Coolbeth Again

Paul Carruthers | July 22, 2007
The two-man war that is the 2007 AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track raged on at the Darke County Fairground’s half mile on Saturday night in Greenville, Ohio, with defending AMA Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth pushing his Harley-Davidson Motor Company/Screamin’ Eagle-backed XR750 into the lead on lap four and never looking back.

Although current championship point leader Jared Mees was able to put his Blue Springs Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson into second on lap 12, he couldn’t make inroads into Coolbeth’s lead.

Coolbeth qualified only sixth and finished second in his heat race to Nick Cummings, but when the National got started he had things sorted out and was able to roll to a five-second win.

Mees, meanwhile, had been fast all night and won his heat race – though it was Dan Gedeon on his Ed Fatzinger/KK Supply/DZR Triumph who had surprised the place with his fast qualifying time. A poor start in his heat forced Gedeon to settle for a third and a second row start for the National, but he was still able to end the night with a ninth-place finish in the National.

Third place in the National, behind Coolbeth and Mess, came the consistent Jake Johnson on the American Suzuki mount, the New Jerseyan holding off Harley-Davidson-mounted Joe Kopp with the second Suzuki of J.R. Schnabel finishing fifth.

This marked the second time this year that five different brands of motorcycles were represented in the National as the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Aprilia USA bike of Henry Wiles made the main after taking a couple of weeks off to road race.

Mees continues to lead the championship, though Coolbeth is now just five points behind, 123-118. Johnson is third with 87 points.


1. Kenny Coolbeth (Harley-Davidson)

2. Jared Mees (Harley-Davidson)

3. Jake Johnson (Suzuki)

4. Joe Kopp (Harley-Davidson)

5. JR Schnabel (Suzuki)

6. Kevin Varnes (Harley-Davidson)

7. Bryan Smith (Harley-Davidson)

8. Geo Roeder (Harley-Davidson)

9. Daniel Gedeon (Triumph)

10. Nick Cummings (Harley-Davidson)

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.