With just six weeks left in the racing season, Daniel Walsh knows time is running out. To some extent, in fact, it already has.
Walsh, of Waldorf, is the defending points champion in the Maryland International Raceway's motorcycle division but currently stands third. He trails leader Ronnie Procopio by 201 points--a margin Walsh concedes is too much to overcome. But if Walsh, a local truck driver, has a good showing in today's Fall Superbike Showdown, he said he won't have many regrets.
"This season's not going too bad," Walsh said. "Of course, I was trying to defend the points championship, but Ronnie has been tough. For now, I'm going to focus on winning this weekend in two classes. I have a streetbike now, too."
The Superbike Showdown is a three-event series held at MIR each year and provides the track's largest payoff--$2,000--for a motorcycle event. Drivers race in five categories: Frenzy 4 With Bar, Frenzy 4 Without Bar, Quick 32, Superbike and Streetbike. The winners of the Quick 32 and Superbike divisions face off afterward, with the winner claiming $2,000.
In the spring showdown, held in May, Walsh beat Procopio, of Upper Marlboro, in the Quick 32 class and then defeated Camp Spring's Elgie Morton, the Superbike winner, in the runoff. Walsh, racing at about 142 mph, returned to the final four in the summer showdown in August before bowing out. Buck Kennard of Chestertown, Md., won the Quick 32 in the summer event but lost to Superbike driver Chuck White of Powhatan, Va., in the runoff.
"These are the races we all look forward to," said Walsh, who estimated 300 to 400 racers would compete today. "First, it's because there's a lot more money to be won. And, second, because it's the only time we don't have to deal with cars" on the schedule.
The automobiles will be back in the forefront at MIR next weekend, at the third running of the Computech/Bill Mitchell Shootouts, Friday through Sunday. Also just around the corner are the track's two premier events, the IHRA Presidents' Cup Nationals, Oct. 1-3, and the Ford Fever Classic, Oct. 16-17.
"We've got the two events that are our biggest draw still ahead," said track owner Royce Miller. "This is when things start to get exciting--and a little crazy--around here."