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Rick Shaw closes in on Daytona mileage record

Rick Shaw closes in on Daytona 200 mileage record DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., ¯ (Feb. 18, 2003) -- One rider will celebrate a victory in the Daytona 200 By Arai on March 9 after the conclusion of the 57-lap event at Daytona International ...

Rick Shaw closes in on Daytona 200 mileage record

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., ¯ (Feb. 18, 2003) -- One rider will celebrate a victory in the Daytona 200 By Arai on March 9 after the conclusion of the 57-lap event at Daytona International Speedway.

Rick Shaw hopes to celebrate breaking a major record in the Daytona 200 By Arai after Lap 2.

Shaw, a police officer from Miami, Fla., needs to complete only two laps during the March 9 Daytona 200 By Arai to eclipse the mile completed mark of 3,187 set by Warren Sherwood. Shaw currently stands at 3,180 miles.

"The record has stood for such a long time and it represents the pioneers of the sport and to be included and recognized with the pioneers of the sport, to me there's a lot of pride in that," Shaw said. "To do this as long as I've done it -- it takes a lot of time and effort and a lot of help from a lot of people."

The major roadblock standing in the way of the record for Shaw is the Daytona 200 By Arai qualifying session on March 6.

It'll be no easy task for Shaw to crack the field for the Daytona 200. He's a privateer running on a shoestring budget against top factory teams.

"There's always a concern," Shaw said. "You have to be within a certain (speed) percentage of the (factory) Superbikes. These Superbikes have raised the bar so high, it's made it difficult for privateers to compete.

"The factory Hondas are putting 175 or 180 horsepower down on the track and we're sitting around running around with 135 or 140. It's bad enough that they are getting special qualifying tires and running special qualifying motors and everything else. They make the bar so high, it's difficult for a privateer to make the grid anymore. Qualifying is a major issue."

Shaw has spent the months leading up to the Daytona 200 working on sponsorship opportunities that will allow him to purchase a new motorcycle.

"We were going to have to have state of the art stuff," Shaw said.

Shaw says he first competed at Daytona in 1974 and made his first Daytona 200 By Arai start in 1981. Through the years Shaw has fallen in love with the heritage of the Speedway, which makes the record a special moment in his life.

"Daytona epitomizes the center of speed," said Shaw, whose best finish in the Daytona 200 was 18th in 1985. "It still does. You can say what you want about all these other tracks. They have a different tradition. Daytona International Speedway has its tradition and I'm going to be part of that tradition."

Tickets to the Daytona 200 By Arai are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

-dis-

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