The AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship returned to West Virginia Motor Speedway on Saturday night for the first time since 2001, and at the end of the night it was Mike Hacker capturing his fourth career Grand National win – thanks in part to the bad luck of defending series champion Chris Carr.
With victory seemingly his, Carr’s fortunes turned south on the white flag lap when a carburetor fell off his Harley, turning it from an XR750 to an XR375. That gave Hacker all he needed to score the win.
“I don’t know what to say. I never thought I’d win a National this year,” said the 33-year-old Virginian. “I thought this year would be spent getting back into condition and next year would be the one.”
The SuperTrapp/Doc’s Harley-Davidson/Tom Norton-backed Hacker has fought injuries for the last four years and still has shoulder problems, but Saturday night was his night.
As Carr got the white flag, there was an obvious problem, his 750 twin had become a 375 single. Hacker shot to the inside and into the lead. Carr was just struggling in an attempt to finish. A carburetor had fallen off with the Defending Grand National Champion a little over a half mile from the win.
The mechanical problem dropped Carr to fifth place and moved Harley-Davidson’s Rich King to second, Bryan Smith to third and Jared Mees to fourth.
Carr’s misfortune and King’s gifted second place moves King to just seven points behind Carr in the title chase.
In the four races that were actually run, there have been four different winners.