AMA

Flat Track Championship Peoria preview

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- It's one of the oldest and most prestigious motorcycle races in America - the Peoria TT Steeplechase in Peoria, Ill. The Peoria TT is coming to the Peoria Motorcycle Club Grounds on Sunday, Aug. 19, for round 14 of the...

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- It's one of the oldest and most prestigious motorcycle races in America - the Peoria TT Steeplechase in Peoria, Ill. The Peoria TT is coming to the Peoria Motorcycle Club Grounds on Sunday, Aug. 19, for round 14 of the 20-race AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championships.

The annual Tourist Trophy AMA Grand National event has been running at Peoria since 1947 and has become one of the true classics in American motorcycle racing.

Since the late 1980s, Chris Carr has become the all-time wins leader at Peoria. The California native who now lives in Fleetwood, Pa., has won a record 12 Peoria TT races dating back to his first win there in 1986. Since that year only three other riders have managed to win the well-known race. Carr's domination of the race has earned him the title of the "Prince of Peoria." Carr just might face one of his toughest challenges at the TT this year. His top rival in the series this year, Joe Kopp, is another rider who runs well at Peoria. He is hoping to win the race for the second time and take back the series lead, which he and Carr have traded back and forth all season. Kopp, the defending AMA national champ, comes from Washington state, which is a hotbed of TT racing. Kopp won Peoria in 1997 and is eager to knock the Prince off his throne. Young Nicky Hayden is a star in the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship, but dirt-track racing is his first love and the Peoria TT is a race he would dearly love to win. Hayden will be coming to Peoria having seriously prepared for this year's race. He finished second to his older brother Tommy at the Springfield TT earlier this year. Nicky needs a TT and mile win to complete the dirt-track racing's Grand Slam of victories on a mile, half-mile, short-track and TT courses. Tommy will not be racing at Peoria, but youngest brother Roger Lee will join Nicky in a Hayden assault on Peoria.

Iowan Rich King could be a sleeper at Peoria. The Harley-Davidson factory rider was third last year and was runner-up at the race in 1996 to the late Andy Tresser. King comes into Peoria fourth in the standings and needs to start winning soon to have a chance to catch Carr and Kopp in the championship race.

Will Davis, winner of the last two rounds of the series, probably has little chance of making it three in a row. The veteran racer from North Carolina makes no secret that the jump and right-hand turn that separates Peoria from the rest of the left-turn only AMA Grand Nationals has never been one of his favorites. But this off-season, Davis built a personal TT-style course in preparation for this event, so his string of top-10 finishes in the last few years could change.

<pre> AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE U.S. FLAT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS PEORIA MOTORCYCLE CLUBGROUNDS, PEORIA, IL AUGUST 19, 2001 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

TRACK DIRECTIONS: I-474 to exit 3-A, then 1 mile west on Farmington Road, then .3 mile south on Maxwell Road, then 1.8 miles west on SR 116 (Plank Road), then .5 mile south on Cameron Lane

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2001 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - Registration at the track 8:00 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. - Tech Inspection at the track 10:15 a.m. - Mandatory Riders Meeting 10:30 a.m. - 11:15 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 Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat Race 2:10 p.m. - 2:20 p.m. - 2nd Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat Race 2:20 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - 3rd Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat Race 2:30 p.m. - 2:40 p.m. - 4th Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat Race 2:40 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. - 1st Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 2:50 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - 2nd Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 3:00 p.m. - 3:10 p.m. - 3rd Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 3:25 p.m. - 3:40 p.m. - AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE GRAND NATIONAL FINAL 3:45 p.m. - - Victory Circle for Progressive Insurance Grand National Championship

Speedvision will tape the TT for September broadcasts as follows: Sept. 4, 10-11 p.m. & 2-3 a.m. , and on Sept. 11 at 3-4 p.m.

-AMA Pro Racing

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Series AMA
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Chris Carr