DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Immediately following the 56th annual Daytona 500 last Sunday, construction began in the tri-oval area between pit road and the start/finish line to create the demanding and challenging course for the Daytona Supercross By Honda, scheduled for Saturday night, March 8.
On Thursday, Supercross legend and five-time Daytona Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael, who is serving as the course designer for the seventh straight year, paid a visit to Daytona Int’l Speedway to view the on-going construction.
“It’s really special to be able to be associated with Daytona International Speedway,” Carmichael said as he walked the course on Thursday. “I love this place, I really do. Five-time winner and my heart is here. I’m a Florida native. It’s an honor to be affiliated with Daytona, and to have the chance to design this track is special. I take it seriously and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”
Carmichael retired from Supercross in 2007 as the most decorated rider in history with 15 AMA championships and 150 wins.
This year’s Ricky Carmichael Signature Design course is similar to last year’s layout with some tweaks.
The starting gate will remain on pit road providing fans with a great view of the first turn and riders will have to conquer 40 jumps and two whoop sections over the 3,290 foot course.
“I think that what makes this track cool as opposed to other Supercross tracks is that it is somewhat of an outdoor track,” Carmichael said. “It has a lot of those kinds of obstacles. (It’s) real sandy and not as congested, but way rougher than a traditional Supercross track. This is really where you see who is tough and who isn’t. That’s what’s so cool. There’s a lot of history behind this Supercross race and it’s just very prestigious because of those factors of it being rougher and really the toughest track on the circuit.”
Daytona Int’l Speedway has been home to the original Supercross since 1971 – the longest continuous Supercross event in America – and this marks the 23rd year that Honda has sponsored the event.
Among the Supercross greats that have captured the Daytona Supercross By Honda include Bob Hannah, Jeff Stanton, Jeremy McGrath, Carmichael and Ryan Villopoto, who has won the event three out of the past four years.