Kenny Coolbeth proved yet again he can compete and beat Bryan Smith on these mile races this season. Coolbeth looked great winning his heat race and then nipped Smith at the line to claim his fourth victory in Springfield. This was the first time a Harley-Davidson has won at Springfield since Willie McCoy claimed victory in the spring of 2012.
Bryan Smith finished second. He looked solid all afternoon and missed the top of the box by just 0.010 seconds. In my heat race, I was close enough behind him that I got to watch some things he does on the mile and learn a few tricks that played in my favor during my semi. My personal opinion: Smith is the best mile racer of our era, and maybe one of the best of all time.
Jared Mees finished on the podium again, in third place. A podium is always a solid result, but I am sure Mees was a little bummed to see the No. 42 ahead of him at the checkers. Smith leads Mees by nine points with two races remaining.
Although Jake Johnson is now 23 points behind Smith (with a sixth place finish in the main event), Johnson is the only rider to have won at both the remaining tracks on the schedule, Calistoga and Pomona.
There was a lot of rain in the days leading up to Springfield, but the track was in great condition. It was really tacky and fast in qualifying, and it developed a fast blue groove in the heat races. The weather was 85 degrees and sunny with 5 mph winds, which made for perfect racing conditions.
Jarod Vanderkooi won Pro Twins for the second consecutive time at Springfield. Molly Terry pleased the crowd and finished second. Dalton Winkler finished third.
Vanderkooi ran a fast lap of 36.1 seconds in the Pro Twins main event. Henry Wiles had the fastest lap of the Expert main, a 34.511. About a second and a half separated the front of the two classes. Although the rider count in Pro Twins was a little down compared to the spring race, I think it is an excellent idea giving the younger riders some seat time at the mile on the twin-cylinder machines. It helps give those riders some confidence at high speeds, and it adds to their experience as they advance to the Expert ranks.