Jake Johnson earned the 2011 Grand National Championship title after dominating at Pomona’s Half-Mile. It is the second consecutive year Johnson has won the GNC.
Johnson used lightning starts to run the table, winning the red-flagged final race and the Dash for Cash on his way to a perfect 29-point tally for the weekend. Johnson’s Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson XR750 powered him around Pomona’s big cushion half-mile to a 1.878-second victory over Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Brad Baker as Johnson captured his second consecutive AMA Grand National Championship.
“Jake is absolutely on fire! Over a 3 second lead over the rest of the field. Brad Baker’s the only one who can catch him.. so it seems,” tweeted AMAProFlatTrack during the race.
Baker did his best on the Ducati to keep Johnson honest, but Jake was just too fast on this night. Baker and championship contender Sammy Halbert went bar-to-bar for much of the race, with Baker getting the best of the duel to capture second place. Halbert crossed the line in third but the damage was done. Halbert not only missed out on the GNC championship after leading the point standings for most of the season, but he lost the AMA Pro Twins National Championship by one point to Jared Mees.
“Went backwards early in main. Lucky we had a restart, worked my up to 2nd battled hard with #12 – 3rd in race and championship, one point out of 2nd,” Halbert tweeted.
Mees came into Pomona four points behind Johnson for the GNC title but finished 16 points back after a disappointing outing at the Fairplex. Mees struggled for most of the night, finishing third in the Dash for Cash and fifth in the Main. Scott Powersports Kawasaki’s Johnny Lewis moved up through the pack, first dicing it out with Kenny Coolbeth before fending off Mees for fourth place, but Jammin’ Jared had scrambled hard enough to finish second in the final GNC standings.
Henry Wiles looked like he was ready to rain on the GNC Pomona parade after putting up the fastest time in the heat races,
but Wiles went down in Turn 2 on Lap 22 in the Main to bring out the red flag. Wiles went to the hot box and was able to restart at the back of the pack and somehow fought his way back up to tenth place at the checkered flag.
Robert Pearson rode the USC Kawasaki to a respectable sixth-place, edging out AMA/Classic Harley-Davidson’s Chris Carr, who was riding in the final flat track race of his illustrious career.
And while Carr’s career may be coming to a close, it’s just beginning for Mikey Avila and Gerit Callies, who took advantage of provisional starts as Experts and qualified to make their career debuts in a Grand National Main Event. Callies would ride a KTM in the Main and finished 16th, while Avila did him one better and crossed the line in 15th place.
AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Pomona Results 2011
1. Jake Johnson (Harley-Davidson)
2. Brad Baker (Ducati)
3. Sammy Halbert (Harley-Davidson)
4. Johnny Lewis (Kawasaki)
5. Jared Mees (Harley-Davidson)
6. Robert Pearson (Kawasaki)
7. Chris Carr (Harley-Davidson)
8. Matt Weidman (Harley-Davidson)
9. Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (Harley-Davidson)
10. Henry Wiles (Harley-Davidson)
11. Jeff Carver, Jr. (Harley-Davidson)
12. Bryan Smith (Harley-Davidson)
13. Luke Gough (Harley-Davidson)
14. Jimmy Wood (Harley-Davidson)
15. Michael Avila (Harley-Davidson)
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles Pomona Half-Mile Results 2011
Rod Lake Racing/Brown’s Cycles Briar Bauman and SDI Insulation/MEH Corp’s Mikey Avila threw it into Turn 1 of the Motorcycle Superstore Pro Singles Pomona finale side-by-side, but after a couple of red flags, Bauman pulled away from the field and ran his own race on the way to victory at Pomona’s half-mile. Avila, who entered the race
Mikey Martin holds up the No. 1 plate after winning the 2011 Motorcycle Superstore Pro Singles title.
trailing Mike Martin by 14 points for first place in the championship standings, did what he could to chase Bauman all night and crossed the finish line in second place. But any hopes of winning the championship were quashed when Martin soon finished the race in sixth place and secured the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles title.
Bauman has been on a tear as of late, winning three races in the short span he’s been competing and definitely looked like he could have been in contention for the title had he raced a full season as he and Martin both won three races this season. But Martin’s consistency paid off in the long run, giving him the well-earned title.
Foard Racing/Glenville Inn’s Jason Isennock rode well to grab the final spot on the podium, finishing 2.616 seconds ahead of Rodney Spencer, Jr. DFW Honda/D&D’s Stephen Vanderkuur grabbed the final spot in the top five, followed by Martin, whose 13 points for sixth place was enough to secure him the title.
Gerit Callies entered this weekend’s race with a mathematical chance of winning the title but didn’t finish the race and ended the day at Pomona in a disappointing 16th place. Callies still finished third in the final Pro Singles championship point standings.
Pro Singles Pomona Half-Mile Results 2011
1. Briar Bauman (Honda)
2. Michael Avila (Honda)
3. Jason Isennock (Honda)
4. Rodney Spencer, Jr. (Honda)
5. Stephen Vanderkuur (Honda)
6. Michael Martin (Honda)
7. Shayna Texter (Honda)
8. Ryan Foster (Honda)
9. Wyatt Maguire (Honda)
10. Sam Wiggins (Honda)