Harley-Davidson rider Kenny Coolbeth Jr. finished second in the Don Tilley Memorial Half-Mile at Charlotte Motor Speedway and clawed his way back into championship contention in the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines flat track series. It was the second-consecutive GNC1 podium finish for Coolbeth aboard the Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson XR750 motorcycle.
“It’s great to put my team’s Harley-Davidson back on the box,” said Coolbeth. “I found a good line high up on the track tonight. Consistency wins championships and we still need some points, but another strong performance has us in the picture.”
With three races left in the season, the GNC1 standings tightened considerably as Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Wrecking Crew rider Jared Mees finished 17th in the Charlotte GNC1 main. Mees, who rides the Rogers Racing Las Vegas H-D/Blue Springs H-D Harley-Davidson XR750 motorcycle, has 158 points. Bryan Smith won at Charlotte and is in second place with 152 points. Sammy Halbert finished third at Charlotte and is third with 140 points. Coolbeth is in fourth place with 129 points.
Smith started on the pole for the 25-lap main and battled Mees and Coolbeth for the first 10 laps before the race was stopped following a crash by Jeffery Carver. On the restart Smith, Coolbeth and Mees again went to the front and opened a gap on the field. Smith and Mees were racing for the win when Mees fell off the pace on the last lap.
Former AMA Grand National champion Jake Johnson replaced the injured factory team rider Brad Baker on the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Factory XR750 motorcycle and finished in eighth place. The Harley-Davidson Wrecking Crew riders will be back in action September 5 on the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.