AMA Flat Track racer Kenny Coolbeth nominated for 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is proud to announce that newly crowned 2008 AMA Grand National Twins Champion Kenny ...
AMA Flat Track racer Kenny Coolbeth nominated for 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is proud to announce that newly crowned 2008 AMA Grand National Twins Champion Kenny Coolbeth is one of five nominees for the 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award. The winner will be announced Sunday evening, Nov. 23, at the 2008 AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Ala.
Dating back to 1976, the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award is the highest honor bestowed on a professional motorcycle racer competing in AMA events. Past recipients of the award include such legendary names as Bob Hannah, Scott Parker, Kenny Roberts and Ricky Carmichael.
Coolbeth, from Morris, Conn., earned his nomination for this prestigious award by successfully defending his No. 1 plate in the AMA Flat Track Championship, where he claimed the GNC Twins title for the third year in a row. Coolbeth clinched the title at the Monticello, N.Y., half-mile with two more events remaining on the calendar. Coolbeth won six races on the year and had four more podium finishes.
"It's an honor to have your name put out there," Coolbeth said. "There are a lot of great athletes who race motorcycles, and I feel honored to stand up there with them. It would be really cool to win the award, and, if not, it's still a big accomplishment for me just to get nominated."
This is the second time Coolbeth has been nominated for the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award. In addition to the 2006 and 2007 AMA GNC Twins titles, he also won the 2007 AMA GNC Singles title. Coolbeth turned pro in 1993.
Although he's an established veteran and a multitime champion, Coolbeth says that he still feels like he's learning more every year. When asked about the poise he displayed in defending his title in a tight points race with Bryan Smith this season, he says 2008 represented another big year in his development as a rider.
"I think it's me maturing. It's me being smarter, thinking more before I do something on the track," Coolbeth said. "That's what has helped me make the difference the last three years. If you ride well and use your head, you'll still be in it. You can't expect to be in it if you're missing one of those two things."
To see first-hand whether Coolbeth wins the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award, attend the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet, where AMA Pro Racing will honor its professional champions, joined by their families, friends, fans and industry leaders. Held at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, the banquet will take place among a collection of more than 1,200 historic and popular motorcycles.
Tickets to the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet are $125. Tickets to the AMA Sports Awards Banquet, which honors the champions of AMA Sports events on Saturday evening, Nov. 22, are $85. Tickets can be purchased online. A downloadable registration form (PDF) is also available. Printed orders can be faxed to: (614) 986-1962, Attn: Cyndi Freeze-Cain; or mailed to: AMA Racing, Attn: Cyndi Freeze-Cain, 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, OH 43147.