Reigning AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr ended the “summer drought” of AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championships races with a wire-to-wire victory aboard his Quality Checked Certified Pre-owned Ford Racing backed-entry at Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, Maryland, tonight.
Carr got the holeshot to lead fast qualifier Mike Hacker and the rest of the 18-rider field into the first turn on the red-clay half mile. Hacker put up a ferocious fight, running the high line in attempt to swoop around Carr for much of the early going, but Carr always managed to beat the Virginian back to the stripe. Carr then settled in just past the halfway point and put a slight gap on Hacker that would hold to the finish.
The win was Carr’s fourth of the season, and it gave him a welcome boost in the series points standings, too. Carr now leads the standings with 181 points, 26 more than second-placed man Joe Kopp, who finished fourth, behind runner-up Hacker on the SuperTrapp/Moroney’s Harley-Davidson and Team KTM/Jones Powersports’ Kenny Coolbeth – the latter Kopp’s teammate. Coziahr Harley-Davidson’s Johnny Murphree, a former Hagerstown winner, finished fifth.
Tonight’s race marked the resumption of the 18-round series, which had been on one of the longest mid-year layoff’s in recent history. The last round took place at Sharon Speedway in Ohio on July 5. The next scheduled round is the fabled Peoria TT in Peoria, Illinois, on August 17.
Results: August 9, 2003 (Round 10 of 18)
GRAND NATIONAL (25 laps; 18 riders):
1. Chris Carr (H-D)
2. Mike Hacker (H-D)
3. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D)
4. Joe Kopp (H-D)
5. Johnny Murphree (H-D)
6. Jared Mees (H-D)
7. Shawn Clark (H-D)
8. Geo Roeder II (H-D)
9. Paul Lynch (H-D)
10. Rich King (H-D)