Baker Holds Grand National Points Lead with Dodge Brothers Harley-Davidson
Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® Factory Team rider Kenny Coolbeth raced a Harley-Davidson XR750 motorcycle from a second-row start to finish sixth at the AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Twins main on the Indianapolis Mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Crosley Radio Kawasaki rider Bryan Smith won the race.
After placing third in his heat race, Coolbeth started the 25-lap main from the second row, but left the line well and moved through the pack to join the lead group on the back stretch on lap one. Smith took the lead on the first lap, immediately opened a gap on the field, and had a half-second lead by lap three. Behind him a pack that included Brad Baker on the Dodge Brothers Racing Harley-Davidson, Rodgers Racing/Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider Jared Mees, and Kawasaki riders JD Beach and Brandon Robinson, drafted together in an effort to catch the leader. Coolbeth reeled in that pack and moved up to fifth place in the closing laps, but fell back to sixth in the last-lap shuffle that also saw Robinson get by Baker and Mees to claim second place. Baker was third, followed by Mees, Beach and Coolbeth, as just 1.1 seconds covered the gap from second to sixth. Smith finished 5.12 seconds ahead of Robinson.
“I got a great start and kind of bombed my way through the crowd in turns one and two to get up there with the leaders,” said Coolbeth. “By mid-race we were running some really good laps and I was able to catch that pack racing for second, and got by Beach and Baker at one point. It was some great racing for second but nobody was going to catch Bryan Smith tonight. We’ll have to work a little harder and find a way to match his pace for the next mile track.”
Smith also won the Dash for Cash four-lap bonus sprint.
With five races left in the Twins season, Baker continues to lead the Grand National series with 155 points. Smith moves up to second, now 33 points behind Baker with 122 points. Lloyd Brothers Ducati rider Henry Wiles is third with 120 points, followed by Mees with 103 points, Robinson with 97, and Lloyd Brothers Ducati rider Jake Johnson in sixth place with 87 points. Coolbeth is seventh with 82 points.
The next race on the AMA Grand National Twins schedule is August 24 on the Colonial Downs Mile in New Kent, Va.