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FT: Farley half-mile preview

COOLBETH CLOSING IN ON CARR Champ's lead down to single digits coming into Farley Half-Mile PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 2, 2005) -- The AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship returns to Farley (Iowa) Speedway's half-mile this Saturday,...

COOLBETH CLOSING IN ON CARR
Champ's lead down to single digits coming into Farley Half-Mile

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 2, 2005) -- The AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship returns to Farley (Iowa) Speedway's half-mile this Saturday, Aug. 6, for round 10 of the series and the championship chase is as close as it's been since early in the season.

Defending Farley winner Chris Carr leads the point standings coming into this weekend's race, but his series lead, which had been up to 24 points, has dwindled to just nine with seven races remaining.

The rider doing the catching is Ken Coolbeth, Jr., of the KTM/Mid-America Harley Davidson/Jones Powersports team. Coolbeth, a 12-year veteran of the series from Warren, Conn., says the formula to unseating Carr from his nearly perpetual number one spot is simple.

"Keep Chris behind us," Coolbeth explains flatly. "He's pretty consistent so you've got to be on top of your game every race. The points matter, but I try not to concentrate on the points. I just try to go out and do the best I can in every race. For the last few races we've been able to finish ahead of Chris. Farley is a nice track. I was second there to Chris last year and I'm looking to move up one spot."

It's been since mid-June that Carr has finished in front of Coolbeth, but the six-time AMA Grand National Champion and winningest active rider sees pressure as part of the game.

"I've had plenty of pressure before going into the home stretch of the season," said Carr, who started on the pole and led every lap of last year's race. "I just have to focus on the upcoming races and I think everything will fall into place. I won Farley last year and even though it's not going to be easy, I don't see any reason why we can't go in and win it again."

Joe Kopp is the hottest rider in the championship coming into Saturday's event. The former champ from Mica, Wash., has scored victories in the last two rounds and has moved to within 23 points of the series lead in third.

"At this point I really can't worry about points or where I am in the championship," Kopp said. "I want to keep this winning streak alive and that's my main goal going into Farley."

The series has been so competitive that with his victory in Hagerstown, Md., last week Kopp is the first rider to win back-to-back races so far this season.

Iowans will be rooting for home state hero Rich King. King already has a victory to his credit this year and is ranked sixth in the standings coming into Farley. The veteran rider from Dysart, would love nothing better than to give the local fans something to cheer about.

Supporting the Grand National race at Farley is the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series. Scott Stump, of Warminster, Pa., took the lead in the championship with a win last week in Hagerstown, Md. Stump, who rides with backing from Lima Harley-Davidson, Jeff Eibling and Widman Motorcycle Sales, is trying to earn his second Sportster Performance title. His first came in 1994.

Practice at Farley is schedule for 5:00 pm and the racing begins at 8:00 pm. For additional information on the event contact (563) 744-3620.

-ama-

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Series AMA
Drivers Chris Carr