GEICO Riders Fillmore, Eslick go 1-2 in XR1200 Action at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 5) — The Vance and Hines XR1200 class is barely more than a year old but the gang from GEICO Racing already has it figured out as team rider and points leader Chris Fillmore won Sunday’s race in the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader at Road America. Fillmore was followed closely by reigning class champion and teammate Danny Eslick, who yielded the lead to Fillmore with two turns left.

“It’s very satisfying, for sure,” said Fillmore, who edged Eslick at the stripe by .126 seconds for his second win of the year. “It was a pretty wild race. I got a good start and settled in with that front group. I’m not even sure how many of us there were up there. We all kind of passed the lead around and it was fun riding.

“About halfway through I went off the track at Turn 5 and by the time I got back out I was back to eighth or so. I just had to put my head down from there and play catch-up.

“At the end no one really wanted to take the lead because you wanted to ride the draft up the hill to the finish line but when Danny lifted up I had to just go. I think maybe I surprised him a little going by so fast but we got around that last turn and it was on all the way to the finish line. I was able to stay out front and that was important.”

As is the norm in the class, no single rider controlled the action. Instead, a breakaway group of eight pros battled throughout the seven-lap contest around the 4.1-mile course. Both Fillmore and Eslick led the race at various points, with each rider picking their favorite spots to pass, and it wasn’t unusual to see riders leapfrog three or four competitors in one motion.

“This class is turning out exactly how we had hoped,” creator and sponsor Terry Vance said. “The action is incredible every race. That’s why the fans are responding to it so favorably. I know that as more people get to know about this style of racing and the fans see it in person or on TV, it’s going to sky-rocket.”

Eslick certainly had fun, riding the freight-train draft to perfection time and again, seemingly passing at will. But the nature of the spec class is that everyone competes on the same equipment so it’s nearly impossible for a single rider to pull away.

“I could sling-shot around people in certain spots and I knew I needed to do that coming onto the final straightaway,” Eslick said. “Fillmore slipped by with a few turns left and I was planning to ride right behind him and then pull out and drag race to the finish line but he tucked in and got far enough away to take the win.

“I’m happy for Chris because he’s riding for the championship. The points are important to him and to the entire GEICO/Bruce Rossmeyer/Lucas Oil race team.”

Team riders Kyle Wyman and Michael Corbino rounded out the top 10, securing ninth and 10th place.

Up next is the Barber SuperBike Classic, which runs June 17-19 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

 

COOLBETH IS SECOND ON FACTORY HARLEY AT HAGERSTOWN

Race-Long Battle Ends in Win for Latus Harley-Davidson rider Joe Kopp

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (Aug. 7, 2010) – Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® factory rider Kenny Coolbeth led 12 laps and finished second in a back-and-forth battle with Latus Harley-Davidson rider Joe Kopp in the Grand National Twins main at the Hagerstown Speedway half-mile, the 10th round of the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com. Kopp rode a Harley-Davidson XR-750 to take the win. Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider Jared Mees was third, also on a Harley-Davidson.

Mees was the fastest qualifier for the event and won the four-lap Dash for Cash bonus sprint, but it was Coolbeth who got a jump on the field at the start of the 25-lap main. A crash on the first lap by Zanotti Racing rider Jake Johnson brought the race to a quick halt. Coolbeth was first again on the re-start and led Kopp, Mees and King Kustoms/KK Motorcycle Supply rider Sammy Halbert for the first two laps. The race was then stopped for another crash just as Coolbeth crossed the finish line to complete lap three. On the ensuing re-start, Coolbeth led with Kopp right on his wheel, and the pair of past champions immediately opened a gap on Robert Pearson and Halbert, as Mees slipped back to sixth place. Kopp took the lead from Coolbeth on lap nine, only to see Coolbeth get past on lap 13 as the pair maintained a lead of about 1.5 seconds on Mees, who had worked himself back to third place. Kopp passed Coolbeth again for the lead on lap 18, and began to gradually pull away as the laps wound down, and won by 0.974 seconds to take his third Grand National Twins victory of the season.

“This was a great race with Kopp and I’m sure it was exciting to watch,” said Coolbeth. “I was really happy to get the hole shot with the factory Harley three times tonight. At the end, I think Kopp just found a better line and was able to carry more speed in the corners. I tried to follow his line but could not make it work, and he was able to get away. Now we’ll get ready for the mile at Indy, where we had a big win last year.”

After 10 events, Kopp leads the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship with 193 points. Halbert and Zanotti Racing rider Jake Johnson are tied for second place with 175 points. Mees is third with 164 points, followed by KK Motorcycle Supply/Mike & Eddie Adkins rider Henry Wiles with 160 points. Coolbeth is in sixth with 152 points.

The AMA Grand National Twins will next race August 28 on the Indiana Mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts are inspired by and built in the spirit of the raw adrenaline and power of motorcycle racing. Screamin’ Eagle Pro parts are specifically designed for race-use applications, while Screamin’ Eagle parts offer street-use performance options for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle owner. Visit www.harley-davidson.com for more information.

The Screamin’ Eagle Flat Track team is sponsored by Matco Tools.