Daytona Fall Cycle Scene preview

Connell not holding anything back entering next week's Fall Cycle Scene at Daytona. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Oct. 10, 2002) -- Aussie Craig Connell won't be playing it conservatively during next week's Fall Cycle Scene at Daytona International ...

Connell not holding anything back entering next week's Fall Cycle Scene at Daytona.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Oct. 10, 2002) -- Aussie Craig Connell won't be playing it conservatively during next week's Fall Cycle Scene at Daytona International Speedway.

Connell, a native of Queensland, Australia, owns the championship leads in both the Lockhart-Phillips Unlimited Superbike and Pro Honda Oils Sportbike entering the Oct. 17-20 Fall Cycle Scene, which features the season finales for both the Championship Cup Series and the Formula USA National Road Racing Series.

While Connell wants to secure both championships, he's not going to be racing any differently at the "World Center of Racing" than he has anywhere else this season.

"I'll be racing to win," said Connell, who rides the No. 6 Arclight Suzuki.

The 34-year-old Connell holds an 11-point advantage over Floridian Michael Barnes in the Lockhart-Phillips Unlimited Superbike, the premier division of Formula USA.

There will be 51 points up for grabs between the two legs of the Lockhart Phillips Unlimited Superbike season finale at Daytona on Sunday, Oct. 20 which will leave Connell, Barnes, third-place rider Shawn Higbee and four-place rider Larry Pegram with statistical shots at the title.

In the Pro Honda Oils Sportbike, which will also be on Sunday, Oct. 20, Connell has all but clinched the title. He holds a 25-point lead over Pegram, and with only 26 points at stake in the division's season finale at Daytona, Pegram will have a hard time catching Connell.

"The pressure is off on that one a little bit," Connell said.

Connell got the season off to a slow start during Daytona 200 Week in March. He finished eighth in the Sportbike and eighth and seventh in the Lockhart-Phillips Unlimited Superbike legs.

But Connell was still adjusting to a new bike (he switched from Ducati to Suzuki) and was recovering from an arm injury from the previous season. He has been able to bounce back by staying consistent and focusing on the races that he felt like he could win.

"We got on top of those nibbling problems and all is working well," Connell said.

Connell made his first trip to Daytona International Speedway in March, 2001 and says that the 3.56-mile road course is like nothing he has ever seen in his career.

"I'm from Australia," Connell said. "We have nothing like that back there. It was a total learning curve.

"It was the entire place, just the size of it. It was totaling different from anything I've done before. I've ridden around the world and Daytona is not like anything else. Daytona is one of those places that you don't have anything else to relate to."

Tickets for Fall Cycle Scene are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

-dis-

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About this article
Series Other bike
Drivers Larry Pegram , Michael Barnes , Shawn Higbee , Craig Connell