Stevie Bonsey won the first AMA Grand National Championship of his career on Saturday night at the Calistoga Fairgrounds in Calistoga, California, the rider from Northern California whose career has shown so much promise finally coming through to surprise the GNC regulars in front of a sell-out crowd.
Bonsey showed his speed early in the night on his Dodge Brothers/Johnny Goad-backed Harley when he lost out to Sammy Halbert by just .100 of a second in the third heat race. And he got his revenge on Halbert in the main event, beating the King's Kustoms/KK Motorcycle Supply Harley-Davidson rider by 1.176 seconds to score that elusive first win. Bonsey's best finishes this season prior to Calistoga were two tenth places.
"This is just unbelievable. These guys are so fast and a lot of them were my heroes growing up," said Bonsey as the thrill started to sink in.
Third place went to Jake Johnson on the Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson, with Chris Carr having his best outing of the season to finish fourth. Jared Mees ended up fifth on the Rogers Lake Racing/Blue Springs Harley-Davidson XR750.
Championship points leader Joe Kopp ended up seventh on the Latus Motors Harley with Halbert and Johnson gaining points on the leader. Kopp now leads Johnson by six in the Grand National Championship, 166-160, with Halbert another point behind at 159.
Halbert beat Carr and Johnson to win the Dash For Cash.
1. Stevie Bonsey (H-D)
2. Sammy Halbert (H-D)
3. Jake Johnson (H-D)
4. Chris Carr (H-D)
5. Jared Mees (H-D)
6. Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (H-D)
7. Joe Kopp (H-D)
8. Robert Pearson (H-D)
9. Henry Wiles (H-D)
10. Brad Baker (H-D)