AMA

Peoria: Event preview

Carr hoping to continue reign as Prince Of Peoria. PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The Peoria TT is one of the classic events in all of motorcycle racing. This Sunday is the 54th edition of the famed event. Over the years a number of riders have proven...

Carr hoping to continue reign as Prince Of Peoria.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The Peoria TT is one of the classic events in all of motorcycle racing. This Sunday is the 54th edition of the famed event. Over the years a number of riders have proven their skill on the unique TT circuit. Legends such as Motorcycle Hall of Famers Joe Leonard, Dick Mann, Bart Markel and Ricky Graham were all multiple winners at Peoria, but none mastered the TT like current AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr, of Fleetwood, Pa. Carr has earned a record 13 wins at Peoria dating back to 1986, including a stretch between 1988 and 1995 where he earned eight-straight wins on the grounds of the Peoria Motorcycle Club. Carr has been so successful at Peoria that he's earned the moniker the "Prince of Peoria."

Peoria is round 13 of the 20-race AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship. Carr leads the points standing coming into Sunday's race in one of the most competitive seasons in the 48-year history of the AMA Flat Track racing. There have been 10 winners in the 12 rounds leading up to Peoria. Only 22 points separate the top four riders in the series. A good performance at Peoria could be enough to put a rider atop the standings.

Joe Kopp of Mica, Wash., and long-time racing veteran and former champ Jay Springsteen, from Lapeer, Mich., are the only other active riders besides Carr to win Peoria. That could change this weekend.

Harley-Davidson factory rider Rich King is coming off a win last weekend at the half-mile in Hagerstown, Md., and is primed for a win at Peoria. King, from Dysart, Iowa, has never won the race despite three consecutive podium finishes. Former winner Kopp is always strong on the TT circuit, having grown up racing this type of track frequently in the Pacific Northwest. And JR Schnabel, from West Bend, Wis., is a young gun who has been a top runner at the track since he turned pro.

But perhaps the biggest threat in Carr's incredible run at Peoria comes from Owensboro, Ky., in the form of the three Hayden brothers ? Tommy, Nicky and Roger Lee. All three have proven to be excellent TT racers and the brothers made history in May at the Springfield (Ill.) TT when the brothers went one-two-three, with Nicky winner over Tommy and Roger Lee. It marked the first time in racing history that brothers filled the podium. With the addition of the Haydens this year's Peoria could be one of the most memorable in years. For additional information on the race contact Peoria Race Park at (309) 697-0011, or visit www.peoriatt.org.

<pre> AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE U.S. FLAT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

PEORIA MOTORCYCLE CLUBGROUNDS, PEORIA, IL T.T. AUGUST 18, 2002

TRACK DIRECTIONS:        I-474 to exit 3-A, then 1.0 miles 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

IN CASE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER, SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 2002 10:30 a.m. -   11:15 a.m.        Practice 11:30 a.m.                      Qualifying heats 2:00 p.m. -    2:10 p.m.        1st Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 2:10 p.m. -    2:20 p.m.        2nd Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 2:20 p.m. -    2:30 p.m.        3rd Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 2:30 p.m. -    2:40 p.m.        4th Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 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

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Series AMA
Drivers Joe Leonard , Chris Carr