Race-Long Battle Ends in Win for Latus Harley-Davidson rider Joe Kopp
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (Aug. 7, 2010) – Harley-Davidson® Screamin' Eagle® factory rider Kenny Coolbeth led 12 laps and finished second in a back-and-forth battle with Latus Harley-Davidson rider Joe Kopp in the Grand National Twins main at the Hagerstown Speedway half-mile, the 10th round of the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com. Kopp rode a Harley-Davidson XR-750 to take the win. Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider Jared Mees was third, also on a Harley-Davidson.
Mees was the fastest qualifier for the event and won the four-lap Dash for Cash bonus sprint, but it was Coolbeth who got a jump on the field at the start of the 25-lap main. A crash on the first lap by Zanotti Racing rider Jake Johnson brought the race to a quick halt. Coolbeth was first again on the re-start and led Kopp, Mees and King Kustoms/KK Motorcycle Supply rider Sammy Halbert for the first two laps. The race was then stopped for another crash just as Coolbeth crossed the finish line to complete lap three. On the ensuing re-start, Coolbeth led with Kopp right on his wheel, and the pair of past champions immediately opened a gap on Robert Pearson and Halbert, as Mees slipped back to sixth place. Kopp took the lead from Coolbeth on lap nine, only to see Coolbeth get past on lap 13 as the pair maintained a lead of about 1.5 seconds on Mees, who had worked himself back to third place. Kopp passed Coolbeth again for the lead on lap 18, and began to gradually pull away as the laps wound down, and won by 0.974 seconds to take his third Grand National Twins victory of the season.
“This was a great race with Kopp and I’m sure it was exciting to watch,” said Coolbeth. “I was really happy to get the hole shot with the factory Harley three times tonight. At the end, I think Kopp just found a better line and was able to carry more speed in the corners. I tried to follow his line but could not make it work, and he was able to get away. Now we’ll get ready for the mile at Indy, where we had a big win last year.”
After 10 events, Kopp leads the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship with 193 points. Halbert and Zanotti Racing rider Jake Johnson are tied for second place with 175 points. Mees is third with 164 points, followed by KK Motorcycle Supply/Mike & Eddie Adkins rider Henry Wiles with 160 points. Coolbeth is in sixth with 152 points.
The AMA Grand National Twins will next race August 28 on the Indiana Mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.
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The Screamin' Eagle Flat Track team is sponsored by Matco Tools.