Martin Morrison, riding his No. 95 Suzuki RG500, leads Steve Arnold (143) on a Yamaha TZ500 and William Hougaboom on a Suzuki GSXR in a WERA sprint race at Grattan Raceway in 1986. Morrison and Arnold were among a handful of WERA racers in the mid-1980s running 500cc GP bikes. Morrison, from Elida, Ohio, also raced AMA Formula One Nationals throughout most of the 1980s. He was one of the few that campaigned the RG500 against the dominant Yamahas. He bought this bike from Gina Bovaird. Gina was the first woman to qualify for the Daytona 200 and the first woman to race in a 500cc Grand Prix. Morrison scored some top-10 national finishes on this Suzuki. His best was a seventh at Brainerd in 1986.
Archive for February 24th, 2010
Greg Tysor leads a group of riders in a good AMA 600cc Supersport battle at Road Atlanta in 1988. This class historically provided some of the closest races in pro racing. Other riders dicing with Tysor include Jamie James (58), Doug Tosten (8) and an unidentified rider No. 17 (maybe John Eldenberger) and another rider partially hidden behind James.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – History will be made at Daytona International Speedway as the new Daytona Flat Track makes its AMA Pro Racing debut on Wednesday, March 3 and Thursday, March 4 during Daytona 200 Week.
Top AMA Pro Racing Flat Track riders from across the country including Henry Wiles, Joe Kopp, Jake Johnson, Kenny Coolbeth and the legendary Chris Carr will battle for the first time on the historic grounds of the “World Center of Racing.”
“Daytona, it’s the ‘World Center Of Racing,’ ” said Carr, a seven-time AMA Pro Grand National Champion. “We all know that and to be able to be a part (of that) and race the Flat Track at Daytona International Speedway is one step in our evolution to bring our sport to a more prominent area.”
The Flat Track events have been staged in Daytona Beach for more than 30 years. It was first held at Memorial Stadium, which was located near Daytona State College. In the late 1980s, the event moved to the newly constructed Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium.
Last fall, field turf was installed at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium and Daytona International Speedway constructed a new quarter-mile dirt track that is located just outside Turns 1 and 2 that now serves as the new home to the Flat Track events.
The quarter-mile track, which saw its first action in late December with karts from the World Karting Association, is layered with the same lime rock that was utilized at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium and lighting will be provided by Musco Lighting.
The Daytona Flat Track has a history of producing two of the most difficult nationals of the year.
Carr, who has competed at both the old Memorial Stadium and Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium, is looking forward to the atmosphere that the event will provide for the fans.
“I think it’s going to be a bit more of an open environment,” said Carr. “It won’t be as noisy as before because you don’t have concrete walls all the way around it. The ambiance is going to be totally different and radical than being at the stadium. Having Flat Track at Daytona International Speedway is probably one of the biggest things we’ve had in a longtime for Flat Track.”
Three-time AMA Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth agreed that riders on the new Daytona Flat Track will create a competitive atmosphere that fans won’t want to miss.
“It should be pretty cool for spectators,” said Coolbeth. “It’s a fresh track and an even playing field. I think it’s going to be better for what we (as a sport) need.”
Tickets for each night of Daytona Flat Track racing are $25 for reserved seats, $20 for general admission standing room only and can be purchased online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/ or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (http://twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).
Editor’s note: This looks like it could be really good.
Four Legends Premieres This Sunday on CBS
An Inside Look at Supercross Stars McGrath, Carmichael, Reed and Stewart
AURORA, Ill. (February 24, 2010) – With the 2010 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season approaching the halfway point while three of the sport’s youngest stars battle for the coveted title, Feld Motor Sports℠ presents a special documentary celebrating four of the biggest names in supercross history. Four Legends is a one-of-a-kind documentary that takes a look into the minds and the lives behind four of the most successful riders to ever throw a leg over a motorcycle: Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, Chad Reed and James Stewart. The show premiers this Sunday, February 28, at Noon EST following LIVE coverage of the Atlanta Supercross on Saturday night.
Each of the four champions featured on the show helped take the Monster Energy Supercross series to a new level. Distinct personalities, revolutionary riding styles and a shared commitment to winning helped make these four athletes household names and helped put supercross on the map. Each rider’s unique flair helped bring the sport to the with appearances on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live, television magazine features on ESPN’s E:60, as well as gracing the pages of Sports Illustrated.
McGrath is the proverbial godfather of supercross, dominating the 90’s with seven championships over an eight-year span. His “Showtime” image led to a surge in popularity among America’s youth which has carried over through today. As the winningest and most successful rider in the history of the sport (72 wins), he has rightfully earned his nickname “The King” and is a key reason why the sport has grown so much over the past 20 years.
These days, Carmichael goes by the well-deserved moniker “The Greatest of All Time” (G.O.A.T.) thanks to his prowess in both supercross and motocross. The dedicated rider proved that hard work pays off, showcasing the value of training in such a demanding sport. He fulfilled the hype he received as a youngster and left a legacy that will never be matched. After winning his first-career title in 2001, Carmichael went on to win five championships over the next six seasons. He sits just behind McGrath in the record books with 48 wins.
Since coming to America in 2002, native Australian Reed has been perhaps the most consistent rider in the history of the sport. If he isn’t standing on top of the podium after winning a race, he is almost certainly securing one of the two remaining spots on the pedestal. His two championships have made him the most successful international rider the sport has ever seen and thanks to a heated rivalry with Stewart that came to a head in what many consider to be the greatest Monster Energy Supercross season ever in 2009, he has played an integral role in making the sport bigger than it’s ever been.
Since his arrival in professional ranks, Stewart has taken the sport by storm over the last five years. With 35 overall wins and an even more impressive winning percentage in the premier class, it’s surprising he has only two championships to his credit. Injuries have held him back throughout his career, but fans can count on watching Stewart push the envelope when it comes to riding each time he is on the track, pushing the progression of riding more than any rider in the last decade. As the most well-known rider on the planet, he is the face of supercross and will lead it into a new era in his relentless quest to surpass McGrath’s all-time win record.
To view the Four Legends trailers click the following links:
A season-long subscription to the official webcast of Monster Energy Supercross, Supercross LIVE®, is available for $39.99: http://www.supercrossonline.com/supercrosslive. Supercross LIVE® is the only weekly live Monster Energy Supercross race call, and features long time voices of supercross, Jason Weigandt and Jim Holley.
For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, please log on to www.SupercrossOnline.com. For all media requests, please contact Denny Hartwig firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-566-6305.
If you’ve ever seen photos of the 1974 Daytona 200 the thing that strikes you is the enormous crowd on hand to watch the race. In spite of the gas crisis that made it a little tricky to travel very far due to so many closed gas stations, a crowd reported in newspapers as 60,000 showed up that year to watch America’s Grand motorcycle race. The photos show packed main grandstands.
Why the huge turnout? That year marked the Giacomo Agostini’s long awaited debut in the 200. Ago had just signed with Yamaha and he was making his debut with the team in the Daytona 200.
Imagine if it were announced that Valentino Rossi was coming to race in the 200. That’s the kind of enthusiasm Agostini generated by racing Daytona in ’74, perhaps even more because he would be riding against America’s best, like Kenny Roberts and Gary Nixon. Throw in the addition of Barry Sheene and it’s easy to understand why the race may have been the best attended in the history of the race.
Fans got a great race to watch, at least for the first half. The 200 was shortened to 180 miles in compliance with government requests to shorten motorsports events due to the gas crisis (the Daytona 500 a few weeks earlier was shortened to 450 miles).
Ago sprinted to an early lead, but was chased down by Sheene, Nixon and Roberts. The quartet had great battle for most of the first half of the race. The motor on Sheene’s factory Suzuki broke dropping him from the battle, then Robert’s Yamaha TZ700 began to overheat cause him to slow.
That set up a two rider battle between Agostini and Nixon for the win. Nixon pitted first for his fuel stop giving Ago the lead. In the closing stages Nixon (riding a Suzuki) was poised for a major upset over Agostini. He was only 12 seconds behind and Ago was yet to make his final fuel stop. But it was not to be, Nixon, trying to close the gap even further, crashed out and Ago went on to win the race over Roberts by a comfortable margin. Hurley Wilvert was third on a Kawasaki.
Kenny Roberts (2nd), Dave Smith (1st) and Robert Winters (3rd) gather for the winner’s circle celebration after the 1972 Daytona Expert/Junior 100-Mile race (later to be called the AMA 250 Grand Prix, which became a national series in 1977). Smith won the race on an ex-Kel Carruthers Yamaha TD2, the same one Carruthers had won the race on the year before. Roberts, who battled Smith all day and finished a very close second, was on one of Yamaha’s new TD3s. Every finisher in that year’s 250 race was on a Yamaha. There were only three non-Yamahas in the race – two Kawasakis and a Suzuki – but they all DNF’d.