Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Henry Wiles showed the spirit of a warrior today on Salinas’ quarter-mile, gutting out a busted knee while winning the main event. Wiles would power out to the lead in the first lap of the Harley-Davidson Insurance AMA Pro Grand National Singles race and rode strong for the next 25 laps to hold off Jimmy Woods, who finished second. Woods chased Wiles the entire race, waiting for him to slip or bobble, but it wasn’t to be. Wiles was too strong staying on the inside line and his Kawasaki had the power to hold Woods in check. Wiles celebrated the win by pumping his arms in the air triumphantly after capturing the checkered flag.
“It’s really hard to describe how happy I am. I guess the doctor wasn’t joking when he said I’d figure out a way to do it,” Wiles said.
Wiles is scheduled for knee surgery tomorrow and despite winning today is planning on “doing the right thing and getting it fixed to come back 100%.”
Woods was fast all day, earning a front row position after winning Expert Heat 1, but just couldn’t quite catch “Hammerin’ Hank.”
Sammy and Jethro Halbert waged a fierce brotherly battle for third place. Sammy worked his way up from back in the pack before entering in the duel of the race with Jethro. They passed each other and banged some bars, but in the end Sammy crossed the line 0.457 seconds faster than his brother to grab the final spot on the podium.
Behind them, yesterday’s Salinas TT winner Jake Johnson was dicing it out with Chris Carr. Johnson got around local favorite Steve Bonsey then set his sights on old Number 4. The two took turns passing one another with Johnson getting the best of the exchange to capture fifth place, Carr finishing just behind him.
Jeffrey Carver, Jr., brought his Yamaha in seventh, just ahead of local boy Bonsey. The Salinas native drew the biggest cheers all day long and earned a chance to compete in the Dash for Cash, where he finished third.
With these two selling programs, not many guys said no.
The front row of the Salinas Experts Class is ready to rock.
Jethro Halbert may have been squeezed out of a podium spot by his brother, but nobody was squeezing him out of the $1000 Dash for Cash. Halbert blazed to the win trailed by Woods and Bonsey.
In the Motorcycle Superstore.com AMA Pro Singles, Will Cato earned his first win of the season. Cato worked the inside line out of the gate to a Lap 1 lead and would post the wire-to-wire win. Gerit Callies ran comfortably in second but didn’t have the speed needed to catch Cato. Mike Martin got by Rodney Spencer, Jr. and Mickey Fay to grab the final podium spot.
Callies got the holeshot on the first start, but Dalton Winkler took a big spill coming out of the second turn, injuring his shoulder. On the restart, Cato jumped out in front, opened up a comfortable gap and rode smoothly the rest of the way for the victory.
“It was a tough track,” Callies said from the podium.
Spencer, Jr. crossed the line 0.262 seconds behind Martin for fourth, while Kay hung on for fifth. Yesterday’s Salinas TT Pro Singles winner, Mike Avila, couldn’t gain any more ground on points leader Callies after finishing in sixth place.
Shayna Texter, the only female racer on the grid, earned a spot in the Pro Singles Main straight out of Pro Heat 2. Texter would ride to a hard-earned final spot in the top ten.
2011 Salinas AMA Pro Grand National Singles Short Track Results:
1. Henry Wiles (Kawasaki)
2. Jimmy Wood (Honda)
3. Sammy Halbert (Yamaha)
4. Jethro Halbert (Honda)
5. Jake Johnson (Honda)
6. Chris Carr (Honda)
7. Jeffrey Carver, Jr. (Yamaha)
8. Steve Bonsey (Honda)
9. J R Schnabel (Kawasaki)
10. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. (Kawasaki)
11. Bryan Smith ((Kawasaki)
12. Jared Mees (Honda)
13. Brad Baker (Honda)
14. Luke Gough (Honda)
15. Kayl Kolkman (Kawasaki)
16. Robert Pearson (Yamaha)
17. Chad Cose (Honda)
18. Matt Weidman (Honda)
2011 Salinas AMA Pro Singles Short Track Results:
1. Will Cato (Honda)
2. Gerit Callies (Honda)
3. Mike Martin (Honda)
4. Rodney Spencer, Jr. (Honda)
5. Mickey Fay (Honda)
6. Mike Avila (Honda)
7. Alex Wood (Honda)
8. Wyatt Maguire (Yamaha)
9. Ryan Foster (Honda)
10. Shayna Texter (Honda)
11. Cole Crowley (Honda)
12. Mark Cernicky (Honda)