A lot has changed in the world since the summer running of the AMA Du Quoin Mile, but for Rich King and the factory Harley-Davidson team, the AMA/Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Series finale held there on September 29 meant the same old thing: victory.
King rolled to his second win of the season at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, leading off the last corner on his Bill Werner-tuned factory XR and surviving a three-pronged challenge from Saddlmen Racing/National Cycles' Kevin Atherton, Corbin Racing's Kenny Coolbeth and Saddlemen Racing/Lancaster Harley-Davidson's Mike Hacker on the final blast down the front straightaway to grab the gold.
"This is awesome," King said. "I came in here feeling good, like I had a good shot at winning. I just kind of left it up to Bill to make the changes for the main event, and everything worked out great. The bike was awesome in the main event."
King was happy for the win, but that joy was also tempered as he voiced thoughts on his fallen teammate, Jennifer Snyder, who as critically injured at the Formula USA Seattle Mile.
"With all of the tragedies that we've had lately, this is just one more thing," King said. "I wish Jennifer the best. She brings such a joy to our team. She's so happy-go-lucky, and to have something devastating like that happen to her is really heart-breaking. But she's a tough girl. She works hard at this sport. She'll be back."
In other racing action, both the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance and SuperTrapp SuperTracker title races proved to be anticlimactic, as both series points leaders coming into Du Quoin left with the titles under less than thrilling circumstances. HDSP champion Bryan Smith earned his title after his main rival, Paul Morgan III, failed to make the main event. Exiting series champion Willie McCoy went to win the main event after Smith, who appeared to have a solid shot at that win, lost fire in his bike on lap eight.
The SuperTrapp SuperTracker title was decided under far more ominous and potentially tragic circumstances, as second-placed man J.R. Schnabel was involved in a horrific-looking collision with a fallen Bryan Kromroy during the first round of SuperTracker practice. Fortunately, neither man was seriously injured, although Kromroy may have suffered a fractured left heel in the accident. The crash left Schnabel out of competition, which allowed Bryan Bigelow to cruise to the SuperTracker title with a sixth-place finish in the main event. Kenny Coolbeth won the race and thus moved to second and dropped Schnabel to third in the series final standings.
Here are the Du Quoin Mile main event results and final series standings for the Grand National, Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance and SuperTrapp SuperTracker classes:
GRAND NATIONAL (20 laps; 18 riders): 1. Rich King (H-D); 2. Kevin Atherton (H-D); 3. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D); 4. Mike Hacker (H-D); 5. Jay Springsteen (H-D); 6. Kevin Varnes (H-D); 7. Steve Beattie (H-D); 8. Chris Carr (H-D); 9. Johnny Murphree (H-D); 10. Bryan Bigelow (H-D); 11. Paul Lynch (H-D); 12. Terry Poovey (Hon); 13. Dale Jenneman (H-D); 14. Bryan Smith (H-D); 15. Jake Johnson (H-D); 16. Willie McCoy (H-D); 17. John Nickens III (H-D); 18. Shaun Russell (H-D).
Time: 11 min., 49.656 sec.
AMA/PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE U.S. FLAT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES POINTS STANDINGS (After 20 of 20 rounds): 1. Chris Carr (339/9 wins); 2. Rich King (261/2 wins); 3. Joe Kopp (213/1 win); 4. Kenny Coolbeth (197); 5. Mike Hacker (188); 6. Johnny Murphree (188); 7. Will Davis (162/3 wins); 8. Bryan Bigelow (159/1 win); 9. Jay Springsteen (134/1); 10. J.R. Schnabel (134/1 win); 11. Terry Poovey (101); 12. (TIE) Willie McCoy (89)/Nicky Hayden (89); 14. Geo Roeder II (88); 15. Steve Beattie (87); 16. Kevin Varnes (85); 17. Shaun Russell (72); 18. Shawn Clark (62); 19. Kevin Atherton (61); 20. Brett Landes (51).
HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER PERFORMANCE NATIONAL (12 laps; 17 riders): 1. Willie McCoy; 2. Brian Thomas; 3. A.J. Eslick; 4. James Hart; 5. John Faulkner III; 6. Victor McAnally; 7. Timmy Mitchell; 8. Mark Witham; 9. Stephanie Welch; 10. Bret Sowders; 11. Kyle Long; 12. Jake Johnson; 13. Dan Kauffman; 14. Bryan Smith; 15. Shane Fox; 16. Jim Sumner; 17. Jeff Landrum (Disqualified).
Time: 7 min., 28.295 sec.
AMA/HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER PERFORMANCE SERIES POINTS STANDINGS (After 8 of 8 rounds): 1. Bryan Smith (94/1 win); 2. Paul Morgan III (84/1 win); 3. Willie McCoy (81/2 wins); 4. Brian Thomas (79); 5. James Hart (68); 6. Victor McAnally (64); 7. Scott Scherb (62); 8. John Faulkner (56); 9. Jake Johnson (55/1 win); 10. A.J. Eslick (47); 11. Timmy Mitchell (43); 12. Jeff Landrum (41); 13. Brian Kromroy (35); 14. Michelle Disalvo (33); 15. Jason Tyer (32); 16. Mark Witham (28); 17. Kyle Long (21)/Wiley Duane Duvall (21); 19. Yuhiko Hirao (20); 20. Shane Fox (19).
AMA/SUPERTRAPP SUPERTRACKER NATIONAL (12 laps; 15 riders): 1. Kenny Coolbeth (Suz); 2. Johnny Murphree (Suz); 3. Willie McCoy (Suz); 4. Mike Hacker (Bue); 5. Sam Lowe (Suz); 6. Bryan Bigelow (Bue); 7. Jason Tyer (Suz); 8. Roy Miller (Suz); 9. Michael Hinds (Suz); 10. Brent Armbruster (Suz); 11. Jerry Vanderkooi (Suz); 12. Robert Buffington (Suz); 13. Scott Scherb (H-D); 14. Dale Jenneman (Yam); 15. Brian Thomas (Bue).
Time: 7 min., 7.476 secs.
AMA/SUPERTRAPP SUPERTRACKER SERIES POINTS STANDINGS (After 9 of 9 rounds): 1. Bryan Bigelow (142/3 wins); 2. Kenny Coolbeth (130/5 wins); 3. J.R. Schnabel (115); 4. Sam Lowe (110); 5. Willie McCoy (105); 6. Mike Hacker (96); 7. Jason Tyer (91); 8. Gary Rogers (81); 9. (TIE) Brian Thomas (71)/Roy Miller (71); 11. Scott Scherb (65); 12. (TIE) Joe Duvall (57)/Greg Teague (57); 14. George Richtmeyer (55); 15. Joe Kopp (53); 16. Brian Kromroy (44); 17. Bryan Smith (35); 18. Steve Liberty (25); 19. Brandon Lee Cartwright (22); 20. Jerry Vanderkooi (20).