Brad Baker put together his finest performance of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track season on Sunday when he rode his No. 6 Factory Harley-Davidson to a first place finish at the Lima Half-Mile. Baker found a fast high line around Lima’s pea gravel track early in the day and rode that line to an impressive victory in Ohio. With the win, Baker moves up to fourth in the GNC1 point standings, eight points behind the leader.
Baker not only claimed his first Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines victory of 2015 and his first elite class win at Lima, but he was flawless throughout the entire day. He qualified fastest, won his heat race and the George Roeder Memorial Dash for Cash.
“It was an amazing race,” said Baker. “From the get go, I put the hammer down. (No. 17 Zanotti Racing rider) Henry (Wiles) was doing really well and keeping me on my toes the entire race. I was pretty nervous at the beginning. I switched to the awesome factory suspension and since then, everything has been working really well. Big shout out to Terry Vance and Kris Schoonover, who couldn’t be here because of the weather yesterday. Great job to everybody with AMA Pro Racing, Dean Gallup and the whole Lima crew. It’s been an excellent time here.”
The event was originally scheduled for Saturday, but inclement weather pushed the race back a day. Sunday’s weather proved ideal, especially for Baker
Wiles jumped out to an early advantage and led the first three laps of the main before Baker got in front. The race was restarted after Jake Shoemaker got bucked off the highside and slid across the track, causing several riders to swerve in order to avoid running him over. On the restart, “The Bullet” jumped out front and was never challenged for the remainder of the event.
Second place went to hard-charging Sammy Halbert. Halbert, piloting the No. 7 Briggs Auto Kawasaki, was fast all day, starting with an incredible run in his heat race. Despite stalling at the start, Halbert charged from the back of the pack to win the heat. On this day though, Baker was in the zone.
Briar Bauman grabbed the final spot on the podium. For Bauman and his No. 14 Hart Racing Kawasaki, it was the first top-three finish of 2015. The Californian now sits seventh in the standings.
Defending GNC1 champion Jared Mees’ fourth place finish was good enough to bump Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. out of the points lead. Mees holds a slim 77-74 advantage over Halbert. Coolbeth, Jr. had a tough afternoon. After failing to qualify for the Main, he used his provisional pass to get into the race but mechanical woes ended his day early, dropping him from first to third in the point standings.
Rounding out the top five was Jeffrey Carver, Jr. on the No. 23 Don’s Kawasaki machine.
Mees has moved to the top of the standings thanks to his consistency, finishing fifth or better in four of the five Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines main events in 2015.
Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines Lima Half-Mile 2015 Top Five Results
1. Brad Baker (Harley-Davidson)
2. Sammy Halbert (Kawasaki)
3. Briar Bauman (Kawasaki)
4. Jared Mees (Harley-Davidson)
5. Jeffrey Carver Jr., (Kawasaki)
Lima Half-Mile 2015 GNC2 Results
J.R. Addison ripped the lead from Jamison Minor on Lap Two of the GNC2 main event on Sunday and never looked back from there, earning his first win of the 2015 season aboard the No. 24F Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda.
Ever since he turned pro in 2013, Addison has had the Lima Half-Mile marked on his calendar as a race he wanted to win more than any other on the AMA Pro Flat Track schedule. His hometown of Bucyrus, Ohio, is a short trip from the Allen County Fairgrounds.
“It feels great to get this win,” said Addison. “I was fast qualifier but I struggled a bit in my heat race. I got a good start in the main and made the pass on Jamison (Minor) pretty early. I have been looking forward to this race for a long time. I’ve actually been looking forward to this race the most (since) I turned pro, and I finally got to compete in it. To come away with the win is awesome.”
Addison’s teammate, Davis Fisher, piloting the No. 67M Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda, took home second and now sits first in the GNC2 point standings by seven (71-64) over Brandon Wilhelm, who was 10th Sunday on his No 24J Mike Butler Racing Honda. Fisher’s runner-up performance was a nice rebound from his crash at Sacramento last round, which led to a 17th place finish.
Ryan Wells (No. 94B ERT Racing Honda) closed out the podium on Sunday with Hunter Edwards (No. 93F UMD Automated Systems Honda) and Bronson Bauman (No. 30Z R&D Machine Honda) rounding out the top five, respectively.
Nick Armstrong led the GNC2 point standings coming to Lima but crashed in the LCQ, keeping him out of the main event.
GNC2 Lima Half-Mile 2015 Top Five Results
1. J.R. Addison (Honda)
2. Davis Fisher (Honda)
3. Ryan Wells (Honda)
4. Hunter Edwards (Honda)
5. Bronson Bauman (Honda)
GNC2 2015 Points Standings
1. Davis Fisher, 71
2. Brandon Wilhelm, 64
3. Jamison Minor, 61
4. Nick Armstrong, 56
5. Andrew Luker, 56
- Baker found a high line he liked early in the day and rode that line to victory in Lima's Half-Mile main event.
- Brad Baker was dominant all day at the 2015 Lima Half-Mile, posting the fastest qualifying time, winning his heat race, the Dash for Cash, and the GNC1 race win.
- Lima's pea cushion half-mile means plenty of roost will be kicked up before the race is won.