Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle factory rider Kenny Coolbeth raced a Harley-Davidson XR-750 to second place in the AMA Grand National Twins main on the Hagerstown Speedway half-mile. The race, which was stopped after 18 laps because of rain and an oiled track, was won by Jake Johnson, also riding a Harley-Davidson XR-750.
Blue Springs Harley-Davidson/Screamin’ Eagle rider Jared Mees led the opening lap of the Grand National Twins main, but was overtaken on lap two by Johnson and Halbert Family/King Kustoms rider Sammy Halbert, who was the fast-qualifier for the event. Halbert took the lead and pulled Johnson with him as the pair opened a gap on Coolbeth, Mees, Chris Carr Racing/Lancaster Harley-Davidson rider Chris Carr, and the Matt’s Racing Harley-Davidson of Matt Weidman.
Johnson passed Halbert to take the lead on lap 11 and quickly opened a gap of almost two seconds. Coolbeth broke away from Mees and Weidman, reeled in the faltering Halbert, and made a pass for second place just as the sprinkles that had been falling since the race started turned into a light rain, and oil was left on the track by the failed engine of Brandon Robinson’s motorcycle.
AMA officials ended the race, scheduled for 25 laps, on lap 18 and per the rules backed the scoring up to lap 17. Johnson was the race winner, Coolbeth was scored second, followed by Halbert, Mees and Weidman. Moroney’s Harley-Davidson/Screamin’ Eagle rider Bryan Smith finished eighth, while the fourth member of the Harley-Davidson Wrecking Crew, Latus Harley-Davidson/Screamin’ Eagle rider Joe Kopp, finished 11th.
Johnson also won the four-lap Dash for Cash bonus sprint, finishing 1.9 seconds ahead of Coolbeth. Mees was third in the Dash.
"It was good to get back on the pace here tonight," said Coolbeth, who bounced back after placing 15th at the previous race in Lima, Ohio. "We had a good set up and a strong Harley-Davidson motorcycle. We got podium points and second in the Dash, so not a bad night."
After four of nine 2009 AMA Grand National Twins Championship events, Mees holds the lead in series points lead with 77. Coolbeth moves past Halbert and Carr into second with 70 points. Halbert is third with 66 points, and Carr is fourth with 65 points. Johnson and Weidman are tied with 56 points, followed by Smith in seventh place with 51. Kopp is ninth with 38 points.
The 2009 AMA Grand National Twins Championship will next race tomorrow, August 4 on the Black Hills Speedway half-mile in Rapid City, S.D.