AMA Grand National returns to Black Hills

After a five year absence, the AMA Pro Grand National Twins Championship returned to the Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D. and the 69th annual Sturgis Bike Rally. The Black Hills Speedway staff and promoter Corey Brink had the large half mile in great shape for the mid-week event.When the curtain came down on the timed qualifying sessions it was No. 4 Chris Carr on top of the charts with a 24.374 second lap on his Chris Carr Racing / Lancaster Harley-Davidson backed Harley-Davidson. No. 42 Bryan Smith hustled his Screamin’ Eagle / Moroney’s Harley-Davidson XR 750 to second fast time, a 24.519 second lap.

When things settled down in the pits, the doors were opened and the fans were allowed in to meet the AMA Pro Flat Track stars. As race time drew near and the fans returned to the grandstands, the near perfect skies started to take on an ominous look. Storm clouds began coming over the mountains as the first Pro Singles Heat took to the track.

No. 42E Kayl Kolkman powered his Southland Racing Honda to the first heat win. No. 47G Colt Chebultz topped the second heat on his McKeeman Drywall Construction backed Honda.

The big twins were up next and Chris Carr backed up his qualifying performance with a solid win of the first ten-lap heat. No. 43 Sammy Halbert continued his hot streak as he pushed his Halbert Family / Kings Kustoms Harley into second. Carr’s time of 3:59.930 would also prove to be the fastest heat of the night, which would become valuable later.

Defending Grand National Champion, No. 1 Kenny Coolbeth grabbed the second heat on his Harley-Davidson Motor Company backed Harley. Bryan Smith fought Coolbeth all the way, but finished second.

The skies were growing darker and darker as the last heat took to the track. No. 3 Joe Kopp had his Latus Harley-Davidson / Screamin’ Eagle Harley up front as large rain drops started to fall. Blue Springs Screamin’ Eagles No. 21 Jared Mees finished second just as the rain picked up.

What had been a fast moving storm settled over the Black Hills Speedway and dumped a huge amount of rain over the next two hours. Because of the dire condition of the race track, AMA Pro Racing was forced to call the event over.

Because all of the heats were completed, the races would be paid off by the heat race results. This would once again put Chris Carr on top of the list. Unfortunately Carr is still looking for that 200th podium finish and despite the night looking like it could very well have been the night. As it is, it’s on to Grove City, Ohio for the Mile National.

Every rider who qualified for the mains was awarded one point, plus the top two in each heat received another point from the missing Dash.

Line-Up for the AMA Pro Singles Main: 1. Kayl Kolkman (Hon); 2. Colt Chebultz (Hon); 3. Brad Baker (Hon); 4. James Rispoli (Hon); 5. Shayna Texter (Suz); 6. Kenny Malaguarnero (Hon); 7. Michael Toon (Hon); 8. Nicholas Mataya (Yam); 9. Jeff Carver (Yam); 10. Wyatt Maguire (Yam); 11. Justin Minnaert (Kaw); 12. Lucas Scherb (Hsq); 13. Sean Nesshoefer (Hon); 14. Tony Davila (Hon); 15. Chad Kenyon (Yam); 16. Dillon Miles (Yam); 17. Jake Latimer (Yam); 18. Adam Cobb (Yam); 19. Katie Hawkins (Yam).

Line-Up for the AMA Pro Grand National Twins National: 1. Chris Carr (H-D); 2. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D); 3. Joe Kopp (H-D); 4. Sammy Halbert (H-D); 5. Bryan Smith (H-D); 6. Jared Mees (H-D); 7. Jake Johnson (H-D); 8. Doug Lawrence (H-D); 9. JR Schnabel (H-D); 10. Nichole Cheza (H-D); 11. Shaun Russell (H-D); 12. Brandon Robinson (H-D); 13. Matt Weidman (H-D); 14. Bryan Bigelow (H-D); 15. Don Taylor (H-D); 16. Brandan Bergen (H-D); 17. Merle Scherb (H-D); 18. Cory Texter (H-D).