April 2, 2015- Back from Daytona again! I hope everyone has had a great winter and is (if not out already) getting ready to get some riding in as the weather warms up. In Oct / Nov Daytona seems so far away but it always creeps up on you pretty quick and come February we’re all thrashing to get our programs ready to head south to the first two nationals of the season.
My Dad and I headed out about a week and a half prior to the opening rounds to get in a couple days of testing to shake down our fresh Honda 450’s. The drive south can be go either way, I’ve seen huge snow storms that have you stopped on highways for hours or sunshine just a few hours south of home and smooth sailing the whole way. We were lucky this year and we pulled into the first test track in Neeses South Carolina in 14 hrs. A few little problems at the beginning of our day in Neeses were sorted and turned out to be, as always, a wicked day back on the dirt.
A few days later I headed to a track across the state, near Tampa to ride once more before the nationals. The track in Daytona is so different from any other track which makes it hard to get good quality testing in, but this day I felt very good on the bike and was excited for the two race days.
MARCH 12, 2015: DAYTONA 1 – Throughout qualifying the track changes so much and you need to stay ahead of the conditions. I ended up 15th which was good enough for a front row start in my heat race. I got a decent start in my heat and was able to make a direct transfer into the main event! The track was very one lined and hard to pass so I needed to get a good jump and then make zero mistakes. I got an ok start and made some quick passes in the first couple laps and ran the whole race in a pack of 5 or 6 and ended up 9th on the night! It was great o get a top 10 at Daytona but I wanted to better myself on day 2
MARCH 12, 2015: DAYTONA 2 – The officials had changed the track a lot on day 2, adding a lot more water and changing the shape on each corner. It took me a while to get sorted in practice and didn’t have things dialed in soon enough through qualifying and ended up 27th which would put me on the second row for my heat race. I struggled in the night program as well finishing outside the transfer spots. The night was a huge bummer and tough to chew on for a couple months until the next race, but that’s racing.
I’m excited to get some warmer weather training in in the next months and be ready to go on the bigger bikes in May.
May 16: Paris Half Mile – Flat Track Canada
May 17: Paris Short Track – Flat Track Canada
May 24: Springfield Mile 1 – AMA Grand National
From: Doug Lawrence