Team Harley-Davidson’s Rich King has been served a four-race suspension after an equipment violation at the AMA National Hot Shoe event at Volusia Raceway Park in Barberville, Florida, last night.
King won the 505cc National main event, followed by Chris Carr and Kenny Coolbeth. Afterward, AMA officials inspected the top three finishers) by using a “whistler”, a device that measures displacement by blowing air into the combustion chamber. King’s factory Harley-Davidson XR500 (the Rotax-derived powerplant and not the Buell-based 500R machine that it developed last season) measured high, so AMA officials mandated that factory tuner Bill Werner tear the engine down. Upon further inspection, it was found that the engine displaced over 540cc.
The penalty is a four-race suspension, which includes all AMA National events – both Hot Shoe and Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track. King will be ineligible for the Daytona Hot Shoe and Daytona U.S. Flat Track Championships at Daytona Municipal Stadium along with two more Grand Nationals: Claremore, Oklahoma; and Columbus, Ohio. He is expected to return for the Memorial Day Weekend events at Springfield, Illinois.
“Everybody knew going in that with the new 505cc rule there were severe consequences that were going to be in effect,” AMA Dirt Track Manager Bruce Bober said. “I don’t think that the penalty is stiff. I think that it is a fair penalty for this type of violation. With these new rules, we wanted to make a clear statement.”
Neither King nor Werner were available for comment.