Here is a story of my recent news heading in the 2012 AMA Pro Racing Daytona 200. The 1st race of the 2012 AMA Pro Road Racing motorcycle Superbike and Daytona Sportbike season.
Last year some of you know, team owner Richie Morris called me. He gave me the offer of coming to pit crew during the Inagural race at Daytona for the newly AMA Vance & Hines Harley- Davidson XR1200 Spec Class. For 2 days I would be wearing the famous Richie Morris Racing ( RMR ) Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing – Geico Powersports team colors. Along side 3 other crew men.. We set out to crew for 3 RMR XR1200 race bikes. The results in the end where a 1st, 2nd and 9th place finish for the 3 team bikes. It was a proud moment and a day I sure will not forget.
As we get closer to March and Daytona time.. Many teams are changing riders, sponsors and crew men. Once of the biggest changes so far was the news that Erik Buell Racing was going to race 2 bikes. His newest rider, Danny Eslick… With the new comes the need of a crew chief and crew men.. That news will be said later in this story..
I was contacted by my good friend since 2008 Mike Kirkpatrick.. Perhaps the best crew chief around.. and the most knowlegable about Buells. Mike asked if I was coming to Daytona in 2012. I said I plan on it!! He said great and wanted me to help him pit crew with him for Paul James’s XR1200 #70 entry. We then would switch gears and pit crew for Pat Mooney’s #41 Buell 1125r Daytona Sportbike. Pat is returning to make a 2nd Daytona 200 attempt after last years crazy tire issues race. I was Pat Mooney’s fuel man in 2011 during the Daytona 200.
I told Mike that I will see him in Daytona and be ready to help him out with both bikes. He told me thank you and that we would keep in touch as the day draws closer to race time. A few days later it was announced by Erik Buell Racing that Danny Eslick’s new crew chief now would be Mike Kirkpatrick. This is a huge promotion and dream come true for my good friend Mike. It also looks to perhaps put a bitter sweet end to Paul James and Mike being together for the near past 8 years.
I then became kinda stumped about what I would be doing now that I have gotten things set up to be at the track in daytona. Would i still be helping pit crew? Who would it be for? Is Pat Mooney still going to race in the daytona 200? What is Paul James going to do without help now in daytona?
A day went by as I was questioning all this.. Then an email came from my friend Paul James.. this is what it said:
Hey man, who are you working with at Daytona? I might need some help…LOL!! I quickly replied to Paul to let him know I was coming to help him with Mike. Since Mike is now off to the EBR superbike team. I’m coming now to surly help Paul with his XR1200 effort in Daytona.
Things still now were open on the Daytona 200. Paul and I talked on the phone later in the week. Cleared the air of all the news and happenings. He would then call Pat Mooney and find out his Daytona plans. Soon after I then hear from Pat Mooney on Facebook. He is gearing up for 2012 Daytona and “Banking on some good pit stops This year BJ, especially with you on the Fuel! :)” That was some really cool news to read.. Once again I would be with Pat Mooney’s Buell for Daytona for a 2nd year in a row and my 3rd straight appearance in the Daytona 200 as a crew man and fuel man. (2010 was with Walt Sipp #221 finished 20th place).
It was really great to just let all the plans fall into place. Come March, I will head down to Daytona Florida for the 71st Daytona 200. Its going to be great to see my Buell racing friends Mike Kirkpatrick, Pat Mooney, Paul James and any others.. Become a part of motorcycle racing history once again! If you can’t make it to Daytona March 16th and 17th for these races. You can catch the AMA Daytona 200 on SPEED tv. Check your local listing or contact your cable tv provider to watch this historic motorcycle race!