19 September 2004

Kopp-Carr In Hot Pursuit

BLACK HILLS SPEEDWAY, Rapid City SD, a half-mile dirt oval, was host recently to the premier flat-track series in the U.S., the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Progressive Insurance Dirt Track Series. That's a mouthful, huh?

The "Speed Channel" program condensed the evening's entertainment into a one-hour show. The events are not available live, more's the pity. Good coverage at any rate, with highlights of the heat races and semi-mains which transfer riders to the 25-lap Main Event, and complete coverage of the Main.

The heats were pretty good racing, as were the semis. One semi had to restart twice as three riders were involved in two separate incidents involving one rider getting run over and two other riders using the words "endo", "head first", and "hay bales" in the same sentence! Good clean fun!

The Main Event started fast, with Harley-Davidson-mounted Joe Kopp, number two man in the points chase for the championship, getting the hole shot over Chris Carr, H-D, current National Champion and points leader. Kopp got a pretty good lead, but Carr ran him down and passed him with a good outside pass on about lap 10. Carr later claimed he was just setting Kopp up for a later pass , but that circumstances forced him to pass at that time. Kopp stayed close to Carr, with two other riders close behind him, and re-passed Carr on the outside with three laps to go. Carr didn't have time to re-pass Kopp, and said he "almost got off twice in three laps" trying. Good, close racing.

Carr stays in the points lead, but Kopp narrowed the lead from 29 to 25 points. There are several races left and Kopp is going for the championship. Will he make it? It's anybody's guess at this point. Stay tuned.

"Speed Channel" broadcasts these things on an irregular basis, usually late on Saturday night, so check your listings and TIVO up!

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