Chris Carr: 2004 AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Champion Veteran wins sixth AMA Grand National Championship during 50th anniversary season PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 27, 2004) -- Chris Carr wrapped up his sixth AMA Grand...
Chris Carr: 2004 AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Champion
Veteran wins sixth AMA Grand National Championship during 50th anniversary season
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 27, 2004) -- Chris Carr wrapped up his sixth AMA Grand National Championship Friday night by simply qualifying for the Du Quoin (Ill.) Short Track. Carr, 37, of Fleetwood, Pa., had built up a large enough lead in the series standings that he needed only to qualify for the short track portion of the Du Quoin doubleheader finale to clinch his fourth-straight title. Carr's championship was made even more special considering he won the title during the 50th anniversary of the AMA Grand National Championship.
Carr becomes only the third rider in the history of AMA Grand National Championship to win four consecutive titles. Motorcycle Hall of Famers Carroll Resweber and Scott Parker are the other two champs to win four in a row.
"It means a lot to me to reach the benchmark that Carroll Resweber set all those years ago," Carr said. "He set the standard that everyone was shooting for. When Scotty Parker was chasing his record of four straight there was a lot of emphasis on that and now I've been able to reach that goal and get to enjoy the feeling of reaching one of the remarkable records in AMA racing."
Carr led the 2004 championship from the second round in San Francisco on May 1, all the way through to the season finale. Former champ Joe Kopp finished runner-up to Carr in the final standings and Ken Coolbeth was third. Carr's six national wins made him the wins leader in a season that saw nine different winners in the 17 rounds. He rode Harley-Davidson, Rotax and KTM brands of motorcycles during the season all sponsored by Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned Ford. His bikes were prepared by famed crew chief Kenny Tolbert.
Carr said he knew the championship was his to win fairly early in the season. "We had five different types of races in the first five rounds," he said. "When I came out of that with the series lead I knew we had a good shot at winning another championship. It was just a matter of keeping the momentum going through the rest of the season."
Carr took wins in San Francisco, Florence, Ky., Oak Ridge, Tenn., Farley, Iowa, Springfield, Ill., and Columbus, Ohio. He won three half-miles, two short racks and one mile race. His six wins this year pushed his career AMA Grand National win total to 68 -- second on the all-time list to Scott Parker's 94 wins. Carr's three half-mile wins moved him past Jay Springsteen for third on the all-time half-mile national wins list. Carr leads the short track and TT categories and is fourth in all-time wins on the miles.
After winning the 2004 championship Carr hopes to come back to defend his title next year. In 2005 he will be shooting to win a fifth-straight title, which would tie Scott Parker's record of five-straight AMA Grand National Championships.
"My goal next year is to win the championship," Carr explained. "Where that leads me as far as records are concerned is secondary. If I win the championship any marks I set in the record books is simply a bonus."