PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- A late schedule change for Speed Channel means a huge bonus for AMA EA Sports Supercross fans. AMA Pro Racing is proud to announce that the 2002 Daytona Supercross by Honda will be televised live from Daytona International ...
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- A late schedule change for Speed Channel means a huge bonus for AMA EA Sports Supercross fans. AMA Pro Racing is proud to announce that the 2002 Daytona Supercross by Honda will be televised live from Daytona International Speedway on Speed Channel on Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m. (EST). Florida's own Ricky Carmichael will be vying for his third-straight victory in the classic event.
"We're very pleased that Speed Channel is showing the Daytona Supercross live," said AMA Pro Racing CEO Scott Hollingsworth. "The event has reached the point that live TV is the next logical step in its continued growth. Speed Channel has put together a top-notch broadcasting team for the race that includes one of the AMA's great champions, Rick Johnson." Speed Channel's coverage will be hosted by veteran play-by-play racing announcer Brian Drebber, pit announcers Greg White and regular supercross Jamie Little and expert color commentary by seven-time AMA national champ and Motorcycle Hall of Famer Rick Johnson, a two-time winner of the Daytona Supercross.
Daytona is round nine of the 16-race AMA EA Sports Supercross Series. Yamaha's David Vuillemin is leading in the point standings coming into the race, but is being chased by defending champ Ricky Carmichael, who has won four races so far this season, including two straight coming into Daytona. Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath are the only former Daytona Supercross winners in this year's field. Carmichael is hoping to become only the third rider in the 31-year history of the race to win three in a row. McGrath will be trying to match Jeff Stanton, who is the only rider to have won the race four times. McGrath, the seven-time AMA Supercross champion, was the Daytona Supercross winner in 1996, 1998 and 1999. Vuillemin will be trying to stave off the surging Carmichael by turning in a good performance at Daytona. The Frenchman's previous best finish in the race was third in 2000. Another rider to watch for at Daytona should be Kawasaki's Ezra Lusk. The Georgian knows his way around the rough and sandy course– he has twice earned podium finishes at Daytona. And then there are Ernesto Fonseca and Travis Pastrana, both top 250 riders who have won the 125 East Region race at Daytona.
Daytona's Supercross circuit is set up in the tri-oval section of the speedway in front of the track's tall main grandstands, which are normally full for this race. The track, which is designed by another Hall of Famer Gary Bailey, is credited as being the longest and most grueling in the series.
"Daytona really brings together a lot of the elements of Supercross and motocross," explains defending champ Carmichael. "The race is really a test of a rider's fitness and concentration level. It's a unique set up that's for sure. If you can win Daytona it really gives a lot of confidence that you can pretty much conquer any track."
It will be interesting to see how rookie Chad Reed handles Daytona. The Aussie sensation, who rides for the Boost Mobile/Yamaha of Troy squad, leads the way in the AMA 125 East Series with three straight wins and so far has made the stadium circuits look like child's play. Reed might expect a challenge from longtime veteran John Dowd. The Cernics.com KTM rider is the only former 125 East winner in the 125 field. He won the race in 1997.
For those attending the race, they'll have a chance to see themselves on TV when the Daytona Supercross is rebroadcast on Sunday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m..
Tickets for the Daytona Supercross by Honda can be purchased by calling Daytona's ticket office at (386) 253-7223 or via the Internet at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.