Henry Wiles Claims Victory in Springfield TT
NEWS May 27, 2012
Photo by Dave Hoenig
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (May 26, 2012) - Near record heat hit Round Three of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com and Lucas Oil as the Series resumed at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Association built a very challenging TT track inside the beautiful multi-purpose arena.
As challenging as the track was, the results were familiar. Don’s Kawasaki’s Henry Wiles captured his fourth win on the Springfield TT and his 21st Grand National victory, tying him with Joe Kopp for 13th on the all-time win list.
“I knew I had to get a good start because it was really hard to pass. We had a good heat race result so I had a good starting position”, said Wiles. “I was able to get the hole shot, but I knew someone was right there for a while. I just kept telling myself, ‘go faster, go faster,’ pretty soon they weren’t there.”
Defending Grand National Champion Jake Johnson had his Zanotti Racing Honda in second, but couldn’t run down Wiles’ Kawasaki. Johnson soon had problems of his own as Honda-mounted Montgomeryville Cycle / National Cycle’s Jared Mees tried everything to get around number one. Despite all the bouncing and banging, the top three positions were locked in place.
Sammy Halbert (Fredericktown Yamaha) was over six seconds back of the leaders holding onto fourth over fast qualifier Jeffery Carver (Carver’s BBQ / Twigg Cycles), Brad Baker (Big Ed Beckley / Kenny Tolbert Racing) and points leader Matt Weidman (DFW Honda / Snip) all in a tight group for the whole race.
Stevie Bonsey (Alpinestars /Mack Daddy Racing), Briar Bauman (USC Kawasaki / Rod Lake Racing) and Scott’s Powersports Johnny Lewis rounded out the top ten.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles
As competitive as the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com and Lucas Oil class was, the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles class was even harder. 77 Pro Singles riders attempted to qualify for the 32 starting positions in the two heats. Eventually the field was trimmed to 18 riders for the 16-lap Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles Main.
Fun Mart Cycles / Rod Lake’s Gerit Callies weathered several restarts to capture his second win of 2012 as he officially led all 16 laps of the race. Markbilt Race Bikes / Eyeballnyc.com’s Eric Stump got several hole shots, but just could not hold Callies back.
Stump was able to stay right on the leader's hip and finished less than half a second back. Morris Racing / Mach 1’s Dominic Colindres was even closer after passing Jason Isennock (Highs Dairy Stores) for third on lap nine.
Isennock was able to hold on to fourth over Ryan Foster (Motion Pro) and Jake Shoemaker (Montgomeryville Cycle Center), all less than two seconds behind Callies.
Point Standings and Year-End Award Updates
After three rounds, Matt Weidman leads the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship point standings. Weidman and Jared Mees both have 60 points, but Weidman has one win, giving him the top spot. Sammy Halbert sits 10 points back with Daytona winner Johnny Lewis one more back. 2011 Rookie of the Year Brad Baker rounds out the top five, 15 points off the lead.
Gerit Callies led much of the 2011 Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles season and once again finds himself on top of the points. Despite missing this weekend's AMA Pro Flat Track round to race with AMA Pro Road Racing, Hayden Gillim holds on to second 13 points down. Hunter Taylor, Jason Isennock and Ryan Wells are all bunched in third through fifth.
The MotoBatt "Hard Charger" Award for the Springfield TT went to Brian Bauman, who started in 18th position and battled his way to ninth by the end of the GNC main event.
The Cortech "Performance Edge" Award is locked in a three-way tie heading into Round 4. Johnny Lewis turned the fastest lap of the race in Round 1 at Daytona, Sammy Halbert in Round 2 and last night, Henry Wiles added himself to the fray with a blazing time of 23.660.
The standings for the Sunoco "Go The Distance" Award, given to the Expert rider that covers the most distance during the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track season, are currently led by Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. Coolbeth has completed 159 laps so far this season, covering 82.5 miles in the process.
The action moves to the big mile oval Sunday morning for round four and the first appearance of the fire-breathing twins.