For the second consecutive year, the nation's largest and most prestigious amateur dirt track racing event will take place from June 30 through July 6 on four separate tracks at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

Promoted for the sixth consecutive year by AMA Sports, the ambitious event will again be produced in association with the Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Association.

Last year's event attracted a record 1444 entries, and additional growth is forecast for 2003. The rapid growth of the event, coupled with scheduling considerations at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, has led to several revisions in the day-by-day schedule of past years:

- AMA Grand Championship racing will run from Monday through Saturday with no off-day/rain date at midweek.

- Racing will begin on the State Fairgrounds' Half-Mile track, which hosted motorized events for the first time ever during last year's AMA Grand Championships. Action will then move to the open-air State Fair Rodeo Arena for Short Track and TT action, followed by the week's wrap-up event on the Springfield Mile oval.

- An AHRMA Vintage Mile National will be held on Sunday, July 6, which will also be a rain date for the AMA Grand Championships.

- All youth and amateur riders will, as in the past, have four point-paying races. Amateur riders will take part in the usual Half-Mile, Short Track, TT and Mile competitions. Youth riders will not ride on the famed Springfield Mile, instead competing in one Half-Mile event, one TT and two Short Tracks.

- There will be expanded opportunities for AMA Pro Sport-licensed riders to earn AMA Hot Shoe Series Points during each and every day of the 2003 Grand Championships. In all, Pro Sport riders will contest two Half-Miles, two Short Tracks, one TT and one Mile event. Each day's Pro Sport main event will offer a $1200 cash purse.

- The event's class structure is largely the same as 2002, with eight Premier Classes recognized by the AMA. One notable change is the separation of the hotly contested 250cc 2-stroke machines and 450cc 4-stroke machines into separate Premier Classes. Another class change will see last year's 45+ Open class revert to a traditional Super Senior class for riders aged 50 and older.

- Special awards, as always, will include presentation of the AMA Horizon Award at the end of the 2003 Grand Championships. Last year's co-recipients, Michigan neighbors Nicky Cummings and Logan Myers, are already making their presence felt as young pro riders, and another rider preparing for a pro career will be honored with the 2003 AMA Horizon Award.

For more details on the 2003 AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships see the Dirt Tack Grand Championship Schedule page. All past participants will receive a more detailed newsletter in mid-March. Information requests should be addressed to:

AMA Sports
Attn: Dirt Track Grand Championships
13515 Yarmouth Drive
Pickerington, OH 43147

Faxes will reach AMA Sports at 614/856-1921.

Email inquiries are also welcome addressed to cdaniels@ama-cycle.org.

Phone inquiries may be placed at (614) 856-1900, as follows: AMA Sports Director Douglas Neubauer - Extension 1335; AMA Sports Coordinator Cherie Daniels - Extension 1242; Race Director Ken Saillant - Extension 1387.

Flat Track News

By Scott Rousseau

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