Coolbeth And Harley Team Battle To Third At The Indy Mile
Season Points Race Tightens as Kopp Finishes Sixth
Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® factory rider Kenny Coolbeth placed third in the Grand National Twins main at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The 12th round of the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com was won by Bryan Smith on a Kawasaki.
Smith was the fast qualifier for the main and finished third in the four-lap Dash for Cash bonus race behind Lancaster Harley-Davidson rider Chris Carr and King Kustoms/KK Motorcycle Supply rider Sammy Halbert, also on a Harley-Davidson.
Carr led the field at the start of the 25-lap main event, with American Agip/Lloyd Brothers Ducati rider Joe Kopp and Zanotti Racing rider Jake Johnson in second and third positions. Coolbeth finished the first lap in seventh place. The race was stopped for a crash by Steven Bonsey on lap three, and Carr again took the lead on the re-start, with Smith in second and Johnson in third. Smith got past Carr on lap six, and the pair of veteran riders began to open a gap on the rest of the field. Coolbeth worked his way through traffic and passed Johnson to take third place on lap 11, with Carr now holding a slim lead over Smith. Now more than a second behind the leaders and with no drafting help available, Coolbeth was stuck in third place. Smith and Carr continued to battle, with Smith taking the official lead on lap 17 and then holding off the seven-time champion Carr in the closing laps. Coolbeth finished the race 2.398 seconds behind Smith. Johnson was fourth, Halbert finished fifth and Kopp, the Grand National Championship points leader, finished in sixth place.
“Once I got up to third I was pushing hard to catch Carr and Smith,” said Coolbeth. “I was hoping they’d get caught up in their own battle and slow each other down. But my bike started to lose power on about lap 20 and that was it. I guess the factory Harley-Davidson and I both gave it all we had tonight. We’ve just got to stay determined and try to win some races now.”
After 12 events in the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship, Kopp has 221 points and leads the series by only 12 points. Halbert is second with 209 points, and Johnson is third with 207 points. Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider Jared Mees, who finished eighth at Indianapolis, is fourth with 198 points, followed by KK Motorcycle Supply/Mike & Eddie Adkins rider Henry Wiles with 188 points and Coolbeth in sixth with 179 points.
The AMA Grand National Twins will next race September 5 on the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill.
Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts are inspired by and built in the spirit of the raw adrenaline and power of motorcycle racing. Screamin’ Eagle Pro parts are specifically designed for race-use applications, while Screamin’ Eagle parts offer street-use performance options for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle owner. Visit www.harley-davidson.com for more information.
The Screamin’ Eagle Flat Track team is sponsored by Matco Tools.