The Return Of The Indy Mile

Paul Carruthers | December 20, 2007
The following is from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway…

The AMA Flat Track Championship will return to the legendary 1-mile dirt oval at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 13, the evening before the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The GNC Twins class, with riders on motorcycles using twin-cylinder engines, will compete at the Fairgrounds. More details will be provided in the future.

This will be the first AMA Flat Track event at the “Indy Mile” since 1999, when seven-time AMA Flat Track national champion Chris Carr won on a Harley-Davidson. 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden finished 13th in that race en route to earning AMA Flat Track Rookie of the Year honors.

The State Fairgrounds track has played host to 41 AMA Flat Track national championship races since Joe Leonard won the first race on the oval in 1954. Leonard then moved to auto racing, making nine Indianapolis 500 starts and winning the pole in 1968.

Nearly all of the legendary names of flat track racing have won at the Fairgrounds, including Carr, Leonard, Jay Springsteen, Scott Parker, Ricky Graham, Bubba Shobert and Kenny Roberts, who went on to win three MotoGP World Championships and owns Team Roberts in MotoGP.

“We’re excited that the AMA Flat Track race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds is taking place the same weekend as the Red Bull Indianapolis GP,” said Joie Chitwood, IMS president and chief operating officer. “There’s so much great flat track history at the Indy Mile, which compliments the history and tradition of IMS very well.

“The flat track race also is the first of what we think will be many events in the Indianapolis area that will make this one of the premier weekends of the year for motorcycle riders and enthusiasts from around the world.”

In 2007, Harley-Davidson factory rider Ken Coolbeth became the first competitor to win the Singles and Twins championships in the same season. Coolbeth is expected to return in 2008 to defend his titles and will be joined by such series standouts as Carr, Jake Johnson, Jared Mees and Bryan Smith.

Flat track racing – sometimes referred to as “dirt track” racing – is the oldest and most traditional form of racing sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).

Dating back to the years just after World War II, flat track is a uniquely American form of motorcycle racing. Riders guide their machines sideways through the turns, just inches apart from each other, at speeds faster than 100 mph.

Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets: Tickets are on sale for the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sept. 14, 2008.

Tickets can be purchased either online at at any time; on the phone by calling (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or (317) 492-6700 locally between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; or visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office on the first floor of the IMS Administration Building at 4790 W. 16th St. in Indianapolis from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All tickets for this event are three-day tickets, with both reserved and general admission seating available.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.