Local Teams Hope for Home Court Advantage at Road America DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- When the Green Flag unfurls for the start of Round 4 of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series at Road America, July 7-8, four local Buell teams will be hoping that their...
Local Teams Hope for Home Court Advantage at Road America
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- When the Green Flag unfurls for the start of Round 4 of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series at Road America, July 7-8, four local Buell teams will be hoping that their vast home court knowledge will provide that all important extra edge.
Leading the fight in the SunTrust MOTO-ST GST Class (showcasing machines producing 75-90 horsepower) is Richie Morris Racing of Elkhart Lake, Wis. Sponsored by Daytona Harley Davidson, this team so far has earned a first at Daytona International Speedway, a third at Homestead-Miami Speedway and a first at Virginia International Raceway. Boasting the talents of well-known pilots Shawn Higbee and Dan Bilansky, they are hoping to take their third victory at Elkhart Lake and lengthen their point lead.
"We are really looking forward to this race," says Richie Morris. "Winning at your hometown track is always special and there will be lots of Buell fans on hand. With their knowledge of the track, I definitely think that Shawn and Dan will do well and I know that our entire team will be doing their utmost to take the win."
A test technician and development rider for Buell, Higbee, who resides in Oconomowoc, Wis., has been racing for the past 18 years. Extremely persistent in his quest to win, this standout competitor has numerous championships to his credit in AMA, Formula USA and NASB.
Equally as persistent and determined is his teammate Dan Bilansky. Born in Milwaukee and now a resident of Waukesha, Bilansky, the 2006 ASRA and CCS Thunderbike Champion, has also earned a excellent reputation in the two-wheeled world.
But, they aren't the only local team planning on doing well. Running in third place in the SunTrust MOTO-ST GST class, just 16 points out of the lead, is the James Gang Racing team from Waukesha. Sponsored by Hoban Brothers and Hal's Speed Shop, this team boasts the talents of Paul James and Jeff Johnson.
"This should be a good race for us," says James with obvious conviction. "Both Jeff and I know just about every inch of Road America and that's a definite plus. When you get to a track you are not as familiar with, it is tough to hone in and learn all the nuances the first time out. It takes awhile to get up to speed. At Road America, we will be fast right out of the box.
And, not only will all our friends and family be there to cheer us on, but it is the Buell Homecoming Weekend and there will be tons of Buell fans on hand. This definitely is the place to grab the Checkered."
"I love competing at Road America," says teammate Jeff Johnson. "It is one of the premier tracks in the country. It has lots of lines for passing, sweeping turns and elevation changes. The last time I raced there was in a CCS Thunderbike event. I crashed on the white flag lap and I still managed to win. This time, I'd like to skip the crash part and just take the win."
In addition, James Gang Racing will also be running a second Buell with two-wheel aces Greg Avello and Aaron Frank. Flying the Motorcyclist Magazine colors, these two riders, who both hail from Milwaukee, are highly skilled and hoping for a win.
"Endurance racing is entertaining for the riders, the team and the fans," sums up James, who is the director of product communications for Buell and Harley-Davidson. "And this series offers a huge potential. It is both well run and organized and we are pleased to be part of it. It is truly a team sport and everyone is involved which really makes it fun."
Another local team ready to show their talent is Brotz Motorsports. Headquartered in Sheboygan, Brotz Motorsports will feature the talents of Clint Brotz of Elkhart Lake and Shawn Conrad from Sheboygan Falls.
"We are ready," says Brotz, who, along with Shawn Higbee was part of the winning Richie Morris Racing SunTrust MOTO-ST Series GST team at Virginia International Raceway. It is always great to race at home and we are looking forward to a top finish."
In addition to the MOTO-ST 500K At Road America, the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series will also include the Iowa Speedway 500K at Iowa Speedway July 12-13, 2007 and the 8 Hours at Daytona Finale, October 19-20 at Daytona International Speedway.