On a scorching Saturday afternoon at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Brandon Robinson (TJ Burnett Farms/Kawasaki) turned blazing and consistent lap times at the Springfield Mile to come away with his second career AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles
victory. The heat seemed to have no effect on the young star whatsoever as he cruised to a 5.299 second win over Bryan Smith (Crosley Radio/Kawasaki) in the first 25-lap main event of the Labor Day weekend doubleheader.
"Everything came together early on and I was just able to go with it," said Robinson. "My team was phenomenal all week putting this bike together and I'm positive I wouldn't be standing here today if it wasn't for them. My parents weren't able to make it to Daytona when I got my first win but they're here today and I'm thrilled to get this win in front of them. I hope I can do it all over again tomorrow and complete the double."
Robinson put on a fantastic display of speed all day, dominating his heat as well as the all-important Dash for Cash. Despite starting from pole position, it initially appeared that the main event wouldn't come as easily for the 23-year-old as a lightning-quick JD Beach (TJ Burnett Farms/Kawasaki) bolted from the starting line to take the holeshot. Beach led a wild pack for the first five laps before a surging Robinson was able to make his move. Once in command of the race, Robinson never looked back, pulling away and building on his lead lap after lap until he took the checkers. Saturday's win marked his third consecutive podium finish in Grand National Expert competition.
With Robinson's uncontested victory all but wrapped up long before the main event was over, the best race on track was the battle for second. Starting from the third row on his backup motorcycle, Bryan Smith earned a hard-fought second-place finish after running as low as 12 early in the race. The Flint, Mich. product fought his way to the front of the pack vying for the two remaining podium positions just after halfway.
Beach edged out Willie McCoy (Harley-Davidson of Wausau/Harley-Davidson), last year's Springfield Mile winner, by a mere, 004 seconds to close out the podium. The GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing star has recently rekindled his liking for dirt, earning an impressive four top-five finishes in his last five AMA Pro Flat Track races.
McCoy and Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (Harley-Davidson Motor Co./Harley-Davidson) rounded out the top five following a tight scramble on the final backstretch with defending Grand National Champion Jared Mees (Rogers Racing/Harley-Davidson). Unfortunately for Mees, he was the odd man out and was forced to settle with a sixth-place finish.
With just three rounds remaining on the 2013 calendar, Smith now sits just 17 points behind series points leader Brad Baker (Dodge Bros Racing/Harley-Davidson) in the overall Grand National Championship point standings, 170-153.
AMA Pro Basic Twins
Shayna Texter (Crosley Radio/Kawasaki) put on a clinic in her dominating AMA Pro Basic Twins victory at the Springfield Mile in the inaugural main event for the new class. The 22-year-old female sensation took the lead on the backstretch in the very first lap and seemed to increase her lead by a full second during each of the main event's 12 laps, eventually finishing 11.452 seconds ahead of nearest competitor Jason Isennock (Highs Dairy Stores/Kawasaki). Equally impressive, Texter's best laptime of 35.847 seconds topped the fast laptime of 36.024 turned by Brad Baker in the day's Expert main event.
"I can't thank Racing Unlimited enough for supplying me with the motorcycle today," said Texter. "I was fast right off the bat. I've always dreamed of winning the Springfield Mile and it just feels amazing to get a win here today. There was a lot of controversy as to whether or not I could ride the twin and hopefully I was able to prove some people wrong today. I also want to thank my entire team and everyone that made this happen for me today."
In the Basic Twins debut, Texter not only silenced any remaining critics who pinned her as a rider only capable of succeeding in AMA Pro J&P Cycles Pro Singles competition, but the Williow Street, Pa. product exceeded the expectations of the large number of supporters even in her corner. Texter's dominating performance likely ranks as one of the biggest wins of her young and promising career and it seems like it's just a matter of time before she makes the permanent jump to the elite Grand National Championship Expert ranks.
Starting from pole position, Isennock got off to nightmare of a start, falling all the way back to seventh in the running order before the first lap was completed. Isennock showed tremendous resilience, however, as he battled his way back up the field to finish in second. Last weekend's Colonial Downs victor Cody Johncox (Sunnyside Cycle/Harley-Davidson) was able to maneuver through traffic and finish third.
Michael Strable (Bill Built/Kawasaki) and Eric Stump (Bob Rausch Fuel Oil/Harley-Davidson) rounded out the top five, respectively.
AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles returns to the Illinois State Fairgrounds tomorrow, Sunday, September 1st, for the second running of the Springfield Mile. The event will complete what has already been an incredible Labor Day weekend filled with action-packed racing. For tickets and more information regarding tomorrow's event, please visit http://www.illinoismda.com/ or call 217-753-8866.
How to Catch the Action
AMA Pro Racing will be live streaming multiple channels of in-depth and behind-the-scenes multimedia content from this weekend's event on the AMA Pro Live streaming video website. AMA Pro Live puts fans in the director's chair, allowing them to choose from a variety of viewpoints alongside Live Timing & Scoring data and play-by-play commentary via AMA Pro Flat Track's official Twitter feed. Log on and tune in at http://www.amaprolive.com/ft/.
About AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles:
AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles is a national motorcycle racing series in North America. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the Series is one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing and is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track racing in the world. The 2013 schedule consists of rounds on the country's finest dirt track courses. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft.
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.