Saturday, September 29, 2012

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,

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