Oakley Supports The Inagrual Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross At Daytona International Speedway
An amateur supercross at Daytona the day after the pro race? That’s a near perfect fit, but it took the connections of 15-time National Champion Oakley’s Ricky Carmichael to complete the link. When Carmichael stepped away from racing motorcycles in 2007, he promised to give back to the sport, even though he was about to dive into a whole new career in car racing. Indeed, RC has not gone away, in fact, he’s giving back to the sport at a massive new level, and using his new connections in car racing to do it.
On Sunday, Daytona International Speedway opened its doors to amateur racers for the first-ever Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross, which gave work-a-day riders and up-and-coming stars a chance to compete on the same track the top riders in the world raced on the night before. That’s a rare chance to hone supercross skills at the amateur level. But since this was Daytona, the track had a bit more of a motocross feel to it than a standard stadium supercross track, making it less intimidating. And with the massive Daytona infield providing first-rate camping and pit accommodations, the riders and families had to be excited to work out of the same facilities used not only by the pro supercross teams, but also the same spots used by the NASCAR teams just a month ago.
MX Sports, the same crew than runs the AMA Amateur National at Loretta Lynn Ranch, served as the event organizer. All that experience running races ensured the racing part of the program went smoothly, but there were some rough spots during sign up on Saturday, namely with long lines. This race runs in the midst of the massive Daytona Bike Week, which includes a ton of racing in and around the Speedway, so there’s a lot of action going on, and now the amateurs were mixed right in. There are always hang ups in first-time events, and after Saturday, it seemed like the race would end up being a little chaotic. But once the engines fired on Sunday morning, everything went like clockwork, just like Loretta’s.
“This is a supercross country, the sponsors and manufacturers put their support into that sport. So if you want to go somewhere, you have to ride supercross,” explained the GOAT at the rider’s meeting. Indeed, the track had the same layout as Saturday night’s, only with the jumps tamed down to suit the amateurs. Also, the format was the same, with heat races and LCQs determining gate picks for main events, which crowned champions in 24 classes, ranging from two 50cc classes to a 45 Plus Master’s class.
The event only came to life in January, by which time many of the top amateur riders and teams had already committed to racing for two-straight weeks in Lake Whitney and Oak Hill, Texas. And there’s no way to move the schedule for the RC Am SX, because the event is based around racing the day after the big supercross. So a few top Ams rode the Daytona race and then headed off to Texas for practice on Monday.