Johnson Tops Knoxville Half-Mile Qualifying

Larry Lawrence | September 10, 2011

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Sept. 10, 2011) – Jake Johnson topped timed qualifying Saturday afternoon in the AMA Grand National at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway Half-Mile. Johnson clocked a 21.717, averaging 82.884 mph, on his Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson on the black clay track.

It is Johnson’s first time racing at Knoxville. In fact the only current rider known to have raced the two nationals held here in the mid-1990s is Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. Kevin Varnes won this race in 1995 and Scott Parker in ’96. The race was rained out last year, but sunny skies have greeted the fans at this year’s event.

“The track was a little greasy in the first session, but came to us in the second session,” said Johnson, who is one of three riders, along with Sammy Halbert and Jared Mees, who are battling it out atop the series standings. “The track is fun. It has Half-Mile straightaways with Springfield Mile turns. You’re hardly off the gas all the way around. The corners are so fast we are right on the edge of traction.”

Jared Mees turned in a 21.862 and Kenny Coolbeth, the only other rider in the 21-second bracket with a 21.908.

Michael Toon, of Wichita, Kansas, topped Pro Singles timed qualifying, turning a 22.549 on his Price Truck Line/Woody Kyle Honda.


Grand National timed qualifying from Knoxville Raceway


1. Jake Johnson           Harley-Davidson         21.717 secs.

2. Jared Mees              Harley-Davidson         21.862

3. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. Harley-Davidson       21.908

4. Jeffrey Carver Jr.    Harley-Davidson         22.047

5. Luke Gough            Harley-Davidson         22.058

6. Sammy Halbert       Harley-Davidson         22.130

7. Nichole Cheza         Harley-Davidson         22.193

8. Robert Pearson        Harley-Davidson         22.210

9. Bryan Smith            Harley-Davidson         22.268

10. Brandon Robinson Harley-Davidson       22.268


Larry Lawrence | Archives Editor

In addition to writing our Archives section on a weekly basis, Lawrence is another who is capable of covering any event we throw his way.