Defending AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth (No. 1 Harley-Davidson Motor Co. / Screamin Eagles Harley-Davidson) came away the big winner of the Lucas Oil Indiana Mile as Round 7 of the Grand National Twins Championship came to the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Ind. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company / Screamin’ Eagle backed Coolbeth led the 25-lap National wire to wire.
This weekend’s victory was Coolbeth’s second National win of the year, and coupled with the points from his Dash win, the three-time Champion was propelled to a four point lead over Jared Mees (No. 21 Blue Springs Screamin’ Eagle / Rogers Lake’s Harley-Davidson).
Kenny Coolbeth Speaks…
"Everybody was fast today," Coolbeth said. "The best way to handle that is to just get out front, put your head down and try to get away. I don’t worry about the points when I’m racing. If I can keep winning, the points will take care of themselves."
While Coolbeth pulled to a comfortable lead, Mees was locked in a race-long battle with yet another Screamin’ Eagle rider, No. 42 Bryan Smith and his Moroney’s Harley-Davidson. Smith took second by the slimmest of margins, keeping his Championship hopes alive.
The race in the distance behind Coolbeth was divided into pairs. Besides the Mees / Smith duo, No. 14 Jake Johnson (SuperTrapp / F&S Harley-Davidson) and No. 43 Sammy Halbert (Halbert Family / Kings Kustoms) were having a great race until Halbert slid down on Lap 20.
Another three seconds back, No. 4 Chris Carr Racing’s Chris Carr and No. 33 Memphis Shades / Parts Unlimited’s JR Schnabel fought over fifth, with the edge going to Carr at the wire. The last dueling pair was No. 3 Joe Kopp (Latus Harley-Davidson / Screamin Eagle) and No. 17 Henry Wiles (KK Motorcycle Supply / Mike Adkins). Kopp was able to hold off a hard-charging Wiles by the end of the race.
Harley-Davidson of Wausau’s No. 59 Willie McCoy was a lonely ninth over the Nation Cycle / Reiman’s Harley-Davidson backed No. 26 Brandan Bergen.
The first attempt to start the 25-lap National was short lived, as four riders quickly tangled. No. 44 Brandon Robinson, No. 69 Jethro Halbert, No. 28 Shaun Russell and Wiles were involved in a Turn 1 incident. Only Wiles was able to make the restart, riding his backup Harley-Davidson.
Under the new points system, the Dash has taken on great importance, as the points garnered from the 5-4-3-2-1 bonus system can add up fast. Coolbeth was able to take the five points for the win tonight, with last year’s race winner Carr finishing second. The short, four lap races are packed with action every week.
The Pro Singles Main event was another "barn burner" as Red Bull / Team 95 / American Honda’s No. 95C JD Beach backed up last week’s Peoria TT win with a solid performance tonight. Although Beach would lead all 12 laps, he was under constant attack from Vans Yamaha / Stevens Racing’s No. 24P Jeff Carver.
As Beach and Carver dueled away, current Pro Singles points leader Mike Velasco / Brothers Powersports’ No. 17M Brad Baker closed in and grabbed second on Lap 19, setting the podium. Grove City Mile winner No. 10J Stephen Vanderkuur brought his new Dallas / Fort Worth Honda home in fourth over Weirbach Racing / Barnett’s James Rispoli, who in turn made a last lap pass on No. 80B Corey Crawford (Mom & Dad / Priestley Racing) for fifth.
AMA Pro Racing Pro Singles Championship (18 riders / 12 laps)
1. JD Beach (Hon); 2. Brad baker (Hon); 3. Jeff Carver (Yam); 4. Stephen Vanderkuur (Hon); 5. James Rispoli (Hon); 6. Corey Crawford (Hon); 7. Michael Toon (Hon); 8. Michael LaBelle Yam); 9. Zach Palmer (Hon); 10. Colin Heggarty (Kaw); 11. Tony Davila (Hon); 12. Kayl Kolkman (Hon); 13. Brian Tapp (Hon) 14. Jake Shoemaker (Suz); 15. Shauyna Texter (Suz); 16. Wyatt Maguire (Yam).
Time 7:58. 929.
AMA Pro Racing Grand National Twins Championship (19 riders / 25 laps)
1. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D); 2. Bryan Smith (H-D); 3. Jared Mees (H-D); 5. Jake Johnson (H-D); 6. JR Schnabel (H-D); 7. Joe Kopp (H-D); 8. Henry Wiles (H-D); 9. Willie McCoy (H-D); 10. Brandan Bergen (H-D); 11. Don Taylor (H-D); 12. Aaron King (Apr); 13. AJ Eslick (H-D); 14. Dan Gedeon (H-D); 15. Sammy Halbert (H-D); 16. Jethro Halbert (H-D); 17. Brandon Robinson (H-D); 18. Shaun Russell (H-D).