Third Place for Mees, Fifth for Harley Factory Team Rider Baker at Indy Mile
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 8, 2014) – Harley-Davidson® Wrecking Crew rider Jared Mees retained the AMA Pro Grand National Championship points lead with a third-place finish on the Indy Mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Aboard the Rogers Racing/Las Vegas H-D/Blue Springs H-D Harley-Davidson® XR750 motorcycle, Mees finished 2.531 seconds behind the winner, Zanotti Racing/Moroneys H-D rider Kenny Coolbeth Jr., and just 0.060 seconds behind second-place Bryan Smith on the Crosley Radios/Villa-Esparza Kawasaki.
Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® Factory Team rider Brad Baker finished fifth after running as high as second place mid-race. Harley-Davidson® Wrecking Crew rider Nicole Mees finished 16th on the Black Hills Harley Davidson XR750.
“All-in-all, a good night for us,” said Baker, the defending AMA Pro Grand National champion. “We qualified well, made the Dash field and ran up front. I got a poor start and had to fight my way back up to the lead pack, and once I got into second place I just couldn’t quite catch Coolbeth’s draft. Once Mees and Jake Johnson got by me I had to go deep into the corners to keep up and used up my tire, and then fell back.”
Coolbeth qualified on the pole for the 25-lap main, took the lead on lap four and immediately began to open a gap on the riders battling for second place, including Mees, Baker, and Johnson on the Ramspur Winery/Lloyd Bros Motorsports Ducati. At the half-way point of the race Coolbeth had a 1.262-second lead, and Smith had joined the group racing behind him. By lap 20 Coolbeth’s lead had grown to a commanding 2.50 seconds, and Smith and Mees were racing for second place. Coolbeth crossed the finish line 2.470 seconds ahead of Smith, who nipped Mees for second. Johnson was a distant fourth.
“I really thought I had something for the leader,” said Mees, “but I was held up in the corners by Baker and Johnson when I was behind them and Kenny got away. We still leave here with the points lead.”
After 10 of 15 events on the AMA Pro Grand National schedule, Mees has 182 points and a one-point lead over Smith. Johnson is third with 174 points, followed by Coolbeth with 157 points, and South East H-D/White’s H-D rider Sammy Halbert with 138 points. Baker is in sixth place with 118 points.
AMA Pro Grand National Twins racing resumes on August 23 at the Virginia Mega-Mile at Colonial downs in New Kent, Va.
About Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson® motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's website at www.h-d.com.