Another chapter in AMA Grand National dirt-track racing will be written in the 2002 AMA U.S. Flat Track Championships. A new formula for the series will see the advent of street-based 1000cc motors, such as Suzuki TL1000s, Aprilia RSV Milles, Buells, Ducatis and others being raced against the long established Harley-Davidson 750cc pure-bred racing motors.
2002 will see the implementation of AMA Pro Racing’s five-year plan for flat-track racing to help incorporate more brands into the series. Since 1999 the 1000cc bikes ran in the now defunct SuperTrackers Series. The 2002 series will feature a mix of established events and several new rounds giving racing fans in different parts of the country a chance to watch the wheel-to-wheel racing action. The championships will see its traditional kick off on March 9 during Daytona Bike Week at Municipal Stadium’s short track. This is one of the most competitive tracks in the series and has witnessed eight different winners in 13 years of racing. Speedvision will televise the opening round.
Round two will be on April 7 at a new venue for AMA Grand National racing – Will Rogers Down in Claremore, Oklahoma. Fans will benefit from the glass-enclosed grandstands and a restaurant that overlooks the track. The track has previously hosted AMA National Hot Shoe Series races. Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois, is the second track new to the AMA Grand National racing circuit. Tri-City is located just across the river from St. Louis and will host a race on June 15. The area last hosted an AMA Grand National in the mid-1980s when a Short-Track National was held in Busch Stadium.
On July 20 Oglethorpe Speedway Park in Savannah, Georgia, will host its first AMA Grand National. Oglethorpe is not new to most of the series racers however, since the clay half-mile is the site of the yearly AMA Hot Shoe Series kick off.
In addition to these new racing venues the series will return to traditional strongholds such as Springfield, Illinois, which will host rounds on Memorial Day and Labor Day holiday weekends; Peoria, Illinois, home of the famous TT race; Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio, a crushed limestone half-mile that has become one of the fan favorites; the Du Quoin (Illinois) Mile, known as the Magic Mile for the closeness of the racing, as well as races in Mineralwells, West Virginia, Hagerstown, Maryland, Charlotte, North Carolina, Harrington, Deleware, Sedalia, Missiouri and Vernon, New York.
AMA Pro Racing is working to complete the 2002 schedule, especially adding events during the late-April and early-May time period.
TENTATIVE 2002 AMA U.S. FLAT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS
March 9 – Municipal Stadium, Daytona Beach, Florida (Short Track)
April 7 – Will Rogers Downs, Claremore, Oklahoma (Mile)
April 20 – TBA
April 27 – TBA
May 4 – TBA
May 18 – West Virginia Motor Speedway, Mineralwells, West Virginia (Half Mile)
May 25 – Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Illinois (T.T.)
May 26 – Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Illinois (Mile)
June 1 – Hagerstown Speedway, Hagerstown, Maryland (Half Mile)
June 15 – Tri-City Speedway, Granite City, Illinois (Half Mile)
June 22 – TBA
June 29 – Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, Ohio (Half Mile)
July 6 – Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Illinois (Short Track)
July 13 – TBA
July 20 – Oglethorpe Speedway Park, Savannah, Georgia (Half Mile)
July 27 – Lowes Motor Speedway, Charlotte, North Carolina (Half Mile)
August 3 – Delaware State Fairgrounds, Harrington, Delaware (Half Mile)
August 10 – Hagerstown Speedway, Hagerstown, Maryland (Half Mile)
August 18 – Peoria Motorcycle Clubgrounds, Peoria, Illinois (T.T.)
August 24 – State Fair Speedway, Sedalia, Missouri (Half Mile)
August 30 – Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Illinois (Short Track)
August 31 – Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Illinois (Mile)
September 1 – Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Illinois (Mile)
September 7 – Vernon Downs, Vernon, New York (Mile)
September 28 – Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, Du Quoin, Illinois (Mile)