The AMA has announced that its 26th Annual Dirt Track Grand Championships will be held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois, July 1-7, 2002.

AMA Sports, in cooperation with the Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Association (IMDA), will join forces to produce its annual amateur national motorcycle dirt-track races at the sport's most revered venue. The event moves to Illinois after a successful five-year stretch at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Lawrenceburg Motorcycle Speedway.

"We've enjoyed a great run in Indiana, and we'll miss working with the people at both facilities," said Bill Amick, Vice President of AMA Events and Entertainment. "But it's been our goal to base the AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships at a single venue - we've just been holding out for the right opportunity. With this move to the Illinois State Fairgrounds, our goal will become reality."

AMA Sports will promote the event, while the IMDA - the exclusive presenter of motorcycle events at the Illinois State Fairgrounds - will lend its promotional expertise and coordinate preparation of the four tracks to be used during what will be a busy week of racing. The IMDA will also promote a round of AMA Pro Racing's Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championships on Saturday, July 6, creating a unique dirt-track doubleheader on the final day of the AMA Grand Championships.

"The Springfield Mile is the crown jewel of AMA dirt-track racing," Amick said, "and IMDA has a tremendous following for its events. We'll be staging the first-ever motorsports event on the fairground's superb half-mile training track. And we couldn't hope for a better short-track and TT venue than the Fairgrounds' open-air rodeo arena."

"IMDA is best-known for the many AMA Pro Racing events we promote, at facilities like Springfield and the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds," said IMDA Executive Director Tommra Luparell. "But without amateur racing, there would be no pro racing circuit. So we're thrilled to join AMA Sports in support of grassroots dirt-track racing."

Plans are also being made to conduct a vintage national event on the Springfield Mile in cooperation with the American Historic Motorcycle Racing Association (AHRMA). That AHRMA National event is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, July 7. The 26th Annual AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships will get underway with registration on Sunday, June 30. More than 1200 entries are anticipated, as riders vie for AMA Grand Championships in 21 classes and age groups.

For more information on the 2002 AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships, contact AMA Events and Entertainment at 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, Ohio 43147; or send an e-mail to Cherie Daniels of AMA Sports at cdaniels@ama-cycle.org.

Flat Track News

By Scott Rousseau

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