Historic motorcycle race has sagged to the point of near-invisibility the past decade.
A staple of the motorcycle racing world since 1937, there may be no more Daytona 200s. For sure, there won't be one in 2015.
Said Joie Chitwood, president of Daytona International Speedway: “After having multiple discussions with Moto America/KRAVE regarding a sanction agreement for 2015 Daytona 200, we were unable to find common ground on a business model that would be beneficial for both parties. We wish MotoAmerica/KRAVE the best as they begin their inaugural season in 2015.
“Daytona International Speedway will continue to be the driving force behind Bike Week, hosting a wide range of activities for all ages including the Daytona Supercross, the Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross and the AMA Pro Flat Track doubleheader, as well as demo rides, displays and vendors. We will continue to look for partners to assist in running the Daytona 200.”
The Daytona 200 started as a beach race, then moved to the Speedway in 1961. Past winners include Scott Russell, Migel Duhamel, Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson and Nicky Hayden. But in the past 10 years, the race has sagged in popularity, as manufacturer support disappeared. The race this year wasn't even televised. The 2014 version was won by Danny Eslick (in photo).
The AMA's road racing division had been operated out of Daytona Beach as sort of a partner to NASCAR, but about a month ago the assets were shifted to a new group. Moto America/KRAVE that includes racer Wayne Rainey, a past winner of the race, and is affiliated with Dorna, the MotoGP promoter. That group apparently wasn't able to come to an agreement for 2015 to keep the Daytona 200 going.
A spokesman for the Speedway said that if another sanctioning body could be found that would back the race, running in 2015 was still a possibility, but at this late date, it would be very difficult to put together a plan, sponsors and probably a broadcast package by March, when the race traditonally runs.