AMA Dirt Trackers Return to Thunder in the Hills
12 June 1998WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Grand National Dirt Track riders begin their summer swing as they head to Thunder in the Hills Rally & Race, June 20, at the West Virginia Motor Speedway, in Mineralwells, W. Va. The Grand National Series is the ultimate level of competition for professional dirt-track racers, who will be competing on 750cc engine motorcycles at the West Virginia Motor Speedway sponsored by Mike's Harley-Davidson of Delbarton, W. Va.
Eight-time Grand National Champion and current points leader Scott Parker hopes to maintain his winning ways as the Harley-Davidson factory rider has a 3-race win streak going. The Swartz Creek, Mich., rider collected his first-ever Daytona Beach short track win in the season's first round in Daytona Beach, Fla., having fallen short of a win in the nine previous years. Parker continued his win streak at the May 16 half-mile in Harrington, Del., and the Memorial Day Springfield Mile.
Veteran racer and Iowa native Rich King follows Parker in the standings, 27 points out of first, and 1992 Grand National Champion Chris Carr of Fleetwood, Penn., is in third, four points behind King. Will Davis, the only two-time winner at Mineralwells, hopes to repeat last year's victory by bringing his TCR Harley-Davidson to the finish line ahead of the 18-rider field. Davis is currently fifth in the points.
A grueling schedule of 12 races between now and Labor Day will set the stage for the final three races of the season. The eventual champion will have to come out in a contending position for the final three-race West Coast swing.
In addition to the Grand National Series race, race fans at Mineralwells will have the opportunity to watch the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series, which made it's debut in 1993. The 883cc Sportster, created as an entry-level street machine by Harley-Davidson Inc., emerged as a popular and affordable racing machine in the tradition of AMA Class C racing, which was designed to take advantage of readily-available production machines.
Jess Roeder of Monroeville, Ohio, leads the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series points with 42, followed by Prince George, Va., resident and 1995 Champion, Mike Hacker with 35 points, and third place belongs to Tim Eades of Petersburg, Va., with 28 points. The 1997 Champion and last year's winner, Dave Camlin of Rock Island, Ill., had a slow start with a 16th-place finish at the May 16, Harrington, Del., half-mile, but he bounced back by taking the win at the Springfield Mile. Camlin is currently in 4th-place with 26 points.
A motorcycle rodeo and pull will be held Friday evening, with a live performance by the nationally known Burnt River Band, who performed at Daytona and Sturgis. Overnight camping is available. General admission for Friday and Saturday, $35.00, Saturday only $20.00. Gates open at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 20. Qualifying at 3:30 p.m., autograph session from 6-7 p.m, and opening ceremonies are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.