AMA

Carr defends his championship

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Chris Carr made history Saturday in Tunica, Miss., by becoming only the third rider in the 49-year history of the AMA Grand National Championship to win four titles. Carr, 35, of Fleetwood, Pa., locked up the 2002 AMA ...

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Chris Carr made history Saturday in Tunica, Miss., by becoming only the third rider in the 49-year history of the AMA Grand National Championship to win four titles. Carr, 35, of Fleetwood, Pa., locked up the 2002 AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship with his fifth-place finish in Tunica. Carr's 49-point lead going into the final two rounds of the series gives him an insurmountable lead over second-ranked Johnny Murphree. Carr joins Carroll Resweber and Scott Parker as the third rider to win at least four AMA Grand National titles (Parker won a record total of nine AMA Grand National Championships).

Carr got off to a relatively slow start to the season, but after winning round four on the Mile at Springfield, Ill., he took over the series points lead and never relinquished it. For much of the season his lead was a narrow one, but in the later rounds his consistency paid off and he gradually pulled away to secure the No. 1 plate. In all, Carr has scored seven podium finishes with two rounds remaining including two wins on the Springfield Mile and a victory at the new-to-the-series half-mile circuit in Prestonsburg, Ky. In the final two weeks of the season nationals in Columbus, Ohio, and Du Quoin, Ill., will round out the 20-race championship.

"There's been 12 different winners in our series so far this year," said the newly crowned Carr. "That speaks volumes for how competitive our series is. There's no other series in AMA racing right now that can boast that kind of parity and it's a real testament to new riders coming up and the older riders who are hanging in there. We've got a very competitive field of riders right now so it means a lot to me to win a championship in a series like that."

Carr won the title on a variety of tracks. This year the series featured more TT and short-track circuits to go along with the traditional mile and half-mile tracks.

"To me a perfect series would be five short tracks, five TTs, five miles and five half-miles," said Carr. "That shows the true balance of a racer. A good balance of variety would produce a true all-around dirt track champion. So I'm glad we're getting more short-track and TT races in the series."

Carr rode a stable of bikes tuned by longtime tuner Kenny Tolbert, who has been with Carr in all four of his championships. He campaigned a Harley-Davidson XR750 at the majority of races and rode a combination of equipment at the short track and TT events including VORs and Rotax-based ATKs. Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned Ford sponsored his effort.

Carr previously won the championship in 1992, 1999 and 2001. 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.

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Series AMA
Drivers Chris Carr