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Kirk McCarthy wins Buell Pro Thunder title

Kirk Mccarthy wins Buell Pro Thunder Championship; Aussie crowned first AMA road racing champion of 2002. PICKERINGTON, Ohio-- Kirk McCarthy was brought over by Advance Motorsports Ducati owner Jeff Nash -- the 2000 Pro Thunder champ -- as ...

Kirk Mccarthy wins Buell Pro Thunder Championship; Aussie crowned first AMA road racing champion of 2002.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio-- Kirk McCarthy was brought over by Advance Motorsports Ducati owner Jeff Nash -- the 2000 Pro Thunder champ -- as a guest rider for the opening round of the 2002 AMA Buell Pro Thunder Series at Daytona Beach, Fla., in March. After McCarthy won Daytona by a convincing 11 seconds, Nash decided it might be a good idea to keep the former Australian Superbike champion around for the season. It proved to be a good move. McCarthy dominated the championship, winning four of the five series races en route to winning the 2002 title. He becomes the first AMA road racing champion of 2002.

McCarthy, 33, of Melbourne, is a veteran road racer with a diverse background in the sport. He won the Australian Superbike Championship in 1995. He then went on to ride in German and British road racing series' as well as doing stints in MotoGP and World Superbike. This was McCarthy's first season of racing in America.

"I'm happy to bring the Pro Thunder championship back to AMS Motorsports," McCarthy said. "I would have liked to have turned in a perfect season, but four wins out of five isn't too bad. I had a great time racing here in America and hope I can return next year."

After winning the season opener in Daytona, McCarthy went on to take victories at Pikes Peak International Raceway, Road America and Brainerd International Raceway. His only loss came in the final round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where he finished runner-up to Mike Ciccotto. In addition to his four wins, McCarthy also earned the pole at four of the five rounds and set Pro Thunder track records at Daytona, Pikes Peak, Road America and Brainerd International Raceway.

McCarthy becomes the fifth and final champion of the Pro Thunder Series, joining former champs Paul Harrell, Shawn Conrad, Jeffrey Nash and Thomas Montano.

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Series AMA
Drivers Shawn Conrad