Wile's Wins Seventh Straight Peoria TT
PEORIA, IL. (Aug. 21, 2011) -- Henry Wiles continued his domination of the Peoria TT National on Sunday. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider from Winn, Michigan, led all 25 laps of the final to earn his seventh straight victory in the prestigious race. The victory puts Wiles within one victory of tying Chris Carr's record of eight straight Peoria TT wins.
Jared Mees finished runner up to Wiles, 1.560 seconds back, and just ahead of series rival Sammy Halbert, who rounded out the podium. It was a very good day for Mess, getting the points from his second-place finish in the national, combined with his victory in the Dash for Cash, means that Mees has closed to within three points of Halbert in the series standings.
Jake Johnson finished fourth, but in spite of a solid finish, lost ground in the standings with Halbert and Mees finishing in front of him. Robert Pearson scored an excellent fifth, edging out retiring veteran Carr, who spent much of the day being lavished with honors during his final appearance in the race where he became known as the Prince of Peoria.
Matt Weidman was seventh, in the same group with Pearson and Carr. Then there was nearly a four-second gap back to eighth-place Bryan Smith, who edged Kenny Coolbeth Jr. and Johnny Lewis, the final of the top -ten finishers.
With Wiles still not 100 percent healthy after his left knee reconstruction, it was thought that he might be vulnerable. But Wiles quickly put those thoughts to rest when he topped timed qualifying and then won the fastest heat race to win the pole. The only thing Wiles didn't dominate was the Dash for Cash, won by Mees, leaving some question as to whether Wiles might be beatable.
In the final Wiles nailed a good start and immediately opened a gap on the field. Wiles said that in spite of getting to a quick lead his bike wasn't handling well and he nearly crashed coming off the jump one lap. That allowed Mees to rapidly close, to the point that it looked like it was be a battle to the finish. But Wiles rallied from his mistake and in the final couple of laps built back his gap on Mees.
"I was just happy to be out there this year much less win this race," Wiles said afterwards. "To come back this quickly from knee surgery and to be able to win this race even though I'm not at full strength is really more than I could have hoped for.Wiles said the handling of his bike was a major obstacle. "I won the race on probably the worse-handling bike I've ever had at Peoria. I came so close to screwing up big time off the jump that one lap. I thought for just a second that my streak might be over, but fortunately I was able to save the thing."
Henry Wiles uses JE "Pro Series" Piston kits exclusively in his race bike.