Kenny Coolbeth wins wild Daytona main event on second night
March 17, 2014
The following is an industry press release...
Photo by AMA Pro Racing/Dave Hoenig
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March
14, 2014) - Morris, Connecticut's Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (Zanotti Racing/Honda)
took home his first AMA Pro Flat Track victory in 2014 to close out Friday night's
Grand National at DAYTONA Flat Track, Round 2 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track
"I've wanted this win for a
long time and it feels amazing to finally get it," said a calm and
collected Coolbeth, Jr. "I've been working hard all winter. I have a great
team behind me with the best equipment and I think it's going to be a great
season. To tell you the truth, I wish the Springfield Mile was tomorrow."
Coolbeth, Jr. almost beat the
field twice Friday night, as he claimed victory by over four full seconds and
lapped multiple riders in the process. Once Coolbeth, Jr. passed Coatesville,
Pennsylvania's Jake Johnson (Ramspur Winery/Honda) on lap five, he pressed the
turbo button and dusted the competition for the remainder of the race.
At the midway point, Coolbeth,
Jr. had opened up over a 2.5 second lead over Johnson and it was clear that it
was his night.
Even in defeat, Johnson's second
place finish had to be a refreshing rebound for him after his lackluster 10th
place performance in the season opener last night.
Salinas, California's Stevie
Bonsey (Zanotti Racing/Honda) started second on the grid and reverted back a
spot as he finished third to round out the night's podium.
Graham, Washington's Sammy
Halbert (Fredericktown Yamaha/Yamaha) put together another impressive
performance Friday night with a fourth place finish. The 26-year-old appears to
be in great health this season as he is two-for-two in top-five performances to
Oxford, Pennsylvania's Brandon
Robinson (USC Kawasaki/Kawasaki) undoubtedly had one of the fastest bikes in
Friday night's main event. After crashing on lap two and being forced to start
from the back of the pack, Robinson maneuvered his way through traffic on his
way to a fifth-place finish.
AMA Pro Singles
The AMA Pro Singles main event
was an 18-lap shootout for the checkered flag and it was Aurora, Indiana's
Brandon Wilhelm (Wilhelm Racing/Honda), starting from sixth on the grid, who came
away with the win in what developed into an absolute thriller.
"I can't believe this is
happening right now," said an ecstatic Wilhelm. "It feels so good.
The track was a little slick but it wasn't bad. I just had to work the throttle
a little bit and it worked in my favor. I've never felt anything like this
before, it's truly an amazing feeling."
Wilhelm got the holeshot and was
cruising to his first win of the season before two riders went down and forced
the red flags to fly. The staggered start meant that Wilhelm's more than a
second lead would be diminished and he'd have to really fight if he wanted to
earn the victory.
Wilhelm did just that, as he
slammed the throttle and earned the first win of his career.
The story of the night was the strength
of the underdog. As impressive as Wilhelm's victory was after starting from
sixth on the grid, Warren, Oregon's Davis Fisher (TJ Burnett Farms/Honda)
knifed his way to an impressive second-place finish after starting in the ninth
position. If that isn't intriguing enough, third-place finisher Justin Jones
(Jones Racing/Honda) came all the way back from 11th on the grid to round out
the podium after passing Ryan Wells (KTM/KTM) on lap 15.
Bucyrus, Ohio's J.R. Addison
(Parkinson Bros Racing/Honda) and last night's AMA Pro Singles main event
winner and Albion, N.Y product Ryan Wells put together solid performances to
close out the top-five.
The stars of AMA Pro Flat Track
will head to Springfield, Ill. for the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State
Fairgrounds on May 25, 2014.