NFL STAR TROY VINCENT TO FIELD PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE TEAM IN 1998 FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Troy Vincent, one of the fastest players in the National Football League, also will fulfill his need for speed on...
NFL STAR TROY VINCENT TO FIELD PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE TEAM IN 1998 FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Troy Vincent, one of the fastest players in the National Football League, also will fulfill his need for speed on the dragstrip in 1998 by fielding a Pro Stock Motorcycle team for promising rider Antron Brown in NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series and AMA ProStar competition.
Vincent's Team 23 will compete in all 14 Pro Stock Motorcycle races in the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, the most prestigious drag-racing circuit in the world. The team, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., also will race at selected AMA ProStar events.
"Right now, I'm living my dreams through Antron," said Vincent, who started riding high-performance street motorcycles in 1990. "He's a great kid. I get just as much fulfillment from overseeing things as I do riding. It feels great. The Pro Stock field is the best among the motorcycles. It's where I want to be."
Brown, 21, from Chesterfield, N.J., will ride a Suzuki GSXR owned by Vincent. The team has family ties, as Brown is a cousin of Vincent's wife. Team 23 has primary sponsorship from Lexus, Suzuki Fun Center and Reebok. Associate sponsors include Snap-on Tools, No Fear, Ampro and Champion Trailers. Vincent's team will receive technical assistance from six-time NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series champion Dave Schultz and his engine builder, Greg Cope. Motorcycle drag-racing standout Rickey Gadson, a close friend of Vincent, also will provide advice.
"I look at this as an opportunity of a lifetime," Brown said. "You don't get too many opportunities like this. I'm trying to stay levelheaded, concentrate and make the most of it. "Troy is doing everything in the world for me. It's also a really great opportunity to have Dave (Schultz) take us in. His knowledge is priceless."
Brown began his racing career in motorcross at age 12. He advanced to the AMA amateur level and competed in races throughout the East Coast in 1994 and 1995 in the 125cc and 250cc categories. In April 1997, Vincent offered Brown a chance to ride for the drag-racing team he was building. Brown wasted no time proving he was worthy.
On his first trip down a dragstrip, Brown recorded an elapsed time of 10.20 on Vincent's modified Suzuki GSXR street bike during a test-and-tune session in May 1997 at Atco Raceway in Atco, N.J. He dropped into the 9.40-second range at 150 mph later that month and then in June 1997 attended the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in Gainesville, Fla., to take the first step toward earning his NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle license.
Brown earned his NHRA license in June 1997, and the team began extensive testing at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., and Atco. Testing continued in January 1998 at DeSoto Memorial Dragway in Bradenton, Fla.
"In any profession, the more you do it, the better you become," said Vincent, a six-year NFL veteran. "Our goal was seat time. We wanted everything to become second-nature."
A rapid adjustment to the 185-mph speeds of Pro Stock Motorcycle racing should be no problem for Brown. He was a champion 55- and 100-meter sprinter in high school and junior college. -30-
TROY VINCENT: Team 23 Owner Born: June 8, 1970 Resides: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Marital status: Wife, Tommi College: Wisconsin (majored in Landscape Architecture)
Pro Football Career 1997: Had three interceptions for Philadelphia Eagles, tying for team lead … Started all 16 regular-season games. 1996: Signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles … Had three interceptions … Set NFL record for longest interception return for a touchdown, 104 yards, on Nov. 3, 1996 … Started all 16 regular-season games. 1995: Had five interceptions for Miami Dolphins. 1994: Had five interceptions for Miami Dolphins, sixth best in the AFC. 1993: Placed third in NFL's Fastest Man Competition … Missed last three games of Miami Dolphins' season with knee injury. 1992: First-round draft pick (seventh pick overall) of the Miami Dolphins … Named to All-Rookie teams by several publications … Selected to play in Pro Bowl, the NFL's all-star game.
College Football Career 1991: First-team All-American for Wisconsin … Finalist for Jim Thorpe Award, given to best defensive back in college football.
ANTRON BROWN: Team 23 Rider Born: March 1, 1976 Resides: Chesterfield, N.J. Marital status: Single College: Mercer (N.J.) Community College (associate degree in Business Administration)
Motorsports Career 1997: Began motorcycle bracket racing in New Jersey in May … Attended Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School and received NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle license in June. 1996: Competed in AMA motocross events in Amateur 125cc and 250cc categories. 1995: Competed in AMA motocross events in Amateur 125cc and 250cc categories. 1994: Competed in AMA motocross events in Novice 125cc and 250cc categories. 1988: Started competing in local and regional motocross events. 1981: Started riding dirt bikes.
Track and Field Career 1997: Recorded career-best time of 10.35 seconds in 100-meter dash … Received scholarship offers from NCAA Division I colleges, including Long Island University, Rider, Alabama State and Southern Illinois. 1996-97: Ranked No. 1 among U.S. junior-college sprinters with 6.24-second time in 55-meter dash … Finished eighth in 55-meter dash at junior-college national indoor championships despite injury.