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Old 03-24-2008, 12:37 PM   #1
acecycleins
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Default My Field Trip to Daytona- part 2

(It's not as bad as it seemed- it just seemed really bad)


The racing, however, was great. The guys didn't really have many people in the stands but it sure was cool. Former World Superbike Champion, Ben Bostrom, won the 'Sport race by a mere .012 seconds over his teammate Josh Herrin. It was a great start to the season for Yamaha, Ben and Josh. Aaron Yates took the Jordan Suzuki to the winner's circle in 'Stock, but not without a fight from the kid Blake Young on his Emgo Suzuki. That, too, was a very close race with the margin of victory of .112 secs.
Looks like Supersport and Superstock will be where all the excitement is for this season. Too bad the Superstock class will be going away with the rules change next year. Speaking of next year, Looks like I was right in that essay I wrote a couple of months ago. What caught me off was the actual deal itself. Instead of AMA leasing rights to DMG (the group headed by Roger Edmondson and the France empire), DMG bought the entire Pro Racing outfit off the AMA. DMG will keep Superbike under it's wing and lease the rights to Flat Track, Supermoto, Hill Climb and all the others to promoters that are best qualified to run the series they chose to take on. So, I was more right than not right on the subject and feel the need to do a happy dance for my good call. Hopefully, after the Barber race I will be allowed to enter another essay on what's happening now and in the future for Pro Racing.
Back to Daytona. Friday was trash. I got up early and headed to the track. Because Friday was deemed an off day the track was a ghost town. Riders were hiding out in their RVs with there families and friends and the areas that were once open to most were now closed. Teams were practicing their pitstops but riders were as difficult to catch as a gull on the beach. Just about the time I got close enough to get the attention of someone interesting I got brushed off. I was so disgruntled I left the pit/garage area and went to look for a buddy of mine working as a corner worker for the weekend. As the day droned by with disappointment we did manage to sit at the campsite as powerful storms (with full on tornado warnings) rolled through. It got bad enough at one point that the guys I was with went to the "tower" (race command) to hide out. I left for a local gas station and sat for hours waiting for the rain to let off enough to ride back to Cocoa. Once again, a completely wasted day. Even more so than Thurdsday when you think about it. At least, Thursday I got to get pics of bikes on the track.
To recap, one day riding down, two days at the track and absolutely nothing positive accomplished. I was pretty mad by 8:00pm on Friday night and ready to bolt. The 200 (which I'd never seen live in person) hadn't even ran but that didn't stop me from looking for an exit plan. I called Todd and had him wire me money to get home (remember, he was supposed to be with me) and went to eat at Corky Bell's Seafood. Corky's was the first actual meal I ate since Wednesday morning. It was fried, really bad for me, but completely awesome. I got back to my bunk and started reading about the day's events on Superbike Planet and Cycle News. The rain was so bad that I never figured the Supercross race would be ran. The reports were simple and to the point: It was a mud pit- according to my friends at the track. Seems the race was run in that very mud pit and Kevin Windham pulled off the win when Chad Reed's bike started jettisoning parts. Sorry Chad, but I'm a Windham fan, anyway. After the race news was read it was pretty late and time to sack out for my early departure.
At 7:00am I loaded up the bike and prepared to leave. Overly disgruntled and slightly miffed because the weekend did not go as planned, I left Cocoa and headed north. It was a tough trek. The winds blew constantly at around 30-35mph and I was all over the road like a drunk sailor on a weathered bar wench. I stopped to get gas at the Destination exit and was almost tempted to turn around and go to the track. The wind was so strong that I talked myself into thinking that the AMA would postpone the start or even run the race on Sunday. Since I was convinced that the AMA would do the "right thing" I soldiered on. It was terrible out there and I was in the middle of it. Riding at speeds between 80-90mph I had one goal: GET HOME. As I road north the winds may have died somewhat, but the gusts were still bad. While traveling, with my fuel light shining brightly, through the Osceola National Forest I watched two different riders on full dress Harley's get blown completely from the roadway. No injuries to riders but the bikes both tumbled a bit. Thinking about those poor guys brought me back to reality and I started to worry about my gas situation. I kept thinking to myself "How long is this stretch of I-10?", as I'm patting the tank of my bike whispering in my helmet that I can make it to the next exit. I read once in my maintenance manual that the tank was 4.2 gallons and knew I was near the end. As I exited and coasted (out of said fuel) into the gas station relieved that I didn't have to actually push my loaded bike I did, in fact, find that my tank will hold 4.206 gallons of gas. Whew! I've managed to brave the wind and now comes the cold. The next stop was in Valdosta and it was truly 20 degrees colder than from wince I came. It was down right bitter, as a matter of fact. I was skwunched (my word Mr Editor) up on that bike for the next 180 miles or so. I couldn't put enough layers on me. Yet, I soldiered on. Before I know it I was at the GA 16 exit and feeling like the next hour or so of my ride I was virtually sitting in the hot tub drinking an ice cold beer.
What did I learn on my trip to Daytona this year? 1- ALWAYS try to get the cool Media passes because you get better access to everything. 2- Realize that being the "new" reporter in the pits won't get you that cool interview with Scott Russell, no matter how nice you are to the mechanics. 3- Get a Hotel. Camping on the floor of a friend's house is cool when you're 20- not 40. 4- Make sure your riding partner (and boss in my case) is actually going to be able to make it. 5- Learn to be a better story teller. That way people aren't laughing at you when you tell the adventures of your trips and ramblings.
Is there a moral? Yep- karma's real and it follows you. Be prepared and be able to adapt when things change. You'll save your sanity.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
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Nice job, good read. It gave me a bit of distraction for awhile, and that's what it's all about, eh?
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:03 PM   #3
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The best stories usually come from the worst trips.

Kinda the "It's not the desitination; it's the journey" thing.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by pushrod View Post
The best stories usually come from the worst trips.

Kinda the "It's not the desitination; it's the journey" thing.
Just wish the journey had less rain- wasn't terrible, though. Kenneth and his mom, Helen, too gracious- really. I didn't have to sleep in the rain like my corner worker friends did. Those poor guys went to work on Saturday and when they returned to the campsite after the races EVERYTHING was gone. The wind took the entire site a spewed it across the campgrounds. Many things were never found. Would I do it again? Don't know. If the editor had the correct Creds, sure. Otherwise, NO!
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:47 PM   #5
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Well, don't apologize. I think you wrote a nice little story and sorry it didn't work out better.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:52 PM   #6
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I don't know where you get your information. Supersport and Superstock races were run on Thursday, as per plan. There was no change in that schedule.

As far as access to the pits, we are but poor tourists from Canada and we had face time, photos and autographs from Duhamel, Spies, Mladin, Hacking, Hayes, Pegram, Zemke. Saw lots of other racers close-up including Yates, Eric and Ben Bostrom, Tommy Hayden, Hodgson. It was all great!

Too bad you cut out and missed all the racing on Saturday. Heck of a good show. Sounds like you need to work on your planning next time.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GSXRWolf View Post
I don't know where you get your information. Supersport and Superstock races were run on Thursday, as per plan. There was no change in that schedule.

As far as access to the pits, we are but poor tourists from Canada and we had face time, photos and autographs from Duhamel, Spies, Mladin, Hacking, Hayes, Pegram, Zemke. Saw lots of other racers close-up including Yates, Eric and Ben Bostrom, Tommy Hayden, Hodgson. It was all great!

Too bad you cut out and missed all the racing on Saturday. Heck of a good show. Sounds like you need to work on your planning next time.
There's a difference between meetin' and greetin' fans and the members of the Press. They're treated differently - not necessarily better or worse, they just react differently to them.
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:05 PM   #8
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GWolf,

You forgot, "Neener, Neener, Neener!"
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:22 PM   #9
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Kirk: I sure enjoyed meeting you! Sorry the accomodations weren't better, but you have to admit, the place has a great view!

Next year will be better...the weather etc. has to be an improvement, so c'mon back and we'll do it up. I'll see about getting you access to the Executive Suite.
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore View Post
Kirk: I sure enjoyed meeting you! Sorry the accomodations weren't better, but you have to admit, the place has a great view!

Next year will be better...the weather etc. has to be an improvement, so c'mon back and we'll do it up. I'll see about getting you access to the Executive Suite.
Kenneth- the place was great and it fit my budget perfectly. I had no issues with the air bed and sleeping bag because I was dry and warm. I just wish the RRA editor would have had better laid plans.

As for the schedule- I never looked at the original schedule- I was TOLD by the editor that the races were to be run Superstock Thursday, Supersport Friday. My mistake on that. Should have printed the schedule on Tuesday before I left. I trusted my boss to confirm things because I own and operate my own business and do the writing part-time for the fun and experience. It was my understanding that they were to run practice Friday morning, do pit-stop practice for the 200 after lunch and run the 'Sport at 3pm. Oops on me. Anyway- the issue wasn't seeing riders. It was getting the time to interview them- which isn't all that easy for a guy from an unknown, localized magazine.
I've lernt (as my niece would say) some things and will take this experience to the next track and do a better job.

Thanks y'all- gotta go home and feed kids
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