Coolbeth edges Smith to claim coveted Springfield Mile victory
NEWS September 3, 2014
Photo by Dave Hoenig
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 3, 2014) - And then there were two.
Just a pair of races remain on the AMA Pro Flat Track schedule, but three riders have separated themselves in the championship hunt following the second running of the Springfield Mile on Sunday.
Bryan Smith and his No. 42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki lead Jared Mess, pilot of the No. 9 Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson by just nine points after the two finished second and third, respectively, in Springfield. It was Kenny Coolbeth on his No. 2 Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson atop the podium however, winning his fourth race this season, tied for the most this year in Grand National Championship competition with Smith.
In addition to the lion's share of the purse, Coolbeth also pocketed an extra $500 from D&D Exhaust for being the top-finishing rider using their exhaust system.
Rampur Winery's Jake Johnson, the only rider to finish in the top 10 in every event this season, is third and very much in the title picture, but has his work cut out for him. Following a sixth place showing at the Springfield Mile, Johnson is 23 points back of Smith.
Even with the grandeur of the Springfield Mile, and in a race that was anyone's the win, the focus was on the ultra-tight championship battle.
"It was a good race, we got third," Mees said. "And nothing against Bryan, I'm glad he got second. We're in a tight points battle. I wanted to come out of here within 10 points, whether it was 10 or seven, I needed 10 points, and we're nine points out, so that's awesome."
Jake Shoemaker recorded his second top five in as many races as his rode his No. 55 Hot Shot Motors Kawasaki to fourth in Illinois.
Henry Wiles rounded out the top five on his No. 17 Don's Kawasaki. Wiles has been quietly consistent this season and sits fifth in points following what was his fifth straight top 10.
"It's a great Springfield for me, I led a few laps, was in the lead multiple times," Wiles said. "It was great. Bryan, he seemed to have a stranglehold on this place. ... I was able to draft by him a few times, it felt really good.
"It's just one of those things, you gotta get the right things working for you and that's pretty much what we saw today for me and my team. We got some of the right things in place."
Willie McCoy (No. 59 Harley-Davidson of Wausau) and Stevie Bonsey (No. 80 Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson) finished seventh and eighth, respectively.
Defending GNC champion, Brad Baker, rode his No. 1 Factory Harley-Davidson to ninth for his eighth straight top 10 finish.
Brandon Robinson rounded out the top 10 on his No. 44 T.J. Burnett Farms Kawasaki.
In AMA Pro Twins action, Ohio's Jarod Vanderkooi completed the season sweep of the Springfield Mile. Returning to the site of his first pro race and victory, Vanderkooi expertly rode his No. 17F Johnny's Vintage Motorcycle Kawasaki to a 2.257-second victory over Molly Terry on her No. 11P B&B Racing Harley-Davidson.
An Illinois rider, Terry drew the crowd to its feet each lap as she stuck with the leaders from the start. Brandon Wilhelm was riding in second, but had a mechanical late in the race and didn't finish on his No. 24J Sylvester Farms Harley-Davidson. Wilhelm did, however, post the race's second best lap (36.166 seconds).
Dalton Winkler put his No. 35S Van Leeuwen Distributing Kawasaki on the podium in third for the first time in his career. The Maryland rider was excited to have such a strong showing at such a big event.
"It feels awesome in front of all these people and everything," Winkler said. "It was an awesome race."
Jamison Minor (No. 27U Roy Miller Kawasaki) and Jeffery Lowery (23F The Lodge in Springfield Kawasaki) rounded out the top five, respectively.
AMA Pro Flat Track Expert Main Top 10 Finishers
1. Kenny Coolbeth (Harley-Davidson)
2. Bryan Smith (Kawasaki)
3. Jared Mees (Harley-Davidson)
4. Jake Shoemaker (Kawasaki)
5. Henry Wiles (Kawasaki)
6. Jake Johnson (Kawasaki)
7. Willie McCoy (Harley-Davidson)
8. Stevie Bonsey (Harley-Davidson)
9. Brad Baker (Harley-Davidson)
10. Brandon Robinson (Kawasaki)
AMA Pro Flat Track Expert Top 10 In Points
1. Bryan Smith 247
2. Jared Mees 238
3. Jake Johnson 224
4. Kenny Coolbeth 194
5. Henry Wiles 170
6. Brad Baker 159
7. Sammy Halbert 145
8. Brandon Robinson 140
9. Stevie Bonsey 135
10. Jake Shoemaker 99
AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Twins Main Top 10 Finishers
1. Jarod Vanderkooi (Kawasaki)
2. Molly Terry (Harley-Davidson)
3. Dalton Winkler (Kawasaki)
4. Jamison Minor (Kawasaki)
5. Jeffrey Lowery (Kawasaki)
6. Tyler Butts (Harley-Davidson)
7. Ryan Varnes (Kawasaki)
8. Macintosh McGrew (Honda)
9. Andrew Butler (Kawasaki)
10. J.R. Addison (Harley-Davidson)
The stars of AMA Pro Flat Track will head to Calistoga, Calif., for the Calistoga Half-Mile on Sept. 27, 2014. For tickets and information regarding the event, please visit http://www.showclix.com/events/19173.
How to Watch
FansChoice.tv will be the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Flat Track and AMA Pro Road Racing events in 2014. The site will also provide coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.
About AMA Pro Flat Track
AMA Pro Flat Track is a national motorcycle racing series in North America and is considered one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the Series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track racing in the world. The 2014 schedule consists of 16 rounds on the country's finest flat track courses. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft.