[DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 14, 2012) - The throaty twin-cylinder Harley-Davidson XR1200s of the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series thunder into their second full season of competition this weekend, March 15 - 17, as part of the historic DAYTONA® 200 Week at Daytona International Speedway. This unique and fiercely-competitive division of AMA Pro Road Racing, which hearkens back to the AMA Harley-Davidson 883 class, will compete on the 3.51-mile traditional motorcycle course at the legendary speedway in the first race of the weekend, a 7-lap final scheduled for Friday, March 16 at 2:15 p.m. local time.
Last year's AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series battle at Daytona came down to the wire, with Kyle Wyman edging out eventual 2011 Vance & Hines XR1200 Series Champion Chris Fillmore by just .016 seconds. Fillmore has stepped up to AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike for 2012, but Wyman returns this year aboard the No. 33 Kyle Wyman Racing/Vesrah Harley-Davidson XR1200 with brother Travis Wyman (No. 24 Harv's Harley-Davidson XR1200) back as his competition.
The famed Bartel's Harley-Davidson team is one to watch for this weekend, fielding a three-rider team including former Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race and pole position winners. Tyler O'Hara, who has been entered into the record books as the inaugural Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race winner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will ride the team's No. 29 Harley-Davidson XR1200; Michael Barnes, whose recent accolades in Vance & Hines XR1200 Series competition include a pole position at Miller Motorsports Park and multiple podiums, will pilot the No. 34 Harley-Davidson XR1200; and multi-discipline rider and X-Games competitor Josh Chisum is entered on the No. 10 Harley-Davidson XR1200.
Canadian team Ruthless Racing/Deely Racing is another team with a strong multi-rider lineup, including Canadian Darren James (No. 229 Harley-Davidson XR1200) and local rider David Estok (No. 123 Harley-Davidson XR1200). Team-owner James, who is also racing in the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike DAYTONA® 200, is a four-time Canadian Thunder Champion, and Estok turned in a pair of seventh-place results in the fiercely competitive Vance & Hines XR1200 Series races at Daytona and Barber Motorsports Park in 2011.
Multi-time AMA Pro Supermoto Unlimited Champion Benny Carlson (No. 45 Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson XR1200) has some solid motorcycle racing credentials. When it comes to controlling the big twin as he navigates the speedway's infield road course, Carlson's Supermoto skills may give him an advantage over some of his competitors. His Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson teammate, Shane Narbonne, returns to AMA Pro Road Racing competition to ride the No. 164 Harley-Davidson XR1200 following a year of racing in AMA Pro Flat Track's Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles division.
Gerry Signorelli (No. 88 Kuryakyn/Racing for a Wish Harley-Davidson XR1200) is a relative latecomer to the motorcycle road racing scene. The Miami, Fla. native first started racing in 2008 but quickly found speed; in 2011, his rookie AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series season, the 28-year-old was able to achieve two Top 10 finishes in just eight starts. As they did in 2011, Signorelli's team will again provide funding to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado for a child's wish to be granted.
Another rider who hails from Miami, Fla. is Barrett Long (No. 2 Longevity Racing Harley-Davidson XR1200). Long has earned Top 10 finishes in both AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike and AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike in recent years and is the son of former AMA Pro racer John Long, winner of the 1985 AMA 250 Grand Prix race at Daytona International Speedway.
Hoban Brothers Racing will once again be well represented by Paul James (No. 70 Hoban Cycle Harley-Davidson XR1200). James finished fourth in the inaugural 2010 AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series season and is strong at Daytona, finishing 16th in the 69th running of the DAYTONA® 200 that same year.
Practice for the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series begins on Thursday, March 15 at 1:40 p.m., followed by basic qualifying later that day at 5:30 p.m. Final grid positions will be set following the second qualifying session, scheduled for the next morning, Friday, March 16 at 9:40 a.m. The first racing action of the 2012 DAYTONA® 200 Week event will begin when the green flag falls on the Vance & Hines XR1200 grid that same day at 2:15 p.m. local time.
Highlights of the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series and AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport races from Daytona will be included in the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike and AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike SPEED broadcasts and also available live on SPEED2, an online-only racing network located at featuring exclusive and same-day delay racing events, on-demand international motor sports content, as well as automotive and motorcycle enthusiast programming.
Friday's Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race and Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race 1 can be viewed live on SPEED2 starting at 2:10 p.m. ET/11:10 a.m. PT, and before tuning to SPEED on Saturday, fans can log back into SPEED2 for a live online broadcast of the final SuperSport race, scheduled for 9:55 a.m. ET/ 6:55 a.m. PT.
AMA Pro Fan Walk sessions will take place on two occasions over the race weekend, during which fans will be able to circulate on pit lane to visit with their favorite riders and teams from AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series. There will be a host of additional fan-specific activities and events during the DAYTONA® 200 Week at Daytona International Speedway, including demo rides, vendor offerings at the Daytona Motorcycle Marketplace and live entertainment, games and bikini contests at Thunder Alley. Another experience not to miss is the seventh-annual "Spring Dash Around Daytona" - the chance to take two laps around Daytona International Speedway's 3.56-mile road course on Saturday, March 17 immediately after the DAYTONA® 200.
Live Timing & Scoring of all on-track sessions will be available at . Between the races, stay connected with AMA Pro Road Racing at www.twitter.com/AMAProSBK and www.facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing; keep up with Daytona International Speedway via Twitter (www.twitter.com/DISupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.