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FT: Screamin' Eagle Odessa preview

WRECKING CREW RIDERS HEAD BACK TO RACE TRACK AFTER MONTH-LONG BREAK Screamin' Eagle Riders Ready for I-96 Speedway Twins Event MILWAUKEE (Aug. 22, 2007) --With just five races remaining in the AMA Ford Quality Checked Twins season, the...

WRECKING CREW RIDERS HEAD BACK TO RACE TRACK AFTER MONTH-LONG BREAK

Screamin' Eagle Riders Ready for I-96 Speedway Twins Event

MILWAUKEE (Aug. 22, 2007) --With just five races remaining in the AMA Ford Quality Checked Twins season, the Screamin' Eagle Wrecking Crew riders know that every point counts.

They also know that the championship most likely won't be claimed until the season finale in Las Vegas on Oct. 6 -- the points chase are just too close.

Harley-Davidson's factory rider and defending Twins series champion Kenny Coolbeth has the points lead -- but not by much. He currently holds a two-point lead over his Wrecking Crew teammate Jared Mees.

While Saturday's event at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich., is Mees' home track, Coolbeth has won the event the last two years. Mees has earned three victories this season on his Blue Springs Harley-Davidson and Coolbeth has collected four trophies so far this season.

"We're going to my hometown track and that's always a good thing," Mees -- a Clio, Mich., resident -- said. "We've had some success there in the past and it's always nice to race at a track where you know you will get a lot of support from friends. But I'm not the only one who has been there and done well. Coolbeth has won two in a row there and I know he's going to be a strong competitor again this season."

While Coolbeth has won at I-96 Speedway before, he knows that doesn't guarantee anything this time around.

"It's great knowing we have the team that is capable of winning at I-96 because it gives us confidence going into the race," Coolbeth said. "The team has come together so well this season and it seems that we've \ improved on so many levels over last year. But the competition seems to have gotten better too. Jared and his team have been racing so well and we have to make sure and do everything we can to keep pace in the championship chase."

Wrecking Crew riders Bryan Smith (Pat Moroney's Harley-Davidson) and Joe Kopp (Team Latus Harley-Davidson) are in fourth and fifth place, respectively, and are looking for their first wins of the year.

Smith, a Flint, Mich., resident has been on the podium three times en route to fourth place. Kopp, the 2000 AMA Grand National champion, has been on the podium once.

While it might seem like the month-long break between events could help riders and team prepare for the last five events, Mees said he has been anxious to get back to the track since they left Hagerstown, Md., four weeks ago.

"I prefer racing on every weekend and I think the rest of the guys feel the same way," Mees said. "The good thing is that we have all had an equally long break and now there isn't any one rider who has momentum going into the last five events.

"No one is coming off a win last weekend and maybe that will be a good thing. Nothing is better than going into a race at your hometown track with your friends behind you as you are in the middle of a championship hunt."

-credit: se

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Series AMA
Drivers Pat Moro