Bryan Smith (42) held off the challenges of Jared Mees (9) to claim his first GNC win of the season. Bryan Smith (42) held off the challenges of Jared Mees (9) to claim his first GNC win of the season. Photo by Dave Hoenig / courtesy AMA Pro Racing

Smith takes Hagerstown Half-Mile win

Written by  on Sunday, 06 July 2014 10:33

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Bryan Smith put all the pieces together Saturday night as he rode his Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki to an extraordinary AMA Pro Flat Track Hagerstown Half-Mile main event victory.

Smith brushed off a charging Jared Mees for the majority of the race, as the two duked it out on just about every inch of the track. Smith's win marked the first time since 1996 that a rider aboard a motorcycle other than a Harley-Davidson finished atop the podium at Hagerstown.

"I never would have guessed that I would come away with a win tonight," said an ecstatic Smith following his second win of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track season. "I don't think any of my competitors would have picked Jared to come away with the Lima win last weekend or myself to come away with the win tonight. These specific tracks aren't my cup of tea but I'm very fortunate that I have a great group of guys behind me and that I was able to come away with the win.

“It felt great. I just put my head down. I've ridden a lot of laps with Jared. We're best friends as he only lives a few miles from me. I want to thank all of the fans here at Hagerstown, they always know how to put on a first-class event."

Though he rode stellar all night and certainly deserved the win, Smith benefitted immensely from a Kenny Coolbeth motorcycle malfunction on lap eight, causing the Zanotti Racing competitor's night to end early.

Once Smith took the lead following Coolbeth's departure, he battled with Mees the rest of the way until he eventually earned some breathing room on lap 24 when he opened up a bit of distance from the Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson rider.

Smith cruised to the finish line after that and Mees earned himself an impressive second. Mees, who has earned top-five finishes in all but one race this season, sits atop the overall Grand National Championship point standings as the series rolls into Gray's Harbor.

Coming in third to round out the podium was Jake Shoemaker aboard his Montgomeryville Cycle Center Kawasaki. It was Shoemaker's best finish of the 2014 season by far, and the second-year GNC rider got it after starting ninth on the main event grid.

Brandon Robinson, aboard his USC Kawasaki and Sammy Halbert, aboard his South East Harley-Davidson, both ran solid races to round out the top five, respectively. 

Kyle Johnson needed every moment of the 16-lap Hagerstown Half-Mile Pro Singles main event to score his third straight victory and move into sole possession of the lead in the point standings.

Johnson, on board the No. 77J Parkinson Brothers Honda, started second but was shuffled back in the pack after a heated start. Midway through the race, the Michigan rider passed Jarod Vanderkooi for third and set his sights on leaders Ryan Wells and Davis Fisher.

It looked like the lead Wells had built was going to be too much to overcome, but Johnson got around Fisher just before the white flag waved, then went wide of Wells for the lead on the backstretch and was able to pull in front entering turn 3 on the final trip around the clay half mile circuit.

Wells looked to be cruising to the victory after getting out to the holeshot on his No. 94B GE Capital KTM, but the New York native had to settle for second after Johnson's late heroics.

Fisher finished a solid third on his No. 67M TJ Burnett Farms Honda. It's the fourth straight podium for the Oregonian.

Vanderkooi and Dan Bromley rounded out the top five, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.

Johnson entered the race tied atop the standings with Brandon Wilhelm, who finished 10th. Wells leavers Hagerstown two points behind Johnson and Fisher sits just two behind Wells. 

The stars of AMA Pro Flat Track will head to Elma, Wash. for the Grays Harbor Half-Mile at Grays Harbor Raceway on July 19.

Footage of the Hagerstown Half-Mile will be available to view on AMA Pro Racing's YouTube portal at www.youtube.com/amaprovids in the coming days.

GNC Expert Race Results

1

42

Bryan Smith

Kawasaki EX650

25 Laps

WINNER

0:24.571

29

2

9

Jared Mees

Harley-Davidson

0.832

0.832

0:24.746

19

3

55

Jake Shoemaker

Kawasaki EX650

1.668

0.836

0:24.636

16

4

44

Brandon Robinson

Kawasaki EX650

4.210

2.541

0:24.763

16

5

7

Sammy Halbert

Harley-Davidson

4.515

0.305

0:24.793

16

6

5

Jake Johnson

Ducati Hypermotard

6.016

1.501

0:24.742

17

7

73

Doug Lawrence

Harley-Davidson

6.021

0.004

0:24.901

12

8

17

Henry Wiles

Kawasaki EX650

9.979

3.958

0:25.059

11

9

1

Brad Baker

Harley-Davidson

11.881

1.901

0:25.042

10

10

14

Briar Bauman

Kawasaki EX650

11.974

0.093

0:25.144

9

11

27

Robert Pearson

Kawasaki EX650

12.414

0.440

0:25.060

8

12

49

Chad Cose

Kawasaki EX650

12.945

0.530

0:25.196

7

13

23

Jeffrey Carver Jr.

Kawasaki EX650

14.057

1.111

0:25.268

6

14

65

Cory Texter

Kawasaki EX650

14.152

0.095

0:25.265

5

15

91

Mikey Martin

Triumph Bonneville

16.107

1.955

0:25.207

4

16

41

Bradley Hazel

Harley-Davidson

18.600

2.493

0:25.345

3

17

74P

Chaz Landers

Harley-Davidson

21.493

2.892

0:25.287

2

18

80

Stevie Bonsey

Harley-Davidson

14 Laps

11 Laps

0:25.014

1

19

2

Kenny Coolbeth, Jr.

Harley-Davidson

8 Laps

6 Laps

0:24.444

4

GNC Expert Point Standings (Top 20)

1

Jared Mees

104

2

Jake Johnson

103

3

Kenny Coolbeth, Jr.

99

4

Bryan Smith

99

5

Brandon Robinson

89

6

Sammy Halbert

88

7

Henry Wiles

68

8

Stevie Bonsey

60

9

Briar Bauman

52

10

Brad Baker

52

11

Jake Shoemaker

37

12

Robert Pearson

33

13

Mike Rush

25

14

Jake Constantine

25

15

Chad Cose

24

16

Doug Lawrence

23

17

DUSTIN Crow

17

18

Mikey Martin

17

19

Jeffrey Carver Jr.

17

20

Matt Weidman

15

--From AMA Pro Racing

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John Hopkins

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