PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 18, 2003) -- Rich King knows how to win at the Sedalia (Mo.) Half-mile. The 40-year-old Iowan racing veteran is a two-time winner at the track and this Saturday, Aug. 23, King hopes to win his third AMA Progressive...
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 18, 2003) -- Rich King knows how to win at the Sedalia (Mo.) Half-mile. The 40-year-old Iowan racing veteran is a two-time winner at the track and this Saturday, Aug. 23, King hopes to win his third AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship race on Sedalia's State Fair Speedway. For King, another win at Sedalia could help move him up from fifth in the series standings and enable him close in on series leader Chris Carr. Saturday night's race at Sedalia is round 12 of the 17-race AMA Grand National Series. Also on the bill is round six of the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series featuring riders racing equally matched Harley-Davidson 883cc Sportsters.
Since 1994 Sedalia has been a stop on the AMA tour. Chris Carr and Joe Kopp join King as former winners of the event, but it's been King who has been the most consistent performer at the half-mile in recent years. King, who rides for the Harley-Davidson factory team, has finished in the top-five at Sedalia four of the last five years, including his victories there in 1999 and again last year. King is looking for his second victory of the season. He won on the Springfield Mile in May.
"Sedalia is a place where I always seem to do well," said King, a 21--year veteran of the series. "It's a typical Midwestern track like so many of the half-miles I came up racing on and I feel comfortable there. The races have been so close in the series this year that any one of 10 riders could probably win this weekend, but I'm hoping to get on top of the podium again. The series is coming to the homestretch and it's time to make a move."
Carr leads the championship coming into this race. He is on a mission to become only the second rider to win five AMA Grand National Championships in the nearly 50-year history of the series. Carr won at Sedalia in 2001 and was runner-up to King last year. Another win this Saturday could give Carr a sizable lead in the championships with only five rounds remaining on the schedule.
Californian Johnny Murphree is second in the series coming into Sedalia. He finished runner-up at Sedalia in 2000 and needs to have a good finish to try to close the 37-point gap Carr has on him. Joe Kopp won this race in 2000 and is third ranked in the series. Like Murphree, Kopp is looking to narrow Carr's championship lead as the series heads towards its finale in Springfield, Ill., on Sept. 28.
Another rider to watch for at Sedalia could be Bryan Bigelow. The 22-year-old from Au Gres, Mich., is ranked 10th in the point standings coming into this weekend, but he's quietly built an impressive race record at Sedalia. Over the last five year's Bigelow has been one of the most consistent riders at the track. He's scored three top-fives, including podium finishes in 2000 and 2001. He could be primed for a win on the half-mile even though his best finish this year was seventh at the Springfield TT in May.
Sedalia fans will get a full slate of racing on Saturday, with the sixth round of the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series. Texan Scott Scherb leads that series after coming off his first win on Aug. 9 in Hagerstown, Md. Scott Stump, who won the very first Sportster race at Sedalia in 1994, is ranked second in the series. Cory McDermitt has scored top-10 finishes in every round this year, including two podium results, and is third in the series.
For additional information on the Sedalia Half-Mile contact (660) 826-2925.
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 U.S. Flat Track Championship.