Weidman in Right Place at Right Time in 2012 AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Round 2 at DAYTONA Flat Track
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 17, 2012) - Round two of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com belonged to Montgomeryville Cycle Center / Lucas Oils / Rogers Lake Racing's Jared Mees for twenty four laps. Unfortunately for Mees Grand National mains are twenty five laps. Matt Weidman took advantage of a last lap incident between Mees and Round 1 winner Johnny Lewis to secure his first Grand National win on his Greg Crow Racing / Snip / Fiorio Investments backed Honda.
Mees posted a win in the four lap Dash for Cash over Johnny Lewis (Scott Powersports / DRD / Saddlemen) and last night's second-place GNC main event finisher Matt Weidman, making him the favorite going into the final race of the night.
Mees powered into the lead at the first flash of green and pulled to a safe lead over Lewis and Rookie of the Year contender Briar Bauman. Weidman and Werner-Springsteen Racing's Brad Baker dropped Bauman back quickly. Chaplin Kawasaki's Kenny Coolbeth charged past Baker on lap three and it looked like the top five was set for the night.
Lewis inched closer and closer until he slipped inside Mees in turn one just after receiving the white flag. Not going out without a fight, Mees charged inside going into turn three and disaster struck. Lewis came out on the short end, but Mees also lost his position, with Weidman turning what looked like a certain third place finish into a victory. "I saw Johnny get inside of Jared in one, but I knew the fireworks were not over. I hate to win it like this, but I've worked a long time for it, I'll take it," said a jubilant Weidman.
"I hate it this happened, I was chasing Johnny into three and he really put the brakes on trying to be defensive," said a dejected Mees. "I would have done the same thing, but I hit him and it cost both of us the race. It was just racing."
Mees was able to scramble back for second over Baker, Coolbeth and Sammy Halbert (Fredericktown Yamaha). Briar Bauman (USC Kawasaki / Rod Lake / Brown's Cycle), Bryan Smith (American Harley-Davidson / Oasis Homes), a remounted Johnny Lewis, defending Grand National Champion Jake Johnson (Zanotti Racing / Schaeffer's Harley-Davidson) and Jethro Halbert (Van's Yamaha / Woody Kyle Racing) rounded out the top ten.
The Motorcycle Superstore.com Pro Singles main truly was a runaway with no drama at the end. 16-year-old Ryan Wells made his second Pro race a huge success as he pulled his Weirbach Racing / General Engineering backed Honda to a nearly three-second win as he lead all 16 laps.
While Wells was running away, there was some good racing going on behind him. LaBelle Racing's Mike LaBelle worked his way up to a solid second, leaving Hayden Gillim (Bell Helmets / Technic) and fast qualifier Jason Isennock (Foard Racing / Doghouse Customs) well behind.
Gillim's third place finish gives him the points lead in the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles Championship with 35 points over the two class winners, Ryan Wells and Gerit Callies. Washington's Hunter Taylor is also tied with all three for second with 24 points.
The Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com points lead belongs to Weidman as he has 48 points to Mees' 41 and Lewis's 40.
The AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com will next appear at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois for their Memorial Day Weekend doubleheader (TT and Mile events).