Bryan Smith won the Sacramento Mile on Saturday for the sixth year in a row – by about the length of a wheel.
Smith, who led all 25 laps at Cal Expo, held off Kenny Coolbeth Jr., winning by just .024 seconds. Stevie Bonsey was third.
Smith has won every Sacramento Mile since the AMA Pro motorcycle race returned to Cal Expo in 2011 after a 12-year hiatus.
Brad Baker was the only rider who briefly passed Smith. Just past the mid-point of the race, Baker made a move past Smith going into the third turn, but his bike had a mechanical issue coming out of turn four.
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“I felt the pressure and then Brad went by me,” Smith said in a news release. “And then his bike blew up and I about ran into him.”
Smith won despite the rear brake disc on his Kawasaki glowing red from overheating in the final laps.
“With about three to go, I went into turn one and no brakes,” Smith said. “That was a real nailbiter the last few laps. I was lucky Kenny didn’t run me over in the turns.”
Smith took over the points lead after five rounds of the 14-race AMA Pro Flat Track National Championship, two points (86-84) ahead of Sammy Halbert and nine points ahead of Jake Johnson, who finished fifth Saturday.