Jake Johnson now leads the Grand National Championship by four points after a major victory at Calistoga Speedway.
A new leader has emerged in the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship series after Jake Johnson secured the win at Calistoga Speedway. On Saturday night the defending champ took his Zanotti’s Racing Harley-Davidson to a dominant win, leading 22 laps of the 25-lap main to take the checkers by 1.855 seconds ahead of Kings Kustoms/White’s Harley-Davidson’s Sammy Halbert. In doing so Johnson has taken over the lead in the series by just four points ahead of Rogers Lake/Blue Springs Harley-Davidson’s Jared Mees.
During the start Halbert nailed the holeshot and led the field into the first turn but was quickly replaced by White’s Harley-Davidson/SNIP backed Matt Weidman. After the opening lap Weidman was still in the lead and trailed by Halbert and Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s Kenny Coolbeth. A few laps later Johnson overtook Weidman for the lead, with Halbert, Coolbeth, Mees and Weidman all remaining close behind. Just when Johnson started to open a gap on the competition a red flag was issued following Mees’ crash at Turn 3.
On the restart Johnson, Halbert and Coolbeth resumed where they left off. Behind the lead trio was Digger 57/Dick Ford’s Luke Gough, fasthog.com/American Harley-Davidson’s Bryan Smith and Weidman all dueling for fourth. Up front Coolbeth had a scary moment after briefly losing control of his back end, which allowed Smith and Gough to snake their way past.
Sammy Halbert is only four points behind Jared Mees after placing second at the Calistoga Half Mile.
Meanwhile Mees, who was on his back-up bike following his earlier crash, was making tremendous ground through the field after starting in dead last. In the end Johnson never looked back after his early pass on Wedman, crossing the line nearly two seconds ahead of Halbert and a full five seconds clear of Smith. Gough recorded fourth at the line, with Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Team Hurt by Accident’s Brad Baker rounding out the top-five finishers. Despite his tremendous charge through the field, Mees was hit on a technicality after it was explained that back-up bikes can only be used during restarts if the leader has completed less than five laps. Since Johnson was on his sixth lap when the incident occurred, back-up bike usage was prohibited – resulting in Mees finishing dead last.
Prior to the main event it was Coolbeth who dominated the Dash for Cash event by just 0.371 seconds ahead of Mees. With four points separating the top-two riders and only one round remaining, the points that Mees gained by finishing second in this event could prove vital later on.
In addition to the tight championship battle between Johnson and Mees, Halbert has also thrown himself into the mix as the 24-year-old remains just four points behind Mees.
After crashing on Lap 6 Jared Mees was not allowed to use his back-up bike in the restart. He finished dead last.
2011 AMA Pro Flat Track GNC Twins Calistoga Results:
1. Jake Johnson (Harley-Davidson)
2. Sammy Halbert (Harley-Davidson)
3. Bryan Smith (Harley-Davidson)
4. Luke Gough (Kawasaki)
5. Brad Baker (Ducati)
6. Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (Harley-Davidson)
7. Matt Weidman (Harley-Davidson)
8. Doug Lawrence (Harley-Davidson)
9. Johnny Lewis (Kawasaki)
10. JD Beach (Kawasaki)
11. Chris Carr (Harley-Davidson)
12. Henry Wiles (Harley-Davidson)
13. Brandan Bergen (Harley-Davidson)
14. Mikey Rush (Harley-Davidson)
15. Steven Bonsey (Harley-Davidson)
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Singles Calistoga Results 2011
In the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles class Rod Lake Racing/Brown’s Cycles’ Brian Bauman notched his second win of the season after finishing 2.181 seconds ahead of RLT Racing Honda’s Shayna Texter.
During the 16-lap clash Texter had the initial lead ahead of the competition on the opening lap. As the field entered Lap 2, however, championship leader Mikey Martin suffered a blown engine on his Weirbach Racing Honda. Having only completed two laps, Martin was allowed to reset on his back-up machine. On the restart Bauman secured an impressive start, which the Honda rider kept until the checkers to finish on the top step.
“When Shayna got the holeshot I thought ‘Oh no there she goes again, just like Knoxville,’ but I was able to get the restart and hold on for the win,” Bauman said.
Meanwhile the battle for second in the Pro Singles contest was one of the highlights of the evening as Texter and Gerit Callies fought over relentlessly over the 16 laps. When the smoke cleared Texter had the advantage ahead of Callies, who is currently just one point behind runner-up in the series, Michael Avila.
2011 AMA Pro Singles Calistoga Results:
1. Brian Bauman (Honda)
2. Shayna Texter (Honda)
3. Gerit Callies (Honda)
4. Jason Isennock (Honda)
5. Rodney Spencer Jr. (Honda)
6. Michael Avila (Honda)
7. Jake Shoemaker (Suzuki)
8. Michael Martin (Honda)
9. William Cato (Honda)
10. Jeremy Hamilton (Honda)