PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 23, 2003) -- Four-time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr heads an impressive line-up of riders coming to Lima, Ohio's Allen County Fairgrounds Half-mile on Saturday, June 28, for round eight of AMA Progressive...
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 23, 2003) -- Four-time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr heads an impressive line-up of riders coming to Lima, Ohio's Allen County Fairgrounds Half-mile on Saturday, June 28, for round eight of AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship. Carr returns to Lima seeking his fifth win on the classic crushed limestone half-mile circuit. He first won Lima in 1991. Carr is hot coming into this weekend's race. He not only leads the standings by 26 points over Johnny Murphree, but is also is coming off a series victory last weekend in Haubstadt, Indiana.
Lima has become one of the favorite stops on the tour for many riders since becoming a part of the series in 1984. The atmosphere surrounding the race is one of the things that makes Lima a fan favorite as well. Hundreds of motorcyclists ride their bikes to the event in the warm late-June evening and gather in the cool shadow of the grandstands. The sites are unique as well with the late-setting summer sun casting a rich orange glow over the bleached white racing surface. The senses are further enticed with the aroma of freshly popped corn, elephant ears and cotton candy. And the ears take notice of the surround sound of race motors, cheers and racing announcers.
Carr comes to Lima this year in the middle of his quest to become only the second rider in AMA history to win five Grand National titles. The 19-year racing veteran from Fleetwood, Pa., shows no sign of slowing down even at age 36. There have been five winners in the series so far this season but Carr, with three, is the only multiple race winner.
Lima played host to one of the most heart-warming stories of last year's racing season. After 20 years of trying, then 38-year-old racing veteran Chris Evans broke through to win his very first AMA Grand National at Lima last year. Evans, who was perhaps the oldest first-time winner in the history of the series, always seems to do well on the cushioned Lima track. "It's just the type of track I seem to like," Evans said. "It was pretty cool to finally get my first win last year after all those years of trying."
Evans will attempt to ride this year even though he's nursing a sore left shoulder. "I don't know how my injury will affect me," Evans admitted. "One year I rode Lima with broken ribs and ran as high as third in the national before the pain got to me. I'm pretty tender, but I'm getting therapy and am going to try to get out there and we'll see how it goes. I'd love to get another win."
By far the biggest sentimental favorite at Lima is George Roeder II. The Northern Ohio racing hero from Monroeville, has consistently finished on the podium at Lima over the years, but has yet to win in front of his home fans. It would mean even more now to "Geo" if he could earn his first Lima win. His father, racing legend and Hall of Famer, George Roeder died of a heart attack just over a month ago.
Cory McDermitt, of Breckenridge, Mich., leads the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series after two rounds. The Sportster riders will ride round three of the series at Lima in support of the Grand National. Defending series champ and Lima winner Jared Mees, of Honey Brook, Pa., is sixth in the standings but is only eight points out of the series lead in this hotly-contested championship with riders on equally matched 883cc Sportsters.
For additional information on the Lima round call (419) 991-1491 or visit www.dmproinc.com
For immediate post-race results, lap-by-lap race coverage, 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 U.S. Flat Track Championship.
<pre> SCHEDULE OF EVENTS ALLEN COUNTY
SATURDAY, JUNE 28, 2003 4:30 p.m. Practice 5:30 p.m. Qualifying Heats 7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies 7:30 p.m. - 7:40 p.m. 1st Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat 7:40 p.m. - 7:50 p.m. 2nd Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat 7:50 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 3rd Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Heat 8:00 p.m. - 8:10 p.m. 1st Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 8:10 p.m. - 8:20 p.m. 2nd Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 8:20 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 3rd Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 8:30 p.m. - 8:40 p.m. 4th Progressive Insurance Grand National Heat 8:40 p.m. - 8:55 p.m. HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER PERFORMANCE FINAL 8:55 p.m. - 9:05 p.m. Victory Circle for Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Final 9:05 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. 1st Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 9:15 p.m. - 9:25 p.m. 2nd Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 9:25 p.m. - 9:35 p.m. 3rd Progressive Insurance Grand National Semi 9:50 p.m. - 10:05 p.m. AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE GRAND NATIONAL FINAL (Staging for Grand National will begin immediately following the posting of the Final). 10:05 p.m. Victory Circle for Grand National Championship