FT: Peoria TT preview

CARR HOPES TO REGAIN PEORIA TT CROWN PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 16, 2005) -- It was 19 years ago that Chris Carr won his first AMA Grand National. It came at the Peoria TT and little did anyone know then that the blond-haired youth from Northern...


PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 16, 2005) -- It was 19 years ago that Chris Carr won his first AMA Grand National. It came at the Peoria TT and little did anyone know then that the blond-haired youth from Northern California would go on to become known as the "Prince of Peoria" after winning a record 13 Peoria Nationals. This Sunday, Aug. 21, will see the 57th running of the historic Peoria TT, round 11 of the 2005 AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship.

Carr, who rides for his own Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned Ford sponsored team, comes to Peoria this year with a championship lead that has dwindled down to five points over Warren, Connecticut's Ken Coolbeth. Coolbeth is coming off a victory a couple of weeks ago in Farley, Iowa. Carr is also on his longest dry spell ever at Peoria, having last won the race in 2001. Still, if you had just one rider to pick to win Peoria, the vast majority of people would vote for Carr.

With Coolbeth, and to a lesser extent third-place Joe Kopp, zeroing in on Carr's lead, you might think Carr sees Peoria as his chance to cushion his points lead. While that's true, Carr says Peoria in that sense is no different from any other national.

"I look at every weekend as an opportunity to add to my lead," said Carr, the all-time AMA Grand National wins leader among active riders. "Just because I've done well at Peoria in the past doesn't mean I can approach this race any differently. You never really know what that track is going to throw at you. It's dictated so much by the weather, track preparation and other factors. I've seen races where a team gets the right set up and a rider runs away with it. I've been fortunate to do that in the past. And I've also seen some really close races there."

While Carr says Peoria is like any other race in terms of points, he realizes that the event is one of the true marquee races each year on the AMA racing calendar.

"Peoria is one of those must-see races and I always get a special feeling going there," he says. "We tested the KTMs a lot last week to get ready for the TT. The team has done all we can to be ready."

As the season moves to the home stretch no one could blame Carr for going into a points protection mode, but he says it's too early for that and it's never been his style to race with anything but winning in mind.

"My strategy is to go out and win races and let the points fall where they may," he adds. "I've lost a little bit of my points lead in the last few races, but the last thing I want to do is get conservative and start trying to protect the small lead I have."

Other past winners at Peoria expected to be on the line Sunday include Henry Wiles, JR Schnabel and Joe Kopp.

Wiles broke through to earn his first national win at Peoria last year in one of the biggest surprises in the long history of the race. Coming into this year's race however, no one will take the young Michigan rider for granted. Even though he's ranked only 15th in the standings, Wiles has already shown he's fully prepared when it comes to the unique talents required in TT racing. He scored a season best runner-up finish to Schnabel at the Springfield (Ill.) TT in May.

The Peoria TT dates back to the 1940s and has witnessed some of motorcycling's most storied wins. From Joe Leonard, Ed Kretz, Sr., Brad Andres and Dick Mann to Kenny Roberts, Jay Springsteen, Bubba Shobert and Nicky Hayden, the Peoria trophy has long been one of the most coveted prizes in motorcycle racing. The setting is also one of the most unique in the world of racing. The track is bordered by a wooded hillside, which creates a scenic natural amphitheatre. The Peoria Motorcycle Club has hosted the event since its inception.

For additional information call (309) 697-0011 or visit the website

About AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the THQ AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Motocross Championship, the AMA Superbike Championship, the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Joe Leonard , Kenny Roberts Jr. , Chris Carr