Henry Wiles made history Saturday night in Springfield, Illinois, by giving Kawasaki its first AMA Grand National Flat Track victory.
Wiles, riding a Jones Brothers Kawasaki KX450F-based machine, won the AMA Grand National Singles Championship TT race before a good crowd at the Arena inside the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Wiles chased early leader Jared Mees early in the race before Mees was sidelined with a broken front axle on lap four. From that point Wiles pulled away to a convincing 6.559-second margin of victory over veteran Joe Kopp, who just held off Jake Johnson.
“It’s great to give Kawasaki its first win in dirt track, Wiles said. “When I saw Jared pull off all I wanted to do was ride clean to the finish. I wanted to make it my race and I did! I would have never thought that I would win this race, but the Jones Brothers team worked hard and gave me a great bike.”
The victory moved Wiles to second in the AMA Grand National Singles. He now trails Daytona doubleheader winner Jake Johnson by 11 points.
Racing continues Sunday at the fairgrounds when the racers move to legendary Springfield Mile for the opening round of the AMA Grand National Twins Championship.