More problems for NASCAR owned AMA The AMA Pro Racing sanctioning body dispatched an unusual explanation release that acknowledged the Daytona 200 produced "outright failures and confusion and dismay among fans and participants."Saying it wants complete transparency for its road-racing programs, the release goes step-by-step through the tire disaster, which led to a shorter race and enabled Jason DiSalvo to win even after an engine failure.
The front tire that Dunlop provided Daytona 200 competitions had heat issues and the scheduled 57-lap race over Daytona International Speedway's 3.51-mile road course was stopped so all bikes could get new tires.
As Dunlop and AMA discussed the matter, it was decided to clad the entire field with a completely different front tire. Not only did the tires need to be mounted, but they had to be heated by tire warmers.
"The length of the down time that followed the first red flag was wholly and solely dictated by the amount of time it took to get each of the 38 Daytona 200 competitors re-fitted with new-spec tires that were warmed long enough to be safely raced on," the AMA release states.
There is a conspiracy theory the AMA extended the red flag to give DiSalvo's team enough time to swap engines. DiSalvo's Ducati broke on Lap 28, the same lap where the red flag was displayed.
The grid for the restart reverted back to the last lap completed by the entire field, which was Lap 27, where DiSalvo was listed as running third.
DiSalvo's team swapped engines with his backup bike and when the race restarted some two hours later, DiSalvo was third in line and ready to run.
The AMA said any repair can be made on a bike during a red flag, as long as the team is working on the chassis that qualified for the race.
"We are fiercely dedicated to treating all of our participating teams and manufacturers equally and fairly," the AMA said.
DiSalvo was not originally listed as the winner until the AMA ruled the top five bikes were scored on Lap 42 and the rest of the field on Lap 41 because of a two-bike accident as the checkered flag was shown.
The AMA apologized for the scoring snafu. This type of explanation and regret from a sanctioning body is rare.
"This detailed release represents a departure from traditional operations but is in line with AMA Pro Racing's commitment to running a fair, transparent series that participants and fans can be proud of," the statement said. Daytona Beach News Journal
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