Brad Baker Wins Santa Rosa Mile
Brad Baker won the battle at the Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile presented by Triumph.
It was a dominant win for Baker, the No. 6 Factory Harley-Davidson XR750 rider crossing the finish line 10.5 seconds clear of Bryan Smith.
“I can’t even describe the way it feels,” Baker said. “I finally got what I have been working so hard for, another W! I'm going to try my hardest this off season to be able to maintain and excel that level into next year. Battling with one of my childhood racing hero's Joe Kopp was pretty rad as well.”
AMA Pro Flat Track Expert Grand National Champion Brad "The Bullet" Baker, 23, originally hailing from Dryad, Washington, is the third youngest Grand National Champion in the history of the sport.
Baker won his first two career victories at the Hagerstown Maryland and Pomona California half-miles and was also the 2011 GNC Expert Rookie of the Year. Baker took a dominating win at the Santa Rosa mile.
Bryan Smith, No. 42 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Wins Championship
It was the battle for second though, that had everyone captivated. A thrilling battle in the final moments which served as the climax of a season long battle for the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines Championship between Smith on the No. 42 Crosley/Howerton Kawasaki Ninja 650 and Jared Mees on the No. 1 Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson XR750.
Mees put up a great fight, but Smith was not going to let his first Grand National Championship slip out of his grasp once again.
“It’s something you can’t explain,” Smith said. “To win it and come down that close, I would have liked for Jared (Mees) not to catch me. My heart rate went to about 360 that last lap. I had also all of my friends and family out here and all of my friends who are like family, including my whole team. It means so much to have them all here supporting me.”
So Mees hands over his number one plate to rival Smith, not easy for such a fierce competitor like the three-time Grand National Champion.
Mees kept Smith honest in the end, so he took comfort in that down-to-the-wire fight and gave his fellow Michigan rider props.
“I wanted to race him for it and we did,” Mees said. “That’s exactly what the crowd wanted to see. It came down to the last lap, last corner and I knew he was out there getting squared up, I knew he was going to make me come right on by and he did. Hats off to the whole team. They’ve been working extremely hard.”
Santa Rosa Mile - Santa Rosa, California
RESULTS: September 25, 2016 - GNC1
- Brad Baker (H-D)
- Bryan Smith (Kaw)
- Jared Mees (H-D)
- Brandon Robinson (H-D)
- Henry Wiles (Kaw)
- Sammy Halbert (Duc)
- Joe Kopp (Ind)
- JR Addison (Kaw)
- Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (H-D)
- Chad Cose (Kaw)
- Jake Johnson (H-D)
- Briar Bauman (Kaw)
- Dan Bromley (Kaw)
- Cory Texter (Kaw)
- Jeffrey Carver Jr. (H-D)
- Ryan Foster (Kaw)
- Shayna Texter (Kaw)
- Jarod Vanderkool (Kaw)