2011 AMA Flat Track
Screamin Eagle Harley-Davidson Factory rider Kenny Coolbeth placed seventh as the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship made a thrilling return to the Sacramento Mile at the Cal Expo Center.
Fasthog.com/American Harley-Davidson rider Bryan Smith won the race by just 0.042 seconds after a long battle with Chris Carr on the American Motorcyclist Association Harley-Davidson XR750. Zanotti Racing /Schaeffer`s Harley-Davidson rider Jake Johnson was third, also aboard a Harley-Davidson XR750.
Once a regular feature of the Grand National schedule, the famed "Sacto Mile" at the Cal Expo Center had not hosted a Grand National Twins event since 1999. The return of the AMA Pro flat trackers drew a capacity crowd.
Coolbeth started the 25-lap main with the lead pack, running in third position behind Carr and Johnson in the early going. Carr and Johnson opened a gap and battled back and forth for the lead, passing and re-passing on each lap.
On lap 16, Smith caught the leaders and split the pair, and engaged Carr in a back-and-forth battle over the closing laps, with Johnson lurking close behind in third. Carr appeared to set up Smith for a drafting pass to the finish, but spun his rear wheel slightly coming out of turn four. Smith was just able to hold off Carr, who won the last Grand National race in Sacramento in 1999.
Johnson finished third, 0.223 seconds behind Smith. Rogers Lake/Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider Jared Mees was fourth, followed by series points leader Sammy Halbert on the Kings Kustom/White’s Harley-Davidson XR750. Coolbeth closed out the race in a battle with Brad Baker on the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/TeamHurtByAccident.com Ducati. Baker beat Coolbeth to the line by just 0.003 seconds to take sixth place. Johnson also won the four-lap Dash for Cash bonus sprint.
After 12 of 21 rounds in the 2011 AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship, Halbert has 222 points with Johnson and Mees tied for second place with 218. Coolbeth is fourth with 188 points.
The next race on the AMA Grand National Twins schedule is Aug. 27 on the Indy Mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.