Bryan Smith puts his Kawasaki atop the box at Hagerstown Half-Mile for second win of 2014
NEWS July 6, 2014
Photo by Dave Hoenig
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (July 5, 2014) - Bryan Smith put all the pieces together Saturday night as he rode his Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki to an extraordinary AMA Pro Flat Track Hagerstown Half-Mile main event victory. Smith brushed off a charging Jared Mees for the majority of the race, as the two duked it out on just about every inch of the track. Smith's win marked the first time since 1996 that a rider aboard a motorcycle other than a Harley-Davidson finished atop the podium at Hagerstown.
"I never would have guessed that I would come away with a win tonight," said an ecstatic Smith following his second win of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track season. "I don't think any of my competitors would have picked Jared (Mees) to come away with the Lima win last weekend or myself to come away with the win tonight. These specific tracks aren't my cup of tea but I'm very fortunate that I have a great group of guys behind me and that I was able to come away with the win. It felt great. I just put my head down. I've ridden a lot of laps with Jared (Mees). We're best friends as he only lives a few miles from me. I want to thank all of the fans here at Hagerstown, they always know how to put on a first-class event."
Though he rode stellar all night and certainly deserved the win, Smith benefitted immensely from a Kenny Coolbeth motorcycle malfunction on lap eight, causing the Zanotti Racing competitor's night to end early.
Once Smith took the lead following Coolbeth's departure, he battled with Mees the rest of the way until he eventually earned some breathing room on lap 24 when he opened up a bit of distance from the Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson rider.
Smith cruised to the finish line after that and Mees earned himself an impressive second. Mees, who has earned top-five finishes in all but one race this season, sits atop the overall Grand National Championship point standings as the series rolls into Gray's Harbor.
Coming in third to round out the podium was Jake Shoemaker aboard his Montgomeryville Cycle Center Kawasaki. It was Shoemaker's best finish of the 2014 season by far, and the second-year GNC rider got it after starting ninth on the main event grid.
Brandon Robinson, aboard his USC Kawasaki and Sammy Halbert, aboard his South East Harley-Davidson, both ran solid races to round out the top five, respectively.
AMA Pro Singles
Kyle Johnson needed every moment of the 16-lap Hagerstown Half-Mile Pro Singles main event to score his third straight victory and move into sole possession of the lead in the point standings.
Johnson, on board the No. 77J Parkinson Brothers Honda, started second but was shuffled back in the pack after a heated start. Midway through the race, the Michigan rider passed Jarod Vanderkooi for third and set his sights on leaders Ryan Wells and Davis Fisher.
It looked like the lead Wells had built was going to be too much to overcome, but Johnson got around Fisher just before the white flag waved, then went wide of Wells for the lead on the backstretch and was able to pull in front entering turn 3 on the final trip around the clay half mile circuit.
"We got off to kind of a rough start, we had our work cut out for us," said Johnson. "By the time I got into third, Ryan and Davis, they were out there. I just knew I had to keep pushing myself. But man, this has got to be the best win yet because I had to work for that one."
Wells looked to be cruising to the victory after getting out to the holeshot on his No. 94B GE Capital KTM, but the New York native had to settle for second after Johnson's late heroics.
Fisher finished a solid third on his No. 67M TJ Burnett Farms Honda. It's the fourth straight podium for the Oregonian.
Vanderkooi and Dan Bromley rounded out the top 5, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. Johnson entered the race tied atop the standings with Brandon Wilhelm, who finished 10th. Wells leavers Hagerstown two points behind Johnson and Fisher sits just two behind Wells.
The stars of AMA Pro Flat Track will head to Elma, Wash. for the Grays Harbor Half-Mile at Grays Harbor Raceway on July 19, 2014. Footage of the Hagerstown Half-Mile will be available to view on AMA Pro Racing's YouTube portal at www.youtube.com/amaprovids in the coming days.
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.