Baker brings factory Harley home sixth at Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (June 15, 2014) - Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® Factory Team rider Brad Baker finished sixth in the AMA Grand National Twins main at Knoxville Raceway. Zanotti Racing/Moroney’s H-D rider Kenny Coolbeth Jr. won the race. Ramspur Winery/Lloyd Bros Motorsports rider Jake Johnson was second, followed by South East H-D/White’s H-D rider Sammy Halbert, as Harley-Davidson XR750 motorcycle riders filled the podium and swept the top six places.

“I was feeling really good out there today,” said Baker, the defending AMA Grand National champion who just eight weeks ago suffered multiple fractures to his left arm. “I think we could have been on the box but we were fighting some mechanical gremlins and the bike would just go flat intermittently. Everyone was working hard in the pits but we couldn’t trace it. We’ll come back swinging at the next race.”

Harley-Davidson Wrecking Crew rider Jared Mees won his heat race on the Rogers Racing/Las Vegas H-D/Blue Springs H-D XR750 motorcycle and was on the pole for the 25-lap main on the Knoxville half-mile. Coolbeth grabbed the point at the start and would lead every lap, opening a gap of more than a second by lap six and eventually winning by 3.198 seconds. In the opening laps Baker, Johnson, Halbert and Mees raced in a tight pack behind Coolbeth, with Johnson finally building a one-second gap on Mees and Halbert by lap 19. Baker ran in fifth place for most of the race, but was passed by Zanotti Racing/Classic H-D rider Steve Bosney on the last lap. Mees finished fourth.

Earlier in the afternoon, Halbert won the four-lap Dash for Cash bonus race.

The win in Knoxville was the first of the Grand National Twins season for Coolbeth, who leads the series with 80 points. Johnson is second with 72 points, followed by Halbert with 64 points and Mees with 58 points. Baker is in 10th place with 32 points.

AMA Grand National Twins racing resumes on June 28 on the Lima half-mile at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio.

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