Springfield AMA Flat Track: Harley Report

AMA Flat Track

Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle factory rider Kenny Coolbeth rode a Harley-Davidson XR-750 to a fifth-place finish in the Grand National Twins main on the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Bryan Smith rode a Kawasaki to win the 14th round of the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com.

Lancaster Harley-Davidson rider Chris Carr was second, followed by Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider Jared Mees in third place.

Coolbeth finished second in his heat race and started on the front row for the 25-lap main. From the start, a pack of riders led by Carr and including Smith, Coolbeth, Mees, Zanotti Racing rider Jake Johnson, and Harley-Davidson rider Willie McCoy pulled away from the pack and stayed together for the entire race, as the top-six riders were never separated by more than a second. In the first half of the race, Carr and Smith swapped the official lead five times, and McCoy led lap 10.

Smith passed McCoy for the lead on lap 11, and then held the point for the rest of the race, though never by much more than a few tenths of a second, as Carr, McCoy and Mees battled for second place.

Coolbeth ran as high as fourth position but never broke into the top three. On the last lap, Carr passed McCoy and Mees to jump from fourth to second place, but could not catch Smith, who crossed the finish line with a lead of 0.047 seconds over Carr. Mees was third, just 0.048 seconds behind Carr. McCoy was fourth, followed by Coolbeth and Johnson.

Kenny Coolbeth says: "We had a bike that could run up front today, and I made a couple of good passes on the outside in the first laps to get with the leaders, but I just never had an opportunity to move up. For some reason the draft just wasn’t working for me today. It’s kind of windy here, so maybe that had something to do with it. It was a good effort by the team. I just wish I could have pushed past a few more bikes."

Before the Grand National Twins main, Carr won the four-lap Dash for Cash bonus sprint.

After 14 events in the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship, American Agip/Lloyd Brothers Ducati rider Joe Kopp, who finished seventh at Springfield, holds a 10-point lead in the season points race with 252 points.

Johnson moves from third to second place with 242 points. Mees and King Kustoms/KK Motorcycle Supply rider Sammy Halbert are tied for third with 228 points. KK Motorcycle Supply/Mike & Eddie Adkins rider Henry Wiles is fifth with 224 points, and Coolbeth is in sixth with 207 points.

The AMA Grand National Twins will next race September 11 on the Minnesota Mile at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn.

The Screamin’ Eagle Flat Track team is sponsored by Matco Tools.