Henry Wiles is currently tied for second on the all-time win list after dominating at Peoria for the seventh year in a row.
Only four months after having surgery on his left knee Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Henry Wiles nabbed the Flat Track victory at the Peoria circuit for the seventh straight time over the weekend. The Michigan rider led all 25 laps of the main to take the win by 1.559 seconds ahead of Lucas Oils/National Cycle/Rogers Lake Racing’s Jared Mees despite struggling with his bike the entire evening. Currently, Wiles is tied for second on the all-time win list with seven consecutive TT victories. Meanwhile, Woody Kyle Racing/Fredericktown Yamaha’s Sammy Halbert earned third in Round 14 of the 2011 Grand National Championship more than five seconds behind the leader.
“That was the hardest race I’ve ever had here,” said Wiles. “It was like a twenty-five-lap wrestling match. When I was rehabbing from my knee surgery, the hope was just to be able to ride here. I just rode as hard as I could, and it was good enough for the win.”
Wiles had a great start and almost immediately opened a lead on his rivals at the start of the main. It quickly became apparent to Wiles, however, that his bike was not cooperating. After nearly crashing off a jump in the first lap Wiles recovered, but his mistake allowed Mees to close up the gap. Over the ensuing laps Wiles continued to battle with his bike, the 26-year-old keeping the advantage ahead of the field to pull off a major win to keep his record in Peoria, Illinois alive.
Though Mees failed to win the main he made major progress in the championship standings. Mees now trails the leader in the series by only three points after finishing 4.2 seconds ahead of Halbert.
Jared Mees is only three points behind Sammy Halbert in the championship with just five rounds remaining.
“Henry just has this place wired,” said Mees. “He rode great. Last year we were second to Henry by 11.5 seconds and this year it’s 1.5 seconds, so we’re getting closer.”
Zanotti Racing’s Jake Johnson had a solid finish in fourth but fell 16 points adrift of Mees. The Prince of Peoria, Chris Carr, grabbed sixth in his final race at the circuit, the retiring vet finishing 0.611 seconds ahead of Matt Weidman.
In the six-rider Dash for Cash contest Mees got the best of Wiles after posting the holeshot and winning. The event set the stage for the main event between Mees and Wiles, who were the focal point of the night’s racing action.
In the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles division a bit of drama played out when Briar Bauman had his win stripped away after it was determined that he used illegal fuel. The resulting disqualification gifted the win to runner-up in the race, Michael Avila.
“It’s the kind of news AMA Pro tech officials really hate to deliver,” said AMA Pro Flat Track Director, Dan Johnsen. “Especially when we know it was inadvertent on the part of the rider and team in question. We’re obviously duty-bound to follow our own rules, though, so all we can do is wish Briar and his supporters much future success – he certainly showed he’s capable of it tonight.”
As Avila recorded his fifth win of the season Twenty Six Suspension/G2 Ergonomics’ Gerit Callies was moved up to second with Mack Daddy Racing’s Stephen Vanderkuur taking third. Weirbach Racing’s Michael Martin, who currently leads the Pro Singles Championship, finished fifth and remains just seven points ahead in the series.
Next week’s Indianapolis Mile event has been cancelled and the series will return September 3rd in Springfield, Illinois.
2011 AMA Grand National Singles Peoria Results:
1. Henry Wiles (Kawasaki)
2. Jared Mees (Honda)
3. Sammy Halbert (Yamaha)
4. Jake Johnson (Honda)
5. Robert Pearson (Yamaha)
6. Chris Carr (Honda)
Michael Avila (33E) was claimed the winner in the Pro Singles class after Briar Bauman (10Z) was penalized for using illegal fuel.
7. Matt Weidman (Honda)
8. Bryan Smith (Honda)
9. Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (Kawasaki)
10. Johnny Lewis (Honda)
11. Shaun Russell (Kawasaki)
12. Brad Baker (Honda)
13. JD Beach (Kawasaki)
14. Aaron King (Honda)
15. Jeffrey Carver Jr. (Yamaha)
2011 AMA Pro Singles Peoria TT Results:
1. Michael Avila (Honda)
2. Gerit Callies (Honda)
3. Stephen Vanderkuur (Honda)
4. Andrew Smith (Honda)
5. Michael Martin (Honda)
6. William Cato (Honda)
7. Dustin Cassidy (Honda)
8. Jason Isennock (Honda)
9. Hayden Gillim (Honda)
10. Jeremy Hamilton (Honda)