POMONA, CA (October 15, 2011) -
Screamin’ Eagle® Harley-Davidson® Factory rider Kenny Coolbeth placed ninth in the AMA Pro Flat Track Season Finale at the LA County Fairplex. Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's Harley-Davidson rider Jake Johnson led every lap of the main event, winning the race and the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship.
Coolbeth rode the factory Harley-Davidson XR750 motorcycle to second place in a qualifying heat and finished fifth in the Dash for Cash bonus sprint, which was won by Johnson.
After winning on October 1 at Calistoga, California, Johnson held a four-point lead for the championship over Rogers Lake/Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider Jared Mees, with Kings Kustom/White’s Harley-Davidson Sammy Halbert just nine points back in third place.
Johnson took the lead at the start of the 25-lap main on the Fairplex half-mile, and by lap four had opened a gap of 3.2 seconds over the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati ridden by Brad Baker, with White’s Harley-Davidson rider Matt Weidman and Coolbeth trailing. The race was stopped for a crashed rider on lap eight, but Johnson jumped into the lead on the re-start and opened another gap, this time on Baker and Halbert, as Mees trailed in sixth place. Johnson’s lead stretched to more than five seconds before the race was stopped again for a crash on lap 22. Once more, Johnson took the lead on the restart and cruised to victory, 1.878 seconds ahead of Baker. Halbert was third, followed by Scott Powersports Kawasaki rider Johnny Lewis, and Mees in fifth place.
“I passed a couple of guys going into the first turn on that last restart,” said Coolbeth. “But then I had a problem with my shifter and that was it. I just tried not to get run over and finished the race.”
“I just had great starts all night and tried to ride smart,” said Johnson. “It was coming down to the end and I had a good lead but was making some mistakes. I just tried to stay calm and everything worked out.”
Johnson, the defending Grand National champion, ends the season with 386 points and three wins. Mees is second with 353 points and five wins. Halbert finished third with 369 points and four wins. Coolbeth is fourth with 302 points and two wins.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight 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.com.
The Screamin' Eagle Flat Track team is sponsored by Matco Tools.