Heavy rains moved through the Springfield, Illinois area, forcing the AMA and Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Association to delay the third round of the Progressive Insurance Grand National to Monday, but for the 10-12,000 fans who were able to sit out the delay, the wait was worth every minute.
It was typical Springfield action with at least 12 riders in the lead pack through most of the race, but at the end of 25 laps it was none other than Jay Springsteen who crossed the finish line first. Springsteen took control of the last two laps and held off Chris Carr and Rich King at the finish line.
“Hey this is my 43rd win, and I’m 43 years old,” Springsteen said. “Morehead used to be the old man out here, but I’m the old man now!”
Carr’s second place finish was ammazing, as he was involved in a fourth-lap melee that saw five riders go down in turn one. Larry Pegram’s Harley broke a swingarm bolt as he entered turn one, sending him to the ground. Carr, Dan Stanley, Paul Morgan III and Steve Beattie were all involved. Carr and Stanley were able to restart, but Morgan and Beattie were transported to the hospital. Beattie suffered injuries to his right leg, while Morgan was knocked out and taken in for general observation.
When the race restarted, it was anyone’s race until Springer upped the pace and put it away, much to the delight of the crowd.
Under the thrill of victory/agony of defeat catagory, Paul Morgan had earlier won the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance National over defending series champion Willie McCoy.
Here are the results from the main events at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
GRAND NATIONAL: 1. Jay Springsteen (H-D); 2. Chris Carr (H-D); 3. Rich King (H-D); 4. Mike Hacker (H-D); 5. Nicky Hayden (H-D); 6. Will Davis (H-D); 7. Terry Poovey (Hon); 8. Bryan Bigelow (H-D); 9. Ken Coolbeth Jr. (H-D); 10. Gary Rogers (H-D); 11. J.R. Schnabel (H-D); 12. Dan Stanley (H-D); 13. Willie McCoy (H-D); 14. Jason Tyer (H-D); 15. Joe Kopp (HD); 16. Paul Morgan III (H-D); 17. Steve Beattie (H-D); 18. Larry Pegram (H-D).
HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER PERFORMANCE SERIES NATIONAL: 1. Paul Morgan III; 2. Willie McCoy; 3. Roger Lee Hayden; 4. Scott Stump; 5. Brent Armbruster; 6. James Hart; 7. Jason Tyer; 8. Brian Thomas; 9. Michelle Disalvo; 10. Alan Eadie; 11. Brian Kromroy; 12. Chris Hart; 13. John Faulkner III; 14. John Grant; 15. Jeff Hiers; 16. John Clark; 17. A.J. Eslick.