AMA Pro Racing returned flat track to Northern California as the K&N Filters Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com Series came to the Napa County Fairgrounds and the Calistoga Speedway Half Mile.
Fittingly the huge, standing room only crowd was thrilled by a win by one of their own. Salinas, California’s Stevie Bonsey pushed his #80 Dodge Brothers / Johnny Goad backed Harley-Davidson to his first ever Grand National win.
Having returned from the MotoGP wars, Bonsey has had limited seat time on the big twins, but is proving to be a quick study.
Stevie Bonsey says: “This is just unbelievable, these guys are so fast and a lot of them were my heroes growing up.”
One of his early heroes, #4 Lancaster Harley-Davidson’s Chris Carr had led the first four laps of the 25 lap National, but #7 Sammy Halbert took over there and had his Kings Kustoms Harley-Davidson in the lead for the next twelve laps, Bonsey was on the move as he slipped around Carr on lap thirteen and quickly closed on the leader.
As this was going on #5 Zanotti Racing’s Jake Johnson and Defending AMA Pro National Twins Champion #1 Jared Mees (Rogers Lake Racing / Blue Springs Harley-Davidson) were also closing down, making it a five rider freight train.
Once Bonsey was by on lap seventeen he eventually put a one second gap on Halbert as Sammy had his hands full with Jake Johnson.
Bonsey continued: “That was the longest race of my life. After I saw the five to go board it just took forever.”
But the race was his and all eyes focused on the battle for second. Johnson took one last charge and tried to go under Halbert in turn three only to have Halbert shoot back by on the exit of turn four and second belonged to the early leader.
Carr settled into fourth, his best finish for 2010. Mees was a couple of seconds back in fifth. #2 Kenny Coolbeth brought his Harley-Davidson Motor Company backed XR-750 up through the pack to sixth after having to qualify for the National through a semi. He won the first while his former teammate #3 Joe Kopp won the second semi on his Latus Harley-Davidson / ENI USA backed Harley-Davison.
Kopp had been fast qualifier, but a broken swing arm bolt had caused the points leader to crash heavily while running second in the first heat. Kopp would be forced to his backup bike in the semi, but he came from the back row to win it.
#27 Snedeker Racing’s Rob Pearson, #17 KK Motorcycle Supply’s Henry Wiles and Dodge Brother’s / A&A Racing’s Brad Baker rounded out the top ten. Baker was making another provisional start pay off as last year’s Pro Singles Champion pulled double duty tonight. After winning the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles Grand National Championship Main on his Rod Lake / Mike Velasco Honda he put in 25 laps in the Twins main.
Unfortunately the Pro Singles Main was stopped twice by major crashes that ended the night for three riders, detracting from a great race between current points leader #24P Jeffery Carver (Van’s Yamaha / Woody Kyle Racing) and Baker. After the second restart Carver pulled along side Baker several times before the defending champion pulled away. Early leader #33E Mack daddy Racing’s Mike Avila claimed his first podium, finishing just under four tenths of a second behind Carver.
Fast Qualifier #23Y Ryan Foster made his first start as a Pro pay off with a fourth place finish on his Baywide Class / Hacienda Pools backed Honda. Craig Rogers / Rod Lake / Ronnie Brown backed # 29Y Tyler O’Hara rounded out the top five.
RESULTS: July 31, 2010
GNT DASH FOR CASH (4 laps; 6 riders): 1. Sammy Halbert (H-D); 2. Chrsi Carr (H-D); 3. Jake Johnson (H-D); 4. Rob Pearson (H-D); 5. Stevie Bonsey (H-D); 6. Nichole Cheza (H-D).
AMA PRO MOTORCYCLE-SUPERSTORE.COM PRO SINGLES MAIN (12 laps; 18 riders): 1. Brad Baker (Hon); 2. Jeffery carver (Yam); 3. Mike Avila (Hon); 4. Ryan Foster (Hon); 5. Tyler O’Hara (Hon); 6. Wyatt Maguire (Yam); 7. Mike Martin (Hon); 8. Mike LaBelle (Hon); 9. Michael Toon (Hon); 10. Shayna Texter (Hon); 11. Chaz Springsteen (Kaw); 12. Jeremy Hamilton (Hon); 13. Derek Hersh (Kaw); 14. Life Kelley (Hon); 15. Chris Ponderous (Hon); 16. Tony Davila (Hon); 17. Ian Foulds (Hon); 18. Dalton Bell (Hon).
Time: 1:09:16.705–RED FLAG–
AMA PRO MOTORCYCLE-SUPERSTORE.COM PRO SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS (After 9 0f 18 rounds): 1. Jeffery Carver (172 pts / 3 wins); 2. Brad baker (148 / 3 wins); 3. James Rispoli (115); 4. Mike Avila (104); 5. Mike martin (84); 6. Mike LaBelle (81); 7. JD Beach (72 / 2 wins); 8. Chaz Springsteen (68); 9. Gerit Callies (42); 10. (TIE) Michael Toon (1 win) / Jake Shoemaker (38); 12. Jeremy Hamilton (37); 13. Zakk Palmer (36); 14. Brandon Laursen (33); 15. Shayna Texter (32); 16. Stephen Vanderburgh (31); 17. (TIE) Wyatt Maguire / John Long (30); 19. Tyler O’Hara (29); 20. Brian Tapp (23).
AMA PRO K&N GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED by MOTORCYCLE-SUPERSTORE.COM MAIN (25 laps; 18 riders): 1. Stevie Bonsey (H-D); 2. Sammy Halbert (H-D); 3. Jake Johnson (H-D); 4. Chris Carr (H-D); 5. Jared Mees (H-D); 6. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D); 7. Joe Kopp (H-D); 8. Rob Pearson (H-D); 9. Henry Wiles (H-D); 10. Brad Baker (H-D)**; 11. Matt Weidman (H-D); 12. Mick Kirkness (H-D); 13. Bryan Smith (Kaw); 14. Nichole Cheza (H-D); 15. Luke Gough (Suz); 16. Chad Cose (Suz); 17. Jethro Halbert (H-D); 18. Brandan Bergen (H-D).
AMA PRO K&N GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED by MOTORCYCLE-SUPERSTORE.COM POINT STANDINGS (After 9 of 18 rounds): 1. Joe Kopp (166 pts / 2 wins); 2. Jake Johnson (160 / 2 wins); 3. Sammy Halbert (159 / 1 win); 4. Henry Wiles (149 / 3 wins); 5. Jared Mees (143); 6. Kenny Coolbeth (132); 7. Chris Carr (95); 8. Bryan Smith (80); 9. Johnny Lewis (65); 10. Rob Pearson (62); 11. Matt Weidman (59); 12. Jethro Halbert (57); 13. Mick Kirkness (53); 14. Stevie Bonsey (44 / 1 win); 15. JR Schnabel (28); 16. (TIE) Brandon Robinson / Luke Gough (26); 18. (TIE) PJ Jacobsen / Brandan Bergen / PJ Jacobsen (19); 20. Shaun Russell (18).
AMA PRO K&N GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED by MOTORCYCLE-SUPERSTORE.COM TWINS POINT STANDINGS (After 5 of 11 rounds): 1. Sammy Halbert (102 pts); 2. Jake Johnson (99 / 1 win); 3. Joe Kopp (89 / 2 wins); 4. Kenny Coolbeth (77); 5. Jared Mees (76); 6. Chris Carr (68); 7. Henry Wiles (64 / 1 win); 8. Bryan Smith (47 / 1 win); 9. Stevie Bonsey (43 / 1 win); 10. Matt Weidman (41); 11. Rob Pearson (32); 12. Luke Gough (25); 13. Mick Kirkness (24); 14. PJ Jacobsen (19); 15. (TIE) Jethro Halbert / Brandon Robinson (14); 17. (TIE) Johnny Lewis / Dustin Crow / JR Schnabel (12); 20. Chad Cose (11).