DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The roar of motorcycle engines at Daytona International Speedway was silenced Saturday morning by the sounds of a 21-gun salute, Taps and the National Anthem during the American Veteran’s Traveling Wall and Tribute ceremony.
The ceremony began at 11 a.m. and featured a 21-gun salute by the VFW Post 3282 from Port Orange, a fly over and remarks by a host of distinguished speakers including Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey, Volusia Chairman Frank Bruno, DIS President Robin Braig, State Representative Dorothy Hukill and Don Allen of the AVTT.
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute and Traveling Wall is a mobile memorial honoring those who served and gave their all to defend the United States of America. The mobility of the memorial provides people with the opportunity to pay their respects without having to travel great distances to do so.
“It’s great just to see the politicians come out and honor the veterans,” Michigan resident Fred Bandle said. “It’s really a great thing. We are always thankful for the civilians who come out and show their patriotism.”
Hundreds of veterans, motorcycle enthusiasts and local residents came out to witness the ceremony and pay their respects to all the American servicemen and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“It was a great ceremony, really lovely,” Naples, Fla. resident and motorcycle rider Larry Miles said. “We were up here from Naples and we thought we would come by and take a look at it.”
“I thought it was a good ceremony and showing,” motorcycle enthusiast Kevin Delong said.
Delong, who came to Daytona Beach for Daytona 200 Week By Honda and the wall ceremony, just returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan with the United States Air Force.
“It’s nice to come back and see this, especially when you think about all the people over there still,” Delong said.
The American Veteran’s Traveling Wall and Tribute is located in Daytona International Speedway’s infield and will be on display throughout 2009 Daytona 200 Week by Honda. Free access to the display is available through the Turn 4 tunnel throughout Daytona 200 Week By Honda with the lone exception of Friday, March 6th.
On track: There were 11 Championship Cup Series events as well as ASRA qualifying were contested on Saturday at DIS.
In ASRA qualifying, Team M4 Suzuki’s Jason DiSalvo remained hot taking the pole in Factory Pro SportBike while his teammate Martin Cardenas is on the SuperBike pole. Michael Laverty captured pole in SuperStock and New Smyrna Beach’s Dave Estok took the ThunderBike pole.
The nine-lap ASRA finals are set for noon on Sunday followed by nine CCS six-lap sprint races.
For more information and tickets on any of the Daytona 200 Week By Honda events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
Amateur Thunderbike: 1. Shingo Saeki, Kawasaki 1000; 2. Hiroyuki Oda, Suzuki 750; 3. Yasuo Arai, Kawasaki 1000.
Expert Thunderbike: 1. Nate Kern, BMW 1200; 2. Danny Bilansky, Buell 1200; 3. Joel Spalding, Buell 1200.
Amateur Middleweight Superbike: 1. Hunter Propst, Suzuki 600; 2. Robert Cloutier, Kawasaki 600; 3. Juan Carlos Osorio, Suzuki 600.
Expert Middleweight Superbike: 1. Jeff Wood, Yamaha 600; 2. Tomas Puerta, Ducati 848; 3. Andres Londono, Yamaha 600;
Expert SuperTwins: 1. Danny Eslick, Buell 1125; 2. Christopher Boy, Ducati 1098; 3. Alan Schmidt, Buell 1125.
Amateur SuperTwins: 1. Jordan Richardson, Buell 1125; 2. Robert Crespo, Ducati 1098; 3. Alberto Pardon, Ducati 999.
Expert Lightweight Grand Prix: 1. Kevin Mendez, BIMO 1000; 2. Eric Menetrier, Ducati 1000; 3. Mark Every, Ducati 2000;
Amateur Lightweight Grand Prix: 1. Jay Smith, Buell 1200; 2. Scott Anderson, Suzuki 650; 3. Chris Anderson, Ducati 900;
Amateur Heavyweight Superbike: 1. Ronald Poulin, Yamaha 600; 2. Chuck Morris, Suzuki 750; 3. Javier Vazquez, Suzuki 750.
Expert Heavyweight Superbike: 1. Shane Marbonne, Suzuki 750; 2. Greg Melka, Yamaha 600; 3. Brad Graham, Yamaha 600.
Expert Lightweight Superbike: 1. Kevin Mendez, BIMO 1000; 2. Eric Menetrier, Ducati 1000; 3. Mark Evry, Ducati 100.
Amateur Lightweight Superbike: 1. Michael Sabourin, Suzuki 650; 2. Jay Smith, Buell 1200; 3. Steve Grujic, Suzuki 650.
Expert Unlimited GP: 1. Robertino Pietro, Suzuki 1000; 2. Chris Ulrich, Suzuki 1000; 3. Scott Greenwood, Suzuki 1000.
Amateur Unlimited GP: 1. Charles Justice, Suzuki 1000; 2. Mark Haye, Suzuki 1000; 3. Jean Palau, Suzuki 1000.
Amateur Middleweight Grand Prix: 1. Ronald Poulin, Yamaha 600; 2. Robert Cloutier, Kawasaki; 3. Jorge Marques, Yamaha 600.
Expert Middleweight Grand Prix: 1. Santiago Villa, Suzuki 600; 2. Brad Graham, Yamaha 600; 3. Nate Kern, BMW 1200.
ASRA Superstock qualifying: 1. Michael Laverty, 1:47.355; ASRA Thunderbike qualifying: 2. Dave Estok, 1:57.801; Superbikes: 1. Martin Cardenas, 1:51.112; Pro Sportbike: Jason DiSalvo, 1:51.868.