indeed is this opening pic...!...fresh paint, on the
stands they sit, two Ducati's primed for a day of
riding and a bit of racing, with a couple of good
friends also leaving their marks on the tracks...
In Rusty's words, the following ensued:
"So Wade, Kevin, Steve, and I made the run down
to Daytona (from
Savannah) to take Team Hammer up on their offer to
run the track during their practice day. This was
my first time running the track, and was one of the
goals I had set earlier this year. The weather was
great. The track was just plain scary, but lots of
fun. There were some AMA guys there that were incredibly
fast. I was pedaling my little 748 as fast as it would
go on the banking and those guys would pass me (one
on each side mind you) like I wasn't even moving.
you have never ridden Daytona, do it. When you are
standing in the middle of the infield looking around
at the awesome spectacle that is the Daytona International
Speedway you will have a new perspective on what
we can do in our sport. Riding the track itself
is another story altogether. If you like raw, unfettered
speed, this is the place for you. Basically, once
you leave the infield, with the exception of the
chicane (which I managed to blow TWICE, once through
the grass) you are WFO for the whole track. The
dichotomy of the infield section and the "NASCAR"
section will really mess with your head. The infield
is fast and sticky (although not quite sticky enough,
more on that later), but the track is mostly featureless,
so you have to choose those breaking points carefully.
I thought the transitions from the speedway into
the chicane and onto the infield were very rough.
they have moved the chicane back quite a bit, so
you don't have as much of a straightaway coming
off of NASCAR 2, but you come back out on the straight
section instead of directly on to NASCAR 3. Not
knowing the difference, this seems like it works
well. I was not quite running out 6th gear on the
back, but was redlining about the time I crossed
the start/finish. Imagine running wide open in 5th,
then SHIFTING to 6th ON THE BANKING. I think I was
suffering from temporary insanity. And I was getting
PASSED! Those guys are nuts.
in all, it was a great day (heck, it was a Wednesday
and I was racing instead of working, how can that
not be a great day). I got to ride with some of
the big boys. I held my own against a lot of 750s
and those 9xx Hondas (while they would blow me away
on the banking, I would pull right back up in the
infield). I got passed, and I passed, so it worked
out pretty much even. I managed to crash my street
bike (a 996) in the west horseshoe, but I came out
fine, and there are only a few things to fix. Plus,
I got to ride in the Crash Truck!
came away from the day with a new found respect
for the men and machines (not just bikes) that run
that track. I would love to go back and really learn
how to ride it, although I don't think a 748 is
the best bike for that track."