MOTO-ST: Daytona news 2007-10-17

"Mr. Daytona" Returns DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Ready to once again thrill fans with the style and skill that earned him the prestigious title of "Mr. Daytona," Scott Russell returns to Daytona International Speedway, October 19-20, for the...

"Mr. Daytona" Returns

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Ready to once again thrill fans with the style and skill that earned him the prestigious title of "Mr. Daytona," Scott Russell returns to Daytona International Speedway, October 19-20, for the final round of the 2007 SunTrust MOTO-ST Series -- the 8 Hours At Daytona.

The first time that Russell has run Daytona since 2001, he will join forces for the 8 Hours with the well-known Pair-A-Nines team to contest the BMW GrandSport Twins (GST) class aboard the No. 92 Kawasaki 650VERSYS.

"I am really excited about this race," says the Georgia native, who is tied with Miguel Duhamel with five Daytona 200 titles. "I know the track like the back of my hand and it is an exceptional place for me. I took my very first Daytona 200 win here in 1992 aboard a Kawasaki. I narrowly beat out Doug Polen with a slingshot move just before the checkered. We ended in a photo finish. I hear Doug will be racing this event too and that will make it even more special. It brings back a lot of great memories. Daytona is definitely a track that has been good to me and I'm hoping for that same old magic on October 20th."

Russell began his road racing career running WERA events in the mid-1980s. Climbing the ladder of success at a rapid rate, it wasn't long before he earned the reputation as one of the best novice racers anywhere around. Climbing up the next rung, Russell moved into the WERA National Endurance Series and Suzuki Cup. Turning more and more heads it was obvious that this was a young man with incredible natural talent.

"Those first years of endurance racing taught me a lot," he explains. "I learned to ride in all types of conditions, especially rain and I learned how to ride a bike that had all sorts of things going wrong -- bad brakes and tires and various other problems. Hopefully, all this will stand me in good stead at The 8 Hours At Daytona."

In 1987 Russell moved into the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) national series and immediately began to show his stuff. One year later, he took his first win in the 750cc Supersport class at Road Atlanta, his hometown track, and continued on to end the season in second place in 750cc Supersport and in the top ten in both superbike and 600cc Supersport. Further accolades were paid to this rising star when he was named the 1988 AMA Superbike Rookie-of-the Year. A star was indeed born.

Two years later, Russell joined Kawasaki and started his domination of 750cc Supersport taking the championship three years in a row. In fact in 1991, he scored a perfect season, winning all nine races in the series.

Not just satisfied with winning three Supersport titles, Russell continued on taking the 1992 Superbike Championship. The following year, he became the third American to earn the distinction of bringing home a World Superbike crown. In short, in his 13 years of competition, Russell amassed one of the most impressive records in professional road racing. He was in the top 10 all-time in AMA Superbike wins, the leader in AMA 750cc Supersport, a four time AMA road racing champion, World Superbike champion and the rider everyone considered the best ever at the famed Daytona International Speedway.

Inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2005, Russell is revered by fans around the world. His immense popularity is not just because of his exceptional ability on two-wheels, but also for his flare and more importantly, because he truly made it on his own, working his way up through the ranks step-by-step. There was no early factory ride and no wealthy family backing him, just a continual stream of manual jobs to allow him to follow his dream. In fact, by 2000, many of the up-coming road racers named Russell as their hero which truly tells how much influence he has had on the sport.

Today, Russell, who lives on a ranch in Conyers, Ga., can often be found riding his motocross bike, hanging out with his friends or attending some of his favorite races. "I'm definitely one of the lucky ones," he says with a big smile. "I get to play a lot and that is definitely cool. I have a great life and love every minute of it."

And, it is a sure bet that Russell will be loving every minute of it when he climbs on his Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki and takes the green flag for the 8 Hours At Daytona Finale this weekend.

The SunTrust MOTO-ST Series is organized and sanctioned by Professional Motorsports Productions (PMP) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the Grand American Road Racing Association (Grand-Am), based in Daytona Beach, Fla., provides the series with administrative and commercial support. Learn more about MOTO-ST at www.moto-st.com.

-credit: garra

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About this article
Series Other bike
Drivers Miguel Duhamel , Scott Russell