Charlotte, N.C. — Supercross riders roll into Daytona International Speedway this weekend for a turn on Ricky Carmichael’s 5,000-ton dirt and sand monster of a playground, and according to FOX Sports 1 host Ralph Sheheen: “Some guys are chomping at the bit … and some guys are waking every morning in a cold sweat.”
Live coverage of Daytona Supercross by Honda begins Saturday, March 8 (7:30PM ET) on FOX Sports 1, with Sheheen joined in the booth by Hall-of-Fame rider Jeff Emig and five-time Daytona Supercross winner Carmichael, the designer of the 40-jump Daytona circuit. Jenny Taft reports from the pits.
“This is the most unique track we race on all year,” Sheheen said. “RC does a very good job with his design and he adds a few new tweaks and twists every year, so I’m excited to see what he has come up with for this weekend.
“They talk about racers who get up for certain races, or for certain tracks or for certain conditions,” Sheheen added. “Daytona is one of those tracks that will be playing mind games with riders all week.”
FOX Sports uses 16 cameras to bring fans Supercross action from Daytona, including the XMO Super Slo-Mo and an RF camera traveling along the famed superspeedway’s frontstretch apron at speeds up to 50 mph aboard a Polaris Quad.
Heading into the series’ 10th race of the season, three-time defending champ Ryan Villopoto sits atop the points standings, but this ultra-competitive season already has seen five different winners in the first nine races, with four former champions (Villopoto, Chad Reed, James Stewart and Ryan Dungey) and a rookie (Ken Roczen) all taking turns atop the podium.
Villopoto, already with three career wins at Daytona, is comfortable on the course that requires nearly 500 man-hours and 270 truckloads of dirt to construct, but the FOX Sports 1 crew also has an eye on Stewart and his on-again, off-again season.
“James has been exceptionally fast all year,” Emig said. “It’s mind boggling how he can be so good and so fast all day, and not have it translate into more wins this season.”
Said Sheheen: “(Stewart) is one of the riders chomping at the bit … he is looking at Daytona as a race he should win.”
Saturday’s race is the first as part of a recently announced five-year deal with Daytona International Speedway. For more information on Carmichael’s Daytona track design, please visit http://www.