Photography by Larry Lawrence
NEW KENT, Va. (Aug. 24, 2013) -- All signs pointed to another Bryan Smith runaway Saturday on the giant Mile of Colonial Down, but they hold the races for a reason. Instead of Smith it was defending champ Jared Mees who broke through to win his first national of the season. Meanwhile pre-race favorite Smith had a tough day. His Crosley Radio Kawasaki suffered electrical problems and he fell from the lead to 12th at the finish. And it was even tougher for series points leader Brad Baker, who blew up two bikes today, including his backup bike in the final after eight laps.
Henry Wiles took second on his Lloyd Brothers Racing Ducati and moved back into second in the series, a position he’s been trading back and forth with Smith for the last few races.
With the top two riders in the series – Baker and Smith – suffering problems, the championship tightened up with Mees and Brandon Robinson (who finished third) inching their way into the championship picture.
As it stands now with four races remaining Baker leads the standings by 17 points over Wiles (156-139). Smith is still very much in the hunt with 134 points and Mees (128), with the win, gaining huge, and early season leader Robinson (113) still holding a glimmer of hope.
Smith, who was dominant all day on his Crosley Radio/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki, blasted off to a great start and broke out to almost a 2.5 second lead by the sixth lap. Suddenly Smith slowed and pulled off the racing line. Something had gone wrong with his bike, his team suspected an electric problem. He was able to limp home in 12th. At about the same time Baker’s Dodge Bros. Racing Harley-Davidson had a motor blow while he led.
When everything shook out it was Mees emerging as the new leader on his Rogers Racing/Blue Springs Harley-Davidson. He then rode a flawless race and held off Wiles to the flag by a margin of 1.885 seconds. Robinson was a distant third, coming home seven seconds behind the leader. Briar Bauman and Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. rounded out the top five.
“It’s been an up and down season and it feels great to get this win,” Mees said. “When I saw Bryan break I said, ‘OK, now we’ll have a race.’ And then I pulled alongside Baker going into three and heard his bike going south. I’m happy to finally give the team a win after all the hard work everyone has put in. It looked like the championship was going to be between Baker and Bryan, but this thing isn’t over yet.”
Cody Johncox, riding a Sunnyside Cycle Yamaha, took his second-career win in the Pro Singles final, edging out Shayna Texter and Stephen Vanderkuur at the flag. The top three were nearly side by side at the finish.
“I didn’t want to be leading coming out of four, but I was,” Johncox said. “I just tried to tuck in and make myself as small as I could and somehow I held on for the win.”
Wyatt Maguire added a point to his Pro Singles Series lead, finishing fifth over series rival Ryan Wells, who was sixth. The two continue to be first and second in the standings.
The series now moves to Springfield, Illinois next weekend for the Springfield Mile Doubleheader weekend.
AMA Grand National results – Colonial Downs, Aug. 24, 2013
1. 1 Jared Mees Clio, MI Harley-Davidson 18 Laps
2. 17 Henry Wiles Winn, MI Ducati 749 +01.885
3. 44 Brandon Robinson Oxford, PA Kawasaki EX650 +07.068
4. 14 Briar Bauman Salinas, CA Kawasaki EX650 +11.776
5. 2 Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. Morris, CT Harley-Davidson +11.785
6. 95 JD Beach Philpot, KY Kawasaki EX650 +16.155
7. 5 Jake Johnson Coatesville, PA Ducati 749 +16.742,
8. 10 Johnny Lewis Coatesville, PA Triumph Bonneville +21.554
9. 55A Jake Shoemaker Glenmoore, PA Kawasaki EX650 +23.313
10. 20 Matt Weidman Westerlo Kawasaki EX650 +23.375
AMA Pro Singles results – Colonial Downs, Aug. 24, 2013
1. 96B Cody Johncox Attica, NY Yamaha YZ 450F 10 Laps
2. 25A Shayna Texter Willow Street, PA Honda CRF450R +00.008
3. 1 Stephen Vanderkuur Davison, MI Honda CRF450R +00.061
4. 23F Jeffery Lowery St Louisville, OH Honda CRF450R +00.465
5. 18M Wyatt Maguire Mead, WA Yamaha YZ 450F +00.478
6. 94B Ryan Wells Albion, NY Honda CRF450R +01.576
7. 19B Justin Jones Holley, NY Honda CRF450R +01.900
8. 24F J.R. Addison Bucyrus, OH Honda CRF450R +01.925
9. 30Z Bronson Bauman Salinas, CA Honda CRF450R +02.133
10. 77J Kyle Johnson Twin Lake, MI Kawasaki KX450F +02.507