Murphree Wins Peoria Hot Shoe TT

| June 8, 2003
Coziahr/White Brothers Honda rider Johnny Murphree bested the rain and the rest of the field to win the Peoria Hot Shoe TT at PMC Race Park in Peoria, Illinois, today.

Murphree grabbed the early lead in the 15-lap main event, with Memphis Shades Yamaha’s J.R. Schnabel latching onto his rear wheel. Just when it looked like the two might check out on the field and settle the race between themselves, the race was red-flagged after Team Suzuki’s Kevin Varnes and privateer Honda rider Henry Wiles collided in the right-hander and crashed heavily.

Murphree again took command on the restart, this time jumping out to a 10-length lead that Schnabel failed to overcome. Schnabel almost lost the second spot to fellow Yamaha support rider Kevin Atherton on the last lap, too, the Kersting Cycles-backed Atherton diving under Schnabel in turn three for the final time. Schnabel was able to use momentum to get a run past Atherton up the front straightaway to salvage the runner-up spot.

Weather hampered the event, the race program being halted several times as various squalls moved through the area. The rain played havoc with the fabled Peoria jump as well. Bartels’ Harley-Davidson’s Shaun Russell, Team Suzuki riders Danny and A.J. Eslick, and Saddlemen Racing’s Jared Mees all hit the deck in separate incidents during the day.

1. Johnny Murphree (Hon)

2. J.R. Schnabel (Yam)

3. Kevin Atherton (Yam)

4. Brett Landes (Hon)

5. Bryan Bigelow (Hon)

6. Rob Pearson (Hon)

7. Willie McCoy (Hon)

8. Jared Mees (Hon)

9. Dan Stanley (Hon)

10. Chris Boone (KTM)


By Scott Rousseau