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3/4/2016 - Daytona Always Special for RCH


CHINO, Calif. (March 4, 2016) – Daytona International Speedway. The American Mecca of motorsports. No track is more versatile or more revered than the 2.5-mile behemoth just a few miles west of Daytona Beach, Fla.
Within the confines of the famed venue, along the front straightaway between the paved racing surface and pit road, sits a plush grassy area that on most days resembles a magnificent fairway, or perhaps a pristine football field.
This weekend, that beautiful green space will be churned up, turned over and sculpted into a masterpiece for the greatest supercross riders in the world, crafted by RCH co-owner, Florida native and 15-time AMA Champion Ricky Carmichael.
Over the course of his storied career, Carmichael collected five total premiere class victories at the “World Center of Racing” including four straight from 2000-2003.
“I’m excited about the track and how it turned out,” commented Carmichael. “We changed a lot of things from last year. We moved the starting gate back to the center of the track, like it had been in years past. I think that’s going to be a great change. The track is going to be a bit tighter and maybe not quite as fast. It might be a little tricky for the riders so I’m excited about it. We’ve done some things that have worked well in the past and gotten rid of some things that haven’t worked too well. I’m looking forward to seeing how it races. It always looks good on paper but you never really know until the gate drops.”
As a team co-owner, track designer and color commentator for the FOX Sports 1 television broadcast, the Tallahassee resident will wear multiple hats this weekend. While a myriad of duties will occupy most of his time, the 15-time AMA Champion is sure to take a moment and appreciate the breadth of the weekend’s activities.
“Daytona has always been special to me,” said Carmichael. “It’s a special place. From the first time I raced there in 1997, it just really suited my style. Most people know the history of my outdoor career and how successful I was so the Daytona Supercross really played right into my hands. That always made it fun for me. It has always been a very tough and demanding track and that suited me well, too. As a fourth-generation Floridian, it was always nice to race in my home state.”
Heading into Daytona, RCH riders Ken Roczen and Jake Weimer are currently second and 10th in points, respectively. Last weekend in Atlanta, Roczen finished sixth and turned in his eighth consecutive top six of the year. With two wins already under his belt this season, Roczen comes into Daytona ready to rebound and put another hash mark in the 2016 win column.
“We worked hard in Florida this week,” said the rider of the No 94 Suzuki RM-Z450. “We built a Daytona section at the practice track to prepare. Outside of that, we just kept working on the same things. I feel good. I put in good laps this week to be ready for Daytona. Obviously, we didn’t have the night we wanted in Atlanta but we’re going to bounce back. We’ll come to Daytona being aggressive and hopefully leave there with the win so we can make up some points.”
Weimer turned in a disappointing 17th-place finish last week and the 2010 Western Regional 250SX Class Champion is eager to put round eight behind him.
“Everything is good and I feel like I’m riding well during the week,” explained Weimer, who will make his 59th career premiere-class start this weekend. “I feel good. I just need to put together a better Saturday. It’s just little things. Last weekend my starts weren’t that good and unless you’re going a lot faster than the guys around you, it’s tough to do anything so I didn’t really give myself an opportunity to do well. I don’t think there’s anything crazy that needs to be done, I just need to do a better job on Saturday.”
The Rupert, Idaho native is also eager for the change of pace the series’ annual visit to Daytona offers. In three previous 450SX starts at DIS, Weimer has a 13th-place average finish, including a track-best seventh-place finish in 2012.
“Daytona is different for obvious reasons,” Weimer added. “It’s so different that it’s hard to even categorize it as a supercross track. The space is a lot different than a baseball stadium or a football field so they don’t have the same room to work with. The track is a lot longer but it’s a lot skinnier. The layout is a lot different and the dirt is much sandier and softer than anywhere else we race. It’s more of an outdoor style of track with supercross obstacles. It’s cool just to be in Daytona with everything going on. It’s a cool, unique round.”
Broc Tickle, rider of RCH’s No. 20 Suzuki, is sidelined again this week as he continues to recover from the wrist injury he sustained in a January practice crash.
Before the gate drops tomorrow night, Roczen and Weimer will sign autographs and meet fans tonight from 6 – 7 p.m. at Deland Motorsports. Located 30 minutes southwest of Daytona, in Deland, Fla., Deland Motorsports is central Florida’s favorite Suzuki dealer.
Carmichael, Roczen and Weimer will also sign autographs at DIS on Saturday when RCH will host fans from 2:30 -3 p.m. at the Cometic Gasket display, inside the Sprint Fan Zone. Tickets for autographs on Saturday will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the RCH mobile marketing unit, also located in the Fan Zone, beginning at 1 p.m.
The Daytona Supercross by Honda will be televised on Fox Sports 1 Saturday, March 5 beginning at 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 7 p.m. Pacific.


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