AMA Flat Track
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Henry Wiles and Bryan Smith gave Kawasaki a perfect weekend in Springfield, Ill. earning wins in both the short track and mile, respectively.
Jones Racing-backed Wiles earned his second consecutive singles championship aboard his Kawasaki KX450F, while Werner-Springsteen-backed Smith raced for Kawasaki’s second consecutive mile win on his Kawasaki Ninja 650R.
Knowing that every point counts, Wiles came into the Springfield Short Track event looking to score the points he needed to capture his second consecutive championship.
After a decent qualifying lap, Wiles won his heat race and finished with the top time of all three heats. With a win in the Dash for Cash race, he earned enough points to be crowned the champion before the main event. Even with the championship wrapped up, Wiles went out and captured his fourth straight victory of the season.
Henry Wiles says: “Coming into this year, I knew it was going to be tough. The competition seems to get tougher each year and I really had to be on it. We had one bad race in Daytona, but we walked away learning a lot from it.”
“I think that really showed during the rest of the season. Sometimes it’s good to see where you can improve and build upon that. I’m really happy to win the championship again. I wanted it really bad, so it feels good.”
Since coming aboard the Kawasaki KX450F last year, Wiles has only been off the podium one time. In the singles series, Wiles had a solid and reliable motorcycle underneath him to bring home his second singles title in as many years.
Henry Wiles says: “The Kawasaki makes my job a lot easier. We’ve never really had a problem with the bike. I think what works well with it in this series is the fact that the power is manageable yet comes out of the corners a lot faster than the rest. It was definitely fast and that is a big part of what we need in this series.”
Coming off the first twins win for Kawasaki in Indianapolis, Smith and the team wanted to show flat track fans that it wasn’t a fluke. He started off the night with a heat race win, but knew it wasn’t going to be easy since everyone was going fast.
Unlike the Indy Mile, Smith battled with several riders for the lead in the main event. It showed and when the checkered flag flew, the top five riders were within a second of each other, but it was Smith who prevailed as the winner for the second week in a row.
Bryan Smith says: “The first win has settled in a little bit and I really wanted to back it up this weekend. I wanted to prove that the win wasn’t a one time thing. I think that was the best part of this weekend.”
The series comes to its third mile in a row at the Canterbury Park in Minneapolis, Minn. this weekend. Smith hopes he can keep up his run for the top of the podium.
Bryan Smith says: “The Canterbury track can be a little tricky, but we faced a little bit of that tonight. The track was constantly changing on Sunday, so we were able to make certain changes to compromise. I think we have a really good shot at doing well in Minneapolis.”
Springfield AMA Flat Track Results:
Singles Main Event Results
1. HENRY WILES, MONSTER ENERGY/JONES RACING/ KAWASAKI
2. Jake Johnson, Honda
3. JD Beach, Honda
4. Joe Kopp, Honda
5. Chris Carr, Honda
6. Steve Bonsey, Honda
7. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr., Honda
8. BRYAN SMITH, MONSTER ENERGY/ WERNER-SPRINGSTEEN/ KAWASAKI
9. Jared Mees, Honda
10. Matt Weidman, Honda
Twins Main Event Results
1. BRYAN SMITH, MONSTER ENERGY/ WERNER-SPRINGSTEEN/ KAWASAKI
2. Chris Carr, Harley Davidson
3. Jared Mees, Harley Davidson
4. Willie McCoy, Harley Davidson
5. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr., Harley Davidson
6. Jake Johnson, Harley Davidson
7. Joe Kopp, Ducati
8. Sammy Halbert, Harley Davidson
9. JOHNNY LEWIS, KAWASAKI
10. Steve Bonsey, Harley Davidson