Smith Makes Late Race Pass Pay Off in Lima
NEWS June 28, 2009
The exciting race, at times, featured four to five riders challenging for the lead, but in the end it came down to Michigan neighbors Jared Mees and Bryan Smith battling for the win.
Blue Springs Screamin Eagle's Mees led the most laps, but Screamin' Eagle Moroney's Harley-Davidson's Smith was able to pull out the victory. "It was just like racing back on the ice, where we spend most of our winters racing each other," said Smith. "I found a better line on the bottom in turns one and two and that's where I made up a lot of ground. That last lap, we got together pretty, but I was able to hang on."
It marked the second time in three races that Smith has crossed the finish line in first, but Smith was striped of his Springfield win because of a slight fuel infraction. There was no such problem this time and the popular Harley rider notched his first "official" win in 2009.
Mees got the hole shot when the eighteen rider hit the first turn and looked to be on his way to his third Lima National win. Seven time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr obviously had ideas. The Chris Carr Racing / Lancaster Harley-Davidson backed Carr, who is looking for his 200th Grand National podium, grabbed the lead on lap six and it appeared Carr had much more, than "just" a podium on his mind.
Carr held the front through lap ten, but then Mees grabbed the lead for a lap. Just as quickly Carr had the point back and would hold it through lap thirteen. The lead slipped from Carr's grasp for good on lap fourteen with Mees back up front.
Carr's troubles were far from over as first Smith, then last week's winner, Halbert Family / Kings Kustom's Sammy Halbert got by. All attention was now focused on the leaders as Smith reeled in Mees. Officially Smith would lead the last three laps, but that was only at the finish line as the two fought it out to the end.
Carr's slide was not complete however as 2008 Rookie of the Year, Screamin' Eagle / White's Harley-Davidson's Matt Weidman made a big late race charge to move into fourth, his best GNC finish ever. Memphis Shades' JR Schnabel dropped Carr to sixth on the last lap.
Rogers Lake Racing's Shaun Russell, National Cycle's Brandan Bergen, Eric Snedeker Racing's Ricky Marshall and SuperTrapp's Jake Johnson filled out the top ten.
Honda Oils / Total Control Racing / Woody Kyle Racing's Stephen Vanderkuur led the twelve lap Pro Main into the first turn, but couldn't get turned and the lead went to Weirbach Racing's James Rispoli.
Rispoli was soon joined by veteran racer Zach Palmer and the two fought back and fourth for nine laps, before Vanderkuur recovered and took the lead back for good.
Rispoli and Palmer continued their battle for second with Palmer getting the nod at the end. Mom & Dad backed Kurtis Lee and Total Control Racing / KK Supplies' Chaz Springsteen filled out the top five.
Allen County Fairgrounds
AMA Pro Racing Pro Singles Championship: (18 riders / 12 laps) 1. Stephen Vanderkuur (Hon); 2. Zach Palmer (Hon); 3. James Rispoli (Hon); 4. Kurtis Lee (Hon); 5. Chaz Springsteen (Hon); 6. Shayna Texter (Suz); 7. Jeff Carver (Yam); 8. Brad Baker (Hon); 9. Jeremy Higgins (Hon); 10. Michael LaBelle (Yam); 11. Coy Matthews (Hon); 12. JD Beach (Hon); 13. Tyler Pitman (Hon); 14. Corey Crawford (Hon); 15. Kayl Kolkman (Hon); 16. William Cato (Hon); 17. Kyle Goughenour (Hon); 18. John Long (Suz).
Time: 5 min, 33.158 sec.
AMA Pro Racing Grand National Twins Championship: (18 riders / 25 laps) 1. Bryan Smith (H-D); 2. Jared Mees (H-D); 3. Sammy Halbert (H-D); 4. Matt Weidman (H-D); 5. JR Schnabel (H-D); 6. Chris Carr (H-D); 7. Shaun Russell (H-D); 8. Brandan Bergen (H-D); 9. Ricky Marshall (H-D); 10. Jake Johnson (H-D); 11. Joe Kopp (H-D); 12. Bryan Bigelow (H-D); 13. Dan Gedeon (H-D); 14. Dustin Crow (H-D); 15. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D); 16. Ion Stear (Suz); 17. Joe Hartrich (H-D); 18. Don Taylor (H-D).
Time: 11 min, 25.424 sec.