Daytona Saturday Bike Week report

Chandler hoping Medley magic works for him in Daytona 200 by Arai. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 2, 2003) - Doug Chandler twice came agonizingly close to winning the Daytona 200 by Arai. The 37-year-old Salinas, Calif., native is one of the...

Chandler hoping Medley magic works for him in Daytona 200 by Arai.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 2, 2003) - Doug Chandler twice came agonizingly close to winning the Daytona 200 by Arai. The 37-year-old Salinas, Calif., native is one of the veterans of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship. The three-time AMA Superbike champ has raced at Daytona since 1988, but despite being one of the favorites nearly ever year and finishing runner-up in 1997 and 1998, Chandler has yet to find the combination to win America's most prestigious motorcycle race.

This year Chandler is with the new No Limit Honda and he hopes to finally get the one victory that has eluded him all these years. Chandler has a winning Daytona mechanic, Gary Medley, to help him reach his goal.

Medley has had considerably more luck as a tuner over the years than Chandler has as a rider in the Daytona 200. Medley was the man behind John Ashmead's surprise victory in the 1989 Daytona 200. He then tuned for Scott Russell during the Georgian's Kawasaki days when he won three of his record five Daytona 200s. Medley will turn the wrenches for Chandler's No Limit Honda CBR954RR entry.

"We've worked a lot of years together and I think it just speeds up the learning curve for the new team," said Chandler of Medley, who's been a mechanic on the circuit for nearly 20 years. "We've got a lot of new people in here, but they're all a bunch of good guys and have been around the races for a long time. It's a new team, yet there's a lot of knowledge in our structure."

If Chandler could manage to win next Sunday, it would match the longest time a rider had to wait from their first appearance to finally earn a victory in the Daytona 200. Dick Mann won the race in 1970 -- 15 years after his first appearance.

"That's promising for sure," Chandler says upon learning that statistic.

At this time last year Chandler was sitting at home in Salinas, Calif., without a ride after a long relationship with Kawasaki had ended.

"It was tough," said Chandler of his feelings on missing the race. "As the days got closer I just kept thinking that the phone was going to ring and something would come up, but it never happened. And then during that week (of the race) I felt terrible just sitting around and not being here riding. It feels good to get back out here. This morning I finally had a partially dry track and pushed the bike around a bit and had a little fun with it."

Even if Medley is able to get Chandler's No Limit Honda ready to go for the 200 next Sunday, the team will still be considered an underdog.

"I've always felt that I've worked for underdog teams, said Medley. "We've never necessarily had the best equipment. I think it's the preparation and the people you've had working for you that determines the outcome. Working with some of the best riders kind of helps me along."

Chandler is using this weekend's Formula USA/Championship Cup Series races as a tune-up for next week's competition. On Saturday, Chandler finished ninth in the Expert Heavyweight Superbike aboard a Honda 600.

Tickets for any of the Speedway events 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 Doug Chandler , Scott Russell , John Ashmead