Paul Lynch on his Twigg Cycle/KK/M & S Harley-Davidson grabbed the hole shot in the 25 lap main with pole setter Kenny Coolbeth and Carr in pursuit. Carr charged past Coolbeth into second early and set sail after Lynch. Carr paced Lynch for several laps before making the pass on lap four to take a lead he would not surrender.
“I had to calm myself down in the beginning of the race and then my lap times picked up,” said five time series Champ Carr. “I got a good drive off of the corner, ran it up the inside of Paul and made a clean pass.”
Kenny Coolbeth ridding his KTM/Jones Powersports/H-D of Mid-America dove under Lynch for second on lap 6 with a very fast low line entry in turn three. Coolbeth then focused his attention on the leader Carr.
Coolbeth continued to rail into the corners on the bottom making up time on Carr. But Carr consistently used a higher line up on the banking allowing him to get back on the throttle earlier and edge away down the straights on route to his 64th National win.
“I was concerned about Kenny behind me but I was more concerned about keeping my wheels in line and not spinning it up coming off the corners,” said Carr. “I took a peak back at him a couple of times and I knew he was getting into the corners hot. But I have always been a fan of the finish line being half way down the straightaway and not going into the corners. I knew the drives out of the corner were more important. When he got a little closer I would try a little harder and get away a bit.”
Jake Johnson on his Moroney’s Cycles/American Honda sponsored Harley gated fourth but moved by Lynch on lap 10 to earn the final podium spot. Lynch was not done battling as KTM/Jones Powersport’s Joe Kopp came charging as the laps would down to capture 5th.
In the first Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series race of the season Chris Hart held off Cory McDermitt for the win with Jeremy Deruyter finishing third.
Next up for the AMA Progressive Insurance Series is the big double header weekend in Springfield, IL May 29-30 for the Saturday Night TT and legendary Springfield Mile on Sunday.
Result: May 22, 2004 (Round 3 of 20)
GRAND NATIONAL: (25 laps; 18 riders) 1. Chris Carr (H-D); 2. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D); 3. Jake Johnson (H-D); 4. Joe Kopp (H-D); 5. Paul Lynch (H-D); 6. Mike Hacker (H-D); 7. Shaun Russell (H-D); 8. Gary Rogers (H-D); 9. Geo Roeder (H-D); 10. Kevin Atherton (H-D); 11. Willie McCoy (H-D); 12. Shawn Clark (H-D); 13. Chris Hart (H-D); 14. Robert Pearson (H-D); 15. Bryan Smith (H-D); 16. Dominic Beaulac (H-D); 17. Johnny Murphree (H-D); 18. Bryan Bigelow (H-D). Time: 8 min., 8.459 sec.
Margin of victory: 0.662 sec.
AMA PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE FLAT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES POINT STANDINGS (After 3 of 20 rounds): 1. Chris Carr (60/2 wins); 2. Shaun Russell (39); 3. Joe Kopp (37); 4. (TIE) Jake Johnson (34)/4. Willie McCoy (34); 6. Mike Hacker (33); 7. Brett Landes (27); 8. Kenny Coolbeth (26); 8. Bryan Smith (26); 10. JR Schnabel (23/1 win).