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Will Rogers Downs: Claremore event preview

Will Rogers Downs to host its first AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship event PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., will play host to the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship on Sunday,...

Will Rogers Downs to host its first AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship event

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., will play host to the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship on Sunday, April 7. The country's leading motorcycle racers will converge on the northeastern Oklahoma community all hoping to become the winner of the inaugural event.

The race on Will Rogers Downs mile oval is the second round of the 2002 AMA series. Round one was held in Daytona Beach, Fla., where Pennsylvania's Richard Winsett Jr., broke through with his first AMA Grand National victory. The riders will have to totally reset coming from Daytona Beach's short track to the wide-open mile circuit of Will Rogers.

The rider with perhaps the inside track on winning in Claremore is 2000 AMA Grand National Champion Joe Kopp. Kopp won last year's AMA National Hot Shoe Series race in Claremore.

"I remember all the people were really enthused about having motorcycle racing back in their area," Kopp recalled. "The track is a red-sandy clay and it will probably form a pretty good groove. The turns are broad so you can carry a lot of speed. I think it will favor riders who ride well on a technical grooved track. Chris Carr will be tough of course and I think Kenny Coolbeth should do really well there."

This will be the first AMA Grand National race of the season where riders will have a choice of running a street-based 1000cc machine or traditional Harley-Davidson 750cc race machines.

"I plan on bringing my Suzuki 1000cc and my Harley," said Kopp. "I'll let the stopwatch decide which one I run in the race. It will be kind of exciting trying out both bikes and figuring out which one will work best.

I imagine quite a few of the guys will be doing the same. It should be really interesting." This will mark the first AMA Grand National in Oklahoma since 1999. For additional information you can contact Will Rogers Downs at (918) 343-6360. Tickets may also be purchased from Green Country Honda/Suzuki by calling (918) 258-4774.

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 Championships.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
WILL ROGERS DOWNS, CLAREMORE, OK MILE

SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2002
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - Registration at the track
@8:00 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. - Tech Inspection at the track
10:15 a.m. - Mandatory Riders Meeting
10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. - Practice
11:30 a.m. - Qualifying heats
1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies
2:00 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. - 1st H-D SP heat
2:10 p.m. - 2:20 p.m. - 2nd H-D SP heat
2:20 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - 3rd H-D SP heat
2:30 p.m. - 2:40 p.m. - 1st GNC heat
2:40 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. - 2nd GNC heat
2:50 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - 3rd GNC heat
3:00 p.m. - 3:10 p.m. - 4th GNC heat
3:10 p.m. - 3:25 p.m. - H-D SPORTSTER PERFORMANCE FINAL
3:25 p.m. - 3:35 p.m. - Victory Circle for H-D Sportster Performance Final
3:35 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. - 1st GNC Semi
3:45 p.m. - 3:55 p.m. - 2nd GNC Semi
3:55 p.m. - 4:05 p.m. - 3rd GNC Semi
4:20 p.m. - 4:35 p.m. - AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE GRAND NATIONAL FINAL
4:35 p.m. - Victory Circle for Grand National

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Series AMA
Drivers Chris Carr