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Werner-Springsteen Racing's Bryan Smith Gives Kawasaki First K&N Grand National Win

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Bryan Smith has always been a great mile racer according to Werner. Photo by: Yve Assad for TheFastandDirty.com
Bryan Smith has always been a great mile racer according to Werner. Photo by: Yve Assad for TheFastandDirty.com
Before the start of the K&N Filters Grand National Championship race on the legendary Indiana State Fairground mile oval, bets were being taken on which manufacturer would take the coveted Indy Mile prize, when the checked waved race history had been made, when Werner-Springsteen
Indy and Springfield the Kawasaki's simply out powered the competition. Photo by: Yve Assad for TheFastandDirty.com
Indy and Springfield the Kawasaki's simply out powered the competition. Photo by: Yve Assad for TheFastandDirty.com
Racing's number 42 Bryan Smith captured the first AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship aboard a Kawasaki. And, to further punctuate Kawasaki's arrival on the big dirt-track racing stage, Smith repeated his historic performance by winning the following week at Illinois State Fairgrounds.

In both events the second place Harley Davidson's were simply out powered and out ridden, and for Kawasaki's fabled AMA Hall of Fame mechanic Bill Werner, that just has to be extraordinarily satisfying. For nearly 40 years Werner was the wrench on the Harley Davidson's that carried Gary Scott, Scott Parker, and Jay Springsteen to a total of 13 AMA Grand National Championships and 150 total wins.
Smith gave Kawasaki their first K&N Grand National Championship victory and notched a piece of racing history. Photo by: Yve Assad for TheFastandDirty.com
Smith gave Kawasaki their first K&N Grand National Championship victory and notched a piece of racing history. Photo by: Yve Assad for TheFastandDirty.com
Werner has a vision of two-wheel nirvana that persistently redefines itself through him, it's a vision he continues to share with longtime friend and partner Jay Springsteen.

"Obviously, we had things working very well at Indy and the following week at Springfield. That doesn't mean we don't have more questions to be answered. Every time we race the bike, Bryan, Jay and I learn more about its unique characteristics and apply them to the racetrack. It's still a work in progress," said Werner.
The two wins are huge for the team and for Kawasaki as they prove that there is a viable and inexpensive addition to the lists of brands capable of winning on big stage. Photo by: Yve Assad for TheFastandDirty.com
The two wins are huge for the team and for Kawasaki as they prove that there is a viable and inexpensive addition to the lists of brands capable of winning on big stage. Photo by: Yve Assad for TheFastandDirty.com


In regards to Bryan Smiths stellar back-to-back races Werner says, "Bryan has always been a great mile racer having won previously. His real strength is his communication skills, and being able to turn those feelings that happen in a micro second, into intelligible dialog that both Jay and I understand. We then try and come up with solutions to whatever he may be trying to communicate to us to help him succeed. Jay is a great communication link because he has also raced at a high level for many years, and I am very familiar with his terminology, having worked with him in the past."

"Winning Indy was huge for the team for many reasons," commented Werner. "It was viewed by many in the international press because they were there to report on the GP road race the next day. It helped to prove that there was a viable and inexpensive addition to motorcycles capable of winning on the Grand National twins circuit."
Even greater than his ridding skills are Smith’s talent for sharing intelligible feedback regarding the motorcycles nuances on the track. Photo by: Yve Assad for TheFastandDirty.com
Even greater than his ridding skills are Smith’s talent for sharing intelligible feedback regarding the motorcycles nuances on the track. Photo by: Yve Assad for TheFastandDirty.com


Since Werner's first attempt at retirement didn't take, we wondered if he had anything new in the works that he'd care to discuss. "After proving that another alternative to dirt track racing can be built, the next challenge would be to satisfy any demand that those successes may have created. I have plans this winter to try to do just exactly that."

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