PEORIA, Ill. (Aug. 12, 2012) -- It was almost inevitable; Henry Wiles won the Peoria TT for a record-tying eighth straight time and there was nothing anyone could do about it. The Michiganders mastery of the historic TT circuit is so complete that when asked if Wiles could be beaten, his main competitors basically conceded defeat even before the drop of the green.
Wiles raced his Don's Kawasaki DPC Racing Kawasaki KX450F to a resounding victory, leading from start to finish and winning by a wide 6.623-second margin over AMA Pro Grand National points leader Jared Mees. Defending series champ Jake Johnson finished third.
The win for Wiles tied him with the Peoria TT record of consecutive wins. Wiles now shares that honor with the Prince of Peoria Chris Carr. Carr still owns the all-time wins record of 13 Peoria TT victories, but if Wiles keeps going at this rate even that lofty record of Carr's, once considered untouchable, is not out of the question.
Wiles' win was a cause for celebration, but the day was also marred by one of the worst crashes ever at Peoria, that sent three riders to the hospital with serious injuries. It happened in the second Pro Singles Heat race. Gerit Callies, who leads the Pro Singles standings, was battling near the front of the pack when he lost control going over the jump and crashed heavily. Adam Bushman and Robert Treinen both got caught up in the melee. Adam Bushman's brother Scott reported that Callies and Treinen both suffered head injuries, while Bushman a hip fracture. Longtime Peoria Motorcycle Club volunteers said it was the worst accident they've ever seen at the track.
Leading up to the national Wiles won the fastest Heat race, but had a sub-par race in the Dash, finishing third, giving some hope to the other riders that he wasn't invincible. But in the final Wiles dropped the hammer, took the lead in the first turn and gapped field in less than three laps.
"I had a little trouble coming off turn four earlier in the day, but we made a change that really improved the bike," Wiles said. "I knew when I went out for the warm-up lap that we found the right combination. I sort of knew right then it was my race to lose."
Mees said he too knew the race was over early.
"It took me three or four laps to get around Sammy (Halbert)," Mees explained. "And by the time I broke clear into second Henry already had a big gap on us. I think maybe there were places I was as fast as him, but what can you say? Overall he just really has this place dialed."
Mees still gained in the series points over Johnson who was third and Halbert who took fifth. Mees now leads the series 185 to 165 over Johnson. Halbert has 156 points.
Dominic Colindres scored his first win in Pro Singles. The rider from Brisbane, California, rode his Weirbach Racing Honda to a 1.087 margin of victory over Stephen Vanderkuur. Justin Reed took third. Ryan Well, who finished eighth, moved to within a point of the series lead behind injured Gerit Callies.
The series moves to the Indy Mile as part of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP weekend next Saturday.