Joe Kopp was in total control Friday night at round three of the AMA Grand National Twins Championship held on the Bedford (Pa.) Speedway Half-Mile. Kopp, riding the No. 3 Latus Harley-Davidson, pulled away from the 20-rider field to win by 3.381 seconds over defending champ Kenny Coolbeth on the factory Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson.
Bryan Smith survived a near crash and came back to post a solid third-place aboard his Moroney’s/Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson.
For Kopp it marked his first win of the season and moved him into second in the Grand National Twins standings, 14 points behind Coolbeth after three races.
“The track was tough, but my bike was so good tonight I was able to pretty much what I wanted out there,” Kopp said. “I never looked back the entire race and when I took the checkered flag and finally turned around and saw I had a straightaway lead I thought ‘whoa!’”
It marked the first AMA Grand National race at Bedford Speedway. For the second weekend in a row in the series a good crowd filled the stands. Early afternoon rain pushed the schedule back and the grid was set by way of four heat races, providing a 20-rider main.
The teams loaded up late Friday ready to make a quick 400-mile turnaround to Lima, Ohio, for the famous race at the Allen County Fairgrounds on Saturday night.