Monday, August 9, 2010

Joe Kopp Tops The Podium for 3rd Time This Season in AMA Flat Track Action at Hagerstown Speedway Half Mile

Joe Kopp took his Latus H-D/American Agip/Lloyd Bros/MotoConcepts XR750 to the top of the box again last Saturday at the Hagerstown Half Mile, round 10 of the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship. Having won the Arizona Mile in May on the Ducati, and then the Lake Odessa Half Mile last month on the XR, Kopp was originally entered on the Ducati for H-town but ran his Latus H-D instead. This could have possibly been due to the fact that Lloyd Bros. part-time rider Larry Pegram was on board to ride for the weekend, although he failed to make the main after trying to race out of his semi on the Italian twin. Kopp is shown in the shot above back in June at Lima talking with a fan at Lima while his Latus Harley Davidson XR750 sits alongside him.
Kopp finds himself out front in the overall championship hunt with 193 points, after ten rounds of racing over rivals Jake Johnson and Sammy Halbert, both tied for second with 175 points. Johnson holds the nod due to winning a round in Daytona as well as the May running of the Springfield Mile, while Halbert has the other Daytona win to his credit this year.

Former 2-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Singles Champion Jake Johnson talks with Larry Lawrence from The Rider after the Lima Half Mile in June 2010. Jersey Jake dodged a big bullet Saturday night after crashing on the first lap of the main, having to go to his back up bike for the re-start, starting from the last row, and then working his way up to a fine and hard-earned 7th place for the evening, only 6.364 seconds arrears of winner Joe Kopp. As a result, he only lost 12 points in his quest to run down Joe Kopp from atop the championship lead.
Johnson rode his Zanotti Racing/Leo Vince/Arai/Tucker-Rocky-backed XR to a second place in his heat race and a third place in the Dash for Cash to go along with his 7th place finish in the main. Look for JJ to be in the mix at the next round at the Peoria TT on August 22.

3-Time AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Twins Champion Kenny Coolbeth, Jr's Screamin Eagle Factory H-D XR750 sits in the pits at Lima in June. The King of Cool battled throughout the race with eventual winner Joe Kopp in what was described as one of the epic race battles amongst former team mates, let alone long time rivals, that the series has seen in some time. Kenny also strengthend his 6th place in the GNC overall point standings with that fine second place finish at Hagerstown and will roll into the Peoria TT in 13 days with 152 overall points. Hopefully Kenny can improve in this year's running of the 62nd Annual Peoria TT from his 2009 14th place finish.

The AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship presented by circus rolled into the Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland last Saturday as the traveling road show made the almost-3000 mile trek east after the Calistoga round the weekend before.

For the third time this year, 2000 AMA Grand National Champion Smokin Joe Kopp stood on the top of the box at the end of the evening after a fast, furious and hot race at the classic east coast running of the half mile race with his Latus-backed #3 machine. Dicing with former 3-Time Twins Champ Kenny Coolbeth, Jr., on the H-D Factory-backed #2 XR throughout the event for the lead, Kopp was able to pull off his third win of the year on his Latus H-D to go along with his Odessa win and his Arizona win on the Lloyd Bros. Ducati. The King of Cool was able to keep it within .974 seconds at the end of the 25 lap main event after a fine battle at the front.
Kopp led the most laps and takes a strong 18 point lead in the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship overall standings. He is trailed by former 2-Time Singles Champ Jake Johnson #5 and Sammy Halbert #7 in the standings, who are actually tied for 2nd at 175 points each. Johnson holds the edge between the two riders at this point due to his two series wins to Sammy's one series win earlier in the season.

Defending AMA Pro Flat Track Twins Champion Jared Mees on his #1 Rogers Lake/Blue Springs H-D/ H-D XR750 finished on the last step of the podium 2.420 seconds back from Kopp, and moved up to fourth in the overall championship standings with 164 points, 29 behind Kopp. Rob Pearson on his #27 Snedeker/Stratton Racing/WKR/Peoria Motorcycle Club-backed XR finished in the fourth spot, and Sammy Halbert on the #7 Kings Kustoms/KK Motorcycle Supply/Nelson Racing-sponsored XR nailed down 5th place.

The series takes a two week break, due to the cancellation of the Grove City, OH. round that was to have run on August 14. Racing action resumes at the infamous Peoria Motorcycle Club arena on Sunday August 22 for the 62nd annual running of the Peoria TT.

Check out all of the official rundowns from the race below. And stay tuned for Peoria in 13 days--it's always a hot August day in the natural arena and Henry Wiles, the defending AMA Grand National Singles Champion, has a big-time streak going on in the singles series, not only at Peoria, but on the singles tracks themselves that are held in the Illini State. And he's looking to improve on his 6th place in the overall championship (160 points) with a good run at the famed Peoria track. It should be fun and we'll have all the action and results!


Here's the official story of the race thanks to Dave Hoenig and AMA Pro Flat Track: had Matt Davidson on the scene at Hagerstown and here is their spin on the race:

Here is the AMA Pro Flat Track photo gallery that was captured by the official AMA Flat Track event photographer Dave Hoenig:

And here's Dave's official site, Flat Trak that has the results from Hagerstown and soon-to-be-posted (as of this writing) photos from the event:

Here is Joe Kopp's official rundown from last Saturday at Hagerstown:

And last, but not least, here is the press release rundown from the great people at Flat Track (more to be added as the week goes on from these great folks):

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