AMA

FT: Hagerstown preview

CARR LOOKING TO REBOUND AT HAGERSTOWN PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 25, 2007) -- Seven-time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr is suffering through one of the toughest seasons in his pro career so far in 2007. The all-time winningest active...

CARR LOOKING TO REBOUND AT HAGERSTOWN

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 25, 2007) -- Seven-time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr is suffering through one of the toughest seasons in his pro career so far in 2007. The all-time winningest active rider in the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship has yet to score a victory six races into the AMA Grand National Twins Championship. Carr, rider and owner of the Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned Ford racing team, will try to get his season back on track when the series moves into Hagerstown, Md., and the Hagerstown Speedway Half-mile on Saturday, July 28, for the 26th Annual Hub-City Classic.

Carr comes into Hagerstown the defending race winner and owner of three victories at the Maryland track in the last six years. Hagerstown, the closest track in the series to Carr's home in Fleetwood, Pa., would be the perfect venue for him to turn his season around.

"There's no doubt I've been in a slump in the last month," said Carr, who comes into Hagerstown ranked seventh in the standings. "If there's any track where I could break out of this drought Hagerstown would be it. I have high expectations coming into this race."

Carr says Hagerstown's Half-mile oval presents distinctive challenges to the riders.

"It's one of the most technical half-miles we race on," Carr explained. "It requires precise throttle control instead of just sheer bravery and running wide open up near the hay bales like some of the tracks. At 40 you begin to enjoy these smooth, well-prepared tracks. Plus Hagerstown is close to home and it always has a good crowd."

While a victory wouldn't put Carr back into the championship picture this early in the season, he's looking at this race as an opportunity to start piecing together a run up the point standings.

"At this point I can only look at one race at a time. I'm so far down in the standings all I can do is keep my head up and try to find the combination to get back on the podium."

While Carr is hoping to defend his Hagerstown crown, the battle atop the Grand National Twins Championship is heating up with the victory of factory Harley-Davidson rider Ken Coolbeth in this past weekend's race in Greenville, Ohio. Coolbeth's victory pulled him within five points of series leader Jared Mees, of Blue Springs/Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson. Coolbeth and Mees now have three wins each to their credit coming into Saturday's event.

In addition to a blazing championship chase and Carr's quest to make a comeback, another storyline coming into Hagerstown is the diversity of machinery in the series this year. Last week in Greenville marked the second time this season that five different brands of motorcycles were represented in the final. In addition to the Harley-Davidson brand, Suzuki, Triumph, Aprilia and Yamaha all had machines qualify for last week's Grand National.

Hagerstown will also host a round of the new Basic Expert Twins class.

-credit: ama

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