Daytona According to Rich Oliver

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
The following release was sent in by Rich Oliver:
Daytona race report: Team Oliver's Perry Melneciuc finishes second in AMA 250 Grand Prix race! Rich Oliver out with broken pelvis!

Perry Melneciuc finished a career best second place in the Daytona 250 race on Sunday March 10th. After qualifying 7th and starting on the second row, Perry blazed off the line and ran in second place into turn one at the start! Chuck Sorensen and Jason DiSalvo took off, leaving Melneciuc to defend third place from Roland Sands, Jeff Wood, Mike Himmelsbach, and Al Salaveria. All these fine riders would end up breaking down or falling short of catching the...

consistent Perry, who never varied from his pace the entire race. When DiSalvo crashed out of the lead, Perry moved into second and never looked back. Mechanic Shank Williams Jr. and Wife Kellee Melneciuc cheered from the Daytona pit wall as Perry came past the checkered flag, to start his 2002 season with a fine tally of 32 AMA championship points.

Happy and excited after the race, Perry said, "I really want to thank my wife Kellee and Mechanic Shane (a.k.a. Shank Williams Jr.); they did a great job with my TZ 250 Yamaha, and thanks to Rich and Robert Ward of Team Oliver Yamaha for all their support and faith in me, today it really paid off big! "

Oliver down and out in huge crash!

Rich Oliver had the field covered by about 2 seconds a lap, but his advantage when down the drain after a nasty crash on the Daytona high banking Friday morning in practice.

Rich tells what happened: " There were warning flags for oil and debris displayed in the chicane, so I went through that section with caution 3 times to check it out. As it turns out, those flags also applied to the entire section of track all the way around the banking, down the front straight, and to the start finish line, about a mile or more of track! This I did not know! There was a layer of water on the banking high up by the wall, and that's what I hit in fourth gear at about 145 mph. I flew about 15 feet in the air, (according to the turn worker on the scene), and landed flat on my back and side. I didn't realize there was anything wrong with that section of track, and that's why I was going flat out, 100 % in that section.

"I got up, got my wind back, and looked at my finger hanging out of my glove. Most of it was gone, and the rest looked like bad news, and my hip felt weird, so I let the medics take me away to the local hospital. There a hand surgeon cleaned up the finger, and I found out I had broken my pelvis on the left side. You could say I was pretty disappointed with the whole situation, but what can you do but try to heal up and win again as soon as possible!? "

Rich hopes to be back on his Yamaha at Fontana, and is really proud of Perry's fine finish for the team at Daytona.

Team Oliver Yamaha is sponsored by:

Yamaha Motor Corp. USADunlop TiresAdvanced Motion ControlsSHOEI HelmetsSilkolene LubricantsWilson's MotorcyclesSunsports MotorcyclesAuto Werks PaintRick Shell CrankshaftsLindemann EngineeringSupertechSharkskinzVP Racing FuelsNGK Spark PlugsEK ChainAFAMChicken Hawk Tire WarmersKushitani LeathersHelimot LeathersMarietta MotorsportsFerodo and BraketechFrenotecI Need Stickers. ComDoc's Custom and CollisionSouth Coast Inc.AST ResearchCytomax, Cyto Sport
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