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FT: Springfield preview

COOLBETH/MEES BRING GRAND NATIONAL BATTLE TO SPRINGFIELD PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 28, 2007) -- Ken Coolbeth and Jared Mees will bring one of the best two-rider battles in the long history of AMA Grand National Championship racing to...

COOLBETH/MEES BRING GRAND NATIONAL BATTLE TO SPRINGFIELD

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 28, 2007) -- Ken Coolbeth and Jared Mees will bring one of the best two-rider battles in the long history of AMA Grand National Championship racing to Springfield, Ill., over Labor Day weekend, when the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship comes to the historic Springfield Mile.

In addition, the Illinois State Fairgrounds will also play host to the Springfield Short Track event, part of the Grand National Singles Championship. The weekend doubleheader takes place this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1-2.

Coolbeth is having one of the best seasons in recent years in the AMA Grand National Series. His victory last weekend aboard his factory Harley-Davidson in Lake Odessa, Mich., was his fourth straight. That kind of winning streak hasn't been seen in the championship since the late Ricky Graham's record breaking 1993 championship campaign.

While Coolbeth has scored four straight, he hasn't pulled clear of Jared Mees in the GNC Twins title chase. The reason is simple -- Mees has won three races of his own and scored podium finishes every time he didn't win. The result is that only six points separate the top two riders as the series enters the homestretch.

Coolbeth is happy with his current winning streak, but not satisfied.

"I've got momentum on my side right now, and I want to keep it going," said Coolbeth, the defending AMA Grand National Twins champion. "There are not many points separating Jared and me so you have to be on top of your game every time you hit the track."

Both Coolbeth and Mees are seeking their first Labor Day Weekend win at the prestigious Springfield Mile, one of the most tradition-filled races in motorcycle racing.

"I've finished in the top two or three there in the last couple of years," Coolbeth said of the Labor Day Weekend Classic. "I feel pretty confident going into this year's race. We got some good notes from the Spring race there and I think we'll have a good set-up. I'm looking forward to trying to get my first win there. Everyone wants to win the Labor Day Springfield at some point in their career."

Coolbeth won the Memorial Day Weekend race at Springfield in May to launch his successful 2007 campaign.

The historic Springfield Mile will run on Sunday. On Saturday night the 10,000 seat Multi-Purpose Arena on the fairgrounds will be the site of the Springfield Short Track, part of the AMA Grand National Singles Championship. Coolbeth is somewhat unexpectedly atop the Singles series alongside Jake Johnson. The two are tied with just two rounds remaining.

"I'm just as excited battling for the Singles championship," Coolbeth said. "Jake goes good at the Springfield Short Track, so I have to really get to it. I said at the beginning of the season that I wanted to win both championships and I think I have a good shot at it." The doubleheader races will be broadcast on MavTV. Visit www.mavtv.com for additional information.

Tickets are still available for the big doubleheader AMA Grand National weekend. Visit the website www.illinoismda.com or call (888) 468-1622.

-credit: ama

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