File Photo By Dave Hoenig
Henry Wiles' mastery of the Peoria TT was on full display today at Peoria Race Park as the Don's Kawasaki ace dominated all day long en route to claiming a tenth-consecutive victory of the historic race.
Wiles led the way each and every time he hit the circuit on Sunday, but he was presented with a genuine challenge in the 25-lap main. AMA Grand National Championship points leader Jared Mees and his Montgomeryville Cycle Honda CRF450R pushed the KX450F of Wiles through half-distance. However, the heavy favorite finally outlasted his rival and slowly worked up a second-plus advantage as they hit lapped traffic.
At that point, Wiles slashed through the slower riders and padded his lead, ultimately claiming the checkered flag with 1.811 seconds in hand.
Their battle pushed them well ahead of the remainder of the field, which was headed by Ramspur Winery/Lloyd Bros Motorsports' Jake Johnson, who took the final position on the podium in third.
Rod Lake Racing's Briar Bauman edged Zanotti Racing's Stevie Bonsie and Brothers Power Sports' Brad Baker in an eventful scrap for fourth, while Villa-Esparza Kawasaki's Bryan Smith, Weirbach Racing 's Robert Pearson, Motion Pro/Ronnie Brown-backed Shaun Russell, and Cascio Rush Racing's Mike Rush completed the race's top ten.
While he didn't win the race, Mees' strong effort provided him with just a bit of breathing space in the championship battle. He now leads Smith by nine points (204-195), with Johnson another five points back in third (190).
Meanwhile, in Pro Singles action, TT specialist Jacob Lehman took the win in a dramatic, twice-stopped contest. Ride Motorsports-backed Lehman was in hot pursuit of the points leader Kyle Johnson.
Johnson twice powered from second on the grid to the holeshot, but he crashed from the lead in Turn 2 on lap 12 of 16. The Parkinson Brothers Racing rider quickly remounted but went down hard in Turn 5 on the same lap, bringing out a second red flag.
That created a five-lap dash for the win, in which Lehman held off Rod Lake Racing's Bronson Bauman by
0.057 seconds at the flag.
KTM/GE Capital's Ryan Wells rounded out the podium.
2014 AMA Grand National Championship
Peoria TT Main Event Results:
1. Henry Wiles (Kaw)
2. Jared Mees (Hon)
3. Jake Johnson (Hon)
4. Briar Bauman (Hon)
5. Stevie Bonsey (Hon)
6. Brad Baker (Hon)
7. Bryan Smith (Kaw)
8. Robert Pearson (Kaw)
9. Shaun Russell (Hon)
10. Mike Rush (Hon)
AMA Pro Singles Main Event Results:
1. Jacob Lehman (Hon)
2. Bronson Bauman (Hon)
3. Ryan Wells (KTM)
4. Jace Castles (Yam)
5. Justin Jones (Hon)
6. Jayson Beal (Hon)
7. Dan Bromley (KTM)
8. Ben Lowe (Hon)
9. Rodney Spencer, Jr. (Hon)
10. Jeffrey Lowery (Hon)