AMS Grand National riders to get their kicks at Route 66 Raceway PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 7, 2004) -- PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The rolling thunder of the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Championship rolls into Joliet, Ill., and Route 66...
AMS Grand National riders to get their kicks at Route 66 Raceway
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 7, 2004) -- PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The rolling thunder of the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Championship rolls into Joliet, Ill., and Route 66 Raceway this Friday, July 9. The leading AMA Grand National riders from across the country will vie for the top prize on the half-mile oval in round seven of the 20-race series. Chris Carr, the defending and five-time AMA Grand National champ, leads the standings coming into Friday's race. Carr has built a commanding 39-point lead by finishing in the top five at every round, including two victories in the previous six races.
In an historic first, this race is being held in conjunction with a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series race at the neighboring Chicagoland Speedway. The AMA race will be held directly after Nextel Cup qualifying giving NASCAR fans a unique opportunity to see AMA Grand National motorcycle racing. Many of NASCAR's top drivers are expected to be among the crowd taking in the exciting two-wheel action Friday night and NASCAR's own Kyle Petty will be on hand as Master of Ceremonies.
This year marks the return of AMA Grand National racing to Route 66 Raceway after a four-year absence. The track is considered one of the finest facilities on the AMA Flat Track racing calendar. The track has produced some outstanding racing in the past with lots of passing and a wide racing line
Carr comes into Joliet the pre-race favorite. The veteran racer from Fleetwood, Pa., is the winningest active rider on the circuit and is chasing his sixth AMA Grand National title. Riding a stable of motorcycles sponsored by Quality Checked Certified Pre Owned Ford, Carr has sprinted out to one of the biggest early leads in the 50-year history of the series.
Joe Kopp, the last rider other than Carr to win the series title, cut into Carr's lead with a victory on June 26 in Lima, Ohio, but a post-race inspection indicated the fuel of Kopp's bike was out of compliance. An independent lab verified the result and Kopp received a 23-point penalty. Now the former champ from Mica, Wash., will have to regroup and try to chip away at Carr's considerable series lead.
Harley-Davidson factory rider Rick King, from Dysart, Iowa, comes into the race as the only former winner at Route 66. King comes into the race having already earned a victory this year in Springfield, Ill., and is ranked 13th in the series standings.
Joliet is rolling out the red carpet on Thursday night before the race hosting Fanfest. Fans can come out to meet and get autographs from the stars of the AMA Progressive Insurance Championship and check out their bikes. Plus they can meet some of the NASCAR drivers, and see NASCAR and IRL racecars. The Fourth Annual Fanfest will be held on Chicago Street in Downtown Joliet from 5pm - 11pm.
Tickets can be purchased at the Route 66 Raceway Ticket Office, by phone at 815-727-7223 or online at www.route66raceway.com. Tickets can also be purchased through the Ticketmaster Distribution Network - online at ticketmaster.com, Charge-By-Phone at 312-559-1212, or at any area Ticketmaster Outlet locations including Carson Pirie Scott, Tower Records, Coconuts, FYE, and Hot Tix.
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 Flat Track Championship.