AMA

Joplin preview

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The two most recent champions of the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship are facing a showdown in Sedalia, Mo., this Saturday (June 2) on the half-mile dirt oval of Joplin 66 Speedway. Joe Kopp, the...

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The two most recent champions of the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship are facing a showdown in Sedalia, Mo., this Saturday (June 2) on the half-mile dirt oval of Joplin 66 Speedway. Joe Kopp, the defending No. 1 plate holder, leads Chris Carr, the 1999 series champ, by a scant two points coming into Joplin. The race marks the debut of thundering AMA Grand National competition in Joplin.

AMA racing fans should enjoy Joplin's 66 Speedway. The circuit is a half-mile oval consisting of clay and black gumbo. The turns are banked a 15 degrees, which should make for very fast lap times. The hillside grandstands hold nearly 8000 fans and the track boasts television-quality lighting for great night racing visibility.

"I am extremely pleased to bring our series to Joplin," said U.S. Flat Track Championships Manager Bruce Bober. "This facility is state-of-the-art, and it will be a pleasure to work together with the promoter to bring Southwest Missouri racing fans the greatest flat track show." The 2001 championship race is still young (Joplin is the sixth round in the 20-race series), but Kopp and Carr have already put some daylight between themselves and the rest of the series contenders. Kopp has 68 points to Carr's 66. Third in the series is held by Will Davis with 49 points. Kopp, who rides for the Team Corbin, started the year off with a pair of second-place finishes at Daytona Beach and Houston to take the early points lead.

But Carr, backed by Harley-Davidson of Sacramento, carved into Kopp's lead by winning last weekend's Springfield Mile and taking third in the Springfield TT. Whoever finishes higher this weekend in Joplin will likely emerge as the series leader.

While both Kopp and Carr have had great seasons so far, on half-mile circuits Will Davis is supreme. The Moroney's Harley-Davidson rider from Goldsboro, N.C., has the most half-mile wins among active riders and will be looking at Joplin as his chance to join Kopp and Carr atop the series standings. Joplin will also host what is effectively the opening round of the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series. The scheduled opening round last month in Ft. Worth, Texas, was rained out so the Sportster Performance riders hope to run their first final this weekend. Texan Willie McCoy is gunning for his third straight title in the Sportster Performance Series.

<pre> SCHEDULE OF EVENTS JOPLIN 66 SPEEDWAY, JOPLIN, MO JUNE 2, 2001

TRACK DIRECTIONS: 5.0 miles west of us 71 on 7th to Black Cat, then south to 13th

TICKET INFORMATION: General Admission: $18.00 - $25.00 Call (417) 782-0660 for further Information or log onto www.joplin66.com.

SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2001 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 H-D SP heat 6 laps 8:10 p.m. - 8:20 p.m. 2nd H-D SP heat 6 laps 8:20 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 3rd H-D SP heat 6 laps

8:30 p.m. -  8:40 p.m.     1st 750 heat 12 riders, 10 laps, top 3 transfer to final
8:40 p.m. -  8:50 p.m.     2nd 750 heat 12 riders, 10 laps, top 3 transfer to final
8:50 p.m. -  9:00 p.m.     3rd 750 heat 12 riders, 10 laps, top 3 transfer to final
9:00 p.m. -  9:10 p.m.     4th 750 heat 12 riders, 10 laps, top 3 transfer to final
9:10 p.m. -  9:25 p.m.     H-D SPORTSTER PERFORMANCE FINAL 12 laps, 17 riders
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 750 Semi 12 riders, 8 laps, top 2 transfer to final
9:45 p.m. -  9:55 p.m.     2nd 750 Semi 12 riders, 8 laps, top 2 transfer to final
9:55 p.m. - 10:05 p.m.     3rd 750 Semi 12 riders, 8 laps, top 2 transfer to final
10:20 p.m. - 10:35 p.m.    AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE GRAND NATIONAL FINAL 25laps, 18 riders
10:40 p.m. -               Victory Circle for Grand National

-AMA Pro Racing

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Series AMA
Drivers Chris Carr