Despite Threat Of Rain, Scott USA Outdoor National At Steel City Packs ‘Em In For What’s To Be The Final Round Of 2003

Though torrential rains wash out entire amateur racing program and pro practice, the 2003 AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship ends on a positive note at the National Promoters Group’s Steel City track in Delmont, Pa.

DELMONT, Pa., (Sept. 4, 2003) — After dodging Eastern United States rainstorms for much of the summer, the skies again cleared up on Sunday at Steel City, home of the Scott USA Outdoor National. The weather cooperated just as it had amazingly done on previous Sunday’s at the High Point, Southwick, Budds Creek and Binghamton Outdoor National rounds of the 2003 AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship. For most NPG members, this would turn what could have been a disastrous year into one of the more memorable years of motocross racing on record.

But, despite all of the record crowds (nine out of 11 rounds), the National Promoters Group — in cooperation with the AMA — was sorry to announce the cancellation of what was to be the final round (Round 12) of the series this upcoming weekend in Troy, Ohio. The Troy round, which had previously been rescheduled from July 13th to Sept. 7th due to flooding, has again yielded to the wrath of Mother Nature as NPG member Don Kenworthy’s property is under four feet of water for the second time this summer.

“I’m just sick about it,” said Kenworthy. “My staff and I worked so hard to get this track back into proper condition for the National this coming weekend. We ran a sizeable amateur race a couple weeks ago and things were fine. In fact, this coming Friday we had to re-scheduled some press events around the time we needed to water the track. And now look what happens — again. I can’t believe it.”

Back at Steel City, the Coombs family was working around the clock to ensure that the track was properly prepared for last Sunday’s National. Track personnel, heavy equipment and an army of volunteers worked through the night on Friday and Saturday to prep the track and see to it the problem areas were either covered or had proper drainage routes dug. All-in-all their efforts were to pay off as the track got high marks from the riders — even though they missed out on Saturday’s practice session.

“With it pouring rain on Saturday morning, we made the decision to sacrifice amateur day rather than ruin the track for the pros on Sunday,” said Jeff Russell of Racer Productions. “Duke (Finch, of the AMA) responded to our move to cancel the amateurs by canceling Saturday’s pro practice as well.”

The move to sacrifice the amateur day alone is devastating for the promoters, those of whom that run amateurs have seen racers turn out in record numbers this year on National weekends.

Those who endured on Saturday were treated to an extended rider autograph session and the NPG and AMA worked to keep the pro pits open until 5 p.m. when they normally close at 2 p.m. On Sunday the skies shined blue and a sizable crowd (19,863) — equal to that of last year’s crowd — turned out to see some of the most exciting racing of the summer. And for the record, Honda’s Ricky Carmichael would clinch the 250 title, while KTM’s Grant Langston would win the 125 title by a mere seven points over teammate Ryan Hughes.

The goal of the NPG is to raise the awareness of motocross through the production of professional championship racing events, while providing the cash prizes — through sponsorship opportunities – for the competitors. For more information on the NPG and motocross results, please visit our web site at mxnationals.com or contact OMS Sports’ Pat Schutte at (734) 222-0688 or pat.schutte@omsltd.com.