AMA: Indy Mile and '99 AMA Grand Championships Set
15 October 1998WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and Fast Track Racing (FTR) will join forces to present a full week of championship dirt track racing next July at the Indiana State Fairgrounds' storied Indy Mile. Kicking off a full week of action on Saturday evening, July 3, will be the New Indy Mile, marking the return of the AMA's Grand National Championship Series to a venue that first hosted AMA championship racing in 1952 and has seen wins by legends of the sport including Joe Leonard, Cal Rayborn, Kenny Roberts, Jay Springsteen, Ricky Graham and Scott Parker.
After the New Indy Mile, the Indiana State Fairgrounds will be invaded by hundreds of families and the finest amateur and youth dirt track racers in America. They'll be on hand for the 22nd Annual AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships, scheduled July 4-9. Dirt track enthusiasts from the 4-6 age group all the way up to 40-plus veterans will take part in 16 classes of competition with separate events on mile, half-mile, TT steeplechase and short track circuits.
Riders earning the most points will gain AMA Grand Championships, and one young athlete will receive the AMA Horizon Award, emblematic of the event's top amateur competitor with professional racing potential.
Another key focus of the AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships will be the inclusion of purse-paying Grand Championship classes for AMA Pro Sport riders. Pro Sport riders are recent graduates of AMA amateur competition who are trying to break into the sport of professional motorcycle racing. Among the riders expected to compete will be Roger Lee Hayden of Owensboro, Kentucky, winner of the 1998 AMA Horizon Award as an amateur.
The AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships were moved to Indianapolis in 1997 in order to provide a central venue offering half-mile, TT steeplechase and short track circuits which have always been a part of the event, while also introducing for the first time an amateur championship event on a high-speed mile track. The formula has been successful, as over 1,000 entries were recorded in the '97 and '98 Grand Championships.
Meanwhile, the New Indy Mile returns the AMA Grand National Championship Series to an historic venue on the heels of the most competitive season in the series' 45-year history. The 1998 AMA Grand National Series concluded Sunday (October 11) at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in California. Four riders entered the finale with a shot at the championship, which was captured by Scott Parker with a 2-point margin over runner-up Chris Carr.
"It's great to be going back to Indy," commented AMA Pro Racing Director of Competition Merrill Vanderslice. "The Indy Mile is a great venue for Grand National racing, and it will be special for us to kick off a week of racing that will spotlight the future stars of the sport."