Suzuki's Jake Johnson will look for another sweep during this year's Daytona Short Track.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2009) – While most AMA Grand National Championship riders might be satisfied with a podium finish at Daytona’s famous and unpredictable short track events, Jake Johnson will be disappointed with anything other than a victory.
After sweeping both GNC Singles Championship races at Daytona Municipal Stadium last March, Suzuki’s Jake Johnson is back and eager to kick off the 2009 racing season with another sweep.
“It was great, totally unexpected for me,” Johnson said of last year’s sweep. “I’ve always done well in Daytona, but to win both nights was pretty cool. Going into this year, anything less than that would be a disappointment.”
Johnson will attempt to repeat his 2008 success when the Daytona Short Track events take place on Wednesday night, March 4 and Thursday night, March 5 at Daytona Municipal Stadium.
“That track is so tough,” Johnson said. “One night you could win and you could be watching from the stands the next night. So, it was definitely one of the biggest highlights of my career.”
“Not a whole lot of people have done that in the 22 years that we’ve been racing at the new stadium,” said three-time Daytona Short Track winner Chris Carr, who will be riding a Honda in this year’s event. “It’s a rare feat to be able to do that. He (Johnson) has been going really well here the past few years so it really didn’t surprise me at all.”
Carr will be one of many threats to Johnson during the Daytona Short Track doubleheader. Carr, who has 25 seasons under his belt and seven AMA Flat Track Championships, finished fourth in the first race at Daytona in 2008 but then finished outside the top five on the second night.
“The experienced usually do well here, but there are some cases of young riders doing very well at Daytona too,” Carr said. “We’ve always said that Daytona’s a crap-shoot.
“We are going to be as prepared as we have ever been for Daytona and we’re not approaching Daytona any differently than we ever have. I expect that if we’re on our game and things are going well that we’re going to be competitive.”
For each day during the Daytona Short Track, the schedule kicks off with timed practices between 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. followed by open paddock/rider autographs at 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. followed by heats, semifinals and finals beginning at 8 p.m.
Tickets for the Daytona Short Track doubleheader are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or at the gate.