Du Quoin, Illinois, will play host to the final round of the 2005 AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship on Saturday, October 1. The Du Quoin Mile is one of the premier circuits in the history of AMA Grand National racing, dating back to the pre-AMA Grand National Championship days of flat track racing.
Kevin Atherton is the defending Du Quoin Mile, while Chris Carr – after having successfully defended his AMA Grand National number one plate in 2005 – hopes to earn his first win at the track that is popularly called the Magic Mile. Last year Atherton aggressive early. He pulled away from the pack and was able to hold on for the win.
Both Atherton and Rich King, from Dysart, Iowa, are two-time winners of the race, and King is hoping to beat Atherton to the three-race win punch at Du Quoin with a victory in the season finale. King says Atherton’s runaway victory last year may change everyone’s strategy for this year’s Mile.
“None of the key players got too excited when Kevin took off last year,” King said. “Usually that race is all about tire conservation, and a rider will come back to you if they go too hard early, but Kevin’s tires held up for him. I don’t think anyone is going to let a rider pull away from the start this year. I know I’m going to be a little more aggressive from the drop of the flag this time around.”
King echoed many of the riders in the AMA Grand National Championship when he calls Du Quoin one of the big prizes in the series.
“Everybody gives a little extra at Du Quoin,” King said. “It’s usually one of the best prepared tracks we go to, and it has a lot of history. I’d love to get another win there, but the rest of the field has the same thing in mind that I do.”
Carr wrapped up his seventh AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship over the Labor Day weekend, by winning the historic Springfield Mile. Now that the title is secure, Carr will be testing 2006 equipment at Du Quoin and looking for his first victory on the historic circuit.
“The pressure is off at Du Quoin,” Carr said. “I’m looking forward to testing equipment for next season and seeing what I might be able to do about finally getting a win at the track.”
Du Quoin will also host the final round of the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series and a 505 support race. Just one point separates Chris Hart and Scott Stump in the Sportster Series, and Du Quoin will determine the championship. It will also mark the first time the 505 class has raced on a mile track this year.