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Ricky Carmichael ready for history-making ride at Daytona

Ricky Carmichael shoots for record fourth straight Daytona Supercross by Honda. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 25, 2003) -- Ricky Carmichael will be racing for the history books during the March 8 Daytona Supercross By Honda at Daytona International...

Ricky Carmichael shoots for record fourth straight Daytona Supercross by Honda.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 25, 2003) -- Ricky Carmichael will be racing for the history books during the March 8 Daytona Supercross By Honda at Daytona International Speedway.

Carmichael, who rides for factory Honda, will be battling for his fourth straight Daytona Supercross victory on the demanding course in the tri-oval designed by Gary Bailey.

Jeff Stanton is the only other rider to have pulled off that feat, winning the Daytona Supercross four straight times between 1989-92. If Carmichael were to win, he would also tie Stanton for most career Daytona Supercross victories.

The irony for Carmichael is that Stanton will be on his side as he pursues his record win at Daytona.

Stanton, a three-time AMA 250cc National Motocross and AMA 250cc Supercross champion, has remained involved with Honda since he retired from professional competition after the 1994 season.

He serves as the team's advisor, coaching riders in practice and training, as well as on race days.

Carmichael's first two Daytona Supercross victories came aboard a Kawasaki in 2000 and 2001. Last year, he blew away the competition posting a 13.9-second victory aboard a Honda.

"This track, only the strong survive," said Carmichael, who calls Daytona his home track as he lives in the North Florida city of Havana.

One of the big keys to Carmichael's success at Daytona is his training regiment. The Daytona Supercross By Honda is not just a race, it's a test of a rider's physical abilities.

Bailey has designed the course since the inception of the race and has made it the toughest course on the circuit through its length and obstacles. Riders usually have their tongue hanging out after five laps.

"Fitness plays a big part in this race," Carmichael said. "It's a tough race physically and a lot of guys seem to crumble about the 15-lap mark."

While Carmichael has one eye on the course, he has to keep the other one on his competitors, including Travis Pastrana, Georgian Ezra Lusk and Frenchman David Vuillemin.

The Daytona Supercross is scheduled for Saturday, March 8. Elimination heat races kick off at 11 a.m. with the qualifying heat races following at 1 p.m.

The 125cc Main Event (15 laps, 22 riders) begins at 3:30 p.m. while the 32nd Daytona Supercross By Honda starts at 4:05 p.m. (20 laps, 30 riders).

Tickets for the Daytona Supercross By Honda can be purchased online www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

-dis-

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Series AMA
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , David Vuillemin , Travis Pastrana , Ezra Lusk