Reigning AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Champion Chris Carr announced today that he will be adding a teammate, Texas-based flat track veteran Willie McCoy [pictured], to his Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned Ford Team for the remainder of the 2004 AMA season. The announcement was made official at 5:10 p.m. PDT.

"I am proud to announce that Willie McCoy has joined the Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned Ford Team," Carr said in a press release. "Starting at the next race in San Francisco on May 1, Chris Carr Racing will field a two-rider team for the rest of the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Grand National Championship Series. Willie has been a top-20 rider while preparing his own equipment, transporting it and doing the tuning at the track. Now that Willie has a full time tuner and our team behind him, I think we can propel him into the top 10 and maybe the top five by the end of the season.

"Willie is the total package,” Carr continued. “Not only is he an excellent rider and passionate spokesman for the sport, but he is also a top-notch race mechanic. The addition of Willie to the team is an important step in building the infrastructure of Chris Carr Racing for the future."

McCoy, 34, from Justin, Texas, called the move “a chance of a lifetime and a dream come true.”

"To be a teammate with one of the greatest racers in our sport and having the support of his championship team is a golden opportunity to show what I know I can do,” McCoy said.

McCoy, who charged from the back to finish an impressive fourth at the Daytona opener is a champion in his own right. He won two consecutive Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Championships in 1999 and 2000. Last year, he finished 15th in the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championships Series. His association with the team dates back a number of years.

"When I built my first Harley XR750 in 1991, Chris's tuner, Kenny Tolbert, helped me, and I have worked out of Kenny's shops ever since,” McCoy said. “Kenny has given me assistance with my motors and Chris has always been there to give me advice and help me along as well. Having Bubba Bentley as my fulltime tuner is going to take a huge load off my back. Now I can focus on riding and training almost every day. With all the support, my goals are to win my first Grand National main event and finish in the top five in points."

Mike Dennis from the Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned Ford division said that he supports the new two rider team.

"Chris thought adding a teammate would be beneficial and we agreed," Dennis said. "Willie is not only a great guy but a great rider as well. He will be an asset to our program. There are a number of Willie McCoy fans out there and I think they will be encouraged that he has joined the team.

"The addition of Willie McCoy to the Chris Carr Racing - Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned Ford Team shows Ford's commitment to flat track racing is long term," Dennis continued. "From a promotional standpoint it gives the Ford and Chris Carr fans another guy to cheer for, and with two very popular riders, they are going to drive more fans to our displays at the races. Chris Carr in addition to being a great Champion and ambassador of flat track is a leader. Chris can help Willie professionally, and that is going to allow Willie a chance to race up to his ability. This is going to be an exciting year for race fans and the Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned Ford Team.”

For more information about Chris Carr Racing, visit the team web site at http://www.chriscarr.com/ .

The Ford Quality Checked Certified Pre-owned program is designed to ensure consumers get receive the best pre-owned vehicles from Ford dealerships. Every certified pre-owned vehicle from Ford has to pass a rigorous 115-point inspection by certified technicians. The ones that qualify receive a six-year/75,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and come with vehicle history report, 24/7 roadside assistance, fresh oil, a new filter, new windshield wiper blades and a full tank of gas at delivery. Special financing is also available. For more information visit your local participating Ford dealer, www.fordcpo.com or call 866/222-6798.

Flat Track News

By Scott Rousseau

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