Get the Broom Out – Indian Sweeps Sacramento Mile

May 21, 2017 – American Flat Track Twins presented by Vance & Hines. Bryan Smith Wins Again! He demonstrated his mastery of the Mile with a tactically brilliant victory aboard his No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750.

The 5th round of this year’s 18-race American Flat Track Twins presented by Vance & Hines saw Bryan Smith passing the stripe 1st with Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750) and Brad Baker (No. 6 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) following in succession.

Almost immediately, the Indian-mounted teammate/rivals ripped away from the rest of the Main Event field. They then waged an intra-team battle that alternately required pace, patience, slipstreaming and strategy for practically the entirety of the 25-mile distance.

Get the Broom Out – Indian Sweeps Sacramento Mile

Located in one of flat track’s traditional hotbeds, the Sacto Mile is rich with Grand National Championship history and has been the site of many thrilling down-to-the-wire battles. The dominant force over the decades, Harley-Davidson has claimed an impressive 39 victories out of the 51 races held since the event joined the series calendar in 1959.

After 25 laps Smith’s victory came by a minuscule 0.025-second margin over Mees, with Baker a further 0.05 seconds adrift in third. The win was Smith’s seventh in succession at the Sacramento Mile, and his third in a row this season.

After securing sole possession of the championship lead, Smith said “I played my cards just right. I sat back there, saved my tire, and went hard the last couple of laps.”

While he got pushed out of at least a share of the championship lead for the first time this season, Mees did manage to maintain his perfect 2017 podium streak with his runner-up result in Sacramento, saying

“I’ve got to give a big shout out to my team. It was a good race, and it’s great to get another Indian sweep with these guys. It stinks getting second, but it’s great for Indian Motorcycles. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Estenson Logistics Yamaha FZ-07) snatched fourth place by a narrow 0.050 second margin from quick-starting Jeffrey Carver Jr. (fifth on the No. 23 Carver’s BBQ Kawasaki Ninja 650). It was another disappointing weekend for Harley-Davidson and their XGR750R – Brandon Robinson was 9th, 14.32 seconds behind Smith, and Kenny Coolbeth Jr was 16th, having only completed 16 laps.

“I didn’t know if I was controlling the race, or if I was just the mouse getting chased,” Baker said. “It turns out I was just the mouse getting chased. Great job to Jared and Bryan.

“It kind of sucks, getting second and third over and over again, especially at these Miles where I want to win so badly… Jared and Bryan just had a little bit better strategy there at the end. I led over the stripe so many times, I thought I might be able to get there on the last one. But I guess I just spun it up a little bit too much and let those guys squeak on by.”

2017 Sacramento Mile Results

  1. Bryan Smith (Ind)
  2. Jared Mees (Ind)
  3. Brad Baker (Ind)
  4. Sammy Halbert (Yam)
  5. Jeffrey Carver Jr. (Kaw)
  6. Shawn Baer (KTM)
  7. Davis Fisher (Kaw)
  8. Jake Shoemaker (Kaw)
  9. Brandon Robinson (HD)
  10. Jarod Vanderkooi (Kaw)
  11. Mikey Rush (Yam)
  12. Cory Texter (Kaw)
  13. Nick Armstrong (Yam)
  14. Ryan Wells (Kaw)
  15. Austin Helmholz (Kaw)
  16. Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (HD)
  17. Chad Cose (Kaw)
  18. Briar Bauman (Kaw)

Harley-Davidson Factory Racing Team

“This edition of the Harley Factory Team will bring unmatched savvy and experience to the track,” said Harley-Davidson Vice President and Managing Director U.S. Mike Kennedy. The team will field a fleet of Harley XG750R bikes with a custom chassis purpose-built for flat track racing, the XG750R flat tracker is powered by a race-modified, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 750cc Revolution X engine originally engineered for the Street 750. The chassis and engine have been developed by Vance and Hines Motorsports.

Kenny Coolbeth Jr.
A three-time AMA Pro Grand National champion (2006-2008), the veteran Coolbeth has won 36 times in the Grand National Championship, more than any active racer in the series. Coolbeth claimed three consecutive titles while racing for the Harley-Davidson Factory Team from 2006 to 2013. Aboard the Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson XR750 in 2016, Coolbeth won at the Springfield Mile and finished seventh in points. He was named the Rookie of the Year in 1994 and won his first Grand National race in 2002. Coolbeth is 39 years old and lives in Center Hill, Fla.

Jake Johnson
Jake Johnson won consecutive AMA Pro Grand National Championships (2010-2011) on Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson XR750 motorcycles and has won 20 times in the Grand National Championship since moving up to the top pro class in 2002. In 2016 Johnson won on the Daytona short track and was fourth in the season standings. Johnson won the AMA Pro Singles class championship in 2006 and 2008 and was Rookie of the Year in 2002. Johnson is 32 years old and lives in Coatesville, Pa.

Brandon Robinson
Brandon Robinson enjoyed a break-out season in 2013 with seven top-five finishes and three victories, including a sweep of both races on the Springfield Mile. In 2016, Robinson piloted the Kennedy Racing Harley-Davidson XR750 to his fourth career victory with a win on the Lima half-mile, notched two additional podium results and finished third in the point standings. As an amateur, Robinson won the AMA Twins Expert class championship in 2008. Robinson is 26 years old and lives in Oxford, Pa.

Next week, the American Flat Track will make the first of two 2017 doubleheader stops in Springfield, Ill., with Saturday May 27’s Springfield TT and Sunday May 28’s Harley-Davidson Springfield Mile I.

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