Wrecking Crew Swept the Podium Once More Before The Streak Ends
OKC Was A Sweep, Lima Saw Only A Second Place Finishby Allyn Hinton, on
Indian’s Wrecking Crew extended its swath of destruction to the OKC Mile held at Reminton Park in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, before that winning streak came to an end at the Lima Half-Mile. For the fourth time this season, the three-man team of Jared Mees, Bryan Smith, and Brad Baker managed to fill all three podium spots for a clean sweep in OKC, and that weekend marked their eighth undefeated race. Current results are less than stellar, but we knew it had to end sometimes. Performance at the Lima Half-Mile, while the streak is broken, still saw a second-place finish.
Continue reading for more on the Wrecking Crew results.
Sneaky Jared Mees got his second straight win by sliding past teammate Brad Baker right at the 11th hour. This gave Mees a total of 177 points and put him in the top slot of the AFT Twins pecking order. “Flyin” Bryan Smith finished third for 169 points, enough to maintain his position as second banana. Brad “The Bullet” Baker’s second place finish bumped him up to 112 points for the year as he holds place at fourth overall. I really kind of feel bad for Baker; he worked so hard to get and maintain a lead the whole race, only to be overtaken by a teammate in traffic once they caught up to the slower riders and began to lap the field. While they’re on the same team and all, that has got to sting just a bit, and if I were Baker, there’d be a good practical joke or two visited upon the win-thief. That’s right Jared, you have to sleep sometime...
“Our team is on a great run right now. It’s evident we have the most talented group of riders, and the Scout FTR750 is the top-performing motorcycle in the field,” said Mees after the race. “Brad clearly had the field beat throughout the race, and it looked like he would go wire-to-wire, but I hung in there, dug deep and found my opening as we lapped the pack.”
The streak came to end at Lima, Ohio, but all is not lost. Brad Baker finished in second. As a result, Indian maintains the distinction as the only manufacturer to podium at every event this season and the Wrecking Crew secures the top three positions in the American Flat Track point standings.
What Does It Mean?
This was huge for Indian. The Wrecking Crew’s continued success against all comers — and especially Harley-Davidson — is impressive, capturing 22 of 27 podium spots and including four podium sweeps. That’s no small feat. Much of the credit goes to the skill and determination of the riders, but I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to the engine, and vicariously, the engineers and design team.
Indian’s FTR750 makes all this magic possible with a purpose-built, 53-degree V-twin mill. Quad-valve heads, fuel injection and water cooling make for a modern racing mill, and as per league rules, the FTR750 is available to the public, albeit in limited numbers. Perhaps the oversquare layout with its 88 mm bore and 61.5 mm stroke gives it the edge? Truthfully, it’s no one thing that makes this bike and team so potent, and I’m sure that all of the above play a part.
It’s not quite the same world that it was back when the Harley-Indian rivalry started up, and it’s no longer true that if you want to sell bikes you have to win races, especially in the American-style cruiser market. Good thing for H-D, ’cause Indian is beating the socks off its traditional domestic rival. Oh, if only Mr. Hendee could see his brand now, right? At least we’ll get to see them in action again, and that right soon — the next target looks to be the Rolling Wheels Half-Mile in Eldridge, NY, on July 8.