Bryan Smith probably wishes all the AMA Grand National Championship rounds were held at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds. For the second year in a row, Smith won the Sacramento Mile last night, the Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki-mounted rider beating Jake Johnson to the line by just .037 with the top four covered by just .149 of a second.
The win was Smith’s first of the season and it vaulted him to fourth in the AMA Grand National Championship point standings.
Defending AMA Grand National Champion Johnson, who is still winless on the year, came up just .037 short at the line, but ahead of points leader Jared Mees, the Rogers Racing/Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider ending up .106 of a behind Smith and just .068 behind Johnson.
Johnson clawed back four points on Mees in the chase for the title, but Mees leads by 11 points, 141-130. Sammy Halbert, fifth on the night, is third in the title chase with 108 points – eight clear of race winner Smith.
“I was hoping to just run away from the pack but they wouldn’t let me,” Smith said. “I was just fast enough, but Jake and Jared gave me a great run. Thanks to all of my supporters; I’m so happy to be here. It’s always fun to race in front of a sellout crowd – this was awesome.”
Johnson led early from his pole position, but on the sixth lap he gave way to Smith. With three laps to go, Johnson took the lead back, but lost it just as quickly. The three at the front were together on the final lap, but Smith got the better drive off the final corner and crossed the line with the win. Brandon Robinson was just behind the trio with Sammy Halbert just over a second behind in fifth.
Shayna Texter showed that her maiden victory last year was no fluke as she rode to her second career win in the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles class.
“I was super nervous going in to the race; it was a long race that came down to the last lap,” Texter said. “I grew up with these riders and love competing against them. It just feels like a fairy tale and I can’t wait to come back next year.”
Texter, starting from the pole, grabbed an early lead and maintained it for the majority of the race until the last three laps, where she found Stephen Vanderkuur and Jake Shoemaker breathing down her neck. She lost the lead on the 11th lap and found herself in the midst of a three-wide scramble with Vanderkuur and Shoemaker, but she beat Vanderkuur by .037 of a second in a photo finish with Shoemaker just .130 of a second behind in third.
With the win, Texter became the first-ever female to win an AMA Pro Singles National event at a mile-long track.
1. Bryan Smith (Kawasaki)
2. Jake Johnson (H-D)
3. Jared Mees (H-D)
4. Brandon Robinson (Kawasaki)
5. Sammy Halbert (H-D)
6. Jeffrey Carver Jr. (H-D)
7. Brad Baker (H-D)
8. Robert Pearson (H-D)
9. Michael Martin (Triumph)
10. Luke Gough (Kawasaki)