Round 6 of the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines series again proved the dominance of Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki's Bryan Smith on the mile ovals as Flyin' Bryan took his third win in-a-row on the season (all on mile ovals) and his third-straight win at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Unfortunately, Sunday's race got off to a bad start when Brad Baker on the factory H-D XR750 got into CR Motorsports' Stevie Bonsey at the start of the second go-around heading into turn one. Even worse, Bonsey's bike split the airfence and the haybales, causing Bonsey to go into the fence hard. After being hauled out by the ambulance, Bonsey was and is reported as having suffered a neck fracture that will now cause him to have to wear a halo for the next couple of months, but per postings on Facebook he appears very upbeat and ready to get the healing process completed and return to action. You can keep up with his updates here on FB.
After the restart, it was a big duel all the way around for the 25-lap National main, which saw no fewer then six combatants going at it all over, especially heading to the stripe. Smith ended up leading 16 laps, with Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. credited with a lap, Jared Mees with five laps and Baker with three. And those were just at the stripe. Also in the mix for the entire battle were Brandon Robinson on the Kennedy Kawasaki, with Glidden/Dreyer Motorsports' Doug Lawrence doing a great job of hanging just shy of the top-5 at the end.
In the shot above, riders hit the gas on the restart of round 6 of the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines series at the Springfield Mile I on Memorial Day Weekend Sunday, May 29.
(L-R) Eventual winner Bryan Smith on the #42 Crosley Brands/T&T Construction/Howerton Motorsports-sponsored Kawasaki, Jared Mees on the #1 Las Vegas H-D/Rogers Racing/Harley-Davidson Motor Co-backed XR750 (2nd-place finish), Brandon Robinson on the #44 Kennedy Racing/Armbruster Racing/J&H Repair-sponsored Kawasaki (4th-place finish), JR Addison on the #24F Smith Racing/J&F Construction/Moto Option-sponsored Kawasaki (17th-place finish), Brad Baker on the #6 Harley-Davidson Motor Co/Vance & Hines/Screaming Eagle-backed factory XR750 (3rd-place finish) and Jake Johnson on the #5 Zanotti Racing/Classic H-D/Harley-Davidson Motor Co-backed XR750 (11th-place finish) lead the charge off the front row.
Also part of the mix are Doug Lawrence (2nd row, behind Addison) on the #73 Glidden Racing/Dreyer Motorsports/Doug Lawrence Racing-sponsored Kawasaki (6th-place finish) and Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. (just behind team mate Jake Johnson) on the #2 Zanotti Racing/Harley-Davidson/Gator H-D-sponsored XR750 (5th-place finish).
The top five finishers were separated by only .220 seconds after the 25-lap main, with 6th-place finisher Lawrence on the Indy-based Glidden/Dreyer Kawasaki just .503 seconds behind Coolbeth. Also of note, a big tip of the helmet to Jeremy Higgins on the #82 Higgins Racing Kawasaki for what may have been his career-best mile finish of 7th-place.
A big thumbs up to Ryan Wells for winning his first-ever Twins Series event in the GNC2 class, while local Indy resident and first year Pro rider Kevin Stollings taking home his first-ever podium in a Twins event and leading several laps during the GNC2 main to nearly nip Wells at the stripe only to come up short by .033 seconds. Keep an eye on this Stollings youngster as he has a very bright future ahead of him.
For more on last Sunday's races, check out all of AMA Pro Flat Track's videos and reports below, as the racing at Springfield as usual didn't disappoint.
You can also get the full results here, and Cycle News' Dave Hoenig's report here as well.
Kawasaki's Bryan Smith wins third consecutive Mile in 2016 at Springfield Mile I
FansChoice.tv coverage from Round Six at the Springfield Mile I is now available for VOD viewing