Sunday, September 20, 2015

Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. Takes 2nd Win of the Season at AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship GNC1 Delaware Half-Mile, Davis Fisher Wins GNC2 Race & Wraps Up Championship

Round 13 of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines series hit the east coast last night, and former 3-Time AMA Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. dominated the 25-lap National main to take the 35th win of his long and illustrious career in front of what was reported as a large crowd at the Delaware Half-Mile.

After qualifying in the 4th-place spot behind Jake Johnson, Dominic Collindres and Nichole Mees, the King of Cool was able to bring it home just behind series points leader Jared Mees in the first heat to qualify for the Dash for Cash, where he went on to turn the tables on The Jammer and take the win and the extra bonus point that goes along with it. Starting from the pole in the main, Coolbeth set sail during both portions of the red flag-delayed event (which saw Sammy Halbert crash out, mostly unhurt, but ruining his evening and his mark of all  top-9s on the season.)

In the end, Coolbeth took the win by just over 1.6 seconds over runner-up Jeffrey Carver, Jr. on the #23 Don's Kawasaki (in his best-ever Twins finish) and 3rd-place finisher Jake Johnson on the #5 factory H-D XR750 (and his second top-3 in-a-row.) Rounding out the top-5 was Collindres in another super solid run on the #66 Babe Demay-tuned Memphis Shades Yamaha and Rookie of the Year lock Jarod Vanderkooi on the #17F Don's Kawasaki (in his second top-5 and fourth top-10 of the season.)

In the shot above, Coolbeth is seen on the #2 Zanotti Racing/H-D Motor Co/Gator H-D-sponsored and Dave Atherton-tuned XR750 prior to the start of practice at round 12 of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines class at the Springfield Mile II on September 6.

Of note for last night's event, Nichole Mees in her last season of full-time racing crashed out in her heat on the #15 Black Hills H-D XR750 and suffered an eye socket fracture that will require some follow-up surgery, per her husband Jared's Facebook post from last night and today, and Mikey Martin suffered a crash during qualifying on the #91 Weirbach Racing Kawasaki that saw him beaten, banged up and sore, but apparently with no major serious injuries.

Title battle men Jared Mees on the #1 Rogers Racing XR and Bryan Smith on the #42 Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki both suffered from problems in Delaware during the National main. Mees jumped the start and was relegated to the fourth row for the start, as was Smith who was forced to the back due to having to roll out his back up for the main. In the end, Mees ended up in 8th-place in the final, and Smith ended the night in 14th-place after suffering more shifter-related problems during the race. They leave Delaware with Mees still back out front of the championship battle by seven points, 188-181 points.

A big congrats to Kenny Coolbeth on his great win last night, and to the rest of the great competitors in The Rolling Thunder Show for another fine show!

Full results from last night's event can be seen here thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track, and Larry Lawrence put together this fine report from last night's race on Cycle

In the AMA Pro GNC2 race, Dashin' Davis Fisher took his fourth win of the season on the #67M Parkinson Brothers Kawasaki to wrap up the championship title in the class with two rounds remaining, and become the youngest winner of a Pro Singles/Twins/GNC2 championship since the class' inception in the 2009 season. Last night's win marked Fisher's fourth win of the season and ninth top-2 finish of the year.

In the shot above, Fisher is surrounded by the lovely ladies of Harley-Davidson and Vance & Hines racing getting ready to be interviewed on the podium by AMA Pro Flat Track and FansChoice.TV's Dani Medin after taking the win in the GNC2 class at the Springfield Mile II on the #67M Parkinson Brothers Racing/Racing Unlimited/Bob Lanphere's Beaverton Motorcycles-backed Kawasaki on September 6, 2015. Also celebrating are runner-up Tristan Avery #16S (L) and 3rd-place finisher Ryan Wells #94B (R.)

A big congrats to new champion Davis Fisher on his wrapping up of the title. Fisher, along with riders Bronson Bauman (2nd-place last night on the #30Z Lombardi's H-D XR) and Dan Bromley (3rd-place last night on the #54 Bill Werner Racing Kawasaki) along with Ryan Wells and several other great racers in the GNC2 class are living proof that the future of AMA Pro Flat Track's Rolling Thunder Show is in great shape as these fine young men work their way to the top of the ranks in the greatest racing series on two wheels in the world!

After last week's announcement that the Calistoga Half-Mile was to be postponed due to the devastation of the California wild fires that have created so much destruction and forced hundreds and possibly thousands not only out of but without their homes, the series awaits the word on when/if the race will be rescheduled. As it stands as of now, rescheduling is in the works, dependent obviously on Mother Nature and the ability to get the fires under control. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who are going through the devastation out west and hope things get brought under control soon so everyone can get back to some semblance of normalcy in their lives.

Kenny Coolbeth Jr. wins wild GNC1 main at the Roar on the Shore
Davis Fisher clinches GNC2 championship with fourth victory of 2015

DELMAR, Del. (Sept. 19, 2015) - Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. started fast and finished faster on Saturday night at the Roar on the Shore in Delmar, Del. The No. 2 Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson rider led all 25 laps of the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines main event at Delaware International Speedway to earn his second win of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track season. 
Coolbeth's victory brought the packed house to their feet when he crossed the finish line 1.661 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Jeffrey Carver, Jr. With the win, Coolbeth now sits third in the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines point standings and the victory marked his 35th in a long and successful career at the top level of the sport.
"This win feels really good," said Coolbeth, Jr. "And it's all due to great people. If it wasn't for the Atherton family and Dave Zanotti, I wouldn't be doing this. It's a dream come true for me to be racing motorcycles and it always has been. I have accomplished a lot in my career and I'm thankful for it. We just need to keep winning races."
Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. won the 35th race of his long and illustrious career last night on the #2 Zanotti Racing XR750 at the Roar by the Shore in Delmar, DE. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Dave Hoenig.
Aside from riding a brilliant race in Delaware, Coolbeth, Jr. benefited from two pre-race issues faced by heavy hitters Jared Mees and Bryan Smith.
During his sighting lap, Smith suffered a bike malfunction to his No. 42 Crosley Radio Kawasaki and was forced to switch to his backup bike, which resulted in the "Mile Specialist" having to start from the penalty row. Mees, the defending GNC1 champion and current series points leader, found himself starting next to Smith after jumping the start and being sent back to the penalty row as well. 

This was now Sammy Halbert's race to lose. The Briggs Auto pilot, who came into the weekend third in the points, started from the front row and battled hard with the lead pack aboard his No. 69 Harley-Davidson in the early laps of the race. By Lap 13, Halbert had climbed from seventh to fourth and was poised to take over a podium spot from the No. 5 Factory Harley-Davidson of Jake Johnson. In a rare miscue, Halbert went down in between Turns 3 and 4, bringing out a red flag and breaking a handlebar that ended his night.

On the restart, Coolbeth, Jr. resumed his dominant march by continually building his lead from 0.378 of a second on Lap 13 to 1.661 seconds at the end of the race. Mees maintained a respectable eighth-place finish, while Smith was never able to find his groove, finishing an eventual 14th. 

Mees now sits seven points ahead of Smith in the standings, 188-181, while Coolbeth, Jr. finds himself in third place just 20 points off the lead.
Carver's impressive runner-up finish aboard the No. 23 Don's Kawasaki machine was his career-best finish aboard a twin-cylinder machine in AMA Pro Flat Track competition. The Alton, Ill., rider now sits 10th in the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines point standings. Jake Johnson was able to maintain his third-place position throughout the main event aboard the No. 5 Factory Harley-Davidson.

Young guns Dominic Colindres, riding the No. 66Y Babe Demay Yamaha, and Jarod Vanderkooi, teammate to Carver, Jr. and pilot of the No. 17F Don's Kawasaki machine, rounded out the top five, respectively.
Davis Fisher earned the Roar on the Shore GNC2 main event victory on Saturday night and clinched the GNC2 championship with the win. Fisher's dominance in 2015 has been a record-setting year and the entire flat track world is eager to see what he can do when he graduates to the premier Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines class, which many expect will happen next season.
"I don't know what to think right now, I am just so excited," said Fisher. "This was a great rebound season after losing out to Kyle Johnson by one point in the GNC2 championship chase last season. To be on top with two rounds to go still feels quite amazing. I have to thank all of my sponsors for giving me this opportunity and also all of the fans for coming out."
Although two rounds remain in 2015, Fisher sits a whopping 60 points ahead of second-place rider Bronson Bauman and his nine podium appearances and four victories are the reasons why.
Bauman, riding the No. 30Z Lombardi's Harley-Davidson machine, finished second on Saturday night and he has now recorded four podium appearances in the last six rounds. Closing out the podium in Delaware was No. 54A Bill Werner Racing Kawasaki pilot Dan Bromley. Ryan Wells, riding the M&J Racing Kawasaki and Tristan Avery, pilot of the Rod Ayers Motorsports Kawasaki, rounded out the top five, respectively, on Saturday night.
Next Up
The Ramspur Winery Calistoga Half-Mile presented by Triumph, previously scheduled on Sept. 26 as Round 13 of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track schedule, has been postponed due to the California wildfires. Calistoga Speedway is located at the Napa County Fairgrounds, which are being used as an evacuation center for those displaced by the fires. Additional information on the rescheduling of the event will be released as soon as it is available.

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