MotoAmerica: Barber Motorsports Park Recap

May 19, 2024Ramon Jones
MotoAmerica

The MotoAmerica Superbike Championship made its second regular season stop at the legendary barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. The weekend hosted a whirlwind of weather conditions and as thousands of fans fought through the early weekend weather to show their support. Here is the Speed Trap Recap.

Superbike: Beaubier Wins 2 of 3

The Supebike class had a full schedule with three races taking place this weekend at Barber. In race one Cameron Beaubier built an early lead but would crash out of the race from the lead. Beaubier led the race for the first 4 laps but Cameron Petersen was poised to pounce. After Beaubier crashed Petersen found himself in a battle with his teammate for the top spot. Jake Gagne applied pressure for the remainder of the race up until the final moment before Petersen claimed the win by just under a half a second.

Petersen said. “It feels good. I think this is three wins at this track. Got one in the dry, but honestly it feels so good. I know a lot of people know what I’ve gone through in the off-season and after the surgery. It’s been a tough off-season. The wrist is starting to feel really good on the bike. It just feels so good to get this monkey off my back.”

In race 2 and 3 however Cameron Beaubier came back with a vengeance. There was never a question that Beaubier had the pace to win at Barber. After running into a little bad luck in race one Beaubier bounced back to win both race 2 and 3 on the final day of racing. “With I’m just really happy with my bike, really happy with my team,” Beaubier said. “It’s a great group of guys. I’m just super honored to be partnered up with them. Like I said earlier, it just feels so good to start the weekend on the front foot at all these tracks we went to last year, not throwing new swing arms on in qualifying and practice and stuff, just searching for grip and chasing the Yamaha boys.

This race was really tough. Cam P. got a really, really good start. I was able to get by him going into turn one. Put my head down and I would pull away a little bit, but once I got to maybe 1.5, 1.2, it stuck there, and I was looking at my dash. I kept doing 23s and I was like, this is a really fast pace and I’m not pulling. He even pulled me back a couple tenths. Once we got to halfway, I was riding as hard as I could. Then I looked at the monitor and I saw him sitting up on the back straightaway.

I came by and I had whatever plus three or plus five on the board. I’m bummed for him because he was riding so good. He was making me push hard. He rode incredible this weekend, along with these guys. We keep saying it, but this Superbike field is just really stacked this year. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Supersport: Mathew Scholtz Reigns Supreme

Mat Scholtz second the double this weekend winning both Supersport races after intense battles with championship front runner PJ Jacobsen. Scholtz secured 50 points this weekend but Jacobsen stayed in the battle for the top claiming his fourth straight podium and a 16 point lead in the championship. After the pre season closure of Scholtz former posting at Westby Racing it was unclear if he’d even have a seat this year given the lack of time to the season start. However Scholtz seems to have settled in to his place with Strack Racing. He said, “I’m just really, really thankful to be back up here on the top of the box. Looking forward to the next couple races of the season. I’d just like to give a personal shout-out to the Redvanly family crew. They’ve been awesome helping us out.”

Stock 1000: Hayden Gillim is Perfect at Barber

To keep the theme consistent, Hayden Gillim kicked off his Stock 1000 title defense in proper fashion after winning both races this weekend by a decisive margin. Gillim was in a world of his own at the front; never really being threatened after building early leads in both races. With the win, Gillim became the most winning Stock 1000 racer in MotoAmerica history with his 13th victory moving him out of a tie with Andrew Lee and Corey Alexander. 

Gillim said, The bike is working really good. Having the two bikes to run in Stock and Superbike, they’re identical bikes so I get to go out and try stuff on each bike to make the other bike better. So, it helps a lot. I’m getting a ton of track time, and that’s one key thing. I know what the track is going to be like most of the time throughout the weekend. The Steel Commander Southern Powersports Honda guys are killing it.” Gillim finished 14.5 seconds ahead in race one and 10.5 seconds in race two.

Hayden Gillim crosses the finish line in Stock 1000 Race 2 to secure maximum points on the weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo by Ramon Jones; Chroma Visual.

Twins Cup

15-year-old Alessandro Di Mario secured his first class win in Sunday’s race after crashing out in extremely wet conditions in Saturday’s race. Di mario said, “I love this track. I was able to get a 28.2, which is a track record, in qualifying. My pace is really good. In yesterday’s race, I didn’t really think I was going to be that fast in the wet, but after Avery passed me, I tried to stay behind him. I was able to pass him again, and the sun came out.

I couldn’t see anything in the back section of the track. So, when we got to turn three, I thought there was a little dry line but there wasn’t. So, I just lost the rear, and I was able to pick the bike up and get seventh, which I’m happy about. Today, I was kind of managing the gap a little bit. I probably could have gone a little faster, but there was really no need to. The front was sliding a lot. So, I didn’t want to take the risk. I’d say it was a pretty good weekend.”

Junior Cup

The streak of double wins continued with Logan Gunnison in Junior cups after he bested Yandel Medina and Levi Badie in both races. The podium had the same participants for both races but Medina and Badie each took a second place finish. Yandel Medina took second place on Saturday and Badie on Sunday.

BTR

Mikayla Moore continued her win streak and started her 2023 title defense with two wins at Barber. Moore discuss how she is able to maintain her level of perfromance. She said, “Training during the off-season, I got to spend some time, as well, on the Royal Enfield. Then, before I came here, I actually spent some time with Evolve GT at Summit Motorsports Park in West Virginia on the ZX-6R. So, I feel like the training that led up to this point is what got me the win today.”

The following article was not written by Speed Trap Magazine Staff

The following is from Suzuki…

Team Hammer announced today that Xavi Forés will substitute for injured Richie Escalante aboard the Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000R Superbike when the 2024 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship season resumes at Barber Motorsports Park, in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 17-19. Forés will race for the team until Escalante is cleared by MotoAmerica medical.

Escalante is on the mend after crashing with another rider moments after taking the checkered flag in eighth in the 2024 Superbike season-opening round at Road Atlanta. Despite walking away from the fall under his own power, Escalante was later diagnosed with a left wrist fracture and a left ankle fracture, plus compression fractures of his L1, L2, and L4 vertebrae.

Spaniard Forés is well suited to step into the role and compete on short notice. He is a very experienced road racer, having competed in many top-level series during his two-decade-plus professional career.

Prior to joining the MotoAmerica tour in 2023, Forés won the IDM Superbike Championship (2014), and the CEV Stock Extreme Championship (2010 and 2013). He also has competed in MotoGP, Moto2, MotoE, 125cc Grand Prix, World Superbike, World Supersport, World Endurance, and British Superbike racing series.

Team Hammer witnessed the 38-year-old flex all that skill and experience up close a year ago, when Forés won the 2023 MotoAmerica Supersport title in dominant fashion, claiming nine race wins among his 12 podium finishes.

“I am excited for this opportunity. It’s a shame Richie was injured but I am glad to help,” said Forés. “The situation I am in, I have wanted the right opportunity in MotoAmerica Superbike but before this, it hadn’t come yet. Richie and I are friends, and he is always telling me the bike is capable of the podium. I know it is a good team supported by Suzuki, we have the opportunity to earn good results. Having a great year racing in America last season and learning the paddock and tracks will help, too.”

The MotoAmerica Superbike Championship’s first regular season stop was in Atlanta at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Superbike, Supersport, Twins, Junior Cup and King of the Baggers competed in mixed conditions. Here is how the action happened.

Superbike

The MotoAmerica Superbike Championship had its first two races of the year in Atlanta which threw the riders multiple challenges to start the year off. Race 1 was in dry conditions and race 2 occurred in rainy conditions. In Race 1 Cameron Beaubier got the best of the 2023 Superbike champion Jake Gagne. The two traded lap after lap with Gagne leading with just three laps to go. On the penultimate lap Beaubier made a late lunge up the inside of Gagne to take the lead and would fight in a race to the line that saw the riders separated by one tenth of a second.

The race finish was reminiscent of race 1 in 2023 at Road Atlanta where Beaubier also beat Gagne. That time by 3 tenths. Cameron Beaubier “I am pretty happy coming out of Atlanta with a 1-2. My bike felt great all weekend with a good base from first practice. Sunday was the first day I rode the BMW in the wet and I didn’t get the best feeling in warm up. After a slow start to the race, I started feeling comfortable and was able to mount a challenge. A big thanks to the team for working as hard as they do. I am looking forward to Barber so see you all there.”

Jake Gagne Bounces Back

Similarly to Cameron Beaubier’s run in 2023 Gagne after finishing second in race 1 bounced back to win in race 2. Condition in race two were mixed with heavily rain fall at the track for most of the day. The track dried slowly as the race began leading to faster laps times as the race developed. This time around it was Gagne was held back until the final staged of the race. Given the on track conditions, passes needed to be decisive and clean to avoid a major collision. Gagne did just that matching Beaubier’s points total on the weekend. The pair are locked at 45 points each as the championship heads to Barber Motorsports Park next month.

Supersport

The super sport class received 44 entries at the start of the race weekend. Of those 44, 33 qualified for an opportunity to compete. However, it was PJ Jacobsen’s performance that topped the headlines for the class. Jacobsen got his Supersport debut with Rahal Ducati Moto off to a great start with two wins on the weekend.

Jacobsen expressed his gratitude regarding his new team, “First, I really want to just say thanks to the Rahal Ducati Moto Team, XPEL, and Roller Die,” Jacobsen commented. “Basically, Richie Alexander, everybody in the whole team for just turning things around since Daytona. It’s a brand-new team. Graham has done a great job, and so has Ben (Spies). I just really want to thank them for putting this whole program together and getting things even more on track from Daytona. So, it’s been really good to progress. We had some testing and stuff. The team is super organized. It’s a really good environment over there, so I’m really happy to be a part of what whole program.

PJ Jacobsen Leads the field in Supersport Race 2. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Tyler Scott who crashed from the lead in race 1 found some redemption in race 2 finishing P6 but was not able to catch Jacobsen who seemed to be a master of the wet track conditions. Elsewhere Matt Scholtz secured his first podium for Strack Racing while Jake Lewis (Altus Motorsports) again found himself on the podium after finishing third in race 2 as he did in the season finale in New Jersey last season.

Twins Cup

Fan favorite Rocco Landers secured a decisive win in race 1 of the weekend. Landers beat last years’ champion Gus Rodio by almost 7 tenths. however in race 2 Landers was no where to be found at the front. He dropped back in the pecking order finishing P8. Race 2 was the Domonic Doyle show. Supersport race 2 in the race threw the riders a curve ball. However, Doyle showed that he was no stranger to the elements and put on a masterclass that saw him lead second place finisher Jack Roach by 3.2 seconds. Behind in third was Gus Rodio who was comfortable earning points to pad his championship lead. After two podiums in Atlanta Rodio is currently 22 points ahead of Rocco.

Junior Cup

Unfortunately, for last years champion a mistake cost Avery Dreher a win in race 1 after he crashed from the lead of the race. As a result the No. 95 ridden by Matthew Chapin won the race. The victory was his first ever in his debut season. “I was stuck in the back of the pack the whole time,” Chapin said. “People were just dive-bombing me. I couldn’t really get anything done. But I knew if I was patient, I could get the draft because I’m a lot smaller than everybody else. I don’t weigh lot, so I knew I could draft into the line. I passed Ryan up the inside at the end. He came back on the outside, and I think it was in turn 11, I passed him back up the inside for the win. I’m so pumped right now. Words can’t even express it. I’m so pumped.”

Ryan Wolfe and Yandel Medina finished behind in 2nd and 3rd respectively. The pair however weren’t quite satisfied when it came to race 2. Chapin fell in track position in the wet but Medina and Wolfe held strong through the whole race finishing 1-2 respectively. Eli Block from BARTCON Racing joined Medina and Wolfe on the podium for race 2.

King of the Baggers

Troy Herfoss won the Mission King Of The Baggers race in his first visit to Road Atlanta. Herfoss overcame early weekend struggles and found the race pace to secure both race wins on the weekend. He said “I was very confident it would be slicks, but I was unsure of the ruling whether I could start from pit lane.” It was a weird race for me. I got a really big gap in the first two laps. The first lap especially, three seconds. Then it said five after lap two. I had already slowed down in my mind, and I assumed that everyone was on wets…I’ve never been in that situation where I’ve literally gone off the start and in my mind it was like, ‘okay, I’ve won the race. Just don’t mess up.’

You’ve got no idea how nerve-racking that is when you’re in that position. How good is this? Indian one, two, and three. It’s a perfect weekend for me. I never would have dreamed that. A perfect weekend in this championship at all, let alone third weekend in the championship. So, it’s a real credit to the team that they can give me a bike that I can just concentrate on racing on and learning tracks. That’s the reason I’m able to be so competitive. So, I want to say thank you to them.”

Bobby Fong laid down a blistering fastest lap in Qualifying 2 today that skyrocketed him to pole position for the races set for later today and tomorrow (Weather permitting). Heavy rain and potential thunderstorms are on the forecast for Sunday’s race so there is a possibility that it could be postponed or cancelled depending on the severity. Sean Dylan Kelly and Josh Herrin rounded out the top 3 in Superbike. The class leaders all found at least a second on the second day of qualifying as the lap times began to drop. The improvement in pace is likely due to a dry track surface and adjustments made after yesterday’s qualifying 1 session.

In a surprising situation jake Gagne finds himself down in P4 with Cameron Beaubier close behind in P5. The two had a heated battle with Herrin in 2023 which Herrin lost out on. This year Herrin is looking for redemption to get his superbike season kicked off on the right foot.

Supersport

Tyler Scott continued his charge at the front aboard his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki. The Supersport class had a packed field with 33 riders making the cut from 44 entries. Scott finds himself ahead with a 5 tenths of a second lead over Blake Davis who also looked faster on track today behind. Pj Jacobsen finish P3 despite an early move for the top spot in qualifying.

Junior Cup

Ryan Wolfe cut almost 2 seconds off of his qualifying time from yesterday. Junior cup riders had to contend with a wet track in the morning during qualifying session 1 so naturally their pace should have improved on day 2 where conditions were completely dry and much more favorable. Yandel Medina finished second ahead of last years champion Avery Dreher.

Twins Cup

Rocco Landers and former Junior cup rider Rossi Moor finished at the top of the Twins cup table ahead of Dominic Doyle. After a disappointing race 1 in 2023 with his former Twins cup team Landers is looking to improve as the DNF last year cost him valuable points that ended up coming into play at the end of the season for the championship deciding race. The top 1o in Twins is full of riders who all have the potential to win. Racing get started shortly to determine how the dust settles in the standings.

King of the Baggers

Despite a late charge by Bobby Fong Troy Herfoss was able to beat Fong narrowly to secure pole position for the Indian Motorcycle side. Herfoss doubled down and won the Bagger challenge this afternoon. He has the opportunity to bring home the perfect weekend for Indian with a win in tomorrows race.

The MotoAmerica Superbike championship is in Atlanta this weekend for there first regular season round at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The season kickoff marks the 10th anniversary of the MotoAmerica Superbike championship. This year the Supersport and superbike classes as a dramatic rise in new faces and the return of some old. Five time Superbike champion Cameron Beaubier will return for his second year at Tytlers Cycle Racing after his 2023 season was cut short due to multiple unfortunate on track incidents that took him out of the title running. Other familiar faces are Loris Baz who replaced last year’s Supersport champion Xavi Fores at Warhorse HSBK Ducati and last years Superbike Champion Jake Gagne returns with Yamaha.

Road Atlanta is one of the most technical tracks on the MotoAmerica schedule. Last years races displayed their fair share of on track incidents related to engine failures, crashes and the unfortunate fires. The Supersport class has 44 entries logged for the weekend. There are also 23 entries for Superbike. As the competition heats up this weekend only a few riders will stand atop the podium. Atlanta will be the opening round for the Steel Commander Superbike, Supersport and Junior Cup Championships while the Mission King Of The Baggers and BellissiMoto Twins Cup have already had their series openers. The Baggers are coming off of a race weekend at Circuit of the Americas last week and have already compelted 4 races thus far in 2024.

Hayden Gillim and Ezra Beaubier Return With a New Teams for Stock 1000

Last years Stock 1000 champion Hayden Gillim will get his first taste at defending the 2023 championship in Atlanta. His outing in Atlanta last year was full of challenges but his is looking to channel his seaosn finishing energy in to wins this weekend. Stock 1000 championship contender Ezra Beaubier also returns with a new team in 2024. He will race on a BMW S 1000 RR for Aftercare Scheibe Racing.

Full Race Weekend Provisional Schedule

About Road Atlanta

Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta is recognized as one of the world’s best road courses measuring at 12 corners spanning 2.54 miles. The multi-purpose motorsports facility is situated on 750 park-like acres in the rolling hills of Northeast Georgia. Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta is located just 35 miles north of Atlanta and only minutes away from Chateau Elan, a 4-star resort offering guests comfort and amenities such as three championship golf courses and a European-style spa.

The second installment of the MotoAmerica Mission Foods King of the Baggers competition concluded this weekend as a support series for the MotoGP championship. This stop at Circuit of the Americas offered 2 races for championship points. Troy Herfoss and Harley-Davidson Factory Racing won race one by just under three tenths ahead of Kyle Wyman. Tyler O’Hara was .685 of a second behind the winner taking third place.

Tyler Herfoss Address Post Race 1 Comments

“Firstly, it’s an honor to be standing here today with my first win, especially with these two great competitors,” Herfoss said after his first-ever bagger victory. “There are more wins between these two guys than I dream of having. So, to get my first win here in COTA at MotoGP is a great feeling. To answer your question, yeah, it did feel like I was out of it. I’ve got a lot of days on the bike now.

There’re no excuses to not be able to be competitive, but I don’t have a lot of experience racing because Daytona was not really a race in the infield. It was a race to get to the outfield. So, I didn’t see the true speed of these riders in the infield a lot of time, whereas today there were six guys going toe-to-toe, fighting at their best pace. So, I couldn’t ride the lap they were riding. I could not ride my bike the same way the guys in front of me could ride their bikes, even between the different manufacturers.

Herfoss Continued

“I know it’s a short race, but I spent the first two laps just confused. Over-riding the corners, over-riding the braking. I didn’t concede, but I sort of sat back to take a breather. Got nabbed by Bobby Fong and went, ‘okay, it’s time. I’ve got make something of this.’ Honestly, once I started riding my own race it became a lot easier to make my passes.

I knew that if I could sneak through on Tyler (O’Hara) behind Kyle (Wyman) I could see that Kyle was calculating what he was going to do with Tyler. I knew that was my only hope because I didn’t have better speed than Kyle. I just knew that if I could get him by surprise… Just because Kyle, Tyler and I are riding a different lap, even on the same bike. You’ve got to take them when you can get them. I fought as hard as I could. It’s a real privilege to be up here on the top step.”

However Wyman wasn’t willing to settle for second. In race 2 Wyman bounced back to take the win. He finished almost 7 tenths ahead of Herfoss with a record-breaking lap of 2m14.890s. He said, “Obviously, we’re super happy. To come out of the first two rounds with this many points is a big deal. It was a good race. I got a worse start today, so I had to be more patient. Like I said on the podium, really learned my lesson in September. I really panicked when I got shuffled back and it cost me a championship, potentially. That’s just experience. You can’t rush or pay for it, and I was just patient today and luckily didn’t get caught up in the melee behind me.”

Race One Top 3

  1. Troy Herfoss (Indian)
  2. Kyle Wyman (Harley-Davidson)
  3. Tyler O’Hara (Indian)

Race Two Top 3

  1. Kyle Wyman (Harley-Davidson)
  2. Troy Herfoss (Indian)
  3. James Rispoli (Harley-Davidson)

Indian and Harley Davidson secured 3 podiums each this weekend.

This weekend at The Circuit of the America the US Grand Prix with take place for the 3rd installment of the 2024 MotoGP season. Thus far we have had two different Grand Prix winners in Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin. Early indications suggest that we will have a fight for the title from the beginning this year. The riders finished the 2023 season in dramatic fashion which Martin received the short end of deal. However, Martin leads the 2024 championship with 60 points after his win in Portugal. Bagnaia currently sits in fourth place.

Located in Austin, Texas, Circuit of the Americas features 20 turns and two long straights. Construction of the 1000-acre facility was completed late in 2012. MotoGP lined up at the track for the first time in 2013. One of the known features of the circuit are its multiple changes in elevation and rough surface which makes tire management an extreme factor. The driving direction is counter clockwise. The circuit has a total of 20 corners with 9 right turns and 11 left turns.

Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas Track
Circuit of the Americas Map; Courtesy of Dorna

MotoAmerica King of the Baggers Joins as Support

MotoAmerica is North America’s premier motorcycle road racing series. Established in 2014, MotoAmerica is home to the AMA Superbike Championship as well as the King Of The Baggers (KotB) championship. The KotB class will be featured as a support class this weekend with MotoGP. The class features touring motorcycles from Harley Davidson and Indian that are heavily modified to meet the demands of road racing. Thirteen riders have entered the competition at COTA. Eight of those are Harley-Davidson Road Glides with five Indian Challengers.

The weekend format is as follows:

Day  Event(s)  
Friday  First practice, Second practice  
Saturday  Third practice, Qualifying One, Qualifying Two, Sprint race  
Sunday  Grand Prix  

Tpday it was announced that the 2023 Stock 1000 champion Hayden GIllim will defend his number 1 plate aboard a Honda CBR 1000RR-R Fireblade SP for the 2024 MotoAmerica Season. I’m very excited about this season,” Gillim said. “It’s been a long road to get where we are with this program. I feel with the backing from Comstock Energy, Steel Commander, Southern Powersports Honda, and American Honda, it’s going to be a great year. Learning the Honda and getting the most out of it, for me, will be a lot of fun, and it’s a great opportunity to back up the championship from last year.”

Gillim will be supported by Steel Commander, Comstock Energy, Southern Powersports Honda, and American Honda as sponsors for his 2024 campaign. Vesrah, Maxima Racing Oils, Orient Express, GB Racing, K-Tech, Dunlop, Moto Liberty, RS Taichi, and Arai will also support the team as sponsors for the title defense.

For more information on the team:

Mark Junge, Real Steel Motorsports, (419) 632-3704
William Wright, Steel Commander Corp, (561) 609-6091, will@steelcommandercorp.com

The following article was not written by Speed Trap Magazine Staff

From Strack Racing…

Strack Racing is proud to reveal its transformation from Squid Hunter Racing. With support from Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., Strack Racing will continue as a prominent force in the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship. Key to this strategic evolution are the additions of Mathew Scholtz, who will take the helm of the Yamaha YZF-R6, and Ed Sullivan, who will serve as Crew Chief, marking a new chapter of growth for the team.

Mathew Scholtz joins a well-prepared and focused team, ready to leverage his extensive experience from Superbike racing in the Supersport category. His readiness to compete under the Strack Racing banner is expected to bring competitive energy and aim for high achievements.

“It is with great pleasure that I will be competing in the Motoamerica Supersport Championship with Strack Racing,” Scholtz said. “I have to say a huge thank you to Peter Strack and his wife Jessica, who were there for me when I had no ride. I am determined to repay them for their confidence in me. I would also like to thank Yamaha. I have been with them since 2015 when I moved up to the Superbike class in South Africa, and now, I will ride the YZF-R6 in MotoAmerica. Finally, to the MotoAmerica series, the staff, and everyone who reached out to me, it is truly appreciated and something I won’t forget. I am excited for this new chapter. The season is fast approaching, and I’m champing at the bit to get out on the track and show what we are made of.”

The addition of Ed Sullivan as Crew Chief means incorporating strategic expertise into a team environment that’s already performing at a high level. His role is anticipated to enhance the team’s preparation and execution.

Peter Strack, Team Owner of Strack Racing, shared his appreciation: “Transforming our team into Strack Racing with Yamaha’s support signifies a key milestone in our progress. We’re thankful for Yamaha’s trust in our direction. Incorporating Mathew Scholtz and Ed Sullivan into our skilled team boosts our confidence, leaving us well-prepared and hopeful for the achievements ahead.”

Strack Racing invites fans, sponsors, and the motorcycle racing community to join in the excitement for this MotoAmerica Supersport season. 

About Strack Racing

Under the leadership of Team Owner and CEO Peter Strack, Strack Racing has established itself as a competitive force in the MotoAmerica Supersport series. For the 2024 season, Mathew Scholtz will pilot the Yamaha YZF-R6, and Ed Sullivan will be the Crew Chief. Alongside Team Manager and Co-owner Jessica Strack, Strack Racing’s strength is further enhanced by the specialized skills of Lead Mechanic Jordan Strange, Second Mechanic Josh Canup, Tire Scientist Ryan “RB” Banks, and Data Specialist Shawn Craine. Strack Racing is fundamentally devoted to reaching peak competitive performance and nurturing relationships within the road racing community, all driven by a shared passion for motorcycle racing.

The 82nd running of the Daytona 200 has concluded at Daytona International Speedway to kick off the MotoAmerica season. Josh Herrin (Warhorse HSBK Ducati) successfully defended his 2023 Daytona 200 championship with a decisive win today. Herrin became the sixth rider to win 3 Dayton 200’s joining all time legends Dick Klamfoth, Brad Andres, Roger Reiman, Kenny Roberts, and Mat Mladin who have all achieved the same feat. The win was not straight forward as Herrin admittedly faced issues during pit stop practice that left the team uncertain come race time.

Josh Herrin Speaks On the Win

“That was two dream pit stops. I’m not going to lie. I didn’t have much faith in my team going into the race after the pit stop challenge yesterday and some of the practice we did yesterday. I was nervous. But they impressed me. I owe them an apology for doubting them, for sure. They’ve been working super hard this week to make everything as perfect as they can. That was as close to perfect as we could have gotten. I owe the entire race to those guys for doing those two amazing pit stops…A lot of drama for me, even though it seemed like there wasn’t. But that was a dream finish.

I owe it all to my team. Ducati USA, Ducati Corse for putting me on an amazing motorcycle for the last three years. Warhorse Racing, HSBKRacing.com. I’m so bummed that we weren’t able to run OnlyFans on the bike. It is what it is. At least I got to run the helmet, so I’m happy that I got to support them, because that’s three years in a row that we’ve had OnlyFans on the helmet.”

Herrin and the team were met with push back regarding their title sponsor OnlyFans. It’s not clear what AMA regulation they violated by signing Only Fans as a sponsor. Herrin is a long standing ambassador for the brand. If an appeal is issued we will provide an update on that development.

Josh Herrin during the 82nd running to the Daytona 200. Photo by Brian J. Nelson/MotoAmerica

Heartbreak for Richie Escalante

Richie Escalante (Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki) had a successful race up until the final lap. Escalante was running in second place with a sure podium in hand after building a very large gap to P3 behind. However, disaster struck when he ran out of fuel and had to try to coast his Suzuki across the finish line. Unfortunately, for Escalante he dropped back 3 positions on the final lap before making it around the track.

However, it wasn’t a complete negative for the Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team. Escalante still finished P5 and teammate Tyler Scott was promoted to P2 as a result. Scott said, “Yeah, the race was good. Got a decent start. Made a big mistake coming across the start/finish the one lap. I went really sideways. Maybe it was because there were so many people around drafting. It kind of put me at the back of the lead group there.

A little bit later in the race, I kind of lost Richie’s (Escalante) draft and I feel like that would have helped me to stay close. Most of the race, I was just riding by myself. Rode with Bobby Fong before the one pit stop there. It was good. The pit stops, we were really clean. No issues. Just rode by myself in third the whole race. Unfortunately for Richie (Escalante), he ran out of gas, but we secured second.”

As a result of a post race inspection of Bobby Fong’s bike. It was concluded that he’d be disqualified from his P4 finish for having an oversized fuel tank which promoted Escalante to P4 after the race.

Hayden Gillim Inherits a Surprise Podium

Hayden Gillim also benefited after having fallen behind in the race. Gillim was in a race of his own fighting against Bobby Fong for a seeming P4 finish. An earlier mistake seemingly cost him a chance at the podium so he was thinking he’d have to settle for a battle for third. However, the race wasn’t over for Gillim come the final lap. Escalante’s mishap turned into a gift as he would cruise by the deflated Escalante to finish P3 and claim his first Daytona 200 podium.

Next up is the regular season opener at Road Atlanta next month April 19-21, 2024. You can find more information about the event by clicking here: MotoAmerica: Road Atlanta