Rainout, Controversy In Springfield

| May 28, 2007
Heavy rains forced the Springfield TT to be washed out on Saturday night, but the Illinois State Fairgrounds crew were able to whip the Springfield Mile into shape with an abbreviated four heats and National schedule put into place with 20 riders going to the main event. Then controversy struck as defending AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Twins Champion Kenny Coolbeth dominated the race, beating Chris Carr by nearly five seconds.

But did he really win?

That’s the question as Coolbeth’s Harley-Davidson Motor Company/Screamin Eagle XR-750 was found to be light, possibly by as much as six pounds. The bike has been impounded and will be returned to AMA headquarters for weight verification. Pending these findings the results of this race are unofficial.

No matter what the black-clad Coolbeth was by far the fastest rider on the track. In a race that is usually decided by inches, Coolbeth had nearly a full straightaway lead.

It was the race for second that was more what the crowd was used to seeing as Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned Ford’s Carr was surrounded by Coolbeth’s Harley-Davidson teammates Jared Mees (Blue Springs Screamin Eagle), Bryan Smith (Moroney’s Harley-Davidson/Screamin Eagle) and Joe Kopp (Screamin Eagle/Latus Harley-Davidson). They finished in that order.

The four rider battle kept everyone entertained while Coolbeth rocketed away. Jake Johnson (American Suzuki/Parts Unlimited) and Rogers Lake Racing/Bartels’ Harley-Davidson’s Shaun Russell waged a late race battle over sixth and the Suzuki mounted Johnson was able to pull a draft pass at the line to post his best mile finish on his Suzuki.

Pro Honda Oils/Total Control Racing’s Nick Cummings was a lonely eighth. Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Aprilia USA’s Henry Wiles topped a four-rider battle for ninth – a new high for the Aprilia Team. The Lloyd brothers also notched another first as Dan Stanley put the number two Aprilia into the National making it the first time two Aprilias were in the same main. Stanley finished 14th.

Harley-Davidson of Wausau/Independence Harley-Davidson’s Willie McCoy rounded out the top 10.

Many in the crowd had come to witness the great Jay Springsteen’s last race and after a strong heat race showing Springsteen looked poised to have that fairy tale ending most hoped for. Reality, however, was another story as Springer’s Harley expired on the warm-up lap.

The Springfield TT, meanwhile, hsa been rescheduled to today (Monday).

By Dave Hoenig