Sunday, March 13, 2011

Last bits of Daytona trivia: It's the Hess of times, it's the worst of times...

Supercross was invented here. Or in Europe. Or in L.A.
In 1972, someone had the bright idea of building an artificial track in the Daytona infield for a round of the AMA’s motocross championship. The Speedway hired Gary Bailey to design the course. Although there had been a few motocross races held inside soccer stadiums in Europe in the '60s, and convicted murderer Mike Goodwin has a solid claim to having invented the modern version of the sport when he promoted his 'Superbowl of Motocross'  at the L.A. Coliseum. It was his event name that was condensed into the word 'supercross.' Still, there are lots of people who feel that '72 event at the Speedway was the first 'supercross' race. In 1974, the AMA conducted its first full (three-round!) Supercross championship and the first of those races, too, was held at Daytona.

If I see one more Harley, I’ll…
A trip to Main Street during Bike Week will remind you that, in America “Motorcycle” still equals “Harley-Davidson”. If you come for the races and want a night time dose of sport bike culture, forget biker bars near the beach. Head for the Hess garage just west of I-5 on International Speedway Boulevard. If you come on your own bike, feel free to bet on an illegal street race – just make sure you bet on losing. These guys are serious.

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