The track is fine, but the fans might get a little messy this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Constant rain and recent flooding in north central Ohio means some new ponds developed at the 300-plus acre facility in Lexington, but that should not deter the action during the 31st annual Buckeye SuperBike Weekend presented by Dunlop.
“We’re in good shape with the track itself, and fortunately the forecast looks good going into the weekend,” Mid-Ohio President Craig Rust said.
But that’s not to say there won’t be adjustments to the logistics, especially when it comes to the fan experience. Some areas of the campground will likely be closed off.
“We don’t want people pulling into spots and needing to be pulled out via tractor and tromping mud and developing ruts,” he said. “It could be dry for the next three days and the ground will still be soggy.”
And with the massive AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days coming to Mid-Oho the following weekend and taking up every square inch of space on the property, the track wants to keep the wear and tear on the grounds to a minimum.
“Fans may find some wet and soggy areas when they walk to where they like to watch the race, but the track is fine and the guys have been doing a good job doing what they can to keep up with it. It is what it is. We can’t do anything about the weather, so we’ll manage the facility the best we can,” Rust said.
According to longtime AMA Pro Road Racing SuperBike rider Larry Pegram, the fans should see plenty of action, which has become the norm when the series returns to Mid-Ohio this weekend.
“This year there’s definitely been some great, tight racing up front,” the Hebron resident said. “You’re not going to see that (runaway for the win) this weekend. I don’t think anybody is getting away.”
While defending National Guard SuperBike champ Josh Hayes has won the last four races, he’s not blowing out the competition. Three of the four victories have been decided by less than a second, with the margin at last two outcomes at Barber Motorsports Park going down to less than .3 second.
“I think you’re going to see a race that comes down to the last lap. That’s the way it’s been the last few races and it’s been that way everywhere but Road America. Barber and Daytona were last-lap, last-corner, who’s-going-to-win,” Pegram said.
The SuperBikes will have their traditional Wiseco 100 doubleheader with 21-lap features Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The GoPro Daytona SportBikes will also have 21-lap doubleheaders this weekend along with the Motorcycle-SuperStore.com SuperSport races for 17 laps. The Vance & Hines Harley Davidson XR1200 race will be 11 laps Sunday.
Provisional qualifying will be Friday.
Off the track, the Monster Energy Freestyle Motocross team will have shows Saturday, and Saturday night will feature a fireworks show. The Rusty Wallace Kart Racing Experience will take over the upper paddock all three days.
Lexington and Ashland University grad Dave Jennings will serve as the Grand Marshal on Saturday. Jennings is the University of Miami Redhawk women’s swimming and diving coach, who won 16 Mid-American Conference championships in 31 years. He was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in 1996 and is a 10-time MAC Coach of the Year, having coached 33 NCAA qualifiers and 13 Olympic Trial qualifiers.
“Being from Lexington, it’s a great honor to be Grand Marshal of the SuperBike weekend at Mid-Ohio,” Jennings said in a release. “I’m really looking forward to the races and the spectacle of the weekend.”
And with all the extra water on the grounds, he’ll feel right at home.