Finally fulfilling all of the promise that he has shown since entering the AMA Grand National scene as a hard-charging rookie in 1996, Wisconsin rider J.R. Schnabel dominated the field all day long and came away with a much-anticipated Grand National win at the Houston Half Mile, round two of the AMA/Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championships, on April 21. Schnabel took the lead on lap two and was never really challenged.
Defending Champion Joe Kopp worked his way up to second place for the second time in as many rounds, taking the series points lead by one point.
Heartbreak of the night went to Jay Springsteen, after sitting on the pole for the National and finishing a solid third, his fuel failed the post race inspection and the veteran was left with no points. The fuel ruling will have to be upheld by further tests by an independent party next week.
This moved everyone up one spot, with Kevin Varnes moving into the third slot, making for the second straight third-place finish in as many rounds for the Pennsylvanian, who seems to have rejuvenated his career.
Kenny Coolbeth and Schnabel had a great race in the SuperTracker National, with Coolbeth coming out on top.
Here are the main event results from Houston Raceway Park:
Houston Raceway Park
Results: April 21, 2001 (Round 2 of 20)
GRAND NATIONAL (25 laps; 18 riders): 1. J.R. Schnabel (H-D); 2. Joe Kopp (H-D); 3. Kevin Varnes (H-D); 4. Chris Carr (H-D); 5.Will Davis (H-D); 6. Rich King (H-D); 7. Jason Tyer (H-D); 8. Geo Roeder II (H-D); 9. Willie McCoy (H-D); 10. Shawn Clark (H-D); 11. Robert Lewis (H-D); 12. Mike Hacker (H-D); 13. Greg Tysor (Suz); 14. Paul Lynch (H-D); 15. Ken Coolbeth (H-D); 16. Mike Varnes (H-D); 17. Chris Hart (H-D); Jay Springsteen (H-D) (Disq).
Time: 8 min., 29.835 sec.
SUPERTRAPP SUPERTRACKER SERIES NATIONAL (12 laps; 17 riders): 1. Ken Coolbeth (Suz); 2. J.R. Schnabel (Suz); 3. Jason Tyer (Suz); 4. Willie McCoy (Suz); 5. Scott Scherb (H-D); 6. Roy Miller (Suz); 7. Brian Thomas (Bue); 8. Joe Duvall (Suz); 9. Greg Teague (Bue); 10. Gary Rogers (Suz); 11. John Faulkner (H-D); 12. Robert Buffington (Suz); 13. Steve Liberty (H-D); 14. Brian Kromroy (Bue); 15. Mike Hacker (H-D); 16. Mike Meyer (H-D); 17. Joe Kopp (Suz).
Time: 4 min., 19.004 sec.