AMA

Allen Fair: Event preview

Carr aims to set record at Lima AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat track race. PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Past winners of the Lima Half-mile AMA Grand National sound like a who's who of the sport's great half-milers. Scott Parker, Steve Morehead,...

Carr aims to set record at Lima AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat track race.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Past winners of the Lima Half-mile AMA Grand National sound like a who's who of the sport's great half-milers. Scott Parker, Steve Morehead, Will Davis and Ricky Graham all earned victory on the cushioned crushed limestone of the Allen County Fairgrounds track, but it's current AMA champ Chris Carr who has a chance to permanently etch his name in the record books this Saturday, June 29, by becoming the first rider to win four straight at Lima.

Carr leads the current AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship point standings coming into this week's race, which is round seven of the 20-race series. The season so far has been one of parity with six different winners in the first six races. Odds are heavily in Carr's favor to become the first two-time winner this year. The Ford-sponsored rider from Fleetwood, Pa., has a total of four national wins at Lima. Carr's first victory on the track came back in 1991. He started his current winning streak at Lima in 1999.

"Lima is one of the classic tracks in the series," said Carr, who could tie the legendary Bart Markel this weekend for fifth on the AMA all-time half-mile national wins list. "My former teammate Scotty Parker was really tough at Lima, so to have a chance to be the only rider to win four in a row there is a big incentive for me."

Surprisingly Carr will be the only former Lima winner to take to the line on Saturday night. Several riders seem well overdue for a victory at Lima though, especially local favorite George Roeder II, who hails from nearby Monroeville, Ohio. Roeder has been racing professional at Lima for 16 years. In that time he has earned nine top-five finishes at the national, but has yet to record a victory. Many of the fans at Lima this weekend will be cheering on Roeder, who comes into the race ranked 16th in the current standings.

Another rider who has come close several times, but just missed the big prize at Lima is former AMA champion Joe Kopp. The rider from Mica, Washington, has been runner-up in the race three times. Kopp hopes to finally get one position higher on the box this weekend and improve on his current sixth-place ranking in the points.

Johnny Murphree, 23, from Forsyth, Ill., has surprised a lot of people with his showing so far this year. The young rider, originally from California, broke through to win his first AMA Grand National earlier this month in Hagerstown, Maryland, and comes into this weekend's race ranked second in the series, just five points behind Carr. Murphree has never had the best results at Lima -- his best there was sixth two years ago -- so a solid result at the track would mark a breakthrough of sorts for him.

Ken Coolbeth comes into Lima this year solidly in the hunt for the championship -- in third and just 10 points behind leader Carr. The 25-year-old rider from Warren, Conn., has had an even tougher time than Murphree at Lima. In eight years Coolbeth has cracked the top-10 just once at the race, and that was a ninth-place finish in 1994. Like Murphree, Coolbeth would like nothing better than to have a breakthrough at Lima this weekend.

In addition to the featured Grand National race, there will also be a Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series event at Lima. Pennsylvania rider Jared Mees has parlayed a pair of victories into the series lead in that championship. Mees took over the Sportster Performance Series lead after winning this past weekend in Des Moines, Iowa. He holds a nine-point advantage over Texan Scott Scherb coming into Saturday's race.

For more information on Saturday's race in Lima call the Allen County Fairgrounds at (419) 991-1491.

<pre> Schedule Of Events Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, Oh Half-Mile June 29, 2002

In Case Of Inclement Weather, Schedule Is Subject To Change

SATURDAY, JUNE 29, 2002 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Registration at the track 2:00 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. - Tech Inspection at the track 4:15 p.m. - Mandatory Riders Meeting 4:30 p.m. - Practice 5:30 p.m. - Qualifying Heats 7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies 7:30 p.m. - 7:40 p.m. - 1st Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat 7:40 p.m. - 7:50 p.m. - 2nd Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat 7:50 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - 3rd Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat 8:00 p.m. - 8:10 p.m. - 1st Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 8:10 p.m. - 8:20 p.m. - 2nd Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 8:20 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. - 3rd Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 8:30 p.m. - 8:40 p.m. - 4th Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 8:40 p.m. - 8:55 p.m. - HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER PERFORMANCE FINAL 8:55 p.m. - 9:05 p.m. - Victory Circle for Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Final 9:05 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. - 1st Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 9:15 p.m. - 9:25 p.m. - 2nd Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 9:25 p.m. - 9:35 p.m. - 3rd Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 9:50 p.m. - 10:05 p.m. - AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE GRAND NATIONAL FINAL

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Series AMA
Drivers Chris Carr