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Oct 21, 2001

Barnes Wins Second F-USA Superbike Race At Daytona As Officials Let Race Run Into Rain Storm

Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Michael Barnes won the second Formula USA Unlimited Superbike race at Daytona in a controversial finish that saw officials ignore a cloudburst on the back straight, at the entrance to the chicane.

Grant Lopez was leading Shawn Higbee and Lee Acree when the lead group ran into hard rain on the back straight on the last lap. Lopez and Acree backed off, Barnes, Higbee and Mike Ciccotto did not, and Barnes beat Higbee, Ciccotto, Eric Wood, Acree, Lopez, Brian Parriott, Chris Carr and Mike Himmelsbach across the line as rain moved across the Speedway.

Third-place Ciccotto said in winners' circle that he couldn't believe officials let the race continue and didn't throw a red flag as rain started to fall the previous lap, adding that he actually hit the Air Fence at the exit of the chicane and was surprised to not crash.

Barnes said, "I backed it sideways into the chicane, I don't know how I got it into there and out of there, it was like an oil slick coming out of the chicane. I made it out of there and looked back and had about a four-second lead."

Later, in the press room, Barnes said, "There was a wall of rain and the racetrack was noticeably wet. They should have stopped the race. Race officials don't know what racers are thinking out there. There was a certain amount of luck involved that the lead group made it back around here. We could have had five bikes down there."

The finish gave Higbee the title over Acree.

"It was a little bit dangerous situation," said Higbee afterwards. "I didn't know what they (officials) were going to do. I kind of half thought they would red-flag it but I couldn't afford to back off. It was very slippery. I knew coming up onto the banking is where you lose it, so I was off the gas there. Once I got up on the banking I knew there would be some grip there."

Unlimited Superbike Race Two Results
1. Barnes
2. Higbee, -0.703 seconds
3. Cicotto, -0.704
4. Wood, -1.637
5. Acree, -1.692
6. Lopez, -2.996
7. Parriott, -20.954
8. Carr, -23.200
9. Himmelsbach, -28.868
10. Mike Fitzpatrick, -54.805
11. Marco Martinez, -58.960
12. John-o Bowman, -88.895
13. Dr. Jeff Purk, DDS, -89.215
14. Pete Friedman, -127.075
15. Ray Bowman, -143.209
16. Michael Hanley, -1 lap
17. Dale Dandrea, -1 lap
18. Carlos Macias, -3 laps
19. John Porloer, -3 laps
20. Roland Williams, -5 laps
21. Robert Presby, -6 laps
22. David McEnery, -6 laps
23. Tray Batey, -8 laps
24. Mark Ledesma, -11 laps
25. Chris Ulrich, -11 laps


Final Unlimited Superbike Championship Points
1. Higbee, 159
2. Acree, 155
3. Parriott, 139
4. Lopez, 133
5. Barnes, 88
6. Connell, 82
7. Batey, 79
8. Himmlesbach, 75
9. Wood, 69
10. Ken Chase, 62



Thad Halsmer won the Aprilia Cup Challenge Race by 0.484-second from Brian Kcraget, with a third-place finish giving the Championship to Jeff Wood.

Aprilia Cup Challenge Race Results
1. Thad Halsmer
2. Brian Kcraget
3. Jeff Wood
4. John Lemak
5. Josh Sortor
6. Brian Salazar
7. James Monson
8. Shannon Silva
9. Mike Kindelin
10. Tom Fournier
11. Eric Stevenson
12. Paul Hopkins
13. Mark Reynolds
14. Chad Healy
15. Brian Roach
16. Daryl Woodward
17. Gus Holcomb
18. Dennis Nourry
19. Jeremy Bonnett
20. Nicole Hoffman
21. Robert Orr
22. Bruce Jacobs
23. Dan Fischer
24. Andras Mak
25. Ben Matheson