Race Day Feed: Daytona
Welcome to the Daytona Monster Energy Supercross. Some things change and some things stay the same here for the longest-running supercross race of all. This will be the 48th edition of the Daytona race, which actually started before supercross was even a thing. While the track and facility have changed immensely from the old days, as per tradition, this will still be the roughest and toughest race on the SX schedule.
Daytona adopts the now-normal 20-plus one and 15-plus one main event formats. Last year Daytona stuck with the old 20-lap/15-lap mains. Daytona is still very unique as far as the track is concerned. The layout is much different than last year, with the start in a new spot. Ricky Carmichael, who designed the layout, says his goal was to make the track busy and give it long lanes. Since the race is guaranteed to be 20 minutes no matter what, they no longer needed to build a layout to extend the lap times. Those lanes will have lots of obstacles, Blake Baggett commented yesterday that the jump faces are very, very steep—even steeper than most normal supercross tracks. That’s probably a built-in compensation for when the track breaks down and the faces begin to round off. There is much more sand on the track this year, so there are now some jump faces made of sand rather than clay. Sand won’t hold up as well, so these obstacles are going to change a lot throughout the race—this is a more old-school Daytona challenge. There are two wall jumps and a tricky double dragon’s back heading to the finish. Carmichael says the back side of those wall jumps will get really get eaten up, and the rider who can handle those conditions best will have a big advantage.
After today's track walk, the common theme from the riders was how much more open this year's layout is compared to 2017. The lanes are way longer and a lot of the tight switchbacks are gone. The riders love this. Longer lanes give them more time to close on the rider in front of them before trying to make the move in a corner. Those old switchbacks usually just got one-lined on the inside, so hopefully this layout encourages more passing.
We'll be here all day with updates via this Race Day Feed.