The off-season round of musical chairs in the AMA Grand National Championship stopped again today with Kenny Coolbeth hopping onto the Zanotti Racing seat after being replaced on the factory Harley-Davidson team this week by Brad Baker.
The 33-year-old Coolbeth will ride the Zanotti Racing XR750 in the Twins races and Honda CR450Fs in the Singles races with sponsorship from Chaplin Honda. The singles will be built and maintained by Zanotti Racing in California.
Coolbeth won three AMA Grand National Championships for the factory Harley team in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In 2009, he was second in the Twins Championship. In 2010 and 2011 he ended the series fifth and fourth, respectively. In 2012, Coolbeth suffered a broken leg and ended the series ranked seventh with two victories. This year he was sixth in the title chase.
Dave Atherton will build the motors and provide lead mechanic duties at the track, according to the team, with long-time Zanotti mechanic Ted McDermit leaving the team this week after seven years with the squad.
“I am really excited about riding for Dave Zanotti with Dave Atherton spinning the wrenches,” Coolbeth said while visiting Atherton’s shop in Michgian. “I am sure we will have the best equipment out there and I am looking forward to winning races and have fun doing it, I want to thank Dave Zanotti for be leaving in me and I can’t wait until Daytona.”
Zanotti Racing started the 2013 season with their long-time rider Jake Johnson, but Johnson left mid-season and joined the Lloyd Brothers Racing team. Zanotti, in turn, hired Stevie Bonsey to race for the team for the remainder of the ’13 season.