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Virginia Motor Speedway

Virginia Motor Speedway News
AMA Grand National Motorcycle Event At Virginia Motor Speedway Will Have Local Flavor
Jul 6, 2006 - updated Jul 6th, 2006 6:02pm
Web posted by Dave Seay

Saluda, VA --

On Saturday July 15th, Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway will be the venue for the return of the high-speed AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championships. The First Annual Burcham Cycles Joe Weatherly Memorial presented by Thurston Spring Service will be the first time in 36 years that the national motorcycle tour has visited the State of Virginia with its brand of two wheel excitement.

Aside from speedway officials deciding to bring this show to the area for the first time in nearly four decades, there is more local interest than just the facility creating a buzz for this motorcycle race.

Mike Hacker, Tim Eades and John Nickens III are literally salivating over the chance to race in their own backyard and show motorcycle fans how exciting their brand of racing, with no jumps and no right turns, can be when these Harley, Suzuki and Aprilia full-bore Flat Track riders twist the grips to dust, the crowd will be on its feet.

Mike Hacker, Prince George High School grad and Colonial Heights resident, is an area rider who started in the wee years… and he has been moving towards full-time racer status ever since. Hacker, driving for Supertrapp, Honda House and Doc’s Harley Davidson (Missouri) never got to really show off his skills locally, though. The venue for the return impresses Hacker in more ways than one.

“You’ve got a great track. I mean, you couldn’t ask for a better track for what we do. The enthusiasm in wanting to make this thing go is so great. I’m really excited about being able to race in my hometown, but also race at a place where they want to make this deal a regular stop on the tour and they’re doing everything they can to insure that,” Hacker said.

And Hacker knows what the AMA Flat Track motorcycle tour can bring to the area. “I know that nobody will walk away dissatisfied after that main event.”

Tim Eades of Colonial Heights rides the Reggie Amos Custom Homes Harley and is a long-time fellow competitor with, and friend of Mike Hacker, is also a regular on the national tour. He’s pumped about his competitive chances for this year, and it couldn’t come at a better time as he looks to the VMS homecoming.

For Eades the Joe Weatherly Memorial is on the top of his list. “I’m really, really looking forward to it. Up until this year Hagerstown, Maryland was my home race and that’s four hours away.

“I get phone calls at least four or five times a week saying ‘hey, did you hear about that race at Saluda, are you going to be there? Everybody’s way pumped up on it,” he stated.

“I’ve done Moto-X and I’ve done some other racing but to me nothing’s more exciting than the Grand National Flat Track. On the half-mile we’ll probably be running around there at close to 100 miles per hour,” he said of the anticipation of speed at VMS.

Nickens, Richmond-born and a resident of Chesterfield County, is not on the tour full-time due to other responsibilities, but he plans on making the Hagerstown, West Virginia Motor Speedway and VMS shows, all in July. A foot, shoulder and sternum injury in July of 2004 put a crimp in his plans to tour full-time. Since then, he’s only raced once or twice.

This will be a bit of a homecoming and comeback trail wrapped into one but Nickens knows that he is behind the curve and bound to be a bit rusty, but the thought of hometown racing is getting him excited. And he gets a chance to show off his type of racing, rather than explain it.

“The thing that’s nice about it being around here is that I don’t have to explain that I’m not putting my knee down; I not going over a jump… now they get a chance to come out and watch something they’ve heard about for years and years,” he explained.

To say the least, this will be an historic event as 7-time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr, Kenny Coolbeth, Joe Kopp, Jake Johnson and a host of other national riders join our local riders for some high-speed two wheel racing on the dirt.

Reserved seat and general admission tickets are currently on sale between the hours of 9am and 4pm. Great seats are still available. Reserved seat tickets will be $30 with general admission going for $26. Mastercard and Visa will be accepted. The top ten rows on the front stretch are reserved seating; all others will be general admission. Fans can purchase tickets by calling (804) 758-1867 or by coming by the speedway’s office.

Any media credential requests must be received by Thursday July 13th at 4:30pm on company letterhead.

Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway, an ASA Member Track affiliate, is a 1/2-mile, dirt oval. The track is located on U.S. Route 17, eight miles north of Saluda, VA and 25 miles south of Tappahannock, VA. The speedway is just a short drive from Richmond, Fredericksburg, Southern Maryland and the Hampton Roads area.

To learn more about Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway and its 2006 schedule of events, fans and competitors may call the Speedway office at (804) 758-1VMS or visit the track online at www.vamotorspeedway.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: DAVE SEAY (804) 758-1867 OR (804) 357-7223


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