Kenny Coolbeth Jr. led 23 of 25 laps en route to winning the AMA Pro Racing GNC1 class main event on Friday night at the quarter-mile Daytona Flat Track located adjacent to Daytona International Speedway.
In the consummate dominating ride, the 38-year-old Coolbeth, aboard a Honda, crossed the finish line 6.474 seconds ahead of second-place Brandon Robinson (Honda). Sammy Halbert (Honda) finished third. His fastest lap was the race’s next-to-last, impressive punctuation to Coolbeth’s 34th national series victory.
Coolbeth, of Center Hill, Florida, was asked to describe the best thing about racing at Daytona.
“Winning,” he said. “This is amazing.”
In the 18-rider, 16-lap main event for GNC2, an action-packed class featuring up-and-coming Flat Track racers, 18-year-old Justin Jones of Holley, N.Y. rode a Honda to victory – his first main event victory in GNC2 racing. Jones also dominated, leading every lap and beating runner-up Davis Fisher (Honda) by 2.695 seconds. Dalton Gaulthier (Yamaha) finished third.
“I just focused on getting a good start and got a real good one,” Jones said. “I got the hole shot … and didn’t look back.”
The three 10-lap GNC1 heats offered a preview of things to come for the headlining class: the winners were Halbert, Robinson and Coolbeth. Robinson also won the class’ four-lap “Dash For Cash” paying $1,000 and featuring the top-two finishers from each heat. The class’ eight-lap “Last-Chance Qualifier” was claimed by Nick Armstrong (Honda).
In the GNC1 semifinals, also 10 laps each, winners were Wyatt McGuire (Honda) and Johnny Lewis (KTM).Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can also follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.