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Smokin Joe Kopp Wins the K&N Filters Grand National Championship at Hagertown

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Three restarts and thrilling back-and-forth racing had the huge crowd on the edge of their seats all evening long.
Three restarts and thrilling back-and-forth racing had the huge crowd on the edge of their seats all evening long.
The K&N Filters Grand National Championship went bi-coastal last week, picking up with more epinephrine juiced action at Hagerstown Speedway in Hagertown, Maryland.
Joe Kopp aboard his Latus Harley-Davidson / ENI USA backed bike.
Joe Kopp aboard his Latus Harley-Davidson / ENI USA backed bike.


"This was the single largest event we have had in over five years," commented Hagerstown General Manager, Lisa Bragunier. "The fans were treated to one of the best motorcycle races ever."

K&N sponsored and Lloyd Brothers Racing teammate, Joe Kopp, was looking to have a far better race this week, after his wicked get-off last week on the west coast.

"I am feeling ok, but I have some very sore ribs," said Kopp. "My doctor says I have some torn cartilage, so it will just take time to heal."
Despite experiencing a great deal of pain from his crash last week, Joe Kopp was able to ride through it for the win a Hagerstown Speedway.
Despite experiencing a great deal of pain from his crash last week, Joe Kopp was able to ride through it for the win a Hagerstown Speedway.


"Although it's very painful, I let the adrenalin take over when I'm on the bike."

And so he did, the series points leader had considerably more fun in this race aboard his Latus Harley-Davidson / ENI USA backed bike, dueling all evening with his past teammate Kenny Coolbeth. The two former Grand National Champions kept the huge crowd entertained all evening with their back-and-forth action after several aborted starts to the race.

The first attempt to get the twenty-five lap National under way lasted only to the first turn, where a crash collected a number of riders. The next try lasted two laps before last week's winner, Stevie Bonsey, fell in turn three. Bonsey was uninjured, but unable to make the restart.

In all three subsequent starts Coolbeth got the hole-shot, but on the third restart Kopp stuck right on his back wheel, pressing all the way around the track for any hint of space in which to make a move. Officially Kopp and Coolbeth exchanged the lead three times at the line, but there was passing going on all around the track, much to the crowds delight. On lap twenty Kopp took over the lead for the last time, squeezing out the hard fought victory at the checked flag.

"This was a great race. It was a lot of fun dueling with Kenny, we went back and forth for a long time," remarked Kopp after the race.

As for the how he would like to see the rest of the year unfold, Kopp says, "I would like to try and win a few more races and see what happens in the points at the end of the year. The number one plate is what we are all after every time we get on our bikes, but it takes a ton of hard work to get it done, and I have been putting in a huge effort to try and get it done."

"So ask me about what my plans are for October - hopefully it will be a trip to Disneyland," says Kopp with a smile.

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