Mees Makes Podium and Trails Coolbeth by Five Points
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 30, 2015) – Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® Wrecking Crew riders Kenny Coolbeth and Jared Mees lead the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines flat track racing series following the 50th running of the Sacramento Mile at the Cal Expo on Saturday. Mees finished third aboard the Rogers Racing Las Vegas H-D/Blue Springs H-D Harley-Davidson® XR750 motorcycle and moved up to second place in the season standings. Coolbeth, who finished fifth at Sacramento on the Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson® XR750, leads the series after four races.
Bryan Smith won the race by 0.020 seconds after drafting Brandon Robinson as the pair crossed the finish line. Mees was 1.128 seconds behind Smith, leading Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® Factory Team rider Brad Baker and Coolbeth by less than a bike length.
“I felt like I was in a good position as the race was winding down,” said Mees, the defending 2014 AMA Grand National champion, “but I got a little out of the groove with two laps left and that kind of bunched us up. Still a great race and a strong performance by my Harley-Davidson, and we are moving up in points.”
After four of 16 races on the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson GNC1 schedule, Coolbeth leads the series with 67 points. Mees is second with 62 points, followed by Robinson with 56 points and Sammy Halbert with 55 points. Smith is in fifth place with 52 points, followed by Baker with 43 points.
Mees, Smith and Robinson took control of the 25-lap main on the opening laps after the pole sitter, rider Mikey Martin, fell off the pace. Baker, who won his heat race and started on the front row, had a bad start and dropped back to ninth. Coolbeth started from the back row after qualifying in a semi-final heat. As the leaders paced the pack to conserve their rear tires, Baker and Coolbeth raced back to the front, with Baker taking the lead on lap 19. A bobble by Mees on lap 23 allowed Robinson to open a gap with Smith in his draft and the two leaders raced to the finish.
Baker, who won his heat race and started on the front row, praised the performance of his Harley-Davidson.
“I had a really fast Harley-Davidson again Saturday,” said Baker. “But I bumped handlebars between the first and second turns on the first lap and had to let off. I used up a lot of my rear tire catching the leaders, and by the end of the race I’d lost a lot of corner speed. This track is very abrasive and wears out everyone’s tires. Thankfully, our engine is really producing some power and I was able to make my way back up to the front.”
The Harley-Davidson Wrecking Crew riders will next race Thursday, June 4, at the ESPN X Games at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, for the debut running of the Harley-Davidson Flat Track medal event. Fans around the world can watch the action live on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET (5:30 p.m. PT).
The next race on the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson GNC1 schedule is June 20 on the Hagerstown Speedway half-mile in Maryland.
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.
The Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle Factory Flat Track team is sponsored by Dunlop.