Tuesday, July 12, 2011

AMA Flat Track: H-D's Kenny Coolbeth Wins It All at Hagerstown Half-Mile Hub City Classic

Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the #2 Harley-Davidson Motor Co/Screamin Eagle/Spectro Oils/Fox-sponsored XR-750 gets ready to roll out for practice in May for round 6 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series at the Springfield Mile.  The King of Cool had a 2-4-4 day at the Illinois State Fairgrounds oval (2nd in his heat, 4th in the Dash for Cash, and 4th in the Expert Twins main) and has been progressively been working his way up the charts since that first Twins Series event just over six weeks ago. 

With a 2nd place finish at Hartford and a 6th place finish at Lima, Kenny found the top of the box last Saturday night for his 3rd win at the Hub City Classic in Hagerstown, MD. on the half-mile, wide groove track.  Leading all laps of the 25-lap final, to go along with his fastest heat win on the night and the win in the Dash for Cash, Coolbeth now sits a very solid 4th place in the overall championship standings just 26 points behind current points leader Sammy Halbert (191-165).  Coolbeth also won his 2nd GNC event of the year after having won the DuQuoin Indoor Short Track on April 16 on his Singles Series Chaplin Kawasaki. 

According to Chew Larcom from FlatTrack.com, Coolbeth was on cruise control all night, even after the event was delayed due to red flags for downed rider Doug Lawrence #73 on the 17th lap, and also after Chris Carr #4 went down on the re-start.  Coolbeth kept his Factory Harley-Davidson XR-750 out front after getting around early leader Johnny Lewis on his #10 Scott Powersports Kawasaki, who earned his best-ever finish in a Grand National Championship Series event by coming home 2nd on the evening.  Jared Mees #9 on his Rogers Lake Racing XR rounded out the podium, with defending 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Champion Jake Johnson on his #1 Zanotti Racing XR in 4th, and Jethro Halbert on the #69 Goodwin Racing XR in 5th.  It was also Jethro's best finish of the year, running a borrowed machine after his regular Memphis Shades/Babe DeMay XR was with the team's transporter, which broke down en route to Maryland.

Johnny Lewis on his #10 Scott Powersports Kawasaki was also said to be in great control all night, providing fans of the event with a 'typical highlight film' of riding to stay up at the front in his best-ever finish in his promising young career.  His machine reportedly started spewing water during the long break before the re-start, which seemed to cause some confusion before the green flag was re-thrown.  Apparently some of the other liquid-cooled machines experienced the same problem during the delay, but all were able to re-start without any major machine or track issues noted.

Jared Mees on his #9 Rogers Lake/Blue Springs H-D did his usual yeoman's job of late of fighting to get to the front, but was held off by Lewis and had to settle for 3rd place.  Mees also finished 2nd in the Dash, while Lewis brought it home in 3rd in the extra-points paying event.  Mees now sits in 3rd place in the overall point standings with 175 points, just one point behind current 2nd place man Johnson.  Brad Baker #12 on the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati had a rough evening and wasn't able to qualify out of his semi, but still sits in the 5th spot in the overall standings with 119 points.  As a result of his 2nd place finish, Lewis moved up to 6th in the overall standings with 116 points, with 7-Time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr falling to 7th in the standings (103 points) after a rough night at Hagerstown, and finishing in the 17th spot in the 18-rider main. 

Matt Weidman on his #20 White's H-D finished 7th for another strong run for the New York State resident, and still sits in the 8th spot in the overall standings with 91 points.  Jimmy Wood #37 brought his Southland Racing Kawasaki home in 9th and also still lies in the 9th spot in the standings with 83 points.  Bryan Smith, with another strong run on his #42 Moroney's Fasthog.com XR into 6th at Hagerstown, moved into the 10th spot in the overall standings with 75 points.

Of note, current points leader Sammy Halbert on his #7 Kings Kustoms XR had a rough evening, and as a result of what was termed a 'poor tire choice' in not being able to gain traction, had to settle for 14th in the main event, his first showing on the year outside the top 6.  However, the season is still young, and with only 10 of a 'scheduled 22 events' run, don't expect to see that happen again with Slammin Sammy!

Round 11 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series has the next weekend off, and next hits the half-mile at Lake Odessa, MI. on Saturday, July 23.  With the 2011 schedule in full-swing the racing is starting to really heat up in The Rolling Thunder Show.  This is the time of year when the big dogs come out to play and the poodles stay home on the porch, and as always the best show in racing on wheels in the world is the place to be this year to see the stars of AMA Pro Flat Track show what they do best....mix it up and hit it hard!

Coolbeth Takes Career Third Victory at Round 10's
Hagerstown Half-Mile

HAGERSTOWN, MD (July 9, 2011) - With a near-capacity crowd looking on, Harley-Davidson Motor Company-backed Kenny Coolbeth captured his third Hub City Classic Grand National win in convincing style, leading every lap of the 25-lap AMA Pro Racing Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship main event. "I love racing here," said Coolbeth after the event, "it's like my hometown track. A lot of my friends and family make the trip down for this race."

The former Grand National Champion didn't disappoint his fans, as he quickly took control of Maryland's Hagerstown Half-Mile main. Scott's Powersports' Johnny Lewis had gotten the holeshot on his Kawasaki, but by Turn 2, Coolbeth had his Harley out front and was pulling away, while a pack made up of fast-qualifier Chris Carr (American Motorcyclist Association/DFW Honda), Jared Mees (Rogers Lake Racing/Blue Springs Harley-Davidson), Bryan Smith (fasthog.com/American Harley-Davidson), and defending Grand National Champion Jake Johnson (Zanotti Racing) gave chase.

With Coolbeth in command, Lewis settled into second. Mees and Johnson both managed to get by Carr, and a few laps later, Smith and Goodwin Racing's Jethro Halbert dropped Carr yet further back -- all the way to seventh -- and the running order looked set for the finish. On Lap 17, however, the red lights flashed when R&J Racing's Doug Lawrence fell in Turn 2, turning the conclusion into an eight-lap dash following a single-file restart. Suddenly, the race that had appeared to be a lock for Coolbeth was entirely up for grabs.

Coolbeth nailed the restart with Jake Johnson in tow, but just as quickly, the reds flashed again as Chris Carr -- who had spun off the start -- was clipped by another rider, sending him to the ground in a heavy fall. The second attempt at a restart saw Coolbeth and Johnson once again out front, however, and this time Coolbeth was not to be denied.

3-Time AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Twins Series Champion (and '07 Singles Series Champ) Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. speeds to victory, the 3rd win of his career at the Hub City Classic, at the Hagerstown Half-Mile on Saturday, July 9.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

Johnson was dispatched by Mees, but both riders came under attack from Lewis. Lewis was able to retrieve second on Lap 21, forcing Mees and Johnson to settle for third and fourth, respectively, while Jethro Halbert rode his borrowed Harley into a fifth-place finish over Smith. Matt Weidman (White's Harley-Davidson), Rob Pearson (American Harley-Davidson), Jimmy Wood (Southland Racing), and Shaun Russell (Monster Energy Kawasaki/Werner Springsteen Racing) rounded out the top ten.

Series points-leader Sammy Halbert (Kings Kustoms/Larry Zumbrun Racing) ended up mired in fourteenth position as he struggled with rear tire problems, and his misfortune tightened up the points race considerably, his lead over Johnson having shrunk to 15. Mees sits just a single point behind Johnson in third overall, while Coolbeth -- who maxed out on points at Hagerstown, adding points for most-laps-led and the earlier four-lap Dash to his victory -- now lurks just ten points back.

AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles podium celebrations show Adam Bushman #19L, Mikey Martin #91Y and Gerit Callies #76L celebrating their 2-1-3 finishes on the night at the Hub City Classic in Hagerstown, MD. on July 9.  AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.

Weirbach Racing's Mikey Martin won his first main of 2011 in the sixteen-lap Hagerstown Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles contest. Pro Singles Dash winner Adam Bushman (Midwest CNC) had grabbed the holeshot, but he couldn't hold off a hard-charging Martin and Gerit Callies. The Full Throttle-backed Callies was on another Weirbach Racing Honda, giving Dick Weirbach a sweep of the top of the podium, and Bushman took his solid third over fast-qualifier Robbie Treinen (Bob Weirbach Race Team/Trackside Bar) and Scott Powersports' Jake Shoemaker.

Callies has retaken the overall Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles points lead, but heads Mikey Avila (SDI Insulation/M.E.H. Corp), who finished off the pace in eleventh, by a very slim two points.

The AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship next heads to Lake Odessa, Michigan, for the Round 11 I-96 Half-Mile. For tickets and information, visit www.i96speedway.com or call (616) 642-0555. To be a part of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship, visit us at amaproracing.com and join us on facebook.com/AMAProFlatTrackSeries and twitter.com/AMAProFlatTrack.

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 www.amaproracing.com.

For additional information contact:

AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014, communications@amaproracing.com

Race Re-caps

Here's the story of the race at round 10's event at the Hagerstown Half-Mile thanks to Dave Hoenig and Cycle News.com from this week's issue of CN Digital:


And here is the basic story of the race thanks to Cycle News.com:



Here is the link to the results from Hagerstown (with drop down button for complete results info) thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track (standard version):


And here is the link to the complete event results from round 10 of the AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series, from the Hub City Classic in Hagerstown, MD. (PDF version):



AMA Pro Flat Track's official photographer, Dave Hoenig, took these shots at the Hagerstown Half-Mile:


Here's the link to Dave's official website, Flat Trak Fotos.com.  As of this writing, the complete results are posted, and Dave should have his full catalog of shots from the Hub City Classic posted within a few days:



Thanks to Miriam Deitcher from Flat Track Live @ Facebook for these videos from the Hub City Classic at the Hagerstown Half-Mile!

Hagerstown Expert Twins heat races video:


Hagerstown Expert Twins main event video:


Added NEW Wed. 7/13/11 1715 EDT

A big thanks to Mia Moore & Chew Larcom, The Fans in the Stands from FlatTrack.com, for this SUPER video recap of the day's events at Hagerstown.  Great stuff guys!


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