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Inclement weather in Daytona forces schedule changes

Inclement weather forces schedule changes at Daytona International Speedway. DAYTONA BEACH, Florida -- Unseasonably wet weather has forced AMA Pro Racing to issue several schedule changes to keep pace with unpredictable weather. Friday's ...

Inclement weather forces schedule changes at Daytona International Speedway.

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida -- Unseasonably wet weather has forced AMA Pro Racing to issue several schedule changes to keep pace with unpredictable weather. Friday's rained-out Pro Honda Oil Supersport race presented by Shoei was moved to Sunday and was run in dry conditions. Unfortunately, rain began falling again at 1:00 pm Sunday and forced the postponement of the Chevy Trucks U.S Superbike Championship as well as the Genuine Suzuki Accessories Superstock event. Both races have been rescheduled for Monday beginning at 11:00 am. The MBNA 250 Grand Prix and BMW BoxerCup races were completed Sunday morning before the rains began.

"The incessant rain has made this a difficult situation for all involved, but we have proactively dealt with the situation as best we could," said AMA Pro Racing Vice President, Director of Communications, Kerry Graeber. "We met with Daytona International Speedway personnel Thursday evening to begin exploring options and preparing for the inevitable weather problems." Graeber added that the Daytona International Speedway staff has worked very hard to make these events happen.

The criteria for rescheduling involves numerous factors with rider safety and the impact on the fans topping the list. "We must have perfectly dry conditions to run our races at Daytona so it's not just a matter of the rain stopping, but also the time needed to dry the track," said Graeber. "Also, postponing races as opposed to moving them up is preferable due to fan expectations. It wouldn't be fair to have a fan arrive at the racetrack for a particular race only to learn that it has already occurred."

Since a number of riders contest more than one series, AMA Pro Racing takes that into consideration as well. "It's impossible to move five events into one day and make everyone happy but our goal was to objectively consider everyone's needs and create the most equitable schedule possible," said AMA Pro Racing Road Race Manager, Ron Barrick. "We're confident we achieved that."

Scheduling all of the events on Sunday included shortening three of the five races by up to three laps as well as deciding to automatically end the AMA-sanctioned support races if they were stopped after 50% or more of the laps were completed. AMA Pro Racing rules give the race manager the option of calling a race complete after 50%. This was done to maximize the possibility of getting all the races in on Sunday. The rains prevented that. "We were pretty sure we'd be dealing with weather but there's no way to predict exactly when the rains would arrive," said Barrick. "Building in some 'cushion' to the schedule gave us the best chance for success."

SPEED Channel has been broadcasting live from Daytona International Speedway and has had to keep up with difficult programming challenges. "The SPEED Channel crew has been terrific," said AMA Pro Racing CEO Scott Hollingsworth. "They have made every effort to broadcast all of the races live and it has been extremely difficult. We appreciate their commitment." SPEED Channel plans to broadcast Monday's races live beginning at 11:00 am.

Monday's local forecast in the Daytona Beach area calls for considerable cloudiness giving way to sunny conditions. No rain is expected.

Daytona Sunday schedule revised to Monday

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