Larry Pegram Still Chasing Elusive Daytona Success DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 25, 2004) -- Larry Pegram was on top of the world in 1999. He made a successful move from AMA Grand National Flat Track racing, was riding for the factory...
Larry Pegram Still Chasing Elusive Daytona Success
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 25, 2004) -- Larry Pegram was on top of the world in 1999. He made a successful move from AMA Grand National Flat Track racing, was riding for the factory Ferracci Ducati team and he won his first AMA Superbike race.
Instead of that success serving as a launching pad into a championship-winning career, things began to slowly unravel for the rider from Baltimore, Ohio.
First Ducati downsized its U.S. Superbike effort leaving Pegram scrambling for a ride. Since 1999, he's had stints with non-factory teams such as Competition Accessories Ducati, Hooters Suzuki and the ill-fated Dream Team Ducati squad.
Dream Team Ducati came to Daytona last year with high hopes and a seemingly unlimited budget. Pegram took 12th in the Daytona 200 By Arai, then went on to earn a hard fought third-place finish in the rain at Road America. Then the wealthy restaurateur sponsor backed out of the deal mid-season and Pegram was forced to sit on the sidelines the second half of the year.
"It was disappointing the way things ended last year," Pegram said of the collapse of Dream Team Ducati. "I proved what I could do with a good bike, but I guess that wasn't good enough."
Despite all the ups and downs in his 14-year professional career, the 30-year-old Pegram still harbors a positive outlook on his racing future.
"I'm putting together a Yamaha deal for Formula USA and I'm going to do some AMA Superstock and Supersport races as well," he said after winning the CCS Expert Unlimited Supersport final at Daytona International Speedway on Friday. "The Yamaha R1 is so good stock that we're thinking about racing it in the 200 next week. Hopefully if we do well Yamaha will step up the support of our program."
Pegram, who has been racing at Daytona since 1992 and has six top-10 finishes in the Daytona 200 By Arai, has also kept his long-standing relationship with Ducati intact. Earlier this week he tested Eric Bostrom's factory Ducati Austin bike.
"I try to keep the line of communication open with Ducati," Pegram said. "If Bostrom were to get injured and have to miss a few races I think I'd be able to step in and fill in the gap. Plus Ducati is looking to expand its program in 2005 and I think there's a chance I could end up with them next year."
CCS and Formula USA action continues on Saturday. Tickets for all motorcycle races at Daytona International Speedway are available online www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Expert GT Lights: 1. Derek Keyes, Jacksonville, Fla., Suzuki 650; 2. Kurt Miller, Baton Rouge, La., Buell; 3. Darren Danilowicz, Warrington, Penn., Suzuki 650.
Amateur GT Lights: 1. Dave Ellis Maney, Orlando, Fla., Ducati 900; 2. Guenther Weickert, Bonn Germany, Suzuki 650; 3. Robert Taylor, Leesburg, Va., Suzuki 650.
Amateur GTO: 1. Kevin Stewart, West Grove, Penn., Suzuki 750; 2. Bill Keros, Sylvan Lake, Mich.; 3. Carl Cohen, Tamaracq, Fla., Suzuki 1000.
Expert GTO: 1. Steve Rapp, Perris, Calif., Suzuki; 2. John Haner, Pearland, Texas, Suzuki 1000; 3. Larry Pegram, Hebron, Ohio, Yamaha 1000.
Acropovic GTU Amateur: 1. Jason Lewis, Johson, City, Tenn., Honda 600; 2. James Ptak, Huntley, Ill., Yamaha 600; 3. Ernie Dix, Lake Hiawatha, N.J., Yamaha 600.
Acropovic GTU Expert: 1. Michael Barnes, Boca Raton, Fla., Yamaha 600; 2. Chris Peris, Calgary Alberta, Suzuki 600; 3. Scott Greenwood, Dunbarton, N.H., Yamaha 600.
125 Grand Prix: 1. Scott Coccoli, Hobe Sound, Fla., Honda 125; 2. Dale Greenwood, Manchester, N.H., Honda 125; 3. Federico Cortes, Miami, Fla., Yamaha 125.
Expert Ultra Light Superbike: 1. Charles Burnett, Las Vegas, Nev., Honda 650; 2. Paul James, Waukesha, Wis., Buell 984; 3. Kevin Weir, Fort Montgomery, N.Y., Muz 720.
Amateur Ultra Light Superbike: 1. James Hillis, East Ridge, Tenn., Aprilia 250; 2. Nicole Hoffman, Port Orange, Fla., Aprilia 250; 3. John Russell Groover, Seffner, Fla., Kawasaki 500.
Expert Unlimited SuperSport: 1. Larry Pegram, Hebron, Ohio, Yamaha 1000; 2. Marco Martinee, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Suzuki 1000; 3. David Loikits, Northhampton, Penn., Suzuki 1000.
Amateur Unlimited SuperSport: 1. Carl Cohen, Tamaracq, Fla., Suzuki 1000; 2. Shay Marlin, Mount Larel, N.J., Suzuki 1000; 3. Ray Callioni, West Milford, N.J., Suzuki 750.
Amateur Formula 40: 1. Hilton Geartner, Winter Park, Fla., Suzuki 750; 2. Kevin Shreve, West Grove, Penn., Suzuki 750; 3. Keith Joy, Hileah Gardens, Fla., Honda 600
Expert Formula 40: 1. Robert Caraway, Apopka, Fla., Suzuki 750; 2. Joe Ribeiro, Newark, N.J., Suzuki 750; 3. Richard Croly, Deltona, Fla., Suzuki 750.
Expert Lightweight F40: 1. Richie Morris, Elkhart Lake, Wis., Buell 1200; 2. Randy Rega, Bridgewater, N.J., Buell 900; 3. John Long, Miami, Fla., Yamaha 750.
Amateur Lightweight F40: 1. Guenther Weickert, Bonn Germany, Suzuki 650; 2. John Neal Foster, Kalamazoo, Mich., Suzuki 750; 3. Patrick Doyle, Newmarket, On.
Expert Thunderbike: 1. Michael Mills, Weston, Fla., Suzuki 650; 2. Derek Keyes, Jacksonville, Fla., Suzuki 952; 3. Nate Kern, Mt. Laurel, N.J., BMW 1080.
Amateur ThunderBike: 1. Donny Wright, Bradenton, Fla., Kawasaki 750; 2. Dave Ellis Maney, Orlando, Fla., Ducati 900; 3. Guenther Weickert, Bonn Germany, Suzuki 650.