lead, but both Mees and Johnson now trail by only four points as the series looks toward Halbert's "hometown" track in Castle Rock, Washington.

Chris Carr #4 leads a talent-stacked heat 3 at the Sacramento Mile on July 30.  Following closely are Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. #2, Jared Mees #9, Willie McCoy #59, Jake Johnson #1 and Matt Weidman #20.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

In the Pro Singles contest that preceded the Expert main, California's Mikey Avila (SDI Insulation/M.E.H. Corp) and Mike Martin (Weirbach Racing/General Engineering) waged war over the Pro Singles spoils, taking turns at the front. While the two leaders were fighting it out, RLT Racing/Lancaster Harley-Davidson's Shayna Texter stalked them from third.

By the halfway point, Briar Bauman (Rod Lake Racing/Brown's Cycle) had put himself in the middle of the action, the former AMA Horizon Award winner making the most of his first Pro race-start to rise as high as second on the white-flag lap, but was shuffled back by Texter and Martin, the latter drafting from fourth to first on the last lap to secure his third consecutive Pro Singles main even win.

Mikey Avila #33E, Mikey Martin #91Y and Shayna Texter #25A celebrate on the podium after the Sacramento Mile AMA Pro Singles Series event on July 30.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

For Texter, who routinely got huge cheers from the crowd, it marked her first podium finish of 2011. Martin's win boosted his points lead over Avila to 16 with Weirbach Racing's Gerit Callies just another four back.

The series next heads to Washington's Castle Rock Race Park August 6 for the Castle Rock TT. For tickets and information, visit or call 1-888-71-TICKETS.

To learn more and be a part of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship, visit and join us on and

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

For additional information contact:

AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014,


Thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track for this link to the results from round 12 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series, from the Sacramento Mile (standard version results with drop-down arrow):

Complete event results, including entry lists and points, thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track (PDF versions):

Poppa Wheelie was in the house at the Sacramento Mile, and he filed this report on the race along with some great shots from the Cal Expo event:

Here's a link to the AMA Pro Flat Track photo gallery from the Sacramento Mile, all taken by AMA Pro Flat Track official photographer, Dave Hoenig:

And here is the link to Dave's official site, Flat Trak, which as of this writing has all of the results up.  Generally speaking, he'll have his full catalog of photos posted within a few days after each event, but with the west coast swing now heading to Castle Rock, it may take him a little longer.  Keep checking back to see some of the best, by the best:

Bryan Harley, with, filed this report on the race at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds in Sacramento:

Here's Cycle's digital edition story of the race at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds:


AMA Pro Flat Track announced last week that they would be 'Tweeting' the race to all Twitter fans (I've added the link on the left-side column) at the Sacramento Mile.  Well, they not only did that, but they added in a short video of some practice from the Cal Expo Fairgrounds.  It's a real short clip, but worth the look if for nothing else to hear the sounds of the bikes roaring by:

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