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Coolbeth Seventh At Sacramento Mile

By July 28, 2013General Posts

Harley-Davidson XR750 Rider Brad Baker Takes AMA Grand National Points Lead

Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® Factory Team rider Kenny Coolbeth rode a Harley-Davidson XR750 motorcycle to a seventh-place finish at the AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Twins main on the Sacramento Mile at the Cal Expo Center. Crosley Radio Kawasaki rider Bryan Smith won the race. 

Coolbeth qualified for the main with a fourth-place finish in his 10-lap heat race, a result that put him on the second row for the start of the 25-lap main event. That position put Coolbeth at a disadvantage, as the front-row group, led by the pole-sitter Smith, checked out early as a group, drafting together on the fast mile oval.

By lap 10 Smith and Brad Baker on the Dodge Brothers Racing Harley-Davidson XR750 were running wheel-to-wheel and had opened a gap on a second group that included White’s Harley/South East Harley rider Sammy Halbert, Rodgers Racing/Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider Jared Mees, and Brandon Robinson on a Kawasaki. But led by Mees, the second group caught the leaders and on lap 15 Mees passed Smith and Baker to take the lead as Smith drifted back to fourth position. The pack of five riders was now separated by about 0.35 seconds and exchanging positions as the laps wound down. Smith regained the lead on lap 19 and was able to hold off Mees to win by 0.083 seconds. Robinson was third, 0.117 seconds back, followed by Baker and Halbert, who crossed the line just 0.223 seconds behind the winner. Leading the second pack of riders was Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's Harley-Davidson rider Jake Johnson, who finished sixth 8.445 seconds back, and Coolbeth in seventh place. Robert Pearson was eighth on the Weirbach Racing Harley-Davidson.

“I had a great bike tonight and felt fast on the track, so it’s frustrating to finish seventh,” said Coolbeth. “I got a good start but not good enough to jump out with the front row, and on this track you need to be in the front pack to be in contention.”

Smith also won the Dash for Cash four-lap bonus sprint.

Baker leads the Grand National series with 92 points. Robinson is second with 77 points, followed by Smith with 71 points and Johnson with 70. Henry Wiles is fifth with 67 points, Halbert sixth with 60, and Coolbeth seventh with 59 points. Mees is in eighth place with 55 points.

 The next race on the AMA Grand National Twins schedule is August 17 on the Indy Mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Ind.