COOLBETH WINS AGAIN -- CLAIMS FIFTH VICTORY OF AMA FLAT TRACK SEASON AND THIRD STRAIGHT AT I-96 Screamin' Eagle Rider Mees Finishes Right Behind Coolbeth to Keep Points Close LAKE ODESSA, Mich. (Aug. 27, 2007) --Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson...
COOLBETH WINS AGAIN -- CLAIMS FIFTH VICTORY OF AMA FLAT TRACK SEASON AND THIRD STRAIGHT AT I-96
Screamin' Eagle Rider Mees Finishes Right Behind Coolbeth to Keep Points Close
LAKE ODESSA, Mich. (Aug. 27, 2007) --Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson AMA Flat Track rider Kenny Coolbeth earned his third consecutive victory at I-96 Speedway Saturday. It was the fifth win this season for the defending AMA Flat Track champion.
"I just started the day off well," Coolbeth said. "I qualified well and I just knew I had a good chance of winning. The track was difficult to pass on, but it just seems to be one of the tracks that I do well at and can adjust to quickly."
Coolbeth still doesn't have an answer to why he has been able to claim three consecutive wins at I-96 Speedway.
"I really don't have a clue as to what it is about this track or why I have done so well here," Coolbeth said. "I try to always go to every track with a positive attitude and say that I love the track. I don't ever want to say I hate a track. I don't think you can win on a track you hate."
Wrecking Crew riders Jared Mees finished in second place on his Blue Springs Harley-Davidson while Bryan Smith (Pat Moroney's/Doc's Harley-Davidson) and Joe Kopp (Team Latus Harley-Davidson) finished in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Coolbeth has just a six-point lead over Mees even with five wins this season. Mees not only has three wins this season, but has finished on the podium in each of the first eight events.
"I knew it was going to take quite a few wins to keep up with the rest of the pack this season," Coolbeth said. "Jared and I are battling back and forth and when he steps up, it makes me want to step up even more. We push each other. I still never thought I would have five wins this season and such a small lead to go with those wins."
Mees has three second place finishes to go along with his three wins. He has claimed third place twice. He said he was pleased with the podium finish considering how his day at his home track started.
"I felt like I was behind from the start of the day," said Mees, a Clio, Mich., resident. "We started to come around on that last practice session, but we were still a ton off of Kenny's best time. He was just flying all day long.
"Once the race started Kenny was pretty much gone and I just had to start reeling him in. I was charging up to the front and you could tell Kenny was in cruise control. Then there was a red flag and we had a restart and a five-lap shootout for the finish. It was such a technical, one-line track and I knew it would be difficult to pass Kenny unless he made a mistake. He didn't but at least I finished right behind him and kept the points close."
Smith, a Flint, Mich., resident, moved up in the point standings from fifth to fourth place with help from his fourth place finish.
"The track was smooth, which I really like, but it was a tough track to pass," Smith said. "We were pretty fast all day and I felt like I could make a move up to the front. I was running third all day and I got a decent restart after the red flag and thought I could pass Jared for second. But I slipped wide on the turn and that's when Chris Carr got past me and took third."
Carr's third place finish on his Ford Quality Checked Harley-Davidson moved him past Kopp in the standings by just one point. Carr is now in fifth place while Kopp is in sixth.
"We have four races to get our points position back," Kopp said. "The good thing is that we're coming up on a few tracks that I really like. This team has worked hard all year long to finish in the top five and we're going to keep at it."
The next AMA Flat Track event is the second of two appearances at the Springfield (Ill.) Mile. Racing will be held on Sunday.