AMA

Vernon Downs Flat Track preview

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Newly-crowned AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Champion Chris Carr is not going to slow down just because he's already wrapped up the 2001 series title. Carr, of Fleetwood, Pa., is looking forward to competing in his...

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Newly-crowned AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Champion Chris Carr is not going to slow down just because he's already wrapped up the 2001 series title. Carr, of Fleetwood, Pa., is looking forward to competing in his first race on the Vernon (N.Y.) Downs Mile this Saturday, Sept. 8. Vernon Downs is hosting round 19 of the 20-race AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championships and round eight of nine in the SuperTrapp SuperTrackers Series. This will be one of the last chances for fans to watch a SuperTracker race since the production-based motorcycles will run in the Grand National class next year.

The AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship made its debut at Vernon Downs last year. Factory Harley-Davidson rider Rich King won the race and hopes to defend his Vernon title to earn his second victory of the season, but he's sure to face stiff competition from Carr.

"I'm looking forward to racing there," said Carr of the Upstate New York circuit. "I've heard a lot of good things about the track from other riders. I'll be at a little bit of a disadvantage never having raced there, but our team is good about getting the bike set up for a new track." Carr rides for the Harley-Davidson of Sacramento squad. New York fans will have a couple of home state riders to root for. Shawn Clark, from Groton, and Christopher Hart of Farmington are expected to compete this weekend.

Clark, who rides for Ithaca Motorcycle Works, is ranked 18th in the series and has earned three top-10 finishes this year, including a season-best seventh at Lima, Ohio in June.

Hart is the 25th-ranked rider in the championships so far this year. The Performance Harley-Davidson of Syracuse rider has one top-10 finish this season– an eighth at Charlotte and qualified for the Vernon main event last year and finished 15th.

While the Grand National Championship is decided, the SuperTracker title is still up for grabs.

Bryan Bigelow, of Au Gres, Mich., leads the SuperTracker Championships by 12 points (113-101) over Wisconsin rider Glen "JR" Schnabel. Bigelow rides a Buell-powered motorcycle sponsored by Lancaster (Pa.) Harley-Davidson and has three wins on the season. Schnabel, who rides a Team Powell Suzuki TL1000, has yet to win a race, but has a slew of consistent finishes. Schnabel hopes to earn his first win of the year in the class to extend the title chase to the final race of the year in Du Quoin, Ill., at the end of this month.

There will be no charge for parking at Vernon Downs, parking gates will open at 1:00 p.m. Twenty-dollar advance sale tickets are available at Dick's Harley-Davidson of Rome, the Vernon Country Suites Hotel and through TicketMaster (315-472-0700 or www.ticketmaster.com). Tickets at the gate on September 8 will sell for $25 each. The Vernon racing is sponsored locally by Dick's Harley-Davidson and the Turning Stone Casino Resort in Verona.

-ama pro racing

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Series AMA
Drivers Chris Carr