Kenny Coolbeth had become known as the fastest motorcycle racer to never win an AMA Grand National main event. The 25--year-old had labored on the AMA’s Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship trail since 1994 and, so many times, had come so close to his first win, only to have mechanical problems or fall just inches short. That finally changed at Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio, on September 22, when the Corbin Racing/Samson Exhausts-backed Connecticut rider finally stood atop the victory podium.

At round 19 of the 20-race AMA/Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championships series, Coolbeth assumed the lead six laps into the main event and held it to the finish.

“I was nervous, man,” Coolbeth said afterward. “I was waiting for that five to go, for that last to go, and it just took forever. The last five laps I was really tip-toeing going into one, because my tire was pretty much shot. This is what I’ve been working for my whole life, maybe they’ll come a little bit easier now.”

Quality Checked Certified Pre-owned Ford/David Liles Fuels-backed Chris Carr went on to finish second at Scioto Downs, followedby Lancaster Harley-Davidson’s Steve Beattie, the Canadian having his best ride in years as he reached the podium. Jones Powersports’ Joe Kopp and Las Vegas Harley-Davidson/KK Motorcycle Supply’s Geo Roeder II each took a turn leading the race early but finished fourth and sixth respectively, sandwiching Gardner Racing/Walters Brothers Harley-Davidson’s Bryan Bigelow, who finished fifth.

Here are the results and points standings from the Grand National and Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series classes at Scioto Downs:

GRAND NATIONAL (25 laps, 18 riders): 1. Ken Coolbeth Jr. (H-D); 2. Chris Carr (H-D); 3. Steve Beattie (H-D); 4. Joe Kopp (H-D); 5. Bryan Bigelow (H-D); 6. Geo Roeder II (H-D); 7. Paul Lynch (H-D); 8. Jake Johnson (H-D); 9. Chris Hart (H-D); 10. Jay Springsteen (H-D); 11. Shaun Russell (H-D); 12. Kevin Atherton (H-D); 13. Kevin Varnes (H-D); 14. Terry Poovey (H-D); 15. Shawn Clark (H-D); 16. Willie McCoy (H-D); 17. Bryan Smith (H-D); 18. Dominic Beaulac (H-D).
Time: 11 min., 23.878 sec.
AMA/PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE U.S. FLAT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES POINT STANDINGS (after 19 of 20 rounds): 1. Chris Carr (289/3 wins); 2. Johnny Murphree (221/1 win); 3. Kenny Coolbeth (217/1 win); 4. Bryan Bigelow (213/1 win); 5. Kevin Varnes (207/1 win); 6. Joe Kopp (167); 7. Jake Johnson (154/1 win); 8. Jay Springsteen (151); 9. Nicky Hayden (144/4 wins); 10. Shaun Russell (138); 11. Kevin Atherton (135/1 win); 12. J.R. Schnabel (123); 13. (TIE) Rich King (117/2 wins)/Geo Roeder II (117); 15. Terry Poovey (106); 16. Paul Lynch (95); 17. Steve Beattie (94); 18. Chris Hart (79 /1 win); 19. Shawn Clark (76); 20. Willie McCoy (67).

HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER PERFORMANCE MAIN (12 laps: 15 riders): 1. A.J. Eslick; 2. Jess Roeder; 3. Jared Mees; 4. Scott Scherb; 5. Josh Toungett; 6. Cory McDermitt; 7. John Faulkner III; 8. Brian Thomas; 9. Shawn Baer; 10. James Hart; 11. Charlie Italia; 12. KC Knodel; 13. Stephanie Welch; 14. Shane Fox; 15. Scott Stump.
Time: No Time -- Red Flag.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER PERFORMANCE SERIES POINT STANDINGS (after 12 of 13 rounds): 1. Jared Mees (216/5 wins); 2. Scott Scherb (161); 3. James Hart (156); 4. A.J. Eslick (142/2 wins); 5. Brian Thomas (129); 6. John Faulkner III (120); 7. Jess Roeder (111/2 wins); 8. Josh Toungett (103); 9. Rusty Rogers (94/1 wins); 10. Merle Scherb (82); 11. Yuhiko Hirao (81); 12. Robert Lewis Jr. (71); 13. KC Knodel (59); 14. Shane Fox (56); 15. Brian Kromroy (50); 16. Bryan Smith (46/1 win); 17. Jake Johnson (45/1 win); 18. Cory McDermitt (41); 19. Stephanie Welch (39); 20. Mark Witham (36).

Flat Track News

By Dave Hoenig

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