Thursday, August 23, 2012

AMA Flat Track: Henry Wiles Takes Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati to 4th-Place Finish at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile

Henry Wiles rockets down the long straight at the Indiana State Fairgrounds during the first practice session at round 10 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by season at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile on August 18.  Fresh off of his record-tying 8th-win in-a-row at the Peoria TT the previous Sunday, Hammerin' Hank was ready to get the #17 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Foremost Insurance Ground/Ramspur Winery/ENI USA-sponsored Italian V-twin back at the front in the Twins Series event held over the 5th Annual Red Bull Indianapols MotoGP Weekend after a rough start to the 2012 season.

To say that he accomplished that goal would be a gross understatement, if only for the fact that for 3 of the 4 previous Twins Series events Henry and the Ohio-based team had had their share of rough luck on and at the track.  After what was diagnosed as an electrical malady at the season-opening Twins round at the Springfield Mile I event on May 27 that relegated the team to a 14th-place finish, the team sprung back like the strong contenders they are to pull-off a hard-earned 2nd-place finish at round 5 at the Lima Half-Mile in late June. 

Heading to round 6 at the Hagerstown Half-Mile, they worked with the set-up to try to get the former 2-Time Singles Series Champion into the field only to miss the main.  On to round 7 at the Sacramento Mile, things seemed to take an even worse turn for the hard-working LBM team when they lost a motor and had to settle for an 18th-place finish, scoring only a single point for their efforts.  Team co-owner Mike Lloyd told me at Indy last Saturday that the motor was toast and they were only able to salvage the heads from the 1098-based mount.  Back to square one and again rebuilding another motor for the team who faced the same obstacles on the western swing during the 2011 season.

But Indy was a different animal and things really started to look up for the long-time contenders in The Rolling Thunder Show.  After practicing in the 23rd spot, crew chief Dave Gamble and co-owners Mike and Dave Lloyd went to work like the perennial horses they are and got the big red machine dialed in for Henry to go out and qualify in the 11th spot out of the 47 riders who took a timed lap, and just a tick over .8 seconds behind fast-qualifier Bryan Smith on the Crosley/Howerton/Eaken Kawasaki.

Setting off in heat 2, Henry appeared to get a rough start about mid-pack of the 16 rider heat #2.  But like the hard-charger he is, The Hammer put the hammer down and worked his way into a spot in the National main to finish 4th and a second row start in the big show.

From there, Henry worked his way into the top-7 and by the mid-point of the 25-lap National main event in front of a packed house held for the first time in over a decade during the Indiana State Fair, Henry moved himself into the top-5 and came out with a very strong 4th-place finish, just over 2.3 seconds behind event winner Sammy Halbert on his South East H-D XR750 and scoring the team's second top-5 of the season.

It may not have been the big '1' that the team is deserving of, but it sure beat almost all of the other results and troubles they have faced and overcome this season, and poises Henry and the great LBM crew for a solid effort heading into the next Twins Series event at the Springfield Mile II on September 2, where they most assuredly will be ready to move up a few spots to help make up for what had been a tough season stretch thus far in the 2012 season.  Way to go guys, great job!

Head crew chief Dave Gamble and team owners Mike and Dave Lloyd put the final touches on the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Foremost Insurance Group/Ramspur Winery-backed #17 Italian V-twin of rider Henry Wiles early in the day at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile on Saturday, August 18.  With the laptop plugged into the data logger and setting up the air/fuel mixture on the big bore motor, the team makes the necessary adjustments in order to get their mount ready for the greatest racing show on wheels in the world.

These guys are one of the hardest working teams in the great show of AMA Grand National Championship racing and work together like a well-oiled machine.  What had started off as a rough year for the boys really turned around for them on Saturday night as Henry took the bike to it's second top-5 finish of the season, and just in time to help keep him in the hunt and in the 5th-place spot in the overall championship.

Make sure and take the time to check these guys out at the next AMA Grand National Twins Series event you get out to, stop by and talk it up with them as they are full of enthusiasm and know how to have a good time and do a super job of representing their sponsors and thrilling the fans.  And don't forget to get yourself a raffle ticket for the Buell giveaway that all money collected will go into the AMA Flat Track Air Fence fund, the best way you can help give back to the sport in helping to keep the riders safe!

Check out the press release below straight from the boys of Ohio to see what they have to say about their run at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile, and we'll have a review this weekend up from all of the action at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and talk about all the great happenings at the track last weekend.

Press release courtesy of the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Twins Series team.

(Note-right click, open in new window to view.)

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