Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fan Video Shows Joe Kopp's AMA Flat Track Calistoga Crash


Springfield Mile action over the Labor Day Weekend in 2007 shows 7-Time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr on his #4 Lancaster H-D blast into turn one of the final on the first lap leading Joe Kopp, the 2000 AMA Grand National Champion, on his #3 Screamin' Eagle H-D. Kopp has been switching back and forth this year from his Lloyd Bros. Ducati to his Latus Motors H-D XR750, depending on the track and what the track surface should be for each event.
Last Saturday night, he suffered what was reported to be a broken swingarm bolt on his Latus H-D that caused his heat to come to a decidedly quick close, into the turn one airfence at Calistoga. Luckily, the airfence was there, Joe didn't slide under it into the armco or other barriers and suffered no injuries, and he was able to race his back-up XR into the main via winning the second semi race. He went on to finish 7th in the main and now holds a slim, but doable, six point lead in the overall AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship standings, going into this upcoming weekend's twins event at the half mile in Hagerstown, MD. As of this writing, Smokin' Joe is entered for the Hagerstown event on his Ducati. This will be the second half mile event Joe has raced the Italian twin in after carding a 9th place finish at Lima earlier in the summer.

An interesting video started making the internet rounds yesterday of '00 AMA Grand National Champion Joe Kopp's crash into the airfence barrier during heat race action last Saturday at the AMA Flat Track Calistoga Half Mile round.

As was reported in the race rundowns, Kopp's Latus/Lloyd/Egip H-D XR750 suffered a broken swingarm bolt that caused Joe's heat race to come to a quick end into the turn one fence. Thankfully that fence was covered well with airfence (bravo to the airfence and safety people and to Mike Kidd and Co. at AMA Flat Track) and Joe was able to get up and race his back-up Latus X-R into the main via winning the second semi.

I've posted both versions of the video below for all to check out. I'm not trying to get on a crash 'n burn video roll thing here, as I am not about showing crash videos for the purpose of thrills and oohs and aahs. More so, I am trying to help highlight what was a freakish mechanical failure on the Joe Kopp/Latus/Lloyd machine and how good of a job the barriers did in cushioning a fall at 70+ MPH, not too mention how good of a job Joe did in riding it out into the fence.

See for yourself:

Short version--and thanks to ScoobyDoo2 who was in attendance at Calistoga and posted these over at Vimeo:

Long version with some heat action before the crash:

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