Gettin’ Sideways: AMA Pro Flat Track Springfield Mile II

Harley-Davidson wins! Kenny Coolbeth makes a statement.

Springfield Mile II race action shot

No other venue on the AMA Pro Flat Track schedule has quite the feel of Springfield. The Springfield Mile is our version of the Daytona 500. If you ask any racer what event they would most want to win in their career, almost all would say Springfield. The day before the National marked four years since my father Randy passed away. He died the Monday before Springfield in 2010. That next weekend, we were at the Illinois State Fairgrounds doing what we love: racing motorcycles. I guess you can say Springfield is every flat-track racer’s second home.

I had an okay day. I transferred to my ninth main event of the season by winning my semi, but I got caught up in a pack of riders during the final and I just couldn’t get enough speed together to make any passes stick. I settled for 14th. Here are some highlights from the Springfield Mile II:

  • 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.

Springfield Mile II Pro Twin race action shot

    Next race: September 27, Round 15, Calistoga Half-Mile, Calistoga Speedway, Calistoga, CA

    Cory Texter is a third-generation motorcycle racer from Willow Street, Pennsylvania. He is currently national number 65 in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship and has also held an AMA Pro Road Racing license. His father, Randy, was the 1990 AMA TwinSports champion, and his sister, Shayna, is the only female to win an AMA Pro Grand National Expert Singles race. Cory also co-hosts Flat Track Weekly Radio.

    Grand National Results

    1. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr.

    2. Bryan Smith

    3. Jared Mees

    4. Jake Shoemaker

    5. Henry Wiles

    6. Jake Johnson

    7. Willie McCoy

    8. Stevie Bonsey

    9. Brad Baker

    10. Brandon Robinson

    Pro Twins Results

    1. Jarod Vanderkooi

    2. Molly Terry

    3. Dalton Winkler

    4. Jamison Minor

    5. Jeffery Lowery

    6. Tyler Butts

    7. Ryan Varnes

    8. Macintosh McGrew

    9. Andrew Butler

    10. J.R. Addison

    Smith leads the pack during heat race.

    Jake Johnson wins Dash for Cash.

    Doug Lawrence takes the last transfer in Semi 1.

    Shayna Texter passes for transfer heading to the white flag in Semi 2.

    Molly Terry.

    Podium Shot - Molly Terry/Jarod Vanderkooi.

    Smith & Coolbeth race to the finish.

    Coolbeth and Barry Boone on the podium.

    Jarod Vanderkooi victory lap.

    Riders Meeting.

    Jamison Minor.

    Jake Johnson, Dustin Crow & Wyatt Maguire during Opening Ceremonies.