Tuesday, November 6, 2012

AMA Flat Track: Bell Helmets Video Celebrates Henry Wiles' 8th-Straight Peoria TT Win

Round 9 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com season saw The Rolling Thunder Show head to the oldest venue on the series' calendar and the longest-continuing event that the series has visited over the years and decades.

The Peoria TT is a must-see event on anyone's bucket list (as mentioned many-a-time by Cycle News' and The Rider Files.com's Larry Lawrence) that will leave you gasping for air and wanting much more once the day's events are over.  A lot of flat track mixed in with a little bit of tourist trophy that sees a right hand turn with a jump thrown into the mix, the amphitheater setting in the hills outside of Peoria, Illinois is a perfect fit for friends, family and those wanting to get a hit to help feed their adrenaline fix.

This year's event was run in hurry-up mode by the great folks from the Blue Crew of AMA Pro Flat Track due to the incoming rain showers that hit just after the 25-lap National main was over, but no one left without getting their share of racing as the whole program was run without a hitch and everyone was able to enjoy the racing that they had come to see before Mother Nature ran it's course.

In first lap action in the shot above, Henry Wiles grabs the lead that he would never relinquish in winning his record-tying 8th-straight event at the heralded track.  Getting the jump on the #17 Don's Kawasaki/DPC Racing/Nick Nazzisi/Schiller's Tree Svc-sponsored Kawasaki KX450F, The Hammer went on to lead all 25-laps to tie The Prince of Peoria, Chris Carr for the most wins in-a-row, stretching back to his very first win on a Mack Daddy Racing Honda in August 2004.

Getting 'Jiggy Dog' on the outside is JD Beach on the #95 USC Racing/Red Bull/Bell Helmets/Alpinestars-backed Kawasaki.  The now part-time flat tracker and full time road racer took home a strong 4th-place finish in his weekend off from the Geico Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Daytona SportBike Series, his best-ever finish at Peoria.

Just behind Wiles is the man we all now know as the 2012 AMA Grand National Champion, Jared Mees on the #9 Montgomeryville Cycle/National Cycle/Lucas Oil/Rogers Racing-backed Honda CRF450R.  Jammin' Jared fought the good fight to keep Henry honest but came up just over 6.6 seconds short to finish the day in the runner-up spot.

Sammy Halbert on the #7 The South Ass/Fredericktown Yamaha/GYTR/Van's Yamaha-sponsored YZ450F looks to be making an inside move on the soon-to-be champ, but faded on the day to bring it home for a solid 5th-place finish.

Just outside of Slammin' Sammy is 2-Time AMA Grand National Champion Jake Johnson on the #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D/Southland Pro Suspension/Arai-backed Honda.  Jersey Jake would round out the podium at the end of the day with a hard-earned 3rd-place spot, just over 1.3 seconds behind the man who would wrestle the #1 plate from his grasp by the end of the season.

And last but certainly not least, Flyin' Bryan Smith looks to be working the outside line on his #42 Oasis Homes/Moroney's FastHog.com/RHC/Villa Esparza-sponsored Honda just outside Jake's right shoulder.  Smith would hang on to finish in the 9th-place spot.

The Dash for Cash entrants for the day at round 9 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com season are lined up and ready to go for the four-lap run for the money and the extra points that everyone knows helps to make a season's championship should you be able to capitalize on finishing in the 1-2 spots in one of the three heat races for the day.

These six men did just that and put on a show for the crowded house at Peoria that kept everyone in attendance on their feet.  JD Beach #95, AMA Pro Flat Track Saddlemen Rookie of the Year winner Briar Bauman on the #10Z Rod Lake Racing/USC Racing/Burnett Farms/Hart Racing-sponsored Honda, Sammy Halbert #7, Jake Johnson #1, Jared Mees #9 and Henry Wiles #17 get ready to let 'er rip for the fans.

Halbert would take the valuable five points for the win, with Mees, Wiles, Johnson, Beach and Bauman rounding out the finishing order.  Bauman would also bring it home in the 8th-place spot in the National main.

Bell Helmets has done a super job of putting together a video of the exploits at the Peoria TT on August 12, to showcase the great action on the day, Henry Wiles' 8th-straight win and the stellar racing showcased at this great event.  Hang on and let 'er rip and check it out!

A big thanks to Bell Helmets for this great video that helps to not only celebrate Hammerin' Hank's 8th-straight win at the Peoria TT but also highlights this great event that has been taking place at the Peoria Motorcycle Club for over six decades:


Also, thanks to Bell for highlighting some of Stu's Shots' work with one of our archive shots of The Prince of Peoria, Chris Carr, at the 1:37 mark of the video (insert shameless self-plug here.......), and you can also see that shot here from our story about Chris calling it a career at last season's Pomona Half-Mile from October 2011:


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