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Aug 9, 2001

A Racer's Marriage Proposal: Pull Over On The Cool-off Lap, Jump The Fence, Get Down On One Knee

Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>2000 WERA 125cc Grand Prix National Challenge Series Champion and current AMA 250cc Grand Prix racer Chris Pyles proposed marriage to his girlfriend, Beth Walters, on Sunday, August 5 at his home track, Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia.<BR><BR>"My girlfriend Beth Walters, who also is my crew chief on my bike, she's usually in the pits giving me signals," Pyles told Roadracing World in a telephone interview August 8. "I did the WERA Formula Two race at Summit. Then for the Formula One race, I talked her into going over in turn six where all of my family and friends hang out and watch the races. <BR><BR>"So, she went over there. Then on the cool-down lap of the Formula One race, I pulled off to the side there. I've done it before. All of my friends were cheering. I'm high-fiving them and all. I hopped over the fence and was hugging everyone. I give Beth a hug, and when I hugged her, a friend of mine who had the ring gave it to me. Then, I got done hugging her, got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. She said, ‘Yes.'<BR><BR>"I've been planning it for a while actually, like five months or something. She loves going to the races with me and enjoys the traveling and all. We just have so much fun at the races together. I couldn't imagine taking her out to a fancy restaurant and having the waiter bring it over or something cheesy like that. I mean, what better place than at Summit Point in front of all of my family and friends. It was pretty cool.<BR><BR>"I got eighth in that race. I was in a three-way battle for sixth, but all I could think of was, ‘Man, don't wad it. Don't mess this up.' So I just kind of hung back there."<BR><BR>Pyles said that a wedding date hadn't been set but that the couple is looking toward the off-season between 2002-2003.<BR><BR>