Coolbeth Wins Formula USA Opener

| June 8, 2003
After running second to his KTM teammate, Joe Kopp (3), one year ago, KTM/Jones Powersports’ Kenny Coolbeth (31) returned to the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds with a vengeance last night, winning the 25-lap main event at round one of the Formula USA K&N Filters Pro Series in Plymouth, Wisconsin.

Coolbeth got off the line fourth, while hometown favorite J.R. Schnabel, who lives in nearby West Bend, took the lead away from Kopp off turn two and set sail. Kopp would not even get the chance to contest the win, as his motorcycle broke on the opening lap, dropping him to last place.

Coolbeth then had to deal with another local fave, Team Harley-Davidson’s Rich King, who had his Buell Blast-based Harley-Davidson 500R hooked up and hauling, Coolbeth used an outside pass on Kopp, and then did the same to Schnabel in turns three and four to take the lead. He would pull out a few lengths for several laps, but then drama returned to the race when he encountered a group of lapped riders just two laps from the finish.

The slower-running pack allowed the Memphis Shades/Yamaha-backed Schnabel to pull onto Coolbeth’s rear fender with one lap to go, but Coolbeth managed to put one more lapper between himself and Schnabel off the last corner, and that was the difference in the race.

King came home third after challenging Schnabel for second in the middle stages of the main event.


1. Kenny Coolbeth (KTM)

2. J.R. Schnabel (Yam)

3. Rich King (H-D)

4. Jethro Joseph (Hon)

5. Brett Landes (Hon)

6. Willie McCoy (Hon)

7. Bryan Smith (Hon)

8. Dan Stanley (Hon)

9. Shaun Russell (KTM)

10. Kyle Ragsdale (Hon)

By Scott Rousseau