Sunday, September 9, 2012

AMA Flat Track: Coolbeth Takes the Expert Win, While Shayna Texter Leads the Boys Home Again in Pro Singles Action at Knoxville Half-Mile

Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. may have returned to the track officially at the 2012 Lucas Oil Indy Mile as shown on August 18, but he truly returned to his winning form last night at round 13 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by season at the Knoxville Half-Mile in winning his first race of the season and first since the Hagerstown Half-Mile in July '11.

The 3-Time AMA Grand National Twins Champion stalked and prodded early leader Jared Mees and Jake Johnson and took advantage of the superior mount he had in the #2 Harley-Davidson Motor Co/Screamin' Eagle/Fox/Arai Helmets-sponsored XR750 and of Mees' misfortunes.  Mees' #9 broke a little over half-way into the event and he was left stranded on the back straight as the field and his overall points lead scooted away.  The King of Cool took over on the 5th lap of the National main and led the remaining go-rounds to take the win over Johnson by just over .5 second.  Sammy Halbert rounded out the podium by finishing just shy of 9 seconds in arrears on his South East H-D XR, with Rob Pearson on the Eaken Racing Kawasaki coming home in 4th-place and Bryan Smith rounding out the top-5 on his Moroney's XR750.

With Mees' 18th-place finish coupled with Johnson's 2nd-place and Sammy Halbert's 3rd-place last night at the Sprint Car Capital of the World, what was once a 21-point lead shrunk massively to just 11 points (207 points), with Halbert in 2nd and Johnson still in 3rd (196 each) but losing the tie-breaker due to not having won a main event yet this season.

The tide has thusly turned in the chase for the 2012 AMA Grand National Championship with 2-Time and defending GNC Jersey Jake Johnson and Slammin' Sammy sitting in the catbird seat ready to pounce with five rounds left on the year.  The series heads to Springfield for the postponed rounds 11 & 12 next weekend for the Springfield Short Track on Saturday, September 15 and the Springfield Mile II set for Sunday, September 16.

Shayna Texter on the #25A DFW Honda/RLT Racing/McElroy Packaging/Herr's-sponsored Honda CRF450R (shown above at the Lima Half-Mile on June 30, 2012) walked away with the win again last night at the Knoxville Half-Mile round of the 2012 AMA Pro Pro Singles Championship Series, winning by just over 1 second at the Iowa round.  The Pennsylvania resident won her first-ever Pro Singles final last season at Knoxville and showed the crowd again this year she definitely has the place dialed in.

A big congrats to both Kenny and Shayna for their outstanding efforts last night in the Hawkeye State.  Great job!

You can check out the press release below courtesy of AMA Pro Flat Track, after you check out some of the great shots of the night from Ken Kerr of Kerr Graphix.

You can see more of Ken's great work here as well, and a big thanks to KK for the pics:

Doug Lawrence #73, Brad Baker #12, Brandon Robinson #44, Jake Johnson #1, Evan Baer #64A, Jethro Halbert #69, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. #2 and Jared Mees #9 get the ball rolling in the 25-lap National main at the Sprint Car Capital of the World during the Knoxville Half-Mile last night in Iowa.

Ken Kerr from Kerr Graphix made the trip up from his home in Kansas and submitted this shot from last night's thrilling race.  Thanks Ken, U Da Man!

Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. #2 sailed home to his first win of the season last night at the Knoxville Half-Mile.  Photo courtesy of Ken Kerr/Kerr Graphix.

Shayna Texter again came out over the rest of the field in the AMA Pro Pro Singles Championship Series main event as she won for the second year in-a-row at the Knoxville Half-Mile.  Photo courtesy of Ken Kerr/Kerr Graphix.

Coolbeth Jr. Captures Big AMA Pro Flat Track Win at Knoxville; Texter Repeats

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (September 8, 2012) - Jared Mees (Harley-Davidson/Rogers Racing) saw his huge lead in the point standings diminish on what appeared to be a malfunction on his motorcycle during the 15th lap of Saturday's AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by and Lucas Oil main event. It's been a tough season for Kenny Coolbeth Jr. ( Harley-Davidson/Screaming Eagle Harley-Davidson) as a broken leg has caused him to miss much of the 2012 season, but tonight was his night as he claimed the lead on lap five and never gave it up to get the victory.

"It's been a long season," said Coolbeth. "I really haven't been racing a whole lot, but when I do, I always show up to win. Harley-Davidson supplies me with all the best equipment and I owe a large thanks to them. Overall, it was a great effort by my entire team, we are all meshing right now and these boys better get ready."

Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Harley-Davidson Motor Company factory XR750 took his first win of the season last night at the Knoxville, IA. half-mile.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

Coolbeth won by roughly half of a second over Jake Johnson (Harley-Davidson/Zanotti Racing). However, the slim margin can be deceiving as he had to dodge several riders in his final laps, some of whom he was forced to lap.
For most of the race, Johnson and Mees were neck and neck as their battle for second was the best show on the track. Johnson took advantage of Mees' mishap on lap 15 and cruised to a solid second-place finish.

Sammy Halbert (Harley-Davidson/South East Harley) also looked impressive as his solid effort propelled him onto the podium for a third-place finish. Robert Pearson (Kawasaki/Eaken Racing) and Bryan Smith (Harley-Davidson/Crosley Radio) rounded out the top five in what proved to be an exciting night of AMA Pro Flat Track racing in Knoxville, Iowa.

AMA Pro Pro Singles

Stephen Vanderkuur (Parkinson Brothers Racing/Honda CRF450R) had the fastest bike out of all during the AMA Pro Pro Singles heat races. The young standout grabbed an early lead with the holeshot off of pole position and looked as if he was on his way to another victory and an increase on his lead in the point standings.
However, Shayna Texter (DFW Honda/Honda CRF450R) had other plans as she stole the lead from Vanderkuur on lap five and never looked back, increasing her lead each lap and surrendering nothing to the men at the back of the pack. Texter was the clear-cut victor as she crossed the finish line almost two full seconds in front of second-place finisher Jake Cunningham (Shillers Tree Service/Honda CRF450R).

Vanderkuur finished a close third to round out the podium with Jake Shoemaker (Montgomeryville Cycle Center/Honda CRF450R) and Wyatt Macguire (Kirland Racing/Yamaha YZ-450F) closing out the top five, respectively. 

"Last year was a different experience, having to battle from beginning to end," said Shayna Texter.  "These guys didn't make it easy on me. All these guys out here are competitors on the track but racing aside we make up a good family. If you're not part of the dirt track community then you just wouldn't understand."

Next Up
Next weekend, AMA Pro Flat Track heads to Illinois State Fairgrounds and the legendary Springfield Mile. Tickets are still on sale for the Springfield Short Track, scheduled for Saturday, September 15, and the Springfield Mile, the Super Bowl of American dirt track racing, which was rescheduled for Sunday, September 16. Visit for more information.

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at

For additional information contact:

AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014,

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