New Dates, Same Great Dirt Track Races

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 1, 2004) -- Among the new twists in the new 2004 Daytona 200 Week schedule are the new race dates for the AMA HotShoe Series and the AMA Progressive Insurance Grand National Championship at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium.

Traditionally held on Friday and Saturday nights respectively, the AMA HotShoe Series now moves to Wednesday night, March 3 while the AMA Progressive Insurance Grand National Championship is slated for Thursday, March 4.

"We're racers. I don't care if were racing on Monday morning, we want to race," said Chris Carr, who'll compete in Thursday's AMA Progressive Insurance Grand National Championship race. "I think it's great for all the fans who want to have the opportunity to see all that there is to offer when it comes to racing. We're not conflicting with any major races on Thursday. I think having the two short track races Wednesday and Thursday is a good deal for fans of all motorcycle racing."

In 2003, the 36-year-old Carr, who resides in Fleetwood, Pa., held off Johnny Murphree and Jay Springsteen to earn his third Grand National win at Daytona, tying the late Will Davis.

This year, he'll try to become the first rider to win four Grand National races at Daytona and he knows it won't be an easy task.

Carr will have to battle the usual suspects such as Murphree, Brett Landes and Terry Poovey. But he'll also have to lookout for the dark horse favorite. The AMA Grand National race at Daytona has the knack to produce first-time winners, most recently Richard Winsett in 2002.

"There are more entries for the Daytona race than there is any other round," Carr said. "Making the program is an accomplishment in itself and then getting in the feature is an accomplishment. Everybody has got to work hard at staying on top of their game from the first practice on. You have to not make mistakes in the early rounds that can cost you positions later on."

Carr hopes a victory in the season opening Grand National race at Daytona can deliver some much-needed momentum as he pursues his sixth Grand National championship.

"Whenever you can perform at your best during this week, it carries a lot more weight, especially in our series," said Carr, who owns both the qualifying and race records in the Grand National event. "If you win at Daytona, you get to brag about it for two more months because that's when the next round is.

"It's a good time to come down here and kick off the season. Daytona is the place to be the first weekend of March. We always want to do well because a lot of the industry is here and represented. I just like the atmosphere and the ambiance of Daytona 200 Week."

Tickets for the Dirt Track races at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium are available online at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.