NEW KENT, Va. – Bryan Smith rode with a head full of steam and a face full of dirt through the entire field to win the Virginia Mega Mile, round 13 of the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season, in front of a raucous packed house at Colonial Downs on Saturday.
Smith was forced to start from the back row on his No. 42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki after anticipating the start of the 15-lap Expert main, but skillfully carved through the field and took the lead on lap four before checking out and eventually winning by 2.559 seconds over second place Jake Shoemaker. Jake Johnson, who also started from the back row, was third.
“I needed to get to the lead in a hurry, so I was on the gas for sure,” Smith said. “The first couple laps were a blackout, I used all my tearoffs. I finally got into third and my bike was kind of getting hot, but I just put my head down and tried to stay out of the roost. And once I got in the lead, I could kind of ride my line, and, obviously, check out.
“That was not the way I wanted to do that. I think I had more dirt inside of my helmet than on the outside.”
Smith, who came into the day second, leaves Virginia with a six-point lead over Jared Mees (224-218). Johnson is third with 206. Smith also won the Dash for Cash.
Shoemaker was simply methodical on his No. 55 Montgomeryville Cycle Center Kawasaki, riding calm and staying free of trouble, mechanical or otherwise. He started 10th, on the second row, but was in the lead group until Smith joined it, then left it in his rooster tail.
“It feels great,” Shoemaker said. “My best finish this year was a third at Hagerstown, and to come here with a second and beat that on a track that I honestly wasn’t that comfortable with, just knowing I’m on a 700cc bike, I’m down on horsepower, to put it up in second, on the box with all these guys, with what I feel is lesser equipment, it really means a lot. It’s just awesome.”