Ford Quality Checked Certified Pre-owned flat track race legend Chris Carr – who starts his 22nd year of professional racing this week – begins the 2007 Ford Quality Checked AMA Flat Track Championship season with one thing in mind: Take back his title.
Carr, the winningest active racer on the Ford/AMA Flat Track circuit with 75 career race victories to go with his seven AMA Grand National titles, starts his quest for an eighth title this Wednesday and Thursday, March 7-8, at Daytona’s (Fla.) Municipal Stadium with the first two of eight scheduled short track (Singles) class events.
Focused and determined, Carr, 39, says he needs to get out of the gate considerably better this year than he did this past season – in which he came out of Daytona with three points (out of a possible 46 points).
“Daytona’s important for us,” said Carr, who’ll be racing the KTM 450SXF at the short track rounds this year. “After last year’s results we ended up having to claw our way back up hill the entire season, but could never get back to the top – even though we won the last round at Springfield.”
In the past Grand National champions like Scott Parker had 16 or 17 races to make it back up to the top if they failed to score well in the opener. With the new split structure (Singles & Twins) of the series Carr doesn’t have that luxury anymore.
“With the split series there was focus on different riders on different weeks,” explained Carr. “So I was not the best prepared mentally for racing two championships. I like the old Grand National title format and I guess I kinda got caught up in that.”
But Carr would persist, closing out the Singles season strong despite a points disadvantage that dogged him the entire summer. And another thing is that people tend to forget is that Carr is the all-time winningest short track and TT racer in AMA history.
“I’ve had to re-focus my efforts this year to looking at the series one week at time, rather than viewing the overall like we did last year,” said Carr. “We’re not going to dwell on what didn’t happen last year. We’ll work to focus instead on what we can do this year – and that’s win titles.”
With tuners Kenny Tolbert and Bubba Bentley in tack for another season, Carr will certainly enter this week on the short list of riders you’ve got to beat to win the title – either title.
“Many times when things don’t go your way people make changes,” said Carr. “I look a the core of our group, everything is still in place that has won us championships in the past – from our sponsors to the people I work with. We know what we’re capable of doing, and for what ever reason we didn’t get it done last year.”
With an additional race added to the Singles class this year (eight races instead of seven), Carr likes his chances in the class that’s working to drawn a younger sect of racers into the sport of flat track.
“Just because I’m 39 years old doesn’t mean I can’t get around a short track,” Carr says with a chuckle. “In fact, short track may be more of my forte these days, but I’m poised to do well in both classes.”
But Carr admitted the importance of getting out well this week with the two rounds in Daytona is crucial to end result. “If you have a bad opener in Springfield (Twins), you have 12 races to make up for that. A couple bad nights in Daytona, like last year, and we only have six races to make up for that. So yeah, this week’s real important.”
For more information on the Municipal Stadium races this week to open the 2007 Ford Quality Checked AMA Flat Track Championship, link to: www.amaflattrack.com