WITH CHAMPIONSHIP DECIDED, HARLEY-DAVIDSON WRECKING CREW OUT FOR ONE LAST TROPHY AMA Flat Track Twins Season Finale in Las Vegas on Saturday MILWAUKEE (Oct. 4, 2007) -- Kenny Coolbeth won the 2007 AMA Flat Track Twins championship for ...
WITH CHAMPIONSHIP DECIDED, HARLEY-DAVIDSON WRECKING CREW OUT FOR ONE LAST TROPHY
AMA Flat Track Twins Season Finale in Las Vegas on Saturday
MILWAUKEE (Oct. 4, 2007) -- Kenny Coolbeth won the 2007 AMA Flat Track Twins championship for Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle racing last weekend in Tucson, Ariz., but the season finale is in Las Vegas this weekend.
With the championship clinched, the entire Harley-Davidson Wrecking Crew is up to the challenge of winning one more trophy. Three of the four Wrecking Crew riders have combined to win 10 of the 11 events held this season.
Coolbeth has claimed six wins for the factory sponsored Screamin' Eagle team. Jared Mees has earned three wins for his Blue Springs Harley-Davidson squad and Joe Kopp has earned one win for his Team Latus Harley-Davidson team.
The fourth Wrecking Crew rider, Bryan Smith, has locked up third place in the final Twins standings matching his 2006 finish. Smith still wants to win a race for his Pat Moroney's Harley-Davidson team before the season is over. He has one last chance.
The season finale will be held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday.
"Hopefully I can get the win this weekend," Smith said. "A win would be the best way to finish the season right. We've struggled this season but have still been able to keep our third place in the standings. But we've had some things go wrong throughout the season. We broke a motor, a transmission; I crashed last weekend in Tucson for no apparent reason. It's a long list of mistakes that we've made and I think we have too good of a team to not earn a win.
"We're going out there this weekend with nothing but winning a great race in our heads. We've learned from our mistakes and I would like to finish the season strong and come out fighting for a championship in 2008."
Mees has locked up second place -- also matching his 2006 finish -- and is anxious to race at an event without the points standings on his mind.
"When you're in the battle for a championship you are less likely to take major risks," Mees said. "You have to take a few chances now and then to be in the hunt for a championship, but you can't take major risks. Now that the title chase is over, we can go out and race for fun. There's just some cash and a trophy on the line and all we have to worry about is putting on a good show.
"It's disappointing knowing that the championship chase is over and we didn't win the title, but we gave it our best shot and I think we did better than last year and that was one of our big goals coming into the season. I just want to do better than the previous year. If we can win the final race of the season, it will give our Blue Springs team positive momentum going into the offseason."
Kopp won the event last weekend, helping to salvage a season where the results have come up short against his preseason expectations.
"The win helped the season a lot," Kopp said. "It seems like we've faced new challenges every week like a flat tire, the bike having problems and a few other things that kept us from really getting into the championship mix. The win gave us back some confidence and it would be great to make it two wins in a row."
Kopp's points position isn't final. He's hoping that another great weekend can move him up from his sixth-place.
"It's still possible for us to move up and that would be just incredible," Kopp said. "But more than anything, we're going to Las Vegas to have some fun and ride a great race. They put some new dirt down on the track and it should be a great surface for us. It would be great to put a point on the season and win the finale. That's our goal."