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Speedway to host AMA motorcycle series

July 29, 2005

HAGERSTOWN - The AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship enters the second half of the season as the series moves to round nine at Hagerstown Speedway's half-mile this Saturday.

Defending and six-time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr leads the standings coming into Hagerstown, but Ken Coolbeth and Joe Kopp edged closer to the champ with impressive performances this past weekend in Greenville, Ohio. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with practice at 6 p.m. Racing begins at 8 p.m.

The first half of the season has been one of parity. Seven riders have won in the eight races so far this season. Carr, who has twice won at Hagerstown, including the last race held there in 2003, is the only multiple race winner to date.

Joe Kopp, of Mica, Wash., put himself in the win column last week with a victory in Greenville, Ohio. It marked the first win this year for the 2000 national champ and has sparked his hopes of gaining on Carr in the second half.

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"That's something I can build on," said Kopp of his Greenville victory. "I'm back into third in the championship and still have a shot at catching Chris (Carr). It's important for me to have a good race at Hagerstown to keep my momentum going."

Ken Coolbeth has been consistent all season long. The rider from Warren, Conn., has scored six top-five finishes in eight races. His second-place result last week moved him three points closer to Carr in the standings. Just 13 points separate Coolbeth from Carr in the points chase at the halfway point.

At least five former Hagerstown half-mile National winners are expected to race Saturday. Kevin Varnes, Kevin Atherton, Johnny Murphree, Rich King and Chris Carr all have stood atop the podium at Hagerstown. Semi-retired Jay Springsteen is also a past winner of the race.

Maryland fans will be rooting for Paul Lynch from Jarrettsville. Lynch, the top-ranked rider from Maryland, has already scored a top-10 finish this season.

Hagerstown Speedway will also play host to round five of the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series. This year's Sportster championship is one of the closest in the history of the series. The top four riders are separated by just nine points. There have been four winners in four rounds. Scott Stump and Merle Scherb are tied atop the series standings.

The Sportster Performance Series features closely matched Harley-Davidson 883cc Sportsters that are very close to the bikes that can be purchased off a Harley-Davidson showroom floor.

For additional information on this weekend's 24th Annual Hub City Classic contact 301-582-0640.

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