AMA Grand National history was made at tonight’s American Chevrolet Springfield TT, and in the process Team Honda’s Nicky Hayden got one more leg up on the chance to make even more.
Before a healthy crowd a the Illinois State Fairgrounds Rodeo Arena, Hayden and his Honda CRF450R grabbed the lead away from brother Tommy Hayden over the jump on the fourth of 25 laps and then went on to lead both Tommy and youngest brother Roger Lee Hayden across the finish line for a Hayden family one-two-three. It marked the first time that three family members had hogged up the entire podium at an AMA National event.
In taking the win, Hayden now has the chance to complete the Grand Slam, needing only a mile victory do so. He’s scheduled to ride a Terry Poovey Honda RS750 in the Springfield Mile tomorrow.
All three riders rode converted motocrossers at the TT, the same type of machine that was used when Tommy Hayden won last year’s event. In fact, the main event field was dominated by the new breed – especially Honda CRF450Rs, which occupied 10 of the 18 spots on the grid. Reigning AMA/Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Champion Chris Carr represented the old school 600-style flat-trackers by finishing fourth aboard his Rotax 505. Dan Stanley finished fifth.
The race was marred by a relatively unnoticed incident involving Mike Hacker on the opening lap. The Virginian was attempting to move through the pack from the back row of the grid when he hit the small kicker jump that begins the start/finish straightaway, landed wrong and suffered spiral fractures to his left tibia and fibula. Hacker did not crash, and pulled off the track without much fanfare before being transported to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield where he is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the damage at around midday tomorrow. Hacker is expected to be out of action at least eight weeks.
Illinois State Fairgrounds
Results: May 25, 2002 (Round 3 of 20)
1. Nicky Hayden (Hon); 2. Tommy Hayden (Yam); 3. Roger Lee Hayden (Hon); 4. Chris Carr (Rtx); 5. Dan Stanley (Hon); 6. J.R. Schnabel (Hon); 7. Shawn Clark (Hon); 8. Kevin Varnes (CCM); 9. John Hlebo III (Hon); 10. Steve Beattie (Rtx); 11. Kenny Coolbeth (KTM); 12. Joe Kopp (KTM); 13. Shaun Russell (Hon); 14. Trenton Bailey (Yam); 15. Gary Rogers (Hon); 16. Bryan Bigelow (Hon); 17. Mike Hacker (Hon); 18. Terry Poovey (Hon).