Coolbeth Hot at Vernon Mile

| September 7, 2003
KTM/Jones Powersports’ Kenny Coolbeth stormed to his second win of the season and the third of his career on the gritty Vernon Downs horsetrack in Vernon Downs, New York, last night.

Coolbeth caught and passed last year’s race winner, Kevin Atherton, to take the lead at the halfway point of the 25-lap feature, and he was never headed after that. The win was also Coolbeth’s first career AMA Grand National mile victory. Team Harley-Davidson’s Rich King and Coolbeth’s KTM/Jones Powersports teammate, Joe Kopp, also passed Atherton to finish second and third respectively. Atherton was fourth.

Reignig AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. FLat Track Champion Chris Carr finished fifth, though that run had a less than dramatic effect on his points lead after Johnny Murphree, the man trying to run Carr down and steal away the AMA title, finished seventh, behind Geo Roeder II. Carr’s net gain was a mere two points, keeping the title race wide open with three rounds remaining in the 2003 campaign.

Here are the results and points standings after the Vernon Mile:

GRAND NATIONAL (25 laps; 18 riders): 1. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D); 2. Rich King (H-D); 3. Joe Kopp (H-D); 4. Kevin Atherton (H-D); 5. Chris Carr (H-D); 6. Geo Roeder II (H-D); 7. Johnny Murphree (H-D); 8. Jake Johnson (H-D); 9. Bryan Smith (H-D); 10. Steve Beattie (H-D); 11. Aaron Creamer (H-D); 12. Willie McCoy (H-D); 13. Shaun Russell (H-D); 14. Chris Hart (H-D); 15. Shawn Clark (H-D); 16. Dominic Beaulac (H-D); 17. Jay Springsteen (H-D); 18. Bryan Bigelow (H-D).
Time: 15 min., 05.948 sec.
AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE U.S. FLAT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS (After 14 of 17 rounds): 1. Chris Carr (230/4 wins); 2. Johnny Murphree (217/1 win); 3. Joe Kopp (188/2 wins); 4. Kenny Coolbeth (179/2 wins); 5. Rich King (151/2 wins); 6. Jake Johnson (124/1 win); 7. Kevin Atherton (99); 8. Bryan Bigelow (98); 9. Jay Springsteen (96); 10. Mike Hacker (89); 11. J.R. Schnabel (80/1 win); 12. Steve Beattie (74); 13. Shaun Russell (66); 14. Geo Roeder II (63); 15. Willie McCoy (57); 16. (TIE) Paul Lynch (51)/Jared Mees (51); 18. John Raun Wood (45); 19. Brett Landes (43/1 win); 20. Terry Poovey (42).
Upcoming Rounds:
Round 15 – Columbus, Ohio, September 20
Rounds 16-17 – Springfield, Illinois, September 27-28

By Scott Rousseau