Labor Day Weekend Sees Return of the AMA Pro Springfield Double-Header!

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (August 26, 2011) - The AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship returns to action in a big way via Springfield's annual Labor Day Weekend Double-Header, for which the Illinois State Fairgrounds will host the Springfield ST on Saturday, September 3, followed by the Springfield Mile II on Sunday, September 4. Rarely are fans given the chance to experience the handlebar-banging, push-and-shove action of Short Track racing and the high-speed, intense strategy of Mile racing in one weekend, and the legendary Springfield venue makes this a can't-miss event.

While no one rider can win the AMA Pro Grand National Championship at Springfield, they could certainly lose it, as the stakes are high and the points-margins are narrow. Current GNC leader Sammy Halbert (Woody Kyle Racing/Fredericktown Yamaha) heads Jared Mees (Lucas Oils/National Cycle/Rogers Lake Racing) by just three points, and with defending GNC Champion Jake Johnson (Zanotti Racing) only sixteen points back -- an easy-to-overcome disadvantage for someone of Johnson's skill -- none of the lead trio can afford to turn in anything but their best.

Halbert has held the points lead all season thus far, but that margin has never been as small as it is heading into Rounds 15 and 16. Mees -- having clawed his way up to his current prime hunting ground -- is determined not to be put off much longer, and Johnson, with the energy and focus of a man whose title is on the line, may be the darkest horse of all. All three are highly capable 450cc singles riders when it comes to Saturday's unpredictable Short Track, and each of the trio has podiumed at Springfield Miles before, Johnson and Mees both turning in wins.

The field will be full of riders handily able to upset the lead trio's plans, however, and chief among them is Monster Energy Kawasaki's Henry Wiles, who announced his post-knee-surgery return to competition by earning a stunning seventh consecutive Peoria TT victory at the championship's previous round. Wiles' Springfield Short Track record is nearly as impressive -- and entirely ominous for the rest of the paddock -- as he'll arrive at the arena's "Bull Ring" hunting his fifth consecutive Springfield ST win.

The Chris Carr Farewell Tour will roll into Springfield for the last time next weekend with Carr in search of a win to end his long, awe-inspiring career on, and the Springfield Mile could easily be the race in which he gets it done. It took Carr ten years to win his first Springfield Mile (in 1995), but since then he's won a staggering eleven more. Carr -- contending his 49th Springfield Main -- has been on the Springfield Mile podium no less than twenty-nine times, and he heads for Illinois determined to make it thirty.

As an added incentive for the weekend racers, former National Number 26, Tommy Duma (owner of Thom Duma Fine Jewelers in Warren, Ohio), will be awarding Tissot watches to the winners of the Short Track and Mile Dash for Cash, a prize worth $2,500. "The whole racing community holds a special place in my heart," says Duma, "and being able to give back and stay connected means the world to me. I remember being a rookie expert and mentored by my hero, Steve Morehead!"

Adding more luster to the event will be winner of the 1964 50-Mile Springfield National, Sammy Tanner, who will serve as this year's Grand Marshal and will be on-hand to sign autographs. The big Labor Day Weekend kicks off with traditional Friday-night Amateur Short Track races, which will run on the same track the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track stars will line up to conquer the following night. A full schedule of Amateur classes will fill Friday night with action while setting the tone for the excitement to follow.

For tickets and information, visit www.illinoismda.com or call (217) 753-8866 or (888) 468-1622. To learn more and be a part of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship, visit www.amaproracing.com and join us on facebook.com/AMAProFlatTrackSeries and twitter.com/AMAProFlatTrack.