Flint, Michigan’s Bryan Smith (Crosley Radio/Kawasaki) was as cool as the Indiana breeze Saturday night during Round 8 of AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Smith, who is famous for using the power of his Kawasaki to diminish the hopes of his competitors on mile-long circuits, proved worthy of his reputation once again tonight as he claimed victory by more than five full seconds over second-place finisher Brandon Robinson (TJ Burnett Farms/Kawasaki).
“This is just unbelievable,” said Smith. “I’ve been racing here since I was 10 years old and now I’m one of the older guys. I probably have more laps logged than anybody here and it just feels great to get this win. This place is extra special to me for a lot of reasons. The fact that I’m part of the Howerton family just adds to all of this excitement. Everyone that’s a part of my team is absolutely awesome and I couldn’t take any of this credit without including them.”
There was no stopping Smith at any point tonight, as he proved yet again that he is the fastest mile-long rider on American soil. Smith’s breathtaking practice and qualifying results were early indications that he was going to be very sharp tonight. After convincing Heat 1 and Dash for Cash victories, all early assumptions were proved accurate as Smith came into the night’s main event unanimously locked in as the clear-cut favorite to win his second mile of the year.
Though he was never in the hunt to compete with Smith, Robinson’s second-place finish was nothing to cringe at as he had to battle it out with current Grand National Championship points leader and Eatonville, Washington native Brad Baker (Dodge Bros Racing/Harley-Davidson) for second. Robinson edged Baker on the final lap to earn second place for his best finish since winning Round 2 at Daytona earlier in the year.
Consistency is the name of Baker’s game. Though he lost the battle for second to Robinson, Baker’s third-place effort to round out the podium marks his eighth consecutive top-five finish in 2013.
Clio, Michigan product and defending Grand National Champion Jared Mees (Rogers Racing/Harley-Davidson) finished fourth and Philpot, Kentuckty’s JD Beach took advantage of his GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing off-week and rounded out the top five with an impressive night all-around, winning his heat race and claiming fifth in the main event.
AMA Pro J&P Cycles Pro Singles
The AMA Pro J&P Cycles Pro Singles main event was decided late in the race when Willow Street, Pennsylvania’s Shayna Texter (Crosley Radio/Honda) ripped the lead from Davison, Michigan’s Stephen Vanderkuur (Parkinson Brothers Racing/Honda) as she hawked down the defending champion on lap nine. Texter would refuse to forfeit any ground for the final two laps as she closed out her second victory of the season.
“I knew I had to step up once I saw Vanderkuur put his head down and start to break away,” said Texter. “I was in the mix with a big group of guys early on and I just wanted to break loose from it. I have to give hats off to my team for giving me a great bike. Two years ago, I was unable to attend this race because I was in the hospital with my father who eventually passed away. I’m dedicating this race to him.”
Vanderkuur got the holeshot and the lead early on but the second Texter stole the lead from him, an ecstatic Indianapolis crowd rose to their feet, cheering on the female phenomenon every wheel of the way as she rode her 450cc motorcycle to victory.
Vanderkuur’s second-place effort marks his best finish of the season and the reigning champion will look to carry over this momentum to the next event as he tries to defend his title
Starting from fifth on the grid, Attica, New York’s Cody Johncox (Sunnyside Cycle/Yamaha) was able to find his way onto the podium with a third-place finish after edging out fourth-place finisher and Brisbane, California’s Dominic Colindres (Motorcycle Superstore/Honda) by almost two full seconds.
Mead, Washington product and current AMA Pro J&P Cycles Pro Singles points leader Wyatt Maguire (Kirkland Racing/Yamaha) salvaged a fifth-place finish to round out the top five.
AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles heads to Colonial Downs in New Kent, Virginia for Round 9. For tickets and information regarding the Indy Mile, please visit http://www.familyevents.com/event/264.
Image courtesy American Motorcycle Association