Apr 5, 2012
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by John Ulrich
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Daytona 200 winner Joey Pascarella on the podium at Daytona International Speedway on March 17th. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy of AMA Pro Racing
Project 1 Atlanta has abandoned tentative plans to continue in the 2012 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike series after a stunning Daytona 200 win with rider Joey Pascarella failed to attract enough financial support.
The team ran at Daytona as a one-off funded by former racer and March of Dimes supporter Jim Bronson and Pascarella's personal sponsors, the Jon Block Group. The Project 1 Atlanta YZF-R6 carried March of Dimes logos at Daytona.
But the team's flawless victory did not result in even enough bare-bones funding to continue past the upcoming Triumph Big Kahuna Atlanta round scheduled for April 20-22 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.
Team owner Perry Melneciuc negotiated with Yamaha to allow use of the team's victory in promotional materials and was discussing a performance bonus program with the company but couldn't reach an agreement.
Without enough funding in place to allow the team to continue to compete for race wins and a run at the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Championship, Melneciuc decided to accept a job working for Erik Buell Racing running Danny Eslick's Superbike program. Several Project 1 Atlanta crew members will join Melneciuc in that effort, including engine builder Rick Boyles and chassis man Ed Sullivan.
After rebuilding and preparing his Yamaha racebikes (one for sale and one for display in his living room) at his Atlanta workshop, Melneciuc is expected to report to EBR headquarters in Wisconsin next week.
Reached by phone, Melneciuc told Roadracingworld.com, "We'd like to thank everybody who helped us achieve our goals, we really feel like all of our goals in Daytona SportBike have been met. We decided as a team--myself, my wife Kellee, Rick and Ed--that without the funding in place to make every round and try to win the Championship--it was pretty easy to make the decision. Now we're moving on to a bigger challenge, getting involved in the Superbike class with Erik Buell."
Read local newspaper coverage of Pascarella's Daytona 200 victory here: