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Washington driver wins AMA race at Speedway

August 05, 2005

"I have finished second at Hagerstown three times and I finally got a win. This is awesome," said Joe Kopp of Mica, Wash. last Saturday.

Kopp had just won the 25-lap AMA Ford Quality Hub-City Classic Grand National Flat Track Motorcycle Championship at the Hagerstown Speedway. Riding the Latus Harley-Davidson/Jones Pwrspts/KK/Columbia Avionics HD, Kopp tracked down defending National Champion Chris Carr on the 19th lap and held off a charging Ken Coolbeth for his second win of the year.

Series point leader Scott Stump of Warminster, Pa. led flag-to-flag to win the 12-lap Harley Davidson 883 Sportster Performance main event.

Chris Carr got the early lead and quickly pulled away from Joe Kopp, Rich King and the rest of the field. By the eighth lap, Carr had opened a large lead as Kopp had his hands full with King in third. At the halfway mark, it was Carr, Kopp, King and Coolbeth as Jacob Johnson, veteran Jay Springsteen and Paul Lynch were racing two and three wide.

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On lap 15, Kopp began to close the gap on Carr and by lap 18 was on the leader's bumper. Kopp made an inside move coming off the fourth turn to take the lead on lap 19 from Carr. On lap 21, Coolbeth passed Rich King for third and a lap later passed Carr for second. Coolbeth closed the gap on the leader, but time ran out as Kopp picked up his second win of the year and first at Hagerstown.

"At first I didn't think I could catch him (Carr)," said Kopp. "But then I started gaining on him. I had Coolbeth right on me, so I had to keep looking ahead. The track was perfect, you could race all over it. They did a great job tonight."

Following Kopp and Coolbeth was King who passed Carr for third on the final lap with Johnson rounding out the top five. Shawn Clark, Jared Mees, Springsteen and hometown favorite Lynch of Jarrettsville completed the top 10. Kopp, Carr, King and Kenneth Atherton won the heats with Bryan Bigelow, Coolbeth and Jethro Halbert the semi-winners. Atherton was fast Qualifier.

Scott Stump jumped out in front and pulled away to an easy victory in the 12-lap Harley-Davidson Sportster feature with Brian Phillips a distance second.

"This is the best the track has ever been in the 20 years I have raced here," said Stump after his second win of the year. "You could race all over the 10-foot strip there. I wasn't ever racing hard. I knew I was faster than anyone in the heat and knew I had a good chance of winning if I kept myself out of trouble."

Ricky Marshall followed in third behind Stump and Phillips with Christopher Hart and Merle Scherb finishing out the top five. Heat winners were Stump, Josh Tongett and Phillips. Stump was the fastest qualifier.

This Saturday, Hagerstown returns to racing with the late models, late-model sportsman, pure stocks and enduro dash. Race time is 7 p.m.

25-lap AMA Ford Quality Hub-City Classic Grand National Flat Track

Championship: 1. Joe Kopp; 2. Ken Coolbeth; 3. Rich King; 4. Chris Carr; 5. Jacob Johnson; 6. Shawn Clark; 7, Jared Mees; 8, Jay Springsteen; 9. Paul Lynch; 10. Tim Eades; 11. Bryan Bigelow; 12. Kevin Atherton; 13. Jethro Herbert; 14. Bryan Smith; 15. Willie McCoy; 16. Shawn Baer; 17. Kenneth Yoder; 18. George Roeder. (Lap Leaders: Carr, 1-18, Kopp, 19-25)

12-lap Harley Davidson 883 Sportster Performance Feature: 1. Scott Stump; 2. Brian Phillips; 3. Ricky Marshall; 4. Christopher Hart; 5. Merle Scherb; 6. Robert Lewis; 7. Josh Toungett; 8. A.J. Eslick; 9. William Seyle; 10. Jeremy Deruyter; 11. Gary Rogers; 12. Shawn Clark; 13. Brian Kromroy; 14. Lucas Scherb; 15. Kent Briggs; 16. Logan Scherb; 17. Bryan Hazel. (Lap Leaders: Stump, 1-12)

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