2012 AMA Grand National Championship
Saturday’s AMA Pro Flat Track main event at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds put the Olympics on the back burner for the night as the event was an absolute thriller in front of a packed house.
Bryan Smith was as cool as the California breeze as he took the checkered flag to close out the Miller Lite Sacramento Mile presented locally by Big O Tires and Padilla Bail Bonds in what proved to be an intense battle between him and several prominent riders.
The win was Smith’s first AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com and Lucas Oil win of the year. The veteran rider is now the back-to-back Cal Expo Grand National Champion, as he was the winner of this same race last year.
Bryan Smith says: “I was hoping to just run away from the pack but they wouldn’t let me. 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.”
The race was a 140 mph chess match between Bryan Smith, Jake Johnson, and Jared Mees. Johnson came out hot off the pole with an early lead but couldn’t maintain it for long as he surrendered it on the sixth lap to Smith. With three laps to go, Johnson ripped the lead back from Smith and then lost it again as quickly as it came.
Smith, Johnson and Mees were neck and neck going into the last lap, but it was Smith who slammed the throttle just a little bit harder and crossed the finish line for the win with Johnson coming in a close second and Mees in third. Brandon Robinson and Sammy Halbert rounded out the top five finishers in an old fashioned thriller that gave the sold-out crowd everything they could have asked for.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles
The twin engines might be the Cadillac of AMA Pro Flat Track but the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles field proved to be nothing short of top-of-the line riders. Shayna Texter captured the checkered flag for the first time this season and dazzled the crowd as she made several precarious decisions that paid off in the end and carried her to victory by a close margin.
Shayna Texter says: “I was super nervous going in to the race; it was a long race that came down to the last lap. 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 eleventh lap and found herself in the midst of a three-wide scramble with Vanderkuur and Shoemaker but she defied the odds and surrendered nothing to the men, crossing the finish line in the lead with a photo-finish victory.
With the win, Texter became the first-ever female to win an AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles National event at a mile-long track. However, it wasn’t her first time at the top of the podium, as this was her second Grand National victory in ’12 and the rising star looks to have a very promising future for years to come. Vanderkuur and Shoemaker rounded out the podium, taking second- and third-place results, respectively.
The stars of AMA Pro Flat Track will return to Castle Rock, Washington on August 4, 2012. For tickets and information, please visit mshmc.org/.