Smith, Texter repeat Sacramento Victories
NEWS July 29, 2013
Photo by Dave Hoenig
Courtesy of Geiger Media, on behalf of J&P Cycles:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (July 29, 2013) - Bryan Smith and Shayna Texter defended their 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Series presented by J&P Cycles victories at the Sacramento Mile by winning their respective classes at this year's event on Saturday, July 27.
But unlike last year, both Smith and Texter had to produce stunning efforts in the last laps to win. Smith led the Grand National Championship Main Event early before running into issues aboard his Crosley Radio Kawasaki, and Texter suffered a bad start in J&P Cycles Pro Singles before methodically working her way to the front on her Crosley Radio/Dew Honda to score the victory.
With less than 10 laps to go, Smith appeared to have burned up his bike's tires with his torrid pace and suddenly fell from first to fourth place in a single lap while Jared Mees battled Brad Baker and Sammy Halbert up front.
However, Smith rallied and four laps later stormed to the front. On the final laps he held off a hard charge by Mees to win his third straight Sacramento Mile title by a scant .083-second.
The top five finishers were separated by just two-tenths of a second at the checkered flag. Brandon Robinson, Baker, and Halbert rounded out the lead pack. Jake Johnson edged Kenny Coolbeth for sixth, but the former Grand National champs were more than eight seconds behind the lead quintet.
"It was going good all day; we were really dominant," Smith said. "I really wanted to try to get away from those guys and win this thing by a lot. I had it going my way for a minute. I think I got my tire a little hot and started to fade back. Then Brad came running up the inside of me and ran me off the groove."
Smith had the straight-line speed with his Kawasaki EX650, but it was no cakewalk. The Harley-Davidson XR750s were superior in the corners and jumped out of the turns quicker.
"I had my work cut out for me getting around the Harleys; they were hauling in the corners," Smith said. "Luckily my trusty Crosley Kawasaki was real fast on the straightaways, so I got back by them."
Mees was as strong as ever in his return to action after suffering a broken arm and missing the event in Hagerstown, Md., and led for four laps.
Robinson, who led the series in the first part of the season, salvaged a solid third-place podium finish with a strong effort in the closing laps.
The victory moved Smith from sixth to third in the standings. Baker remains in first place with a 15-point lead over Robinson, 92 to 77 points. They are followed by Smith (71 points), Johnson (70), and Henry Wiles (57).
Texter had to work her way up through the J&P Cycles Pro Singles field after a bad start. Once in the front, she found herself in a tough battle with Stephen Vanderkuur and Nate Wait.
The final two laps brought the 9,000 fans in attendance to their feet as the three leaders put on a show. Vanderkuur slid wide coming out of Turn 3 with two to go, leaving Texter and Wait to battle up front, and Wait took the lead going into Turn 3 on the final lap.
Somehow Vanderkuur managed to rally back and make it a three-way battle for the flag. Texter made a perfect draft pass coming out of Turn 4 to the inside of Wait on the home stretch and pulled into the lead just as the leading trio took the checkered flag. Texter's margin of victory on her Crosley Radio/Dew Honda was .016-second. It was her first win of the season.
"It was a great race," Texter said. "I definitely had to work a lot harder this year than I did last year. I just had to be smart coming from behind. It was a lot of fun racing up there with these two. Everything was clean."
Wyatt Maguire, who finished sixth, leads the standings and has an eight-point advantage over fourth-place event finisher Ryan Wells, 80 to 72. Kyle Johnson is third with 66 points, and Texter moved into a tie with Vanderkuur for fourth with 55 markers.
The AMA Pro Flat Track Series presented by J&P Cycles continues Aug. 3 at Castle Rock TT in Castle Rock, Wash.