AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Recap: Springfield Mile
NEWS May 30, 2014
Photo by Dave Hoenig
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (May 30, 2014) - Despite AMA Pro Flat Track's decision to remove the restrictors for the first time in over a decade this season, Bryan Smith's No. 42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki reigned terror over the competition at the Springfield Mile this past weekend, proving once again he is the best in the business on mile-long circuits. With the win, Smith has placed himself fifth in the overall point standings heading into Round 4.
"I couldn't ask for a better day," said Smith following his victory. "It's been one heck of an effort by my team getting this motorcycle ready for this race and I can't thank them enough. There are a lot of the same features on my bike this year but it's also very different than last year's at the same time. I'm very excited about this win and I'm excited for what the future holds for the rest of the season."
Kenny Coolbeth knifed his way to an impressive second place finish as he gave Smith all he could handle coming down the frontstretch on the final lap. Coolbeth looked as if he might rip the lead from Smith on several occasions throughout the main event but the No. 2 Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson competitor never could find the edge. Coolbeth's runner-up Springfield Mile effort places him first in the overall points.
"I had it all planned out," said Coolbeth. "I was going to just try and hang with Smith for as long as I could and the pass at the end. On the last lap I wanted to blow around outside but he ran it in there deep and I got right alongside of him but came up just a little short. I'm really looking forward to the season with Zanotti."
Jared Mees rode his No. 9 Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson to a solid third place finish after battling with Jake Johnson for the final podium spot.
"Before the restart, we had to make our way out there and it was like all of a sudden my bike just came right around, it was hooking so good and tracking through the corner just awesome," said Mees. "We started having those red flags and Jake (Johnson) was just beating me to the corner every time. It was like 'rewind and play, rewind and play.' We had some really good corner speed and the motorcycle was phenomenal."
Even though Johnson, who finished fourth aboard his No. 5 Ramspur Winery Ducati, missed the podium last weekend, the defending champion has looked solid in the season's first three races and currently sits second in the points.
Fifth place finisher Brad Baker didn't get the result he was looking for, but the defending Grand National Champion will take a top five finish at Springfield with at least mild satisfaction after breaking his arm just five weeks prior to the event. Baker now sits 11th in the points and should crack the top 10 next round at the Knoxville Half Mile in Knoxville, Iowa.
Emerging from the second pack of riders was sixth place finisher Henry Wiles aboard his No. 17 Don's Kawasaki. The Winn, Mich. native now sits seventh in the overall points.
After completing the sweep in last season's Springfield Mile doubleheader, Brandon Robinson earned a seventh place finish last weekend on his No. 44 USC Kawasaki. Robinson's consistent start to the 2014 season has him sitting fourth in the point standings.
Sammy Halbert only completed two laps in last weekend's main event as the No. 7 South East Harley-Davidson rider suffered a bike malfunction on lap three that forced him out of the race. Halbert now sits third in the overall points.
The stars of AMA Pro Flat Track will head to Knoxville, Iowa for the Knoxville Half Mile at Knoxville Raceway on June 15, 2014.
How to Watch
FansChoice.tv will be the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Flat Track and AMA Pro Road Racing events in 2014. The site will also provide coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.
About AMA Pro Flat Track
AMA Pro Flat Track is a national motorcycle racing series in North America and is considered one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the Series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track racing in the world. The 2014 schedule consists of 16 rounds on the country's finest flat track courses. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft.