Riders who fancy the deep cushion came to the fore at the Allen County Fairgrounds last night, with Canadian rider Chris Evans (pictured) beating the rest to earn his first career AMA Grand National win on a wild night in Ohio. Local favorite Geo Roeder II finished second, with New York rider Chris Hart earning his first career Grand National podium with a third-place finish.
The main event didn't get off to the best of starts. It needed to be red-flagged for a multiple-rider pile-up that included Rich King, Jay Springsteen, Shaun Russell and Paul Lynch. King was transported from the track to be checked out more thoroughly.
Later in the main event, Michigan rider Kevin Atherton crashed out, and did not return. Sentimental favorite Kenny Coolbeth also dropped out due to mechanical problems.
As a historical footnote, Wisconsin rider J.R. Schnabel became the first rider to land in a Grand National final aboard what was formerly known as a SuperTracker, earning a starting spot through the semis a aboard a Randy Texter-owned Buell after his Johnny Goad-tuned XR had problems. It also marked the first time that a Buell made an appearance in a Grand National final.
Allen County Fairgrounds
Results: June 29, 2002 (Round 7 of 20)
GRAND NATIONAL (25 laps, 18 riders): 1. Chris Evans (H-D);
2. Geo Roeder II (H-D); 3. Chris Hart (H-D); 4. Jake Johnson (H-D); 5. Kevin Varnes (H-D); 6. Chris Carr (H-D);
7. Bryan Bigelow (H-D); 8. Shaun Russell (H-D); 9. Dominic Beaulac (H-D); 10. Jay Springsteen (H-D); 11. Paul Lynch (H-D); 12. John Nickens III (H-D); 13. Shawn Clark (H-D); 14. J.R. Schnabel (Bue); 15. Jess Roeder (H-D); 16. Kevin Atherton (H-D); 17. Rich King (H-D); 18. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D).
Time: No Time -- Red Flag.
AMA/PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE U.S. FLAT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS SERIES POINT STANDINGS (After 7 of 20 rounds): 1. Chris Carr (103/1 win); 2. Kevin Varnes (86); 3. Johnny Murphree (85/1); 4. Ken Coolbeth Jr. (81); 5. Bryan Bigelow (74/1);
6. Joe Kopp (61); 7. Kevin Atherton (55); 8. J.R. Schnabel (53); 9. (TIE) Terry Poovey/Shaun Russell (48).