King Wins Formula USA Appeal

Henny Ray Abrams | August 3, 2000
Team Harley-Davidson’s Rich King came out on the winning end of an appeal to have his points – as well as those of the rest of the field – reinstated from the aborted Indianapolis round of the National Dirt Track Series, which took place on May 13. King had protested Formula USA’s decision to not pay championship points after the main event went only 10 laps. The sanctioning body ruled against the protest, with King then posting $500 for an appeal.

Via a conference call, a three-member appeal board heard arguments for both sides on Tuesday, August 1, then rendered a 2-1 decision in favor of King on August 3. King’s $500 appeal bond will be returned to him, and full series points will be awarded retroactively to those who earned them at Indy, according to Formula USA Dirt Track Manager Bob Moran.

“This is the way that our system works,” Moran said. “It ran its course, and while I don’t necessarily agree with the ruling, we will move forward and act on it. This is the way that we want our appeal system to work, and I can say that I am pleased with how it did work.”

King said that he, too, was pleased with the process, and for reasons beyond just the ruling.

“I have high regard for Formula USA in that they are willing to listen to riders and work with them to make their program better,” King said. “I was very impressed with the professionalism of it all. They stated their case and handled the appeal very properly. It was done by a conference call, which I thought was very cost-effective because then you’re not trying to figure out a way to get all these people together before a race somewhere. The members of the appeal board asked a lot of good questions, and I thought that Bob Moran stated his case fairly without taking any cheap shots. He just said that he made his ruling based upon the rulebook.

“The biggest thing was that I just felt that I couldn’t understand why riders were penalized for something that they had no control over,” King said. “If the race had rained out, it would have been no big deal. But Formula USA pays points into the LCQ, and those guys ran their race in full, but when the main event was cancelled, they lost those points, too. Why should we get penalized because of poor track conditions or poor lighting?

“I thought that it was handled very well myself regardless of the outcome – which I am glad it came out in my favor,” King said. “It just goes to show you that they are paying attention and they do care. I feel good about the series because I think that they are treating the riders the way that they should be treated.”

The ruling changes the points scene a bit, placing Mike Hacker in the National Dirt Track Series points lead. The top 10 are now as follows:

1. Mike Hacker 180
2. Jay Springsteen 168
3. Chris Carr 166
Rich King 166/2 wins
5. Joe Kopp 162
6. J.R. Schnabel 156
7. Gary Rogers 148
8. Will Davis 144/1 win
Mike Varnes 144
10. Willie McCoy 142

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.