The disqualification of Eagle Harley-Davidson/Moroney's Harley-Davidson's Bryan Smith from the Springfield MIle has been upheld with the fuel in Smith's factory Harley failing a second labratory test in addition to the post-race test that it failed immediately following the race.
Smith has been disqualified for the full day of competition for the May 24 race, resulting in loss of money and championship points. Smith has also been placed on probation for the remainder of the 2009 season.
JR Schnabel, meanwhile, who finished second in the Springfield TT the night before the Mile, was also disqualified post-race, but that decision has since been turned over. Schabel's Yamaha failed post-race tech inspecition because of illegal frame altercations. When the frame of the YZ450F was checked again, it was determined to fall within the production variances reported by the manufacturer to AMA Pro Racing. Based on the information provided by Yamaha, AMA Pro Racing has thus reinstated Schnabel to the second-place finishing position, the AMA says.
The pertinent section of the release reads:
Post race inspection saw the entries of both Smith and Schnabel fail to pass although the GNC Singles TT runner-up was later reinstated. Frame alterations on Schnabel's Yamaha YZF450 were originally found to be outside of the approved dimensions, but the frame was later determined to fall within the production variances reported by the manufacturer to AMA Pro Racing. Based on the information provided by the manufacturer, AMA Pro Racing has reinstated Schnabel to the second-place finishing position.
Smith, Sunday's winner in the Mile National, was disqualified for violation of the fuel rule. Fuel samples were sent to an independent laboratory where it has been determined the fuel used in the main event was found to be illegal. Smith has been disqualified for the full day of competition for the May 24th race, resulting in loss of money and championship points. Smith will also be on probation for the remainder of the 2009 season.
Cycle News reached Smith today by phone to talk with him about the disqualification.
Smith said he was given the chance to have the fuel tested by a lab of his choice.
“I decided to have my samples sent to VP's lab for further testing,” Smith said. “I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the same lab the AMA sent samples to have tested. Both samples failed. Pretty much after both samples failed it was end of story, no appeals.
“VP was able to tell us what was contaminating the fuel. They told me that my sample contained about one percent of an "ethanol-oxygenate" matter (pump gas). As we all know in the racing world one percent of pump gas wouldn’t improve performance, but it was just enough to throw the numbers off and everything out of spec.
“The wording of “illegal fuel” makes it sound like I was using something performance enhancing when in fact if anything pump gas would have hurt the bike’s performance.”
When asked if he thought his race gas was somehow contaminated with pump gas by the team using the same fuel containers for both, Smith explained.
“That was our first thought. We checked both the drum of fuel and the gas can we used at the track and both were clean. We thought maybe the gas in the bike’s tank was contaminated so we drained it, out the clean fuel in and it passed. So far we haven’t been able to come up with the reason the fuel got contaminated with pump fuel. We’re still scratching our head over that. All we can do is make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
AMA Pro Racing took away points and purse from both the Grand National and the Dash race, saying that was the way they were going to handle these issues all year. It should be pointed out that the Erion Honda Daytona SportBikes were found to have illegal fuel at Road America last week during qualifying, but both riders were allowed to compete the next day, something that wouldn’t be possible with the Grand National’s one-day format.
The disqualifications means that Kenny Coolbeth is now the winner of the race and series points leader going into the next Grand National Twins event on June 20, at Bulls Gap, Tenn.