According to a press release issued by the team, former AMA Grand National Champion Joe Kopp will no longer be riding for, or affiliated with, Team Corbin Racing. These changes are effective immediately for the 2002 AMA Grand National Championship Series.
Although the team contract enabled Corbin to force the rider to participate under the same provisions as the prior year, Corbin will not be enforcing the contract and will allow Kopp to pursue other avenues per his wishes. This provision in the Corbin contract has been standard since the flat track team was formed in 1996. It has, however, never been enforced even when Rich King was approached with the Harley-Davidson factory sponsorship three years ago.
“Joe had some issues [with the contract] that he could not overcome,” said Mike Corbin. “He wanted to eliminate Dave Burks Motorsports from the contract, and we were not willing to do that. We’ve had a great relationship with Burks, and he’s managed the team for years now including the season that earned Joe the Championship. He’s done a great job of representing Corbin in a professional manner and I just couldn’t see severing the relationship as Joe requested.”
Kopp’s teammate Kenny Coolbeth has decided to stay with Burks and Team Corbin, who had picked up additional sponsorship from Samson Exhaust earlier this year.
Stay tuned for more on this story as it develops.