AMA: Kopp, Davis Clash For Title At Du Quoin Mile
19 September 2000
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- With just one race remaining in the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship, it's come down to two riders: Joe Kopp and Will Davis. Kopp, of Mica, Wash., leads Davis, of Goldsboro, N.C., by 15 points heading into the season finale at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Du Quoin, Ill., on Oct. 15. Kopp, in control of his own destiny, must finish tenth or better to take the title, even if Davis wins. Keeping the playing field level is the fact that neither rider has ever won the Du Quoin mile. Davis' best finish was a fourth in 1997, while Kopp finished seventh in 1996. Also, each rider has only one career mile victory, with Kopp's coming at the Dallas Mile last year and Davis' coming two weeks ago at Springfield Mile. For Kopp, the plan is simple: Keep it on two wheels, and get on the box. "My strategy is to get on the podium," he said. "I'm not going to push for a win, but I won't be satisfied with a ninth- or tenth-place finish. It would be nice to cap off the season with a win, but if I get beat, so be it. Hopefully, I'll be in front of Will." Davis, on the other hand, must lay it on the line and go for a win. And he must also hope that Kopp has trouble finishing the race in the top 10. "We're kind of behind the 8-ball now," said Davis. "It's the same as if there was a points deal or not. Our deal is to try to win motorcycle races." Davis believes his new-found luck on the mile tracks will continue. "I know that our motorcycles are good enough to do it," he said. "I feel that we'll be capable at Du Quoin to win another one." Regardless which of the two finishes the season on top, the series will have a first-time champion for the first time since 1992, when Chris Carr won his first championship. What's more, it will be the first time a non-factory-supported racer has claimed his first title since Ricky Graham in 1982. The Du Quoin mile season finale is set to get underway Sunday, October 15, with qualifying heats set to begin at 10:30 a.m. The main event is set to run at 3:40 p.m. The premier event will also be joined by the final races in the SuperTrapp SuperTrackers and the Harley Davidson Sportster Performance series. For ticket information, call 217-753-8866.