KOPP AIMS TO GRAB ANOTHER GUN; LOOKING TO WIN THIRD CONSECUTIVE GREENVILLE EVENT Screamin' Eagle Riders Want Another Podium Sweep MILWAUKEE (July 18, 2007) -- Oddly enough, Joe Kopp is happy being in ninth place of the AMA Flat Track Twins ...
KOPP AIMS TO GRAB ANOTHER GUN; LOOKING TO WIN THIRD CONSECUTIVE GREENVILLE EVENT
Screamin' Eagle Riders Want Another Podium Sweep
MILWAUKEE (July 18, 2007) -- Oddly enough, Joe Kopp is happy being in ninth place of the AMA Flat Track Twins championship point standings. He said he could win more easily because of his current position.
No, the Wrecking Crew rider of the Team Latus/Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson isn't kidding.
The 2000 AMA Grand National champion is the two-time defending winner of this weekend's Twins race at Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville, Ohio and he's aiming to get another gun.
"It's the Annie Oakley Shootout this weekend and the trophy is a great gun," Kopp said. "I would love to earn a third trophy from this event. It's a cushion track that rewards great starts and I love surfaces like that.
"I also have the benefit of not being in a pressure situation when it comes to the points chase. We've struggled a bit lately but last week's third place finish has helped restore our confidence and I know this team is capable of winning. We're going to climb back up the points and hopefully win along the way."
Some of the riders that might get in his way are Screamin' Eagle factory rider Kenny Coolbeth -- the defending AMA Twins series champion and winner of two events so far this season -- as well as Wrecking Crew riders Jared Mees and Bryan Smith.
Mees has earned three wins on his Blue Springs/Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson and currently leading the point standings. Smith has his Pat Moroney's/Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson into fourth place of the standings.
Coolbeth finished in seventh place last year at Greenville but is more confident going into the cushion track after his second place finish at Lima, Ohio's cushion surface earlier this season.
"We struggled with Greenville last year but we've worked a few things out for the setup we need for that kind of track," Coolbeth said. "I owe that to my team. We're working real well together and we're in good shape going into this race. We've been consistent all season and we've already done better than last year when it comes to the cushion track. We did some testing and I think that has been paying off."
Coolbeth won last weekend's race at Saluda, Va., and he was surrounded by his Wrecking Crew teammates. Mees finished second and Kopp was third, earning his first podium finish of the season.
"It was so important finishing on the podium last weekend considering we didn't qualify the weekend before that (Joliet, Ill.)," Kopp said. "It gives me a lot of confidence coming into an event that I like. The entire crew is happy. Just finishing as well as we did last weekend almost felt like we had won the race. It's just going to get better."
One of Kopp's mechanics, Larry Zumbrun, is a Greenville resident and just makes the race more interesting.
"Larry was born and raised there and it's always nice to do well in front of his home crowd," Kopp said. "We're feeling much more confident now and we don't have any pressure on us. So we're aiming for another gun and we're not going to worry about anything else."