PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 8, 2006) — AMA Supercross racing’s `Big Three’ of Chad Reed, Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart will for the first time meet head to head in the prestigious Daytona Supercross by Honda this Friday night, March 10. The leading trio of the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series have battled all season long and are a close one-two-three in the points chase, but the spotlight will shine especially brightly on one of the best battles in AMA Supercross Series history when the series comes to Daytona International Speedway, one of the tracks from which Supercross racing originated.
Reed has been a model of consistency this season, including a victory in St. Louis last month and as a result holds a one-point lead on Carmichael coming into Daytona, round 10 of the 16-race series.
Carmichael missed the podium for the first time since January of 2003 at the Phoenix, Ariz., round, after a disappointing 20th place finish at St. Louis a few weeks back, and has been able to bring his Makita Suzuki up to second place in the championship.
Stewart has shown the most speed of the three leaders, but has suffered a spate of crashes and as a result sits 17 points behind Reed in the standings. This will be Stewart’s first appearance racing in the main AMA Supercross class at Daytona. He won the 125 East class (now called Supercross Lites East) at the Speedway in 2004. He sat out last year’s race due to injury.
Reed is riding a two-race winning streak at Daytona. He won in 2004 in Carmichael’s absence and then proved his first Daytona Supercross victory was no fluke when he defeated Carmichael and the rest of the field in last March. A third win in a row at Daytona would not only give Reed breathing room in the standings, but would also place him among the elite. Only three riders have been able to win the grueling Daytona event three times in a row. They include Jeff Stanton, Mike Kiedrowski and Carmichael. Stanton and Carmichael each won four consecutive years.
“Daytona has been good to me the last couple of years,” Reed said. “With the tight points races every time I turn a wheel on the track it counts in a big way. Daytona can make or break your season. I feel confident going into the race that we can come out on top.”
Carmichael comes to the 2006 Daytona Supercross by Honda a man on a mission. The 26-year-old Suzuki rider from Havana, Fla., will attempt to become the first rider to win five times at the historic event. If Carmichael wins the 36th running of the race he will pass former Honda great Jeff Stanton as the all-time wins leader of the race. Stanton won at Daytona four years in a row from 1989 to 1992. Before the race Friday night, Stanton will be honored for his inclusion of the Goodyear Legends of Daytona.
“Daytona is a special race and one I think every rider would love to win during their career,” Carmichael said. “I’m fortunate to count myself among the winners of the race. There’s no doubt it’s going to be tougher than ever to win there this year. It’s a battle not only with the other riders, but with the difficult elements that the track always throws at you.”
Stewart has had a rash of bad luck, getting caught up in pile-up crashes. Despite the crashes Stewart has been able to come from behind and turn in good finishes. Indianapolis last week served as a perfect example. He crashed in the first turn and charged all the way to second by the checkered flag. The Kawasaki factory rider is looking ahead to this Friday’s race. “I’m looking forward to going back to race in my home state of Florida, and I love racing at Daytona. I hope I can put everything together and get a win there.”
In the AMA Supercross Lites East series, Davi Millsaps earned his second win in three races at the Indy Supercross. The Honda rider’s victory extended his lead in the series standings with 72 points, while Monsster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Chris Gosselaar moved into second overall with 54. Yamaha of Troy’s Brandon Jesseman dropped to third with 52, followed by Josh Grant in fourth with 47.
The Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series from Daytona Beach takes center stage on SPEED on Friday with primetime same-day coverage starting at 9:30 p.m. EST.
For tickets and more information, log onto www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
About AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Motocross Championship presented by FMF, the AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited, the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.