Flat Track Preview
This Saturday night the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com heads to the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio for the 2010 edition of the Ohio National Championship with some interesting statistics.
Last year’s Lima winner Bryan Smith, who rode a Harley-Davidson to his victory at the Fairgrounds, will be switching to the Monster Energy/Werner-Springsteen Racing Kawasaki.
Smith came in second at this year’s Springfield Mile on May 30th, and is still seeking his first win of the 2010 season, currently seventh in the Expert rider point standings.
2008 Ohio National Championship winner Joe Kopp, who also won aboard a Harley-Davidson, will be switching to the Latus Motors / ENI USA R&M / Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Team Ducati.
Kopp won the Arizona Mile at Yavapai Downs earlier this year aboard the team’s Ducati and comes into Lima also with 118 points, leading the Expert riders in the K&N Filters Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-superstore.com points chase.
Ironically, Jeff Carver also has 118 points and is atop the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles Grand National Championship standings.
Top riders from across the country call this race one of the most demanding, fun and exciting races on the series. The Harley-Davidson XR750 has won 23 of 25 Nationals on the limestone half-mile dirt track, winning 15 consecutive races since 1994.
The Ohio National Championship will mark the seventh event on the 19-race 2010 calendar. Smith will headline a field of former Lima winners including Kopp (’03, ’04), Jared Mees (’05, ’07) and AMA Pro legend Chris Carr (’91, ’99, ’00, ’01).
Although Kopp is the current points leader, he is being chased by winners of the last two GNC nationals, Jake Johnson and Henry Wiles, who each have two wins of their own this season.
All of these leading competitors, in addition to three-time Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth and Nichole Cheza, are among the top riders coming to Lima.
The series competed most recently at Gas City I-69 Speedway in Gas City, IN on June 19. “Hammerin’ Hank” Wiles nipped Mees by .624 seconds at the line, with Kopp finishing third.
Fairground gates open at 3 p.m. local time on June 26. There will be a number of vendor displays on the grounds including Budweiser, Lima Ford, Lima Harley-Davidson, K&N Filters and Memphis Shades.
Racing fans will also be entertained by Tyler Shepard the “Wheelie Wizzard” during intermission.
Timed practice is slated for 3 p.m. with a rider autograph session and open paddock area set for 5:30 p.m. Opening ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with the official racing program kicking off at 7:30 p.m. local time.
Pro Singles and Expert Singles will battle through nine qualifying races, culminating with the Pro Singles Main, a 12-lap feature, and the Expert Singles Main, a 25-lap showdown, wrapping up the evening of racing.
Tickets and event information for the Ohio National Championship are available at ohionationalchampionship.net or by calling 419-991-1491
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