AMA: Parker to Defend Slim Lead at Hagerstown Half-mile
20 August 1998WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- Eight-time American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Grand National Champion Scott Parker is back on top of the 1998 series point standings after taking his fifth win of the season last weekend. But the Harley-Davidson factory rider's goal of winning a record ninth title this year is by no means secure. Parker will be focused on defending a slim, 2-point lead at the next Grand National race, to be held Aug. 22 at the 18th Annual Hub-City Classic on the Hagerstown, Md., half-mile.
After losing a season-long series lead to Corbin Racing Honda rider Rich King a few weeks ago, Parker came back to win the Aug. 15 Quad City Downs half-mile by a decisive 3-second margin. The Quad City win showed Parker's determination to regain the series lead: historically, he has not finished as well on half-mile tracks. In fact, his average half-mile result is seventh-place.
Rich King is now back in series second-place with 195 points. But with six races left -- three half-mile and three mile events -- Parker has other concerns as well. Riders Chris Carr and Will Davis also have a shot at the 1998 Grand National title.
Carr and Davis each have six podium finishes on half-mile tracks this year, making Parker's battle for the championship that much tougher. Carr and the Harley-Davidson of Sacramento team hold down third-place in the championship with 187 points, just ten points back from Parker. TCR Harley-Davidson rider Davis -- the winner of last year's Hagerstown race -- is in fourth-place with 179 points.
The Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series will also be on the program for the evening of Aug. 22 at the Hagerstown half-mile. Jess Roeder currently leads that series with 135 points. His closest competitor is 1995 Series Champion Mike Hacker, who now trails Roeder by 36 points.
Six events remain on the schedule for the 1998 Sportster Performance Series, and it's possible for Hacker, Shaun Russell or 1994 Series Champion Scott Stump to take the championship.
In addition to the Grand National and Sportster Performance Series races, the 1998 Maryland State Rally is taking place over the race weekend, and includes self-guided tours to local historical sites. For Rally information, call (301) 663-3557.
Gates open at the Hagerstown, Maryland half-mile at 4 p.m. Opening ceremonies begin at 8:15 p.m. Reserved seats are $25 and general admission tickets are $22. For tickets or more information call (301)582-0640.
PAST WINNERS HAGERSTOWN SPEEDWAY Half-mile Dirt Track, Hagerstown, Maryland YEAR WINNER, HOMETOWN MACHINE 1997 Will Davis, Goldsboro, NC Harley-Davidson 1996 Kevin Atherton, White Pigeon, MIHarley-Davidson 1995 Kevin Varnes, Pottstown, PA Honda 1994 Ricky Graham, Salinas, CA Honda 1993 Ricky Graham, Salinas, CA Honda 1992 Rusty Rogers, Richmond, VA Harley-Davidson 1991 Larry Pegram, Baltimore, OH Honda 1990 Steve Morehead, Findlay, OH Harley-Davidson 1989 Scott Parker, Swartz Creek, MI Harley-Davidson 1988 Steve Morehead, Findlay, OH Harley-Davidson 1987 Steve Morehead, Findlay, OH Harley-Davidson 1984 Randy Goss, Hartland, MI Harley-Davidson 1983 Randy Goss, Hartland, MI Harley-Davidson 1965 Bart Markel, Flint, MI Harley-Davidson 1964 Bart Markel, Flint, MI Harley-Davidson
Track Records: 1 lap: Rusty Rogers, Richmond, VA, August 19, 1990, 24.092
4 laps: Kevin Atherton, White Pigeon, MI, August 24, 1996, 1:35.808
25 laps: Kevin Atherton, White Pigeon, MI, August 24, 1996, 9:43.64