Built on the grass infield of Daytona International Speedway, Supercross at The World Center of Racing pre-dates both the Supercross and Pro Motocross Championships. The Daytona SX is the the only event on the schedule to run uninterrupted for the entire 50 years of SX championships and has been won by the sport’s all-time greatest riders.
Note on the chart above: Daytona was considered a motocross race from 1971-1973. For the first two years, it was the final round of the Florida Winter-AMA series and in 1973, it was the opening round of the Pro Motocross Championship. In 1974, it was the opening round of the Yamaha Super Series of Motocross, what we now considered the first Supercross championship.
All the Greats have won Daytona at least once but at the World Center of Racing, Eli Tomac tops them all with 7 wins in an 8 year span. In 10 total 450SX appearances in Daytona, Tomac’s worst finish is 4th (2013, and he was still a 250SX rider). And unlike the blowout wins of the Ricky Carmichael era, only one of Tomac’s wins were double digits (2017). Four of his wins were margins of under four seconds, one as little as .7, indicating different race management styles.
The final round of the Winter-AMA Series, the first dirt bike race at Daytona International was a bit of a ‘loose program’. Practice started over an hour late, heats were cut down and the AMA needed to get the whole thing over with because they still had a 250cc road race to run that same day. Gunnar Lindstrom won the 250 class and Bryan Kenney won the Open class. Gary Bailey designed the course (and finished 3rd overall in the 250 class).
Rick Ryan becomes the first ever true privateer to ever win a Supercross main event. An all-time mudder, team managers were reported as wanting to see this one get called off. After a 3 hour delay (and scratched LCQs), starting gates fell and Ryan, riding with a tweaked left knee, won the main with a 12-second lead over Jeff Stanton. Title hopefuls Jeff Ward, Ricky Johnson and Ron Lechien all suffered misfortune on the first lap.
Ricky Carmichael is one of three riders to win four in a row at Daytona (Jeff Stanton/Eli Tomac) and each one of his five wins here was complete domination. His first premier class win was Daytona 2000, which he won by 22 seconds and cruised so casually toward the finish line, ESPN’s Art Eckman said ‘he’s almost as a snail’s pace!’ Carmichael is the only rider to win at Daytona on three different brands and the only rider to win Daytona when it was an afternoon race and after it switched to under the lights.
Kevin Windham wins in one of the wettest dirt bikes races of all-time. The water on the start straight was so deep that riders threw off ski-boat-like wakes on their way to the first corner. With circulation times over 2:00, the main event was shortened to 12 laps and the race became a test of who could make their motorcycle last. Windham and Chad Reed swapped the lead early but Reed controlled most of the race and was over one minute ahead of Windham when his bike quit with three turns (and only 30 seconds) to go.
Stewart’s two wins (2007, 2012) at Daytona were spectacular but his ability to find combinations on the track that other riders wouldn’t have dreamed of trying are remembered even more. In 2011 he figured out how to leap over a wall designed to slow riders down and in 2012 he turn a similar obstacle into a sky shot leap. You know you did something special when riders are still talking about it more than a decade later. Unfortunately, Stewart also suffered heartbreak at Daytona in violent crashes while leading (2006, 2011) and a first turn crash in 2009 that left him so stunned he tried to take off on Josh Hill’s bike.
If a personality fit with a track, Daytona and Jeff Stanton were bread and jam. So it’s no surprise that Stanton hit the podium 6 times in his 7 starts here, and he won 4 consecutive main events (1989-1992). In ‘92 Stanton battled Damon Bradshaw for 13 laps before making a final pass and pulling away, preventing Bradshaw from winning a 6th race in row that season.
This interactive table details the all-time Daytona stats. Who has the most starts, wins, podiums and points. Filter by class. Slide left to access more columns. Full list of stats is for Garage Members only. Join us!
This interactive table details the Daytona winner history; who won in what year and what round was this venue. Full list of stats is for Garage Members only. Join us!