SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Sept. 1, 2008)-- If anyone thought Chris Carr was going to fade quietly away in his waning years of AMA Grand National Championship racing they'll have to think again.
Carr proved he still has the burning desire and the skills needed to win at the highest level and on the most prestigious stage. On Labor Day at the Springfield Mile Carr turned the tables on factory Harley-Davidson rider Kenny Coolbeth and turned in one of the strongest races of his career.
A day after nearly crashing and being forced to make a spectacular save at the finish of the first of the doubleheader Mile events; Carr put Sunday behind him and charged the entire race bettering Coolbeth by 0.201-seconds at the flag. Shaun Russell was third.
It marked the first victory for Carr this season, his last victory coming a year ago on this very same track.
“Today I didn’t mess around,” said a jubilant Carr. “I put the hammer down the whole way and never let up. Yesterday I played a little cat and mouse game. I wasn’t about to do that again.”
It appeared there would be a classic Springfield Mile freight train finish, but a red flag, caused by a Sam Halbert crash, changed the complexion of the race. On the restart it was Carr and Coolbeth emerging from the field just has they had in Sunday’s race. This time Carr pulled out all the stops on the final lap and was too far ahead for Coolbeth to draft on the home stretch.
The victory was Carr’s 77th-career win. He is the winningest active rider and second on the all-time AMA Grand National wins list to Scott Parker who owns 94 wins.
The series moves to Monticello, N.Y., this coming Saturday, Sept. 6.