Wet weather threw a wrench into the plans of the 2020 AMA Flat Track Grand Championships, but Mother Nature couldn’t keep Hillsboro racer Chase Saathoff from claiming his place on the podium at the elite amateur event.
Saathoff would win two national championships and place second in two other classes after a strong finish in the final two days of the four-day event at the half-mile track in Ashland, OH.
Day three was originally scheduled to be a short-course run at Plymouth Speedway in Plymouth, IN, but the wet weather forced race organizers to make the move to the limestone half-mile in Ashland.
In the round three races on Friday, July 24, Saathoff would score four runner-up finishes in his four races, earning valuable points in the event standings. The 14-year-old racer would take second in the 450cc Modified class, the 251cc to 500cc DTX class, the 450cc Open Singles class and the 450cc Open Modified class. Kody Kopp of Mica, WA would be the only racer to beat Saathoff in the finals as he swept the four events.
Kopp and California racers Tarren Santero and Travis Petton IV would provide plenty of competition for Saathoff on the final day of the championships as well.
Back at the Ashland half-mile, Saathoff would take a second, two thirds and a fourth in Saturday’s races, showing the consistency that put him in the hunt for four national titles.
Saathoff’s best race was the 251cc to 500cc DTX race where he finished second to Kopp once again. He’d take third behind Kopp and Petton in the 450cc Modified and third in the 450cc Open Singles behind Santero and Kopp. He would also take fourth in the 450cc Open Modified, with Santero, Kopp and Petton grabbing the first three spots.
In 16 races, including the day two results which were determined by qualifying heat runs, Saathoff never finished worse than fourth and won six times.
He would finish first in both the 450cc Open Singles and 450 Open Modified, beating Tarren Santero in both divisions by 22 and nine points respectively. Saathoff would also tie for the most points in the 251cc to 500cc DTX class, taking second to Kody Kopp, who had three wins to Saathoff’s one in the class.
Saathoff also finished second to Kopp in the 450 Modified class, a scant nine points behind his counterpart from the Pacific Northwest.
This is the second year in a row that Saathoff has collected two national championships from the event. After taking one first and two seconds in 2018, Saathoff won two national titles and was a runner-up in 2019.