Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kenny Coolbeth Cleans House at AMA Pro Flat Track DuQuoin Indoor Short Track & Leads The Veterans Home

Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on his #2 Chaplin Kawasaki/Spectro Oils/ Wiseco-backed KX450F leads 7-Time AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Champion Chris Carr on his #4 AMA/Chris Carr Racing/DFW Honda-sponsored CRF450R late in the National main at the DuQuoin Indoor Short Track presented by Four Rivers H-D, and held him off in the end of the 30 lap race by .606 seconds.  Coolbeth cleaned house at the Southern Illinois Center yesterday, setting fast time in practice and qualifying, winning the fastest heat of the evening as well as the Dash for Cash event, and then took home the victor's share of the winnings in the main event.  The former 3-Time AMA Grand National Twins Champ and '07 Singles Series Champ brought his 'A' game to the first indoor race on the series' schedule in over 6 years, and moved to 2nd in the championship standings heading to Salinas, CA. for next weekend's doubleheader TT and Short Track rounds.
The Prince of Peoria rode like an 18 year old racer all night long, winning his heat (the second fastest of the evening) and also following The King of Cool home in 2nd in the Dash for Cash.  For someone who is three events into his Farewell to Flat Track Tour, you'd have thought he was as spry as the youngsters as he shadowed the #2 for all 30 laps of the uninterupted main and got within less then half a wheel towards the closing stages of the race to threaten Coolbeth's lead.  Carr's is going all-out in his final full-time year in flat track racing and last night was a classic example of what this over 25 year veteran of the series is still capable of, even at the ripe young age of 44. 

Sammy Halbert took the long route into the main at DuQuoin last night by having to win the second semi on the evening to start the main from the third row.  Following him home in the semi were Rookie Expert Brad Baker on the #12 ENI-USA/Baker Boys Honda and J.D. Beach on his #95 USC Racing Honda.  The '09 AMA Grand National 'Mythical' Twins Champion rode like a true champion on his #7 Fredericktown Yamaha/Woody Kyle Racing/Kings Kustoms-backed YZ450F and worked his way home to a solid 5th place finish and retained a 16 point lead in the series standings. 
Slammin' Sammy's 'off-season' training regimen of running indoor races from coast-to-coast paid off in dividends on an evening that could have gone a whole lot worse on the slick, narrow and tight-cornered bull ring track.  After winning both rounds at Daytona to kick off the season, Sammy wound his way through the field in the main inside the Southern Illinois Center to finish 5.727 seconds behind winner Coolbeth. 

The men on the victory podium at the AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series round at DuQuoin was a 'whose who' of AMA Pro Flat Track veteran racers and champions, and proved that age and experience pays off no matter what you do for a living.  (L-R) Chris Carr, the 7-Time AMA Grand National Champion, dogged winner Coolbeth for the entire 30 laps and at one point came within just short of a wheel of getting around the #2 winning Kawasaki of Coolbeth late in the race.  Coolbeth, the '06-'08 AMA Grand National Twins Champ and '07 Singles Series Champ, never turned a wheel wrong all day and night and made a serious case for being an early-season contender after 3 of 21 scheduled rounds.  Jersey Jake Johnson brought his #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D/MotionPro-sponsored Honda home in 3rd, 1.625 seconds behind Coolbeth and showed why he is the defending AMA Grand National Champion and 2-Time Single Series Champ ('06 & '08) by scoring solid points on the evening and going home 'without too much dirt' on him.  Johnson displayed his modest, yet confident smile at the end of the evening and shows that he is truly enjoying himself as the defending champion.  He has every reason to smile as he rode a mythodical race to round out the podium and add to his 3rd/4th place finishes in Daytona.  And he DIDN'T have any dirt anywhere on him or his Zanotti Racing mount.
Coolbeth's win left him 16 points behind point leader Halbert heading to Salinas (71-55.)  Johnson leaves DuQuoin with 55 points in 3rd (tie breaker to Coolbeth since he now has a win on the season), and Carr moves to 7th in the standings with 38 points.  With all of these long-time veterans running at the top of their game, next weekend at Salinas will be a major treat for the fans.  It doesn't get any better then this!

Brad Baker pushes his #12 ENI-USA REM/Arai/Baker Boys Honda CRF450R towards the track before the second semi inside the Southern Illinois Center at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds late yesterday.  The '09 AMA Pro Singles Champion and '10 runner-up is making a superior case this year for AMA Pro Flat Track Rookie of the Year.  In his first full year of Expert Class competition, Baker is riding like a long-time veteran instead of an 18 year old almost-high school graduate (Brad graduates high school in his home State of Washington in the next few weeks.) 
At Daytona he carded 4th/3rd place finishes (his first podium as an Expert in only his 5th race in 'the bigs'), at DuQuoin last night he showed levels of a true champion after having to come out of the second semi behind Slammin' Sammy to also have to start the main on the third row.  Working his way through the field with also-first full year Expert J.D. Beach, Baker brought it home in 7th place, 6.450 seconds behind winner Coolbeth.  Beach finished 6th just ahead.
With the series heading west for rounds 4 and 5 next weekend, keep an eye on this fine young man with the million dollar smile and steady throttle hand.  And once he gets on the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati in May at Springfield we'll see more of this great racer's talent as one of the stars of tomorrow in AMA Pro Flat Track Series racing.

Row 3 and 4 of the main event at the DuQuoin Indoor Short Track presented by Four Rivers H-D and promoted by Steve Nace Racing was loaded with flat track talent.  (L-R) Donald Mullen II starts on the outside pole on his #71 Shevendoah Honda/Zafian Family-sponsored Honda CRF450R, and finished the evening in the 15th spot of the 19 riders in the main.  J.D. Beach brought his #95 USC Motorsports/Top 1 Oil/Alpinestars-sponsored Honda CRF450R (leaving his Kawasaki parked for the evening) out of the second semi behind Halbert and Baker, and then sandwiched the pair in the 6th spot in the final for a solid evening.  After missing both Daytona rounds, the full-time road racer and part-time flat tracker leaves DuQuoin in the lucky 13th spot in the standings with 13 points, and is on the pre-entry lists for Salinas without any conflicting road races to keep him from playing in the dirt.
Brandon Robinson probably would have preferred a top ten finish to his eventual 11th on his #44 Action Motorsports/Arai/Derby Ridge-sponsored Honda CRF450R at DuQuoin, but after an evening that started with 48 riders making the final cut-off to qualify for the evening (out of 55 Experts timing in on the day less then .5 seconds apart), leaving with 8 points and 18th in the standings to start the year off has got to be of some to relief for this tough young man.  Baker on his #12 and Halbert on his #7 get ready to hook-up with Beach in their march to the front.  John Wood on his #88 Scott Powersports/Bear Racing Products-backed Honda CRF450R had a rough evening finishing 18th in the 19 man field, but leaves DuQuoin 10th in the standings with 21 points.
Henry Wiles on his #17 Monster Energy Kawasaki/Don's/Jones Bros.-backed KX450F had a rough day in making the main, especially considering the 2-Time and defending Singles Series Champ's record in the Illini State.  Suffering clutch-related issues on the evening and getting rammed from behind in the third heat to make things go from bad to worse, Hammerin Hank had to use a provisional to start dead last, where he ultimately finished, 11 laps off the pace, with a bum leg that reportedly kept him being able to pivot in the corners.  He heads west 12th in the standings with 17 points, going into a two-race weekend of Singles Series events, where he is still the most dominate rider in the series over the course of the last few years. 

Round 3 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series inside the Southern Illinois Center at DuQuoin, IL. is in the bags, and we've learned one thing at this early point of the season, and that is experience counts.  With three long-time series veterans making their mark at the DuQuoin Indoor Short Track, the young guns in the series were taken to school by the multi-talented champions.
Special thanks must go out on this well-run event to the great folks at Steve Nace Racing, who promoted the the return to the Southern Illinois Center after an over six year hiatus.  A most gracious vote of thanks goes out to Kelly with the Steve Nace crew for her help with all of the media credentials and seamless running of this great run on the bull ring for the Rolling Thunder Show.  And hat's off to new for '11 AMA Flat Track Director Dan Johnsen, Steve Morehead and the AMA Pro Flat Track crew for also putting on a great show last night in Southern Illinois.
The greatest show on wheels heads west for next weekend's doubleheader round at the Salinas Sports Complex for some TT and Short Track action in rounds 4 and 5.  If you are anywhere near the area you owe it to yourself to take in the oldest form of motorcycle racing competition in the U.S. and see the stars of the AMA Pro Flat Track Series.  In what is promising to be another great year in competition in the series, the great turnaround we have been experiencing in AMA Flat Track is heading full steam ahead!

Stay tuned to Stu's Shots throughout the week as we bring you more from the weekend's events at DuQuoin and get you geared up for next weekend's series doubleheader.  We'll also have highlights of the Pro Single Series which saw now-2-time winner in the series Gerit Callies top the box on his #76L Full Throttle Honda, and glance at the stars of tomorrow's class of fine racers.  In a series that offers the best competition that money can buy, the men and women of AMA Flat Track always deliver when it counts.

Larry Lawrence has this story at of the AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series round 3 event inside the Southern Illinois Center at DuQuoin, IL."

Dave Hoenig who doubles as the official AMA Pro Flat Track photographer and also runs his site, Flat Trak, penned this story of the race thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track:

Here is the link to the results for the DuQuoin Indoor Short Track at the Southern Illinois Center for the Expert Singles Class round 3:

AMA Pro Flat Track also has the complete results for both the Expert Grand National Singles Series, but the Pro Singles Series here:

Dave Hoenig has the overall results at his, and within a couple of days will also have links to photos at the DuQuoin Indoor Short Track presented by Four Rivers H-D out of Paducah, KY.:

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