After a 55-lap battle on the twist and turns of Daytona International Speedway’s 3.51-mile road course, it was 16-year-old Sean Kelly who stood on the top step of the overall podium for the 2018 American SportBike Racing Association’s Team Challenge event, part of Fall Cycle Scene activities at the “World Center of Racing.”
In a race that consisted of three classes of multiple teams using up to four riders per bike, Team Hairy Kiwi rider Kelly, competing in his first-ever race at Daytona International Speedway, led most of the second-half of the event all by himself aboard his Suzuki 600 on his way to overall victory and GTU class honors.
“I’m super happy. I wanted to race here last year and didn’t get the opportunity because of my age because 16 was the minimum,” said the Miami native. “It’s something very special. My first time really racing a 600. My first time at Daytona.”
Many riders use the Team Challenge event as a tune-up race for March’s DAYTONA 200 as it is only two laps short of the historic bike race’s distance.
“I would love to run it, especially with this team,” said Kelly when asked if he would return in March. “I haven’t signed anything yet. I’m ready for it, that’s for sure.”
Other class winners include Winchester, Va. native team Virginia Express and rider Ryan Jones in the GTO class on a BMW S1000RR and Waupun, Wis. native Team Coming In Hot with Ray Hofman and Terry Wilkinson in the GTL class on a Suzuki SV 650.
Motorcycle racing action continues Sunday with 18 on-track races planned throughout the day. Tickets for all events at Daytona International Speedway can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.
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