Willie McCoy and his crew recently showed up at the Illinois State Fairgrounds with anticipations of chocking up a victory at the Springfield Mile, in the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship.
Willie McCoy recently walked away victorious from the Springfield Mile, which
was held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds
"Springfield was my first race of the season," recalled the rider. "I'm a part time racer with a wonderful family and great job; I don't have the time to race full-time anymore." Referring to his mindset going into the event, he continued, "Confidence is always good going into Springfield, because Kenny Tolbery taught me how to build and make these Harleys run fast. I love the track, and usually do pretty good at Springfield. I have been close to winning there before, and just came up a half-second or less from the victory. That is, until last September, when I finally got my first GNC win."
As the temperatures soared into the 90's, McCoy lined up against his competitors with intentions of following the same game plan that earned him a victory at this venue the year before. At the waving of the green flag, the riders shot out of the gate, and the heated battle was underway.
The recent Springfield Mile turned out to be a toe-to-toe race that was finally cinched in the final seconds by Willie McCoy
McCoy started the race off in eighth place during the first lap, but the rider had no intentions of letting a slow start get in his way. In fact, he immediately began maneuvering his bike toward the front of the pack. With perseverance and unadulterated will power, the rider finally caught up with the leaders about halfway into the race.
"Once I caught up to the lead pack, I was not sure how I was going to move to the front. They were all going really fast," shared McCoy.
The fierce battle continued throughout the twenty-five lap event. With riders going toe-to-toe, not a single competitor took a commanding lead until Willie McCoy finally took the front position within a stone's throw of the finish line. "Things just worked my way into second with a few laps to go," recalled the rider. "I got a good draft off of Brian Smith coming out of turn four on the last lap, only to lead about the last ten feet of the race."
"I was riding so hard throughout the main event that I wasn't sure what to do, except keep charging forward," he continued. "Everything just worked out perfectly. My Harley-Davidson of Wausau/Independence Harley Davidson, with awesome K&N air filters just pulled me to the finish line first. The competition is always stiff at Springfield, or any of the other AMA, GNC races. There are a lot of great riders with a good chance at winning any time you line up next to them on the track."
Explaining his take on this particular venue, the rider said, "I think the Springfield Mile is the greatest flat track race in the world. It is our most prestigious race in the history of our sport. Back in the day, prior to the present point system, if you won the Springfield Mile, you were the champ that year." When asked what advantage he had over his competitors, McCoy's answer was short and to the point, "God was showing me the way to the front."
Willie McCoy was quick to credit his team for the role they play in his success. "I think having a good team is very important," he stated. "You have to have great support to help you do your job, which is, win races."
The rider is also a strong advocate of maintenance and relies on K&N products to handle his filtering needs. "Maintenance is very important, especially on these Harley Davidson XR 750s. We are making probably thirty more horsepower than they were designed for," he explained. "And we are revving up the engines probably four-thousand rpm's higher than what they were designed to handle."
Along with his riding skills, Wille McCoy was quick to credit his team, proper maintenance and God for his recent win at the Springfield Mile, in the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship
In reference to K&N products, he continued, "I use the RU-1240 oval air filters, because they give you the most protection from all the dust and dirt, while giving you awesome horsepower. I have been using K&N air filters my entire professional racing career, which is going on twenty-three years. K&N products are the best in the world. I use K&N products on all of my motorcycles, race bikes, dirt bikes, street bikes and my race transporter."
When asked what fans can expect throughout the remainder of the season, Willie McCoy said, "Other than winning races, I enjoy the big family and friends that most all
of us in the flattrack racing world share. Fans can expect lots of smiling, having fun, trying my hardest, appreciating everything that I have, and enjoying this wonderful life that I've been blessed with. Thank you. Thanks to God, all my family, friends and all of the supporters who have made my racing career and success possible."
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