The 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track season resumed with GNC Expert Twins battling for the top-step at the Springfield Mile. Crosley Radio’s Bryan Smith came across the finish in the number-one position, defending against heavy pressure from second-place finisher Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. of Zanotti Racing. Rogers Racing’s Jared Mees rounded out the podium.
Smith got a strong start and slotted into the lead in the opening lap, followed by Coolbeth and Ramspur Winery’s Jake Johnson. Mees, Dons Kawasaki’s Henry Wiles and USC Kawasaki’s Brandon Robinson were also in the mix, along with Coolbeth’s teammate, Stevie Bonsey and Harley-Davidson Motor-Company’s Brad Baker. Smith held strong out front, though the eight-rider lead pack remained hot on his heels. Johnson and Coolbeth swapped positions a number of times during the initial laps for the runner-up spot, and Johnson was first to make a move on Smith for the lead. Coolbeth also moved ahead of Smith for a period, dropping the Kawasaki rider back to third, but on Lap 10 the Crosley Radio pilot regained the front.
Smith and Coolbeth started to break away from the pack slightly by Lap 13 and Mees had fought his way into third position. Proceedings were stalled on Lap 14 when Bonsey went down, forcing officials to red flag the race and call for a staggered restart. Bonsey was OK and lined back up, but then on the first corner of the restart he went down a second time and lost his exhaust pipe, ending his day early and prompting a second restart.
A third restart was called for after the light at the start-line malfunctioned. Smith jumped to the front again, followed by Coolbeth and Johnson with Mees and Baker in the four and five spots. Mees slipped up to third before Bonneville Performance’s Mikey Martin went down, forcing officials to throw yet another red flag and line the remaining riders up for a fourth restart with just five laps remaining.
Smith took the early lead once again with Coolbeth, Johnson, Mees and Baker hounding him from behind. Mees slipped past Johnson with three laps remaining and pushed up to battle with Coolbeth and Smith out front. Coolbeth had a high-line in mind on the final lap when he made his strongest push for the lead but Smith kept hard on the throttle and remained just ahead of the Harley rider for the win.
"I couldn't ask for a better day," Smith said. "It's been one heck of an effort by my team getting this motorcycle ready for this race and I can't thank them enough. There are a lot of the same features on my bike this year but it's also very different than last year's at the same time. I'm very excited about this win and I'm excited for what the future holds for the rest of the season."
Johnson finished in fourth with Baker in fifth. Wiles held on to the sixth position followed by Robinson seventh and Harley-Davidson’s Nichole Mees in eighth. Briar Bauman crossed the line ninth with Baer Racing Products’ Shawn Baer rounding out the top-10.
Coolbeth moves into the GNC Combined points lead with a two point advantage over Johnson in second. South East H-D’s Sammy Halbert, who was forced to pull out of the Springfield Mile in the opening laps, holds to third in the standings, followed by Robinson in fourth and Smith in fifth.
Springfield Mile GNC Expert Twins Results 2014
1. Bryan Smith (Kawasaki)
2. Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (Harley-Davidson)
3. Jared Mees (Harley-Davidson)
4. Jake Johnson (Ducati)
5. Brad Baker (Harley-Davidson)
6. Henry Wiles (Kawasaki)
7. Brandon Robinson (Kawasaki)
8. Nichole Mees (Harley-Davidson)
9. Briar Bauman (Kawasaki)
10. Shawn Baer (KTM)
11. Danny Koelsch (Harley-Davidson)
12. Dustin Crow (Harley-Davidson)
13. Willie McCoy (Harley-Davidson)
14. Mikey Martin (Triumph)
15. Cory Texter (Kawasaki)
16. Stevie Bonsey (Harley-Davidson)
17. Johnny Lewis (KTM)
18. Sammy Halbert (Harley-Davidson)
Johnny Vintage Motorcycle’s Jarod Banderkooi took the AMA Pro Twins race win at the Springfield Mile in his first-ever professional race. He did so by a relatively wide margin, finishing more than six seconds ahead of TJ Burnett Farms’ Davis Fischer in second. Roy Miller’s Jamison Minor rounded out the podium.
"I just knew I had to get a really good start and get out front early," said Vanderkooi. "Once I was able to get out front, I just kind of put it on cruise control. I wouldn't have had this bike ready without my team. We worked on it every night trying to get it ready for this race and all the hard work paid off."
Sylvester Farms’ Brandon Wilhelm finished in fourth ahead of Inlakes Sport Center’s Mikeal Strable in fifth. Kawasaki of Simi Valley’s Dylan Morin took sixth followed by Lloyd Brothers Motorsports’ Eric Stump in seventh.
Springfield Mile Pro Twins Results 2014
1. Jarod Vanderkooi (Kawasaki)
2. Davis Fisher (Kawasaki)
3. Jamison Minor (Kawasaki)
4. Brandon Wilhelm (Harley-Davidson)
5. Mikeal Strable (Kawasaki)
6. Dylan Morin (Kawasaki)
7. Eric Stump (Aprilia)
8. Mike Poe (Kawasaki)
9. Dalton Winkler (Kawasaki)
10. Ryan Foster (Harley-Davidson)
11. Jeffery Lowery (Kawasaki)
12. Austin Helmholz (Kawasaki)
13. Brian McRoberts (Kawasaki)
14. Kole King (Aprilia)
15. Shawn McNary (Kawasaki)
16. Garth Brow (Suzuki)
17. Tyler Butts (Harley-Davidson)
18. Cory Strickler (Kawasaki)