Bryan Smith 2016 AMA Grand National Champion sits aboard
his new Indian Factory Racer that he could very likely win the 2017 GNC #1 plate again.
It won't be easy though as two of the toughest competitors and Grand National Champs also, Jared Mees and Brad Baker will also be new Indian mounted. That alone will be spectacular, let alone the competition from the rest of the field of Harleys and Kawis and Yamahas and Ducatis and KTMs and Triumphs.
Indian must have some very deep pockets and be very confident and committed to field such a team. I was very surprised to hear that Howerton/Smith dropped Kawasaki like a hot potato after finally winning the No.1 plate on the Green Machine. I thought Howerton would just fold but no, they are going Indian all the way and why not be in the cat bird seat at the start of what looks like a new era in Flat Track.
It is not the first time a No.1 plate has been stolen from a MFG who just won the title. Honda stole Mike Kidd from Harley after he won the Championship. They put him on a substandard development machine that was the foundation for Honda's very impressive Flat Track
legacy but it took years of blood, sweat and many tears and it didn't do Kidd any favors far as his racing career went. The Indian deal looks way different with the bikes up-front competitive right out of the gate. In fact, the No.1 bike Smith is perched on is actually the No.1 bike of Jared Mees that got Indian it's first real victory at the Outlaw Half Mile at Perris Auto Speedway ( where the last race of the year AMA 2017 Championship will be held). The 2017 AMA GNC is going to something like we may have never seen before in our beloved sport.