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Mar 4, 2001

Delay Of Second F-USA Unlimited Superbike Race Turns Into Cancellation As Problems Mount And Daylight Fades At Daytona

After a lengthy delay the second Formula USA race at Daytona finally started on a drying track, but it was red-flagged after two laps when more riders crashed in the infield and officials ran out of daylight to clean up the track and run the race. The word became official at 6:30 p.m. with the sun already below the horizon. Officials said they will pay one race worth of points and the entire two-race purse based on first-race results.<BR><BR>Grant Lopez was first into turn one before the red flag but was judged to have jumped the flag and was given a meatball flag for a stop-and-go penalty. Lopez reported to the pits, stopped and restarted, exiting in 20th place just as the red flag flew.<BR><BR>Formula USA officials originally delayed the start of the second Formula USA Unlimited Superbike race due to a slippery spot at the exit of the chicane. The GPRA 125cc Grand Prix support race was red-flagged three times due to multiple first-lap crashes in the chicane, and the chicane was been declared a waving-yellow no-passing zone for the rest of the day.<BR><BR>Efforts to effectively clean the area with detergents failed. Officials finally moved the GPRA event to the end of the schedule, ran the Aprila Cup race and another support event, then called the Unlimited Superbikes back up to the grid. Eventually the GPRA race was cancelled completely.<BR><BR>Today's event was plagued by rain and all the races were shortened. Unlimited Superbike races were cut from 12 to 8 laps.<BR><BR>Lopez ran away with the first Unlimited Superbike race, in the rain on a soaking track, winning by 23.271 seconds. He turned the fastest lap of the race, at 2:05.929<BR>Mike Ciccotto had to start at the rear of the grid, in the second wave, after deciding to change from a medium-compound Pirelli rain tire to a soft-compound Pirelli rain tire after the warm-up lap. Ciccotto had been fast in wet practice Sunday morning.<BR><BR>Results were:<BR><BR>1. Grant Lopez, Suzuki<BR>2. Craig Connell, Ducati<BR>3. Byron Barbour, Suzuki<BR>4. Lee Acree, Suzuki<BR>5. Brian Stokes, Suzuki<BR>6. Ken Chase, Suzuki<BR>7. Brian Parriott, Suzuki<BR>8. Chuck Chouinard, Suzuki<BR>9. Tray Batey, Aprilia<BR>10. Shawn Higbee, Suzuki<BR>11. Chris Carr, Aprilia<BR>12. Mike Himmelsbach, Aprilia<BR>13. Eric Wood, Suzuki<BR>14. Shane Prieto, Suzuki<BR>15. Mike Barnes, Kawasaki<BR>16. Paul Harrell, Yamaha<BR>17. Mike Ciccotto, Suzuki<BR>18. John Jacobi, Suzuki<BR>19. Daigoro Suzuki, Suzuki<BR>20. Ryan Landers, Yamaha<BR>21. Chris Ulrich, Suzuki<BR>22. Aaron Clark, Aprilia<BR>23. John Haner, Suzuki<BR>24. Ty Howard, Kawasaki<BR>25. Mark Ledesma, Aprilia<BR><BR><BR>In the wet Sportbike race, Mike Ciccotto jumped out front while polesitter John Hopkins ran off the track in the infield to avoid a crasher on the first lap. After a detour through the mud outside the kink before the West Horseshoe, Hopkins whittled down Ciccotto's lead as he moved from eighth on the first lap to second at the finish. According to official results Hopkins was 17.5 seconds behind but our stopwatch had the margin at 7.25 seconds, down from 15 seconds on lap 2. Hopkins was credited with the fastest lap, 2:11.462.<BR><BR>Hopkins pulled out of the Unlimited Superbike class after re-injuring his right knee, which he hurt in practice Friday while saving a slide and near-crash in the International Horseshoe.<BR><BR>Results of Sportbike were:<BR><BR>1. Mike Ciccotto, Suzuki<BR>2. John Hopkins, Suzuki<BR>3. Roland Williams, Suzuki<BR>4. Owen Weichel, Kawasaki<BR>5. Joe Gill, Yamaha<BR>6. Bryon Barbour, Suzuki<BR>7. Lee Acree, Suzuki<BR>8. Shane Prieto, Suzuki<BR>9. Brian Parriott, Suzuki<BR>10. Brian Stokes, Suzuki<BR>11. Stoney Landers, Kawasaki<BR>12. Chuck Neighoff, Yamaha<BR>13. Larry Locklear, Kawasaki<BR>14. Robert Ludlum, Honda<BR>15. Kevin LaCombe, Yamaha<BR>16. Clint Brotz, Yamaha<BR>17. Thomas Pfuner, Yamaha<BR>18. Brett Champagne, Suzuki<BR>19. Daigoro Suzuki, Suzuki<BR>20. Marc Palazzo, Honda<BR>21. Chris Cummings, Yamaha<BR>22. Shawn Conrad, Suzuki<BR>23. Joshua Bryan, Suzuki<BR>24. Mike Conlon, Yamaha<BR>25. Carlos Macias, Yamaha<BR><BR>Michael Barnes won the Buell Lightning race by 1.480 seconds from Tripp Nobles with Jeff Johnson third.<BR><BR>Shannon Silva won the Aprilia Cup Challenge race on a drying track, beating Joshua Sorter, Derek M. King, Dan Fischer, Andre Castanos, Gus Holcomb, Page Gathings, Thad Halsmer, Jason Morse, Jeremy Bonnett and Vicky Jackson-Bell; Bell ran as high as fifth before nearly crashing. LaVaughn Daniel, who was fastest in wet morning practice, DNF with a mechanical problem.