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FT: Syracuse round five preview

AMA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNS TO SYRACUSE MILE PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 14, 2005) -- Round five of the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship returns to the historic New York Fairgrounds on June 18, for the Aaron Creamer ...

AMA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNS TO SYRACUSE MILE

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 14, 2005) -- Round five of the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship returns to the historic New York Fairgrounds on June 18, for the Aaron Creamer Memorial Syracuse Mile. It marks the return of AMA Grand National Championship racing to the Syracuse Mile for the first time in 12 years.

The historic Syracuse Mile is one of the oldest racetracks in the country and hosted AMA races dating back to the founding of the association in 1924.

The series is coming off a rain out at Tri-City Speedway last weekend in Granite City, Ill., forcing the postponement of that event until Saturday, Sept. 24.

Defending AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr leads the championship chase by 14 points coming into Saturday's race. Carr is one of the few riders who have race experience on the Syracuse Mile. He's expecting some of the younger riders to find some interesting quirks with the classic old track.

"The signature part of Syracuse is turn three," said Carr, 2003's AMA Pro Athlete of the Year. "That turn narrows up quite a bit and will be a real eye opener for some of the riders who haven't raced there."

Carr scored a pair of podiums in a doubleheader when the series last visited in 1993. He thinks experience on the Syracuse Mile may give a few riders a slight edge.

"We were talking last week and figured there were only about five riders still racing today who've raced at Syracuse," Carr explained. "It's hard to say if experience there will come into play. Riders who've raced there won't be intimidated by turn three, but most of the young riders in the series learn tracks pretty quickly."

Among current riders, only the semi-retired Jay Springsteen has scored a victory at Syracuse.

There's a logjam in the series standings behind Carr. Four riders, Joe Kopp, Kenny Coolbeth, Jake Johnson and Kevin Varnes are all within seven points in the battle for second in the series. Each of those riders is hoping to score a win in Syracuse to close the gap on Carr.

This year's Syracuse Mile is named in honor of Aaron Creamer. Creamer was a well-liked rider from Massachusetts, who died from injuries sustained in a racing accident last season.

"Hopefully we can put on a good show in Aaron's honor for the fans in the area of the country who knew him so well," Carr said.

Syracuse will also feature a round of the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series. Scott Stump, of Warminster, Pa., leads the Sportster standings after winning the opener in Springfield, Ill., last month.

For ticket information call 315-471-1157 or visit Performance Harley-Davidson in Syracuse. Tickets are $25 and children under 13 are free.

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 www.amaproracing.com.

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Series AMA
Drivers Chris Carr