Miguel Duhamel Loves The Magic Of Daytona Defending Pro Honda Oils 600 SuperSport Champion Hungry For More Daytona Wins DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 25, 2002) * When Miguel Duhamel makes his pilgrimage to Daytona International Speedway in March of...
Miguel Duhamel Loves The Magic Of Daytona
Defending Pro Honda Oils 600 SuperSport Champion Hungry For More Daytona Wins
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 25, 2002) * When Miguel Duhamel makes his pilgrimage to Daytona International Speedway in March of every year for Daytona 200 Week, he gets a special feeling.
"For me, (Daytona) starts when I was six-years-old coming here with my dad (Yvon) when he was racing here," Duhamel said. "To me, (Daytona) has a religious or biblical effect on me. It's definitely the most important race I can think of."
While some riders might not be enthused about racing 180 mph on the high banks at Daytona International Speedway and figuring out the ins and outs of the draft, Duhamel thrives on it.
He owns nine victories at DIS, more than any other motorcycle rider, and has three triumphs in Daytona 200 By Arai. He can still recall his emotions when he won the first of his three Daytona 200 By Arai victories in 1991.
"When I won in '91, I felt lucky, blessed and ecstatic," Duhamel said. "I really love this race track. It's tough, that's the way Daytona is. I've had some success here and hopefully we'll have some more this coming March.
"I enjoy the drafting. I enjoy the strategy. I think I'm a pretty good thinker on my feet when we're out there racing hard. I think that helps."
Last year, Duhamel posted his lone win of Daytona 200 Week in the Pro Honda Oils 600 SuperSport. He led the final two laps of the race and held off a contingent of riders for his sixth victory in the race.
Duhamel's victory in the 600 SuperSport also continued an interesting trend. Every time Honda introduces a middleweight sportsbike (last year it was the CBR600 F4i), Duhamel has been able to put it in Victory Lane right away at Daytona.
"I just go out there and try to win," said Duhamel, who has 40 career 600 SuperSport victories. "The bikes are all pretty similar. Maybe I'm able to ride it better around Daytona than other guys. I've haven't won it by a mile lately, I've been winning it by inches. It's definitely a difficult thing to do at Daytona, but I've been really lucky and have a great team. The guys have been working hard and the bikes have been really good and here that's what you need."
The 34-year-old Duhamel says he'll compete in his final 600 SuperSport race of his career in this year's Pro Honda Oils 600 SuperSport on Friday, March 8. But also on his calendar of things to do is winning his fourth Daytona 200 By Arai on March 10.
Another victory in North America's most prestigious motorcycle race would put him one away from the all-time leader Scott Russell, who owns five victories. Currently, Duhamel is tied for second on the Daytona 200 wins list with four other riders.
"Sure I would like to get up with the Russell," Duhamel said. "Scott did a great job here. You've got to have things go your way. You can't just control all of Daytona. Daytona, you need luck. Some years, we've had it. There's different ways of winning Daytona. Hopefully, this year we'll able to go out there and win it and get ourselves alone in that category with four wins right behind Scott. I've got a two-year deal. I don't want to be greedy, but I want all the records."
Tickets for the Daytona 200 By Arai and the Pro Honda Oils 600 SuperSport are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.