PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 26, 2003) -- AMA Grand National racing returns to Milwaukee for the first time since 1955 when the nation's best flat trackers converge on Hales Corners Speedway on Friday night, Aug. 29, for round 13 of the AMA...
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 26, 2003) -- AMA Grand National racing returns to Milwaukee for the first time since 1955 when the nation's best flat trackers converge on Hales Corners Speedway on Friday night, Aug. 29, for round 13 of the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship. Hales Corners Speedway is a third-mile, semi-banked clay oval and is hosting its first--and last--AMA National. The track is reportedly scheduled to be demolished after this event, making it an even more special race held during an already historic weekend in Milwaukee. The race is part of Harley-Davidson's 100th Anniversary celebration going on all week.
From the 1920s to the 1950s the historic Milwaukee Mile hosted AMA Flat Track races, but when the track was paved in the mid-1950s AMA Grand National racing in the home city of Harley-Davidson came to an end. This Friday's race marks the first AMA Grand National race in the Milwaukee metro area in nearly 50 years. Local interest is extremely high.
Carr holds a 31-point lead over Johnny Murphree in the series coming into Friday's race. Joe Kopp is another 10 points behind Murphree. Carr is going to be tough to beat on the short-track at Hales Corners. He is one of the veterans of the series and his mechanic Kenny Tolbert is an expert at getting Carr's Quality Checked Certified Pre-owned Ford-backed machines set up quickly. Carr has another advantage -- he is the AMA Grand National all-time wins leader on short tracks. Carr has six-career victories, including three this year. He is trying to become only the second rider in the history of AMA Grand National racing to win five championships.
Wisconsin fans will be cheering on local hero JR Schnabel, who hails from nearby West Bend. Schnabel, the 1996 AMA Rookie of the Year, comes into Hales Corners ranked ninth in the series and is coming off an epic win at the Peoria TT Classic. Schnabel is looking forward to the race, even though he has no home track advantage. "I've never been to the track," says Schnabel. "Like everyone else I'll be starting from scratch there." Schnabel should feel an extra boost of confidence coming off the Peoria win a couple weeks ago. "That definitely helps," he claims. "We'll be racing the small bikes and having just won Peoria on my Yamaha gives me some momentum coming into this race. Also having the home crowd behind me should help me step it up a notch. Getting a good set up is going to be so important since we're racing here for the first time. With all the different brands out there, sometimes one type of bike will work better than the others. It's also going to be great to have all the Harley-Davidson people there celebrating the 100th Anniversary, especially since I work there."
The 7th round of the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series will also run at Hales Corner Speedway Friday evening. A tight battle for the championship is between the top three points leaders. Texan Scott Scherb, coming off a two-win streak, leads the Championship by 7 points over 1994 Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Champion, Scott Stump. Cory McDermitt follows closely just another 6 points back.
Hales Corners Speedway is located in the Milwaukee area, on Highway 100 one-half mile south of Forest Home Avenue in Franklin, a southern suburb of Milwaukee. For more information, call (414) 778-4700 during regular business hours or (414) 425-4700 on race day. The track's website is www.halescornersspeedway.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.