AMA

Columbus: Event preview

Everyone gunning for victory at Scioto Downs PICKERINGTON, Ohio ? With the 2002 AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship decided last week in Tunica, Miss., the only goal for all the riders at the Scioto Downs half-mile will be ...

Everyone gunning for victory at Scioto Downs

PICKERINGTON, Ohio ? With the 2002 AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship decided last week in Tunica, Miss., the only goal for all the riders at the Scioto Downs half-mile will be victory. This Sunday, Sept. 22, the stars of the tradition-rich AMA Grand Nationals will make the trek to Columbus, Ohio. It will mark the first AMA National in Ohio's capital city since the old Charity Newsies National, which last ran in 1980. It also is the first motorsports event at Scioto Downs. This race was originally scheduled in April, but was rained out and rescheduled for this weekend.

Newly crowned and four-time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr leads the series regulars in the return to Columbus. Carr, who is only the third rider to have won four AMA Grand National titles, said he is looking forward to racing this Sunday.

"I saw the Columbus track back in April," Carr said. "It's a cool-looking track. It's a high-banked pea gravel track with probably the highest banking I've ever seen. It's going to be a day race so I expect the track will take some rubber and be pretty fast. It's great to bring the race back to Columbus after all these years. I'm going for the win. I'm not counting points anymore. I'm going to drop the hammer and try to make a good paycheck."

The series has been one of amazing parity with 12 riders winning in the 18 rounds leading up to Scioto Downs. That's the highest number of winners in a single season since 1985 when the AMA National road races were part of the Grand National schedule. Under these circumstances trying to pick a favorite for Scioto Downs is nearly impossible. There have been seven different winners on the eight half-mile circuits this year. Perhaps two-time half-mile winner Rich King might have been the best pick, but he's coming off an injury and won't be 100 percent for this race. The bottom line is that this race will be wide open with all the riders shooting for that top spot.

Ohio fans will be cheering for George Roeder II from Monroeville, Ohio. Roeder's dad, George,  was one of the perennial favorites at the old Charity Newsies race at the Ohio State Fairgrounds.

Also on the schedule Sunday is the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series. Jared Mees, a 16-year-old rookie sensation, has already wrapped up that title as well. So as in the Grand National there will be no protecting of points going on. Mees is hoping to get time off from high school to come from Pennsylvania and compete in the Sportster Performance race.

For ticket information call 877-274-1184 or visit www.sciotodowns.com. For immediate post-race results, points, in-depth series and rider information, regular columnists and much more, log onto www.1800FlatTrack.com, the official website of the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship.

<pre> AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE U.S. FLAT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE OF EVENTS SCIOTO DOWNS, COLUMBUS, OH HALF-MILE SEPTEMBER 22, 2002

TRACK DIRECTIONS:                I-71 south to 270 east to 23 south (exit 52B)                                 70 west to 270 south to 23 south (exit 52B)

IN CASE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER, SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2002 10:30 a.m. -  11:30 a.m.         -        Practice 11:30 a.m.                 -        Qualifying Heats 1:30 p.m. -    2:00 p.m.  -        Opening Ceremonies 2:00 p.m. -    2:10 p.m.        -        1st Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat 2:10 p.m. -    2:20 p.m.        -        2nd Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat 2:20 p.m. -    2:30 p.m.        -        3rd Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat 2:30 p.m. -    2:40 p.m.        -        1st Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 2:40 p.m. -    2:50 p.m.        -        2nd Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 2:50 p.m. -    3:00 p.m.        -        3rd Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 3:00 p.m. -    3:10 p.m.        -        4th Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 3:10 p.m. -    3:25 p.m.        -        HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER PERFORMANCE FINAL 3:25 p.m.  -   3:35 p.m.        -        Victory Circle for Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Final 3:35 p.m. -    3:45 p.m.        -        1st Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 3:45 p.m. -    3:55 p.m.        -        2nd Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 3:55 p.m. -    4:05 p.m.        -        3rd Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 4:20 p.m. -    4:35 p.m.        -        AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE GRAND NATIONAL FINAL 4:35 p.m.                 -        Victory Circle for Grand National Final

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Series AMA
Drivers Chris Carr