DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 3, 2003) Â¯ Formula USA and the Championship Cup Series wrapped up five days of racing last weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Next up at the Speedway are this week's AHRMA and AMA events. Here's a guide to all...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 3, 2003) ¯ Formula USA and the Championship Cup Series wrapped up five days of racing last weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Next up at the Speedway are this week's AHRMA and AMA events. Here's a guide to all the happenings this week at the "World Center of Racing."
The main event: Daytona 200 By Arai
The 62nd Daytona 200 By Arai on March 9 is the featured event of Daytona 200 Week and the season opener to the AMA U.S. Superbike season. Nicky Hayden is the defending champion of the race, but won't be competing as he has moved to overseas to compete in MotoGP.
Highlighting this year's race is the return of Honda's Ben Bostrom, who has competed the last three seasons in World Superbike. Bostrom's main competition will be his brother Eric, who rides for Kawasaki.
Other riders with a strong shot at a victory include three-time Daytona 200 champion Miguel Duhamel, two-time Daytona 200 champion Mat Mladin, Kurtis Roberts, Aaron Yates and Anthony Gobert.
Another storyline to keep an eye on during the Daytona 200 is the breaking of the all-time mileage mark. Floridian Rick Shaw needs to turn only two laps in this year's Daytona 200 By Arai to break Warren Sherwood's Daytona 200 mileage record.
The Daytona 200 By Arai starts on Sunday at 1 p.m. Qualifying for the top-four positions is on Thursday at 2:20 p.m. while second-round qualifying is on Friday at 12:20 p.m.
Historical Daytona Supercross By Honda?
Ricky Carmichael, riding aboard a Honda, will shoot for his fourth straight Daytona Supercross By Honda victory on Saturday, March 8 on the demanding course in the tri-oval designed by Gary Bailey.
If Carmichael can win, he would tie Jeff Stanton's mark of four straight between 1989-92 and he would also tie Stanton for most career victories at four.
Elimination heat races kick off Saturday's Supercross activity at the Speedway at 11 a.m. followed by qualifying heat races at 1 p.m. The 125cc main event (15 laps, 22 riders) is at 3:30 p.m. while the 250cc main event (20 laps, 30 riders) starts at 4:05 p.m.
New to Daytona International Speedway
Making its first and only appearance in the United States during Daytona 200 Week is the BMW Motorrad International BoxerCup. The BMW Motorrad International BoxerCup, which features riders aboard BMW R 1100 S motorcycles, will kick off their nine-race season on Sunday, March 9 at 11:30 a.m. before the Daytona 200 By Arai.
Other races to keep an eye on
One of the fan favorites of Daytona 200 Week is the Pro Honda Oils Supersport on Friday, March 7 at 4:20 p.m. The 18-lap race, won last year by Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates, is always highly competitive and features many of the Daytona 200 By Arai competitors. On the same day as the Supersport is the 750 Superstock, another exciting sprint race at 2:25 p.m.
Action at the Stadium
Daytona International Speedway will host dirt motorcycle races at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium on Friday night, March 7 and Saturday night, March 8. The feature program will start each night at 8:30 p.m. On Friday is the AMA Hot Shoe National while on Saturday is the AMA Progressive Insurance Grand National Championship kickoff.
The outside of the Speedway will be buzzing with activity as Daytona International Speedway offers the opportunity to try out the latest and greatest motorcycles with free manufacturer demo rides during Daytona 200 Week. Motorcycle enthusiasts can check out displays and demo rides from manufacturers such as Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, BMW, Aprilia, Moto-Guzzi, Buell, Harley-Davidson, Victory, Indian and Boss Hoss. Riders must hold a valid motorcycle driver license and DOT approved helmet in order to participate in the demo rides. Demo rides will run Monday, March 3 through Friday, March 7, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and on Saturday, March 8, 9 a.m. - noon.
In addition to the demo rides, the Speedway will also host vendor displays such as the American Ironhorse, Ducati, Featherlite, Chevy AMA Trucks and the AdvanStar International Motorcycle Show, where riders can pick up the latest in parts, accessories and apparel. The AdvanStar International Motorcycle Show will be open Wednesday, March 5 through Sunday, March 9, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
On Monday, March 3 and Tuesday, March 4, the Speedway turns back the clock with vintage road racing. The American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association, the leading vintage racing series in North America, will have two days of competition for classic motorcycles dating back to the 1920s.
The Classic Cycle Club, the exclusive Daytona 200 week hospitality package available March 8 and 9, is the best way to enjoy the action in style. Membership in the Classic Cycle Club touts a stellar list of amenities for motorcycle enthusiasts. Club packages include admission to private Campbell and Winston Tower Suites; food and beverage service; a reserved parking area; and infield, paddock and garage area access on March 8 and 9. Closed circuit televisions for convenient track-action viewing and a complimentary Daytona 200 souvenir program are additional perks.
Reasonably priced, Classic Cycle Club membership costs $220 for a March 8 and 9 combination package -- the days of the Daytona Supercross by Honda (March 8) and the Daytona 200 by Arai (March 9) -- or $120 (plus tax) for individual days Another option available to motorcycle fans in the infield is Harley Heaven. Available on Sunday, March 9 and located outside the International Horseshoe Curve, Harley Heaven provides hospitality that includes lunch, limited beverage service, infield/paddock/garage access, commemorative event pin, private grandstand and a reserved bike parking area. Harley Heaven costs $50 in advance and $55 on race day.
To take part in the Classic Cycle Club or Harley Heaven, contact the Sales and Sponsor Services department at (386) 947-6475.
If you want to go
To purchase tickets to any of the events at the Speedway, fans need to log on to www.daytoaninternationalspeedway.com or call the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.