INDIANAPOLIS – Kenny Coolbeth Jr. ripped the lead from Jake Johnson on lap four of Friday night’s Indy Mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and went on to win his 32nd AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship main event aboard his Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson.
Coolbeth’s 2.470-second win margin turned heads, to say the least, as he was able to outgun the usual Kawasaki frontrunners, specifically Bryan Smith, to earn his third win of the season.
“This is great for us,” said Coolbeth. “I feel so comfortable with my bike and my team right now. They are putting so much effort into my program every single day and it feels so good for it to pay off here tonight. Smith has the whole package, there is no denying that, but tonight we had it.”
Coolbeth started on the pole but got off to a mediocre start, falling all the way back to fourth after the completion of lap one. On the second lap, however, Coolbeth found his groove and the No. 2 slot. On lap four, Coolbeth was able to get an angle on his rival, Johnson, and gain the lead for his first and final time of the night. Once in front, Coolbeth was able to check out and create enough space to ride smoothly to victory.
As easy as Coolbeth’s victory looked, the battle for the next four slots was a tight one. In the end, it was Smith, aboard his Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio Kawasaki who earned second place. To everyone’s surprise, Smith was riding as far back as sixth at one point. It wasn’t until lap 16 when he appeared to turn on the jets, as he passed Jared Mees to take over the second spot. Smith would go on to forfeit his position to Mees on the last lap only to retake it from him down the final frontstretch.
Mees’ third place finish aboard his Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson was his ninth top five finish out of the 10 AMA Pro Flat Track rounds, and his consistency has him atop the overall point standings heading in to the latter half of 2014.
Jarod Vanderkooi claimed the AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles victory.
Kenny Coolbeth Jr., Bryan Smith, Jared Mees, Jake Johnson, Brad Baker, Henry Wiles, Stevie Bonsey, Briar Bauman, Jake Shoemaker, Robert Pearson, Cory Texter, Mikey Martin, Doug Lawrence, Jeffrey Carver Jr., Sammy Halbert, Nichole Mees, Brandon Robinson, Steve Murray.