Brad Baker and Harley-Davidson Win Indy Mile
INDIANAPOLIS (July 11, 2015) – Brad Baker showed that the factory Harley-Davidson XR750 is still fully capable of winning AMA Pro Grand National Miles in the face of surging competition, mainly from Kawasaki.
On Saturday night in front of a mysteriously sparse crowd at the Indy Mile, Baker made a picture-perfect slingshot pass at the finish to nip Kawasaki’s Bryan Smith and fellow Harley rider Jared Mees. The margin of victory was a scant 0.020-seconds at the checkered flag.
At the front, Mees, Baker and Smith the back-and-forth dance, with Mees heading the pack as they crossed the stripe for the final lap. Baker took the high line into Turns 3 and 4 and was able to use his momentum and the draft to inch past Mees just before the checkers. Smith benefited from a late draft as well, displacing Mees to the final step on the podium.
Baker’s victory stopped Smith’s win streak of three-straight Grand National Miles in 2015. The Indy results also further tightened up the point standings with Baker moving up to fourth, now with 99 points, only 14 points down on series leader Mees, who has 113 points. Smith is second with 105 points and Halbert is third with 100.
“I knew I had it coming out of turn four,” Baker said. “I’d tried that move a couple of times and it was working. I didn’t know if Bryan was not showing his hand or not, but tonight the factory Harley-Davidson had the power to get to the line first. It’s a great feeling to break his streak on the miles and finally getting the win here.”
“All I can say is, what an amazing race,” said Baker. “Great job to Jared (Mees) for coming up from the back of the pack. I had a little bit of the high-low line going on during the entire race and I really used it to my advantage on the last couple laps. It was an excellent run and I knew I had that move down with three or four laps to go. We were playing mind games out there to get position to come off of turn four and I fought hard for it and got the win. I had an amazing motorcycle underneath me tonight.”
It was Baker’s second win of the year, following a victory a couple of rounds ago at Lima.
A couple second of back from the leading trio at the end was Mikey Martin, taking fourth on his Kawasaki. It was the best ever GNC finish for Martin. Johnny Lewis took fifth on the Ducati, putting three different brands in the top five.
The race was stopped first after an ugly crash by Shawn Baer coming out of turn one on the third lap. The impact broke the front end off Baer’s KTM and parts of his machine hit other riders including Henry Wiles and Johnny Lewis. It was a near catastrophic crash that could have been much worse had it not been for the skill of the riders following.
Jeffrey Carver, Jr.’s crash cause the second red flag. He made the restart. The final red was caused when Wiles went down in the three after the chain came of his Zanotti Harley.
Brandon Robinson, Sammy Halbert, Nicole Mees, Briar Bauman and Jake Shoemaker rounded out the top ten.
Watch th Race
Indy Mile AMA Pro Flat Track Results – July 11, 2015
1. 6 Brad Baker, Harley-Davidson.
2. 42 Bryan Smith, Kawasaki.
3. 1 Jared Mees, Harley-Davidson.
4. 91 Mikey Martin, Kawasaki.
5. 10 Johnny Lewis, Ducati.
6. 44 Brandon Robinson, Triumph.
7. 7 Sammy Halbert, Kawasaki.
8. 15 Nichole , Harley-Davidson.
9. 14 Briar Bauman, Kawsaki.
10. 55 Jake Shoemaker, Triumph.
Brad Baker takes the point with Mees & Smith following at Indy
Brad Baker takes the Sunoco Checkered for a trip around the Indy Mile
Nick Armstrong led flag to flag in the GNC2 race aboard his Goeken Racing Suzuki DL1000. Dan Bromley and Bronson Bauman also finished on the podium. It marked the second win of the season for Armstrong, who also won the GNC2 race at Sacramento.
Armstrong moved to within six points of series leader Davis Fisher. Fisher pulled off late in the race with seeming issues with his machine.
The series now takes a few weeks off before resuming on Aug. 4 at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, South Dakota.