SPRINGFIELD MILE TO OPEN AMA GNC TWINS CHAMPIONSHIP Memorial Day Weekend in Illinois capital will also feature GNC Singles TT PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 18, 2007) -- The historic Springfield Mile, located at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, will...
SPRINGFIELD MILE TO OPEN AMA GNC TWINS CHAMPIONSHIP
Memorial Day Weekend in Illinois capital will also feature GNC Singles TT
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 18, 2007) -- The historic Springfield Mile, located at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, will host the opening round of the AMA GNC Twins Championship on May 26-27. The Memorial Day Doubleheader Weekend will also feature the third round of the AMA GNC Singles Championship on the TT course, all part of the 2007 AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship.
Ken Coolbeth, the 30-year-old third-generation racer from Warren, Conn., returns to Springfield as the defending champion of the AMA GNC Twins class. The factory Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson rider knocked off Chris Carr, who'd won the AMA Grand National title the previous five years.
"Getting the ride with Harley-Davidson and then winning the championship last year was awesome," Coolbeth said. "Pulling that off was a dream come true. I want to do whatever it takes to defend our title and win another championship. I've been climbing the ladder and have been working toward that goal since I started racing full time. I finished fourth in 2003, third in 2004 and second in 2005 and it was amazing to finally reach the top spot in 2006. I don't think my team wants to do anything else but win races and go after another championship."
Coolbeth, the AMA Flat Track Rookie of the Year in 1994, is still looking for his first win on the historic Springfield Mile.
"This is what I love doing," Coolbeth continued. "I love the rush you get from racing, I love the people, the fans, everything about this sport. I think it's just going to get better in 2007 because this Harley-Davidson factory team has a year of experience working together and we have a big goal that we can all focus on."
Chris Carr will be ready to go at Springfield on his Ford Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned sponsored machines. The defending winner of the Memorial Day Mile is looking to win his eighth AMA Grand National title. Carr claims losing the title last year doesn't necessarily give him more of an incentive.
"The goal this year is the same as it is every year," said Carr, a ten-time Springfield Mile winner. "We were in contention for the title all the way to the end last year in spite of some mechanical issues we had on our bikes. Week in and week out we were competitive and I expect that we should be again this year."
While the big bikes will hit the track for the first time this year, the AMA GNC Single machines return to action for the first time since the Daytona Beach doubleheader. Mike Rush, of Gilroy, Calif., emerged the surprise leader of the Singles standings riding to second and first-place finishes in Daytona Beach. The 19-year-old rides for Dave Burks Motorsports Suzuki and Daytona was the first national win for the second-year expert.
"Winning at Daytona was a dream come true," Rush said. "I've been dreaming about this since I was four and started riding. Hopefully I can keep this up all season."
The rider to beat in the TT race is Wisconsin's JR Schnabel. Schnabel has won the race three straight times. He has moved from Yamaha to Suzuki this year, so he'll have the challenge of dialing in a new motorcycle on the TT course.