AMA Pro Racing Chevy Trucks Superbike Series
Pro Thunder Race Report - Round 1 March 7-11, 2001
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
Disappointment befell ACIDFast Racing and their star rider Michael Dubé at the opening round of this year's AMA Pro Racing Buell ProThunder series. A qualifying crash during Thursday's timed sessions and the resulting injuries prevented AFR from participating in the final event held on Sunday, immediately preceding the Daytona 200 at the famed 3.56 mile circuit.
It was Dubé's and AFR's first attempt at the high banks and demanding infield sections of the renowned superspeedway. "It was very intimidating the first few practice sessions. I kept wanting to bring it down on the apron instead of keeping it up on the sides of the bowl and wicking it up. But once I caught a taste of the draft, I knew where I needed to be," claimed the Daytona novice. Times dipped into the 2:09 range during Thursday's morning practice session. "I was getting great help and advice from Advanced Motorsports Jeff Nash and the rest of the AMS crew. I felt like I made tremendous progress in just a few sessions".
During the afternoon's timed Pro Thunder qualifying session, Dubé was held up on several laps by slower riders, but managed a 2:10 before his week began to fall apart. Still, he lay mid-pack among the qualifiers, qualifying on the 5th row for the event. But during the closing laps of the session, Dubé was victimized by a wide-open stuck throttle on the short chute leading to the left hander that returns the riders back up onto the West banking of Nascar turn 1. "I've never had this type of thing happen before, and I pulled in the clutch and fiddled for the kill switch, but soon realized what I needed to do was slow the bike down and grabbed for all the brakes I could stand. Unfortuntely I seem to have lost the front and hit hard at the edge of the pavement," surmised the physician-athlete. A mild concussion, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, and considerable damage to the end of his left pinky finger were the result. Briefly, there was consideration to compete in Sunday's event, but wiser heads prevailed. "If I was more familiar with this circuit I may have tried it, but with a total of perhaps 25 laps experience here, I decided to leave the racing up to those with healthier body parts," concluded Dubé.
AMS's Jeff Nash, the Ducati-mounted 2000 ProThunder champion and current #1 plate holder, did not fail to live up to the honors bestowed upon him last season by qualifying on the front row, less than a second off the pace of pole sitter Mike Cicotto on a Don Tilley-built Buell. Nash got a reprieve when a lap 1 crash was nullified by a red-flag incident that involved other riders on lap 2. After the restart, it was a dogfight with multiple lead changes that Nash eventually won with confident and aggressive riding that saw the New Zealander take the lead for good on the penultimate lap and hold off the Buell charge to the checkers. Full race results can be viewed at
The remainder of ACIDFast Racing's year remains somewhat up in the air, with recent last-minute changes to the AMA schedule, but Dubé is expected to return to local action at Indiana's Putnam Park road course May 12-13th, after competing in the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon the week before.