Coolbeth And Factory Harley Place Sixth At Springfield. Mees Stretches His Grand National Series Lead to 12 Points
Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® Factory Team rider Kenny Coolbeth finished sixth in the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship race on the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The race was won by Bryan Smith on the Crosley Radio Kawasaki. South East Harley-Davidson rider Sammy Halbert rode a Harley-Davidson® XR750 motorcycle to finish second, and Rogers Racing/Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider Jared Mees was third, also on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle
“Everybody was racing really well today, and the Factory Harley was right in there but we just didn’t quite have enough power to pass on the straights,” said Coolbeth. “There was just one line in the corners, and if I went high I lost traction. It was one of those races where you needed to be patient and wait for the rider in front to make a mistake, but that just didn’t happen today.”
Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer`s Harley-Davison rider Jake Johnson took the lead at the start of the 25-lap main, heading a pack that included Mees, Coolbeth, USC Kawasaki rider JD Beach, Halbert, and Smith. That group shuffled positions at the front for the duration of the race. Smith took the lead on lap six but could not shake Halbert, Mees and Johnson, who were never more than a tenth of a second back. Beach and Coolbeth fell just off the pace but remained within striking distance of the lead, less than a second from the front. At the finish, Smith nipped Halbert by 0.041 seconds, with Mees 0.263 seconds behind. Beach moved up to fourth on the last lap, followed by Johnson in fifth place and then Coolbeth, just 0.826 seconds back from first place.
Earlier in the day, Smith also won the four-lap Dash for Cash sprint bonus race. Coolbeth was fourth in the Dash.
After 13 of 16 AMA Grand National events, Mees leads the series with 243 points, followed by Johnson with 231 points, Halbert with 220 points and Smith with 172 points. Coolbeth is ninth with 113 points.
The Grand National Twins will next race on September 30 on the Santa Rosa Mile at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, Calif.