PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The riders of the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Championships will be putting on their biggest smiles for the television cameras as the series moves to the half-mile dirt oval at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte,...
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The riders of the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Championships will be putting on their biggest smiles for the television cameras as the series moves to the half-mile dirt oval at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C., for round 11 of the 20-race series. Saturday night's race will be taped for a mid-August showing of the Progressive Insurance Grand National and Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance races on Speedvision.
This year's series has featured a great two-way contest between former champs Chris Carr on the Harley-Davidson of Sacramento, 750 Harley-Davidson, and Mica, Wash., Joe Kopp riding for Corbin. Carr, the 34-year-old two-time AMA Grand National champion from Fleetwood, Penn., holds a two-point lead over defending champion Kopp coming into this weekend's race.
Both Carr and Kopp will be looking to improve on their performances at Charlotte last year. Carr crashed early in the final last year and remounted to finish 12th. Kopp had a motor go bad and he was forced to retire from the main event.
North Carolinian dirt-track racing fans are also looking forward to rooting for home-state hero Will Davis, of Goldsboro. Davis, riding for Moroney's Harley-Davidson / Fasthog.com, missed competing in the debut race last year after suffering a head injury while playing in a softball game.
"I hated to have to watch from the sidelines last year," said Davis, who is currently fourth in the series standings. "The track was one of the best prepared on the circuit. I hope to give my friends and family something to cheer about this time around."
Robert Lewis Jr., is another North Carolina rider is hoping to make the main at Charlotte. Lewis of Tarboro, earned a top-10 finish at the season opener in Daytona Beach and is ranked 24th.
Mike Hacker, of Carson, Va., was the surprising winner of last year's race at Charlotte. It marked his first-career win in the series. Hacker, on the Saddlemen Harley-Davidson, an eight-year veteran of the series, would love to get his second victory at Charlotte. He is ranked sixth in the Grand National standings.
Joining the premier Grand National race Saturday night is the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series. Illinois rider Paul Morgan III, has a slim lead over former top AMA amateur dirt tracker Bryan Smith of Flint, Mich. Willie McCoy, of Dallas, won the Sportster Performance race at Charlotte last year.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.gospeedway.com.
AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE U.S. FLAT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY, CONCORD, NC
TRACK DIRECTIONS: NE of Charlotte on I-85 to exit 49 (Speedway Blvd.), then south
SATURDAY, JULY 28, 2001 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Registration at the track 2:30 p.m. - 4:40 p.m. Tech Inspection at the track 5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Practice 6:00 p.m. Qualifying Heats 7:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Opening Ceremonies 8:00 p.m. - 8:10 p.m. 1st Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat Race 8:10 p.m. - 8:20 p.m. 2nd Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat Race 8:20 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 3rd Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat Race 8:30 p.m. - 8:40 p.m. 1st Grand National Heat Race 8:40 p.m. - 8:50 p.m. 2nd Grand National Heat Race 8:50 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 3rd Grand National Heat Race 9:00 p.m. - 9:10 p.m. 4th Grand National Heat Race 9:10 p.m. - 9:25 p.m. HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORSTER PERFORMANCE FINAL 9:25 p.m. - 9:35 p.m. Victory Circle for H-D Sportster Performance Final 9:35 p.m. - 9:45 p.m. 1st Grand National Semi Final 9:45 p.m. - 9:55 p.m. 2nd Grand National Semi Final 9:55 p.m. - 10:05 p.m. 3rd Grand National Semi Final 10:20 p.m. -10:35 p.m. AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE GRAND NATIONAL FINAL 10:40 p.m. Victory Circle for Grand National
Speedvision will broadcast the Charlotte races as listed below:
Aug. 14: 9:30-10 p.m. & 1:30-2 a.m. - Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance
Aug. 14: 10-11 p.m. & 2-3 a.m. - Grand National
Aug. 21: 1:30-2 p.m. - Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance
Aug. 21: 2-3 p.m. - Grand National