Harley & Coolbeth Take Canterbury Mile

AMA Flat Track

Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle factory rider Kenny Coolbeth rode a Harley-Davidson XR-750 to a decisive win in the Grand National Twins main on the Canterbury Park Mile.

The victory was the first of the season for Coolbeth in the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com. Zanotti Racing rider Jake Johnson was second on a Harley-Davidson, followed by Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider Jared Mees.

Coolbeth last won on the Indy Mile in August of 2009.

Kenny Coolbeth says: “This win has been a long time coming. The team has really been working hard and it finally all came together for us tonight. I’m never a fast-starter. I like to let the race settle in for a few laps, kind of see how it’s going to go. We were behind a little in the beginning but it didn’t matter. I had a really great Harley-Davidson that I knew I could win with.”

A poor start left Coolbeth in seventh place following the first lap of the 25-lap main, as Johnson, Mees, White’s Harley-Davidson rider Matt Weidman, and Lancaster Harley-Davidson rider Chris Carr roared into the lead and began to open a gap on the pack.

Coolbeth passed Carr and moved up to fourth place on lap four, but was 1.5 seconds behind the leaders, Johnson and Weidman. Coolbeth moved past Mees to claim third position on lap eight, and then began to rapidly close the gap on the leaders. Coolbeth got past Weidman for second place on lap 11, and was immediately on Johnson’s wheel.

After shadowing Johnson for three laps, Coolbeth passed for the lead on lap 15 and in just one lap opened a one-second gap on Johnson. That lead grew to more than 3.5 seconds as the laps wound down. Coolbeth crossed the finish line 3.375 seconds ahead of Johnson. Mees finished 7.879 seconds behind Coolbeth.

Kenny Coolbeth
says: “This track was more like racing on a half-mile than a mile. The draft did not really matter so much. So after Mees dropped back I just had to put my head down and ride through the bumps to catch Johnson and Weidman. When I caught them, they were sort of messing each other up, getting in each other’s line. Weidman went high in turn two and hit the berm and I went by, and then I tangled with Jake for a few laps before I got away.”

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

Agip/Lloyd Brothers Ducati rider Joe Kopp completed 19 laps and finished 16th at Canterbury, and lost his lead in the AMA Grand National Championship season points battle to Johnson. With two races left on the schedule, only 37 points separate to the top six riders in the Grand National Championship.

Johnson has the lead with 265 points. Kopp is second with 255 points, followed by Mees 246 points and KK Motorcycle Supply/Mike & Eddie Adkins rider Henry Wiles with 239. Coolbeth moves up to fifth place with 231 points, and King Kustoms/KK Motorcycle Supply rider Sammy Halbert is sixth with 228 points.

The AMA Grand National Twins will next race on September 18 on the Knoxville Raceway half-mile in Knoxville, Iowa.

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