Gerencer’s Harley-Davidson / Kersting’s Harley-Davidson’s Kevin Atherton held down second early, but around lap 11 his shock started to fade and he gave way to the factory Harley-Davidson of Rich King. Once Atherton lost his rhythm, KTM/Jones Powersports’ Kenny Coolbeth and Lancaster Harley-Davidson/ Saddlemen’s Jared Mees dropped him back further into the field. Atherton’s troubles were far from over as J.R. Schnabel attempted to pass low going into turn three. Schnabel was unable to make his Memphis Shades Harley stick to the groove and he and Atherton tangled with Atherton getting the worst of it. Atherton would eventually fade to ninth place.
Coolbeth passed King on lap 15. All the time, Mees sat in fourth, looking for a mistake that never came. Schnabel’s charge would eventually lead to a fifth place finish, over Coziahr Harley-Davidson/National Cycle’s Johnny Murphree.
Title hopeful Joe Kopp wound up a disappointing 11th, his day starting off with a crunch when he crashed hard in his qualifying heat and was forced onto his backup bike for the rest of the night. Kopp charged from the back row to lead his heat race, then lost the lead on the last lap to Schnabel. Kopp was unable to improve on a mid-pack start in the National on his way to 11th.
Carr’s dominating performance coupled with Kopp’s problems have pushed the defending Champion to a 29-point lead, 165-136. Coolbeth is another 13 points back, with 123.
There is little time to regroup for the traveling show as the next race is just three days away in Rapid City, South Dakota.
The Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance National was a rock’em sock’em affair as it took three attempts to get the 12 lap race started. Clayton Riggle was the first to bail off in turn three, then on the second start Merle Scherb fell in turn two. When the race did get underway, Lima Harley-Davidson/Koneta Rubber Seal’s Cory McDermitt worked his way around defending class Champion, Scott Scherb to take the lead on lap five. McDermitt then fended off Lombardi Harley-Davidson/Schott Harley-Davidson’s Chris Hart for the win. Gutterridge Harley-Davidson/Reiman’s Harley-Davidson’s Josh Toungett was a very close third over Scott and Merle Scherb.
Results: August 7, 2004 (Round 9)
GRAND NATIONAL (25 laps; 18 riders): 1. Chris Carr(H-D); 2. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D); 3. Rich King (H-D); 4. Jared Mees (H-D); 5. J.R. Schnabel (H-D); 6. Johnny Murphree (H-D); 7. Rob Pearson (H-D); 8. Jake Johnson (H-D); 9. Kevin Atherton (H-D); 10. Terry Poovey (H-D); 11. Joe Kopp (H-D)p; 12. Bryan Bigelow (H-D); 13. Mike Hacker (H-D); 14. Bryan Smith (H-D); 15. Geo Roeder II (H-D); 16. Willie McCoy (H-D); 17. Tim Eades (H-D); 18. Shaun Russell (H-D).
Time: 9 min., 41.54 sec.
AMA PRORESSIVE INSURANCE FLAT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES POINTS STANDINGS (After 9 of 18 rounds): 1. Chris Carr (165/4 wins); 2. Joe Kopp (136/1 win); 3. Kenny Coolbeth (123/1 win); 4. Johnny Murphree (96); 5. Mike Hacker (90); 6. Jake Johnson (84); 7. J.R. Schnabel (76/2 wins); 8. Willie McCoy (75); 9. Jared Mees (65); 10. Rob Pearson (58); 11. (TIE) Geo Roeder II (53)/ Shaun Russell (53); 13. Rich King (46); 14. Terry Poovey (43); 15. Bryan Smith (42); 16. Jay Springsteen (40); 17. Paul Lynch (35); 18. Kevin Atherton (3); 19. Bryan Bigelow (28); 20. Brett Landes (27).