Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stu's Shots & AMA Pro Flat Track Take a Final Look Back at the Springfield Mile II, Round 13 of the '12 Season Heading Into Tomorrow's Santa Rosa Mile

The 2012 running of the Springfield Mile II finally gets ready to roll off the warm-up line after a two-week delay negated by the remnants of Hurrican Isaac that virtually drowned-out the event's normal running during the Labor Day Weekend.  Reset to two weeks later and you couldn't have asked for better weather for the last Midwest race of the year at round 13 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by season.

Each of the six men on the front row of the Springfield Mile II got there via their 1-2 finishes in their respective heats throughout the day, with JD Beach, Bryan Smith and Brandon Robinson all scoring wins for the first-ever time that Kawasaki had won all three heat races at a Grand National Twins Series event in the series' over-60 years of competition, helping to slowly close the door on the Harley-Davidson XR750 dominance seen throughout the better part of it's over 40 years of existence on the flat tracks of America. 

Each of those three men, however, raced clean and hard against three of the best XRs in the business in the hands of Jake Johnson, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. and Jared Mees, and all six also competed in the Dash for Cash event that saw Smith again take the #42 Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports/Eaken Racing/Guts Wear-backed Kawasaki to the win for his 3rd Dash event win of the season for the Indy Westside-based team. 

As everyone well knows, Smith also led 20 laps in the 25-lap National main to take the win over Sammy Halbert by just .041 seconds, with Mees on the #9 Rogers Racing/Blue Springs H-D/Saddlemen/National Cycle-sponsored XR coming home in the 3rd-place spot to add a point to his overall lead in the AMA Grand National Championship by 12 points. 

That 12-point difference goes to 2-Time and defending AMA Grand National Champion Jake Johnson who led four of the first five laps on the mile oval at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.  Jersey Jake fought like the true champ he is and has been on the #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D/Boughner Racing Suspension/Arai-backed XR to end up in the 5th-place spot in the National main, after a great finish of 2nd to Smith in the Dash.  If not for coming together with defending Springfield Mile winner Willie McCoy on the last lap Johnson very well could have been in the top-3. 

Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Screamin' Eagle/Harley-Davidson Motor Co/Fox/Arai Helmets-backed factory XR was seeing just his second race back after his return at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile in August after his late June leg injury suffered at Lima.  The King of Cool pulled out a great 6th-place finish on the day in the main and also gained two points for his 4th-place finish in the Dash to work his way back into the top-10 in the championship battle after missing several rounds recuperating, including the previous night's short track in which he elected to sit out to further heal his injured leg.

The other two lightning fast Kawasakis also put on a great show at Springfield, with both men shining on their respective 650R Ninja-based parallel twins.

Brandon Robinson is having a great career resurgence on the #44 Werner-Springsteen Racing Kawasaki/Sponseller/Arai/Derbi Ridge Salvage-backed rocket.  Having come within a half-wheel length of winning the Lucas Oil Indy Mile only to lose to Sammy Halbert, BRob44 also has another top-5 this season after a 4th-place run at the Sacto Mile in late July.  Winning his heat at Springfield and ending up with a solid 9th-place finish in the National main should let everyone know that the popular and friendly Pennsylvania resident and former Expert Twins Champ is finally healed up from his 2009 knock out of the park at Indy and is going to be a force to be reckoned with soon.  It also further shows that legendary team owners Bill Werner and Jay Springsteen still know talent and have a great knack for putting it all together this year along with the addition of '09 Rookie of the Year Stevie Bonsey to their line-up.  Let's hope this one stays pat for next season and we can see this team really come together and gel and get the W-S Racing bikes back on top of the box where they and the two fine young men riding for them deserve to be.

After competing in the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Series Championship round at New Jersey Motorsports Park the previous weekend, JD Beach had the weekend off from his 'full time' job in the AMA Pro Road Racing ranks to hang his leg off of the #95 USC Racing/Red Bull/Bell Helmets/Alpinestars-sponsored Kawi.  After a 6th-place run in the previous night's short track, Beach won the fastest heat of the day on the mile, took 5th in the Dash and ran up towards the front all day in the 25-lap National main to card a superb 4th-place finish for what could be his best-ever effort on a Twins Series machine.  We hope to see much more of this fine lad as he brings another heightened level of excitement and vitality to The Rolling Thunder Show.

With the final race in the Midwest now in the back pocket, the stars and heroes of The Rolling Thunder Show head to The Santa Rosa Mile, the final Twins Series mile oval event before wrapping up the year on the Tucson and Pomona half-miles in the following successive weekends.

Will the Smith-ridden Crosley/Howerton/Eaken rocket again be able to hold off the XR brigade on a track that will make all things equal for all of the teams in attendance since the series hasn't competed there in over four and-a-half decades, let alone the difference in the track surface?  Or will one of the other Mean Green Machines pull it out for their first win of the season or career? 

The Crosley/Howerton team wants to win this one more then ever if for no other reason to pay homage to recently-deceased engine mastermind, Skip Eaken.  That in itself could see the team take it's record-tying 3rd win of the season in just their first-full season together.

Only time will tell, and very little of it at that as practice rolls off at 1:15 EDT/10:15 PDT on Sunday, with the Grand National main event's 25-lap feature set to run at 7:00 PM EDT/4:00 PM PDT at round 14 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by season.  Whether you're in or out, you better strap in as The Rolling Thunder Show hits the track for one of three remaining rounds in the season and the action is surely going to get hotter and heavier then ever!

You can read the full press release below from the Springfield Mile II event, courtesy of the great crew from AMA Pro Flat Track, while you get ready for tomorrow's great event in Sonoma County, California.

AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by and Lucas Oil Race Recap: Springfield Mile II
Bryan Smith Clinches Victory in Fast Paced Springfield Mile II

AMA Pro Pro Singles

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 25, 2012) - Following a two week rain induced delay the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by and Lucas Oil returned to the Illinois State Fairgrounds for the Springfield Mile. The Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Association and the fairgrounds crew had the big mile oval in nearly perfect condition for the high speed ballet that played out on Sunday afternoon.  Bryan Smith, back aboard his Crosley Radio / Howerton Motorsports backed Kawasaki, gave a quick preview of things to come as he swept the four lap Dash for Cash over defending Grand National Champion Jake Johnson (Zanotti Racing) and current points leader Jared Mees (Rogers Racing / Blue Springs Harley-Davidson) by a very narrow margin.
When the 18 rider field roared off the line in the 25-lap National Main Event, it was Johnson claiming the lead over Mees and Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson Motor Company's Kenny Coolbeth tucked in right behind. Smith quickly worked his way up from sixth to second on lap three only to slip back again in the large pack that made up the lead pack. Smith roared back to the front and into the lead on lap six. Officially, he would never be headed, as he led every lap from there out, but at places around the huge oval that was not the case.  "I was feeling pretty comfortable, I led probably 20 laps or something. I thought it looked like it was going to be no problem,"said Smith. "I was giving it everything I had. I was riding hard and thought nobody was showing me a wheel and I thought I had it covered. With about three to go, my front tire kind of went away and I lost the front end going into turn one and ran wide. Two or three guys went by me. I dropped back to fourth there for a second and my heart about came out my helmet. They all ran real low down the back straightaway and Jared and (Sammy) Halbert were like on top of each other. They were kind of wobbling and Willie (McCoy) was going up the inside of them. I was like almost on the guard rail down the straightaway. It was really, really sketchy. Once I got back into the lead I knew I just had to stick on that rail and not mess up. I could get off the corner really well and I could get into the corners really well. I think that is where the key is for me. In the middle I could match the Harleys in one and two. In three and four I couldn't get through the corner as well. I could really get into the corners deep. I could pass them when I needed to. Even if they showed me a wheel, I could go in a little deeper and still lead it."
Bryan Smith #42 battles with JD Beach #95, Jared Mees #9 and Jake Johnson #1 during the Dash for Cash event at the Springfield Mile II on September 16, eventually winning the Dash and the National main event for the second win this season for the Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports team.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
The top-10 were able to get a little separation, but the war at the front raged on and positions varied wildly all round the track.  South East Harley-Davidson's Sammy Halbert worked his way to Smith's rear wheel, but the drive stalled there. "I had a second row start. On the start of the main event, I was able to work my way into second place. There was not much of an outside line, but I was able to make some passes around the outside. I just stuck right on Bryan's rear wheel. I wasn't going to let anybody pass me," added Halbert. Having improved his position the most throughout the main event, Halbert earned the MotoBatt "Hard Charger" Award.   Points leader, Jared Mees grabbed his second third place finish of the weekend with a little help from his friends. "I kind of got a little bit of a gift from Jake and Willie. Jake ran around the outside of Willie and Willie squeezed on him. They hit and about went down. That allowed me to get up there and get third" said Mees.
"It got mixed up big time, there at the end. Bryan blew the groove down there and everybody kind of saw the opportunity," said Johnson. "Everybody followed him around the whole race. Two guys went by me down the back straightaway. We came down the front and I just remember Willie going to the bottom and I went to the top and went around a guy and we came in. I had about a half a bike length on him and thought I had him cleared. I guess I started coming down and he was coming up. I felt him kind of getting into the side of me and kind of drug us both off the groove. I kind of feel it was my fault a little bit. I'm not sure. I haven't talked to him yet. I went down to find him, but it was just one of those deals, it was a pretty wild race. We were sitting pretty good, but stuff happens I guess. I had a little bad luck that last lap and got off the groove."
Also benefiting was USC Kawasaki / Red Bull's JD Beach as the youngster moved from sixth to fourth on the last lap. "It was a really good race. I had a lot of fun. I finished fourth and that's my best finish on a twin on the mile," said Beach. "I was happy, I was sitting there with the lead pack. It was cool to get the experience and just to watch them. They were battling really hard.  Since there are only a few races left in the season, I think I maybe could have moved up a little bit more, but I don't know the draft good yet. I don't want to take the chance and blow somebody off the groove that's racing for the number 1 plate," explained Beach. "It was a really good race. The bike was working great. A couple guys made a few mistakes on the last few laps. I was in eighth and I was able to get by them and get fourth. I was real happy to be able to get a top five. I didn't make any mistakes really. Not only was it a good learning experience, but there are not that many people that get to go out there and race the Springfield mile with the fastest guys. Not only was I racing with them, I was there for 25 laps getting to watch them. It's cool because growing up I've always watched races with Scott Parker, Chris Carr and Joe Kopp. It was really cool to be up there and see it first hand.Johnson was able to regroup for a fifth place finish just ahead of Coolbeth and McCoy. Beach's USC Kawasaki teammate Jethro Halbert and Werner Springsteen Racing / Kawasaki's Brandon Robinson were nipping on McCoy's heels with Brad Baker (Dodge Brothers Racing / Perry's Harley-Davidson) rounding out the top ten.
Jared Mees heads west for the last three rounds of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by and Lucas Oil with a 12 point lead over defending Grand National Champion Jake Johnson. Despite his second place finish, Sammy Halbert is now third 23 points off the lead.
Expert Twins Race Results Current GNC Point Standings
1 Bryan Smith 25 Laps 1 Jared Mees 243
2 Sammy Halbert 0.041 2 Jake Johnson 231
3 Jared Mees 0.263 3 Sammy Halbert 220
4 JD Beach 0.452 4 Bryan Smith 172
5 Jake Johnson 0.789 5 Brad Baker 144
6 Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. 0.826 6 Henry Wiles 140
7 Willie McCoy 1.307 7 Jeffrey Carver Jr. 126
8 Jethro Halbert 1.309 8 Matt Weidman 114
9 Brandon Robinson 1.824 9 Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. 113
10 Brad Baker 4.393 10 Brandon Robinson 98
11 Shaun Russell 8.625
12 Steven Bonsey 9.776
13 Matt Weidman 9.786
14 Robert Pearson 9.86
15 Jeffrey Carver Jr. 9.965
16 Doug Lawrence 10.027
17 Shawn Baer 10.166
18 Henry Wiles DQ
AMAProNew Class Sponsor
Photos from Springfield Mile II

Next Up
Santa Rosa Mile
September 30, 2012

AMA Pro Pro Singles

Johncox Scores First Career AMA Pro Pro Singles Win in Highly Anticipated Springfield Mile II
A true indicator of how competitive the AMA Pro Motorcycle Pro Singles Main was is that there were eight different leaders of the 16-lap race. Points leader Stephen Vanderkuur (Parkinson Brothers Racing) picked up one point for leading the most laps (4), but Sunnyside Cycles' Cody Johncox led the all important last two laps.  "I tried the whole race to get down low, and when I did, I finally got some traction and was able to pull out the win," said Johncox. "This is definitely the biggest win of my career and I'm so happy it came here in Springfield."
The tight pack, breath taking action took it's toll on lap nine. Someone's engine let go as the pack entered turn three, collecting three riders. Kurtis Lee, Eric Stump and Dustin Cassidy were all involved.
Cody Johncox took the win on his #96B Sunnyside Cycle Yamaha over Zakk Palmer by just .005 seconds in the AMA Pro Pro Singles Championship event at the Springfield Mile II on September 16.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
After a lengthy delay to clean up the racing surface, the tight swarm picked up where they left off, with a five lap dash to the finish. (per the rulebook, at least five laps must be run following the restart in the main) Jason Isennock (Highs Dairy Stores), Vanderkuur, Zakk Palmer (Western Hills Honda) and Johncox would split the lap leads.
When the double checkers fell the top eleven riders were separated by .554 seconds. Palmer was a mere five thousands of a second off the lead and Michael Bickerton third eighteen hundredths off the lead.
Cole Anderson (Diesel Minnesota) had led the first two laps, then dropped as far back as tenth before charging back to fourth. Isennock, Shayna Texter (DFW Honda / RLT Racing), Vanderkuur, Wyatt Maguire (Kirkland Racing), Dominic Colindres (Weirbach Racing), Jake Shoemaker (Montgomeryville Cycle Center / Bob Weirbach Racing) and Nick Mataya (Shoe Racing) made up the pack that roared across the finish line in mass.
The Motorcycle Pro Singles points race is as close as the day's action was. Stephen Vanderkuur has regained the lead, but only by one point over Jason Isennock. Jake Shoemaker is another point back in third. Ryan Wells sits in fourth, but dropped to 17 behind Shoemaker after being forced to sit out Sunday following his hard fall Saturday night.
Pro Singles Race Results Current Pro Singles Point Standings
1 Cody Johncox 14 Laps 1 Stephen Vanderkuur 151
2 Zakk Palmer 0.004 2 Jason Isennock 150
3 Michael Bickerton 0.018 3 Jake Shoemaker 149
4 Cole Anderson 0.064 4 Ryan Wells 132
5 Jason Isennock 0.249 5 Dominic Colindres 118
6 Shayna Texter 0.349 6 Gerit Callies 107
7 Stephen Vanderkuur 0.373 7 Shayna Texter 105
8 Wyatt Maguire 0.435 8 Wyatt Maguire 99
9 Dominic Colindres 0.445 9 Jake Cunningham 95
10 Jake Shoemaker 0.454 10 Zakk Palmer 78
11 Nick Mataya 0.554
12 James Monaco 2.144
13 Coy Matthews 3.221
14 Jake Cunningham 10 Laps
15 Kurtis Lee 9 Laps
16 Brandon Wilhelm 0.08
17 Eric Stump 0.367
18 Dustin Cassidy 0.449

Next Up
The stars of AMA Pro Flat Track head to the West Coast for the Santa Rosa Mile September 30th, 2012. For tickets and information, please visit
AMAProNew Class Sponsor
Photos from Springfield Mile II
Next Up
Santa Rosa Mile
September 30, 2012

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,

AMA Flat Track: In the Interests of Balance & Fairness, Sammy Halbert Speaks About His Thoughts on the Kawi Vs XR Battle

Round 10 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by season saw Sammy Halbert grab the gold by winning his first-ever mile National main and taking the dirt track grand slam along the way.

However since, Halbert has let it be known his disdain with what he considers a wide margin in the rules variance between the long-standing Harley-Davidson XR750s and the new, fast and much-less expensive to campaign, Kawasaki 650R Ninja-based parallel twins that are starting to make a dent in the record books by having won a whopping two races this season after winning their initial two in the 2010 season.  And as we know, all of those four wins have been accomplished by one rider, Bryan Smith, on the original Kawi XR-beater campaigned by the Werner Springsteen Racing team two seasons ago, and this year on the Rick Howerton-built and masterminded Crosley Radio/Howerton/Eaken horse.

With Halbert's win at the 2012 Lucas Oil Indy Mile on his #7 South East H-D/The South Ass/Mo Vaughn Transport/LZ Racing-sponsored H-D XR750 (pictured above just before the final qualifying round at Indy on August 18, along with Jeffrey Carver, Jr. on the #23 Kiesow Racing XR) coming at the expense of the battery failure on the Smith/Howerton rocket, his win was also extremely hard-fought in fending off another of the new breed of mile equipment.  And that strong effort came from Brandon Robinson #44 on yet another version of the Werner-Springsteen Kawasaki that set the tide to turning in what teams were going to campaign what machinery just two seasons ago in The Rolling Thunder Show.

We have yet to see the new breed Kawi Twins Series machines win on anything other then a mile oval, although there have been several top-5 efforts by several people on various incarnations of the bike and motor combination that has seen as many as 11 or 12 riders minimum at the highly-attended events enter a Kawasaki.

The long-running and very-expensive to campaign XR750 still has the grunt and ground-pounding ability to 'tractor' out of the corners with advantages of a heavier flywheel that has assured those in control that putting the power down is a foregone conclusion when riding one, whereas the Kawis, Ducatis, KTMs and Triumphs show more spin, as a general rule, due to loss of power planted to the ground by a lighter output flywheel. 

With Slammin' Sammy's win at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile came shouts of unbalanced competition and the variance in the rules in the areas weight differential and use of restrictor size.  And after taking 2nd to Flyin' Bryan again at the Springfield Mile II, His thoughts and ideas were more then being heard throughout flat track nation.

The XR must run a 32mm restrictor since it is a prototype racing engine, whereas the Kawis don't since they are a production-based 650 motor punched out to 700-750cc.  The other production-based bikes that campaign the series also must run restrictors IF they are over the 750cc barometer for engine size for the Twins Series events.  Also if one were to decide to campaign a Honda RS750, they would also be required to run a 32mm restrictor due to the fact that they were a prototype racing engine as well.

In areas of weight differential, all XRs (and the RSs were they to campaign the Grand Nationals) have a minimum weight requirement of 310 lbs., as do any of the machines over 751cc.  The Kawis or even the SV650-based Suzuki have no weight minimum.

Both of those areas leave, in the balance of equality throughout the series, some tweaking that could possibly be made during the off-season in the AMA Pro Flat Track rulebook, of which another millimeter of restrictor could be given to the XRs and a minimum weight limit added to anything lower then the 750cc class barometer.  However, talking to team owner Rick Howerton about the differences he mentioned that "we're not as light on the weight as we look.  It just looks smaller."  Which is true, but he wasn't too concerned, either, about having to add a few pounds to the two-wheeled rocket should the need arise and if the rules are tweaked in that area.

Sammy Halbert made a better case for his shouts of unbalanced competition this week in replying to Cycle News' Paul Carruthers original story in the September 18, 2012 edition of the online mag that 'all the crying' about the Kawi Vs. XR battle was getting a little carried away after just two races this year.  The other day he put up a great response to the original story and better explaining his thoughts for a better balance between what in all likelihood will become the future battle of popular machinery to campaign in The Rolling Thunder Show. 

Read it here to see Sammy's input on 'balancing the act' in the greatest racing series on wheels in the world:

Cycle News' Paul Carruthers original story:

Stu's Shots original story about the Kawi Vs XR battle:

AMA Pro Flat Track Reviews Round 12 of the 2012 Season at the Final Springfield Short Track Grand National

In what was a bittersweet ending to a great little venue on the series' schedule, 48 riders showed up to show their form at round 12 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by season at the final Grand National to be held for the foreseeable future at the Springfield Short Track on September 15. 

Having been an annual doubleheader round paired up with the Labor Day Weekend running of the Springfield Mile II, the Multipurpose Arena-hosted event has been on the calendar going on over a dozen years now and has a long list of big-name winners including JR Schnabel, Jr., Chris Carr and the most current record-holder at Springfield, Henry Wiles.

Five of those riders are lined up and ready to go out for the first practice session above, and will end up a variety of results when the evening's racing is complete.  Of course, Henry Wiles will win his 6th event in-a-row on the #17 Don's Kawasaki/DPC Racing/Nick Nazzisi/Schiller's Tree Svc-backed KX450F to cement his name in the legends column of all-time short track winners, tying now-retired and 7-Time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr for the most wins on a short track (9 each) in AMA Grand National racing.

Hammerin' Hank had to work a little more for this one, taking 20 laps to finally get around early leader Brad Baker on his #12 Brothers Powersports/D&D Exhaust/Schenk Racing Enterprise/Boughner Racing Suspension-sponsored Honda CRF450R to take that win, but The Bullet was that one that showed a resurgence in his short track abilities to let everyone know he hasn't forgotten how to run up at the front of a Grand National main event.  A very fine effort from last year's AMA Pro Flat Track Saddlemen Rookie of the Year.

Jake Johnson came into the final Singles Series event of the season hoping to nab the win at Springfield to go along with his double-win on the mile and his Springfield TT win of May '11 to be the only man to win all three events held on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.  By the end of the evening he had taken the #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D/Southland Pro Suspension/Arai-backed Honda to a 5th-place spot after running in the top-3 earlier in the final race of the night but had stayed with sight of current point leader Jared Mees who left with the 2012 Singles Championship and a 3rd-place finish.

Matt Weidman was back on his #20 DFW Honda/SNIP/Fiorio Investments/Shoei-backed CRF450R and also hoping to end the day with another win to go along with his first-ever Grand National win at the Daytona Short Track II earlier in the season.  He ended the night with a solid 10th-place finish after battling throughout the night with Rob Pearson #27 (8th) and Brandon Robinson #44 (9th).

Probably the hardest hit in terms of points lost in the championship battle for the evening was taken by Sammy Halbert on his #7 The South Ass/Fredericktown Yamaha/GYTR/Van's Yamaha-sponsored YZ450F, who was forced to race one of the semis and losing out on a direct qualifying spot to the main.  Forced to take a provisional fourth-row start in the 19th spot on the grid, Slammin' Sammy worked his way back for a 14th-place finish to close out the evening's event.

Thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track for the official review of the Springfield Short Track in the press release below!

AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by and Lucas Oil Race Recap: Springfield Short Track

Wiles Wins With Jared Mees Picking up 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Expert Singles Championship

AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Grand National Championship presented by and Lucas Oil

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 25, 2012) - Hurricane Isaac delayed Springfield Short Track, Round 12 of the AMA Pro Racing Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by and Lucas Oil, for two weeks, but the delay proved to be worth the wait. The Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Association had the little "bull ring" at the Illinois State Fairgrounds race ready and in typical short track fashion there was pushing, shoving, bar banging and passes galore. The 48 Expert qualifiers were separated by eight tenths of a second from first to forty eighth.
For 20 laps it appeared that Brad Baker (Brothers Powersports) would hold on and win his first Grand National main event, but Grand Nationals are 25 lap affairs and when the dust settled it was Don's Kawasaki's Henry Wiles once again on top of the box.  "I didn't think I was going to be able to pull it off. It took me a long time to get going. I think it all worked out just right for me," said Wiles. "I've said that I was always in the right spot at the right time and tonight it seemed like I was in the wrong spot at the wrong time and it was keeping me for making some passes. It had to be a great race to watch from the stands. I'm just glad that I could come out on top."
Wiles' win, his ninth Short Track National victory proved to have some historical significance also. "It ties me for the all-time short track wins record with Chris Carr. I think he had nine short track wins and that's pretty neat," added Wiles. "It's a little feather in the cap. Probably doesn't really matter much, but I look up to Chris Carr a lot. I knew when he was racing with us I felt fortunate just to be able to race with him. I have a lot of respect for a guy like that who has won so many races."
Young mister Baker is still looking for that elusive first win, but looked well positioned early on as he withstood the challenges of Jake Johnson (Zanotti Racing) then Briar Bauman (Rod Lake Racing / Brown's Cycles) before Johnson again. Wiles bided his time in fourth until mid-race, when he started to come to the front.
"I was doing some shuffling around there. I was back into fourth for about half the race," said Wiles. It was such tight racing. It was almost hard to make a move on somebody, if you did, somebody was going to be making a move on you. I got up into third behind Jake and I passed him down in three and four. When I got to Brad I knew my pace was going to be faster. I kind of rode behind him waiting for him to make a mistake. I just started trying to go around him on the outside. I was making it work, I don't know how. It didn't seem like that was a good move to make all night. If you made it then you were going to get passed on the low side. The low side was so hooked up. He saw that I was going high and thought the high line was faster. That was all it took for me because my bike was working real good down low. That was, for sure, my favorite Springfield Short Track. I really earned it, but I missed out on a few laps there for lap money."
It took 20 laps for Henry Wiles to make his move but he got around early leader Brad Baker to score his 6th win at the final Grand National at the Springfield Short Track on the #17 Don's Kawasaki.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
"I led about 20 laps of it. In the beginning I could hear them a little bit, but I could feel when I knocked off a good lap," said Baker. "I kind of gained my distance, but there on lap 20, I definitely felt the heat. I knew the bottom was starting to go away and I wasn't getting as good of lap times. Henry gave me a wheel on the outside. I thought I better swap up my lines and chase the moisture a little bit. The first time I did that going into one, I hooked a hole. It sent me almost straight off the race track.  That's when Henry and Jake got by me. Luckily I got right back by Jake, but Henry already had his rhythm going. It's a shame that I had twenty and didn't do the last five. I've had two second place finishes and four thirds, a couple fourths and fifths. I've been doing good, I just need to get that number 1 spot, it's the last one left."
Almost unnoticed, current AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship points leader Jared Mees (Montgomeryville Cycle / Rogers Racing) clawed his way into the final podium position on lap 22. The strong finish was plenty for Mees to win the 2012 AMA Pro Grand National Singles Championship over Sammy Halbert (Fredericktown Yamaha), 121 to 103. 
"I didn't get the greatest start. As the track slickened off, my motorcycle was just better and better. We just kept picking them off. I think if I got just a little more aggressive at the end, I probably could have peeled out a second. I played it a little on the safe side," said Mees. "The singles title was really rewarding to me. I do a lot of my own preparation work. I prepare the bikes during the week. In the off season I build the motors, degree the cams and everything. My buddy Craig Pickett here taught me how to build them. It's pretty rewarding to both of us to win a number 1 plate, right out of my own two car garage. My friend Brent (Armbruster) works endless hours on the twins and helps me on the day of the race with the singles. We have to keep pushing towards the overall now."  While Mees' night got better and better his main challenger, Sammy Halbert's went from bad to worse. In Halbert's heat race he went from competing for a spot in the dash to a trip to the semis with one little mistake. His night went even further sour when he jumped the start in his semi and could not work his way from row four into the main. Halbert did use his provisional to start the National, but could only salvage a 14th place finish.
Defending Grand National Champion Jake Johnson appeared to be the rider to beat all night after posting fast qualifying time and winning heat one. A close third in the Dash for Cash behind the young lions, Bauman and Baker and a quick start in the National looked to have Johnson positioned for his first win of 2012.  "The race was exciting, that's for sure. There was a lot going on. I thought we had a pretty good shot, but so did six other guys," said Johnson. "I was up front early, in second and third, then Henry made a move on Brad. He took the lead and I got up into second. Going into three on the next lap Brad came back underneath me and I kind of ran wide. That was kind of the beginning of the end for me, it opened the door up. I think Jared ended up getting back by too. He was stuck to the bottom pretty good. I got a little impatient and was trying to make it work on the outside and that let Briar through. It was just kind of chaos on the last few laps for me. I guess it could have been worse. On a short track, I guess I could have ended up on the ground or something. It wasn't what we wanted, but we will take it. For the most part it was a pretty clean race. There were some mistakes and some forced mistakes. There was definitely some bumping and banging, but you had to."
Saddlemen Rookie of the Year leader Briar Bauman was all over Baker early on, but a few trips off the fast line pushed him back to fifth before passing Johnson on lap 24 to regain fourth. "I think I had something for Henry, but I just made some mistakes that I shouldn't have. In that class (Expert) you can't make mistakes," said Bauman. "Being up there and getting a chance to run with those guys and getting to actually race with them was getting to me a little bit. I made mistakes, I got a little too western.  It was my best GNC finish and winning the dash was cool," added Bauman. "We tried something new on the bike for the dash. We did that and came out of turn two in the lead. I didn't even know what to do, I was excited. Brad beat me in the heat race and in the dash he came in second to me. I was basically racing with Brad the whole night. It's kind of cool. We kind of grew up together riding. Now here we are racing at this level."  JD Beach (USC Kawasaki), Jeffrey Carver (Carver's BBQ / Twigg Cycles), Rob Pearson (RPR / Peoria Motorcycle Club), Brandon Robinson (Action Motorsports) and Matt Weidman (DFW Honda) rounded out the top ten.
Bonneville Performance's Mikey Martin claimed the night's MotoBatt "Hard Charger" Award by advancing five positions to finish in 13th place.
GNC Race Results Current GNC Combined Points Standings
1 Henry Wiles 26 Laps 1 Jared Mees 243
2 Brad Baker 0.94 2 Jake Johnson 231
3 Jared Mees 1.18 3 Sammy Halbert 220
4 Briar Bauman 1.315 4 Bryan Smith 172
5 Jake Johnson 1.712 5 Brad Baker 144
6 JD Beach 1.842 6 Henry Wiles 140
7 Jeffrey Carver Jr. 2.147 7 Jeffrey Carver Jr. 126
8 Robert Pearson 3.85 8 Matt Weidman 114
9 Brandon Robinson 4.08 9 Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. 113
10 Matt Weidman 4.218 10 Brandon Robinson 98
11 Kayl Kolkman 6.363
12 Bryan Smith 7.257
13 Michael Martin 10.435
14 Sammy Halbert 11.162
15 Chad Cose 11.204
16 Jake Mataya 11.408
17 Jethro Halbert 11.868
18 Cory Texter 12.406
19 Ion Stear 24 Laps
Sunoco "Go the Distance" Award Update
Jeffrey Carver Jr. - 381.08
Jared Mees - 371.3
Jake Johnson - 363.14
Bryan Smith 356.39
Saddlemen "Rookie of the Year" Update
Briar Bauman - 94
Mikey Martin - 26
Mikey Avila - 20
AMAProNew Class Sponsor
Presenting Sponsors
Photos from Springfield Short Track
Johnny Lewis - Hagerstown Track Walk - AMA Pro Flat Track
Harley-Davidson Insurance Expert Singles Main Event
Henry Wiles on Springfield Short Track
Springfield Short Track Heat Races, Semi Races and LCQ
Next Up
Santa Rosa Mile
September 30, 2012

Bromley Scores First Career AMA Pro Pro Singles Win in Action Packed Main Event

AMA Pro Pro Singles

AMA Pro Pro Singles
With 55 riders on hand, the ultra competitive AMA Pro Pro Singles class was going to be sending 23 riders home after the mid-afternoon timed practice. It turned out there would be less than half a second separating fast time, Wyatt Maguire (Kirkland Racing) and first non-qualifier Haden Avery (O'Neal MX).
Two heats and a Last Chance Qualifier whittled the field down to 18 for the 16-lap main. Dan Bromley (Bromley Brothers / KTM Racing) surprised even himself when he got the hole shot and claimed the lead over Jason Isennock (Highs Dairy Stores).  When I got here, I just wanted to qualify for the main event," said Bromley. "When I qualified, I just wanted to run a solid heat race. I didn't have the best starting spot in the main but I had faith in my KTM. I could feel the riders around me on the final laps and I knew I had to be perfect. Thankfully I crossed the line first and I'm so happy to get this win."
Dan Bromley on the #54L Bromley Brothers KTM took his first-ever win in the AMA Pro Pro Singles Championship at the final Grand National at the Springfield Short Track on September 15.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
The former Horizon Award winner's first ever AMA Pro Pro Singles Main Event win didn't come without its trials. Just past the half way point Ryan Wells (5 Star Steel & Fabrication), who was running mid-pack, fell hard in turn one. The red flag came out and a single file restart was in order with just seven laps remaining.  Wells, who had been second in the points coming in, took a ride back to the pits and did not restart. Ironically one lap earlier points leader Stephen Vanderkuur had left the race.  Bromley was up to the task, holding the point into turn one, but he had a new challenger as Wyatt Maguire made a big move past Isennock, when Isennock clipped Bromley's rear wheel. Will Cato (Bob Weirbach Racing) also moved up and despite all Maguire's efforts the top three positions were set.
Isennock held on to fourth over Jake Shoemaker (Montgomeryville Cycle Center / Bob Weirbach Racing). By way of his fifth place finish Shoemaker takes over the points lead going into the Springfield Mile on Sunday.
Pro Singles Race Results Current Pro Singles Point Standings
1 Dan Bromley 16 Laps 1 Stephen Vanderkuur 151
2 Wyatt Maguire 0.183 2 Jason Isennock 150
3 William Cato 0.613 3 Jake Shoemaker 149
4 Jason Isennock 1.162 4 Ryan Wells 132
5 Jake Shoemaker 1.573 5 Dominic Colindres 118
6 Dustin Cassidy 1.742 6 Gerit Callies 107
7 Justin Reed 2.194 7 Shayna Texter 105
8 Cole Anderson 2.59 8 Wyatt Maguire 99
9 Dominic Colindres 2.926 9 Jake Cunningham 95
10 Kinji Eto 3.218 10 Zakk Palmer 78
11 Jake Cunningham 3.516
12 Zack Cassidy 3.811
13 Nick Mataya 3.874
14 Rodney Spencer Jr. 4.04
15 Jay Maloney 5.206
16 Joseph Bromley 6.974
17 Ryan Wells 9 Laps
18 Stephen Vanderkuur 8 Laps

Sunoco "Go the Distance" Award Update
Jason Isennock - 252.14
Jake Shoemaker - 249.97
Wyatt Maguire - 241.06
Stephen Vanderkuur - 230.58
AMAProNew Class Sponsor
Photos from Springfield Short Track Pro Singles Main Event
Next Up
Santa Rosa Mile
September 30, 2012

Next Up
The stars of AMA Pro Flat Track head to the West Coast for the Santa Rosa Mile September 30th, 2012. For tickets and information, please visit

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,