What a year it has been! As you already know the Daytona 200 2020 race was postponed due to the Global Pandemic. The understanding yet frustration lingered with the team but only fueled Squid Hunter Racing to continue pushing for the future.
In December of 2020, we received horrific news, the Squid Hunter Racing trailer and all racing logistic equipment were stolen. Needless to say, our hopes of running in the March 2021 Daytona 200 was off the table.
On February 12, 2021, we received a call from Michael Barnes, he was fired up and really wanted to race the 200. SHR Owner, Peter Strack, conferenced in mechanic Jordan Strange, and the decision to race was made that day. From that moment, team no sleep was in full effect. The game plan for this year’s race was to relax and have fun! A mass text was sent out to the team, all quickly dropped everything in their personal lives to assist in the preparations for the Daytona 200.
After three weeks of preparations, engine build, bike prep, we finally arrived at Daytona International Speedway. We did not have a chance to test and knowing our logistic equipment was stolen, we did not know what was even missing but we hit the ground running as soon as we got to the track like a finely greased wheel! Michael Barnes, in true form, was immediately fast from the very first session. Qualifying third, the excitement was running through our veins that we had a chance to win.
The race started on a Saturday with beautiful weather, everything operating smoothly. Barnes took off leading many of the first 26-30 laps. Midway through the race, the entire team felt like we had the team, the rider, and the bike to lead us to victory. However, it was not meant to be, placing fourth in the Daytona Iconic Race. The level of effort that it took to put the race together in three short weeks is an incredible feat. With the small team and only one Daytona 200 race under our belt, we will take away the massive positives and come back stronger in 2022. Big thanks to all who participated to ensure a successful weekend!
There were many steps for the Squid Hunter Racing team to take to ensure a successful outcome at the 2020 Daytona 200. We had been working all year for this race.
The team was originally anticipating Simone Corsi to ride for us in the race due to the great success we had at the 36th Annual Race of Champions back in October. We decided not to move forward with Corsi. We mutually agreed that it would be in the best interest of both parties.
Making a decision on what rider would get the seat for the Daytona 200 was not taken lightly. Leading up to the race, we were in contact with several riders about possibly riding for Squid Hunter. It was very evident to the entire team that we had made a name for ourselves.
After curating the market, we were introduced to Michael Barnes, the 2016 Daytona 200 winner. After several conversations, our team felt that with Barnes’ experience and our technical background, he would make the best choice.
After deciding Barnes was the one, we immediately put all of our time and energy into perfecting every aspect of the relationship. We knew from day one that there was a very synergistic team effort happening with Squid Hunter and Barnes’s team.
As we entered race weekend, we were hungry for a victory. It was incredible seeing Barnes on his first practice run. He laid down a 150.1 lap time on his first few qualifying sessions. This landed him in the top five and the entire Squid Hunter team was starting to get pumped.
There were a few things we decided to change based on what we noticed in our data. These changes would bring his already fast time even lower. Unfortunately, the circumstances did not allow us to see these changes in effect.
A few weeks leading up to the race, we were dealing with the COVID-19 global pandemic. COVID-19 forced many recreational activities to pause their seasons, and in some cases delay the start. For example, the NBA and MLB were both affected by these decisions in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
CCS announced Friday of race weekend that the race would be closed to viewers due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. This was disappointing to the team but we were prepared to keep going.
All of a sudden the CCS timing and scoring system had stopped working, which confused all of us. CCS decided to call a rider’s meeting to explain why we were experiencing these technical difficulties.
In the meeting, CCS announced that the race had been postponed to a later date.
Of course, this was shocking news to all parties, but in the past, we have overcome greater obstacles. Our team has proved we have what it takes to go up against world-class experienced Moto2 riders. This was just a bump in the road. We are not only prepared but looking forward to the rescheduled race.
Gearing up for the high banks this March, we are excited to announce that we have signed pro racer Michael Barnes to ride in the Daytona 200 with Squid Hunter Racing!
Team owner, Peter Strack sees the drive and ambition that Barnes will bring to the Squid Hunter team. We’ve been spending a lot of time, money and energy to upgrade our team and logistics to improve our strategy.
We are very excited to see what Barnes can do with the Yamaha R6 we have been preparing for him and we are hoping for another spot on top of the podium. The entire Squid Hunter team is eagerly anticipating how Barnes can make this happen.
Barnes shared, “Between Squid Hunter Racing’s technical background, both of our crews, and my many years of experience, we are confident that we will have a strong effort.” After our last victory we experienced from signing Italian rider, Simone Corsi, we are very excited to see how Barnes will do. We have extremely high hopes that Barnes can bring the Squid Hunter team to victory once again.
Barnes, from South Florida has successfully ridden at the Daytona International Speedway for more than three decades. After coming out of retirement due to suffering serious injuries from a wreck back in 2014, Barnes placed first in the 75th Daytona 200. He couldn’t stand being on the sidelines any longer and it seriously paid off for him. He had no idea he would have such a great outcome entering the race and is anticipating a similar one with the Squid Hunter team.
We can’t wait to see what the outcome will be this time around and are looking forward to another great victory for Squid Hunter Racing!
You can read the full press release on PR News Wire.
What a weekend! Champion Cup Series 36th Annual Race of Champions was an experience Squid Hunter Racing will hold on to forever. There were many ups and downs to this ride, but our team pulled through with the victory.
Leading up to the race, the entire team worked harder than ever on making sure our bikes were ready for success. Squid Hunter Chief Mechanic Jordan Strange perfected the Yamaha R6 we planned to showcase for this weekend.
Originally, we planned to fly in a rider from Spain. We bought his plane tickets, signed him up for the individual races, and cleared him with CCS to ride for Squid Hunter Racing in the upcoming races.
Unfortunately, at the last minute, this rider had to back out due to complications with his team in Spain. This kind of thing happens in racing all the time. We had to be quick on our feet to find a replacement rider.
Team owner Peter Strack received this news only five days out from the race. At this point, he made some calls to the entire Squid Hunter team. With the help of professional motorcycle riders Robertono Pietri and Jake Zemke, the Squid Hunter team sourced possible replacements.
With all options on the table, we decided to move forward with Italian native, Simone Corsi, former Moto2 World Championship rider. This decision was key in leading Squid Hunter Racing to a great victory.
We knew there was going to be a challenge for the team to bring in such high-quality rider. Getting Corsi to the United States quickly to prepare him for the race was another challenge. Even so, we were prepared to welcome him and his wife with open arms and treat them like family.
His flight was booked that Monday before race weekend and he and his wife arrived on Wednesday in Daytona Beach, Florida. They were able to meet with the team and set-up at the Daytona International Speedway on Thursday. Then we participated in practice rounds on Friday.
It was an incredible experience to work with a world-class moto rider like Simone Corsi. He placed first in almost every race he participated in including, Expert ASRA Sportbike, Combined ASRA TC GTU, and Combined ASRA Team Challenge Overall.
Not only was Simone Corsi an incredible Moto2 World Championship rider but he was professional and fun to work with. The entire Squid Hunter Racing team learned a lot from this experience. We were greatly humbled when Corsi extended a compliment to our team once the weekend was over. We look forward to getting the opportunity to work with Simone Corsi in the future.
We are tremendously excited to finally announce the big news! Former MotoAmerica Supersport racer Cory West will hop on a Squid Hunter Yamaha and compete in next month’s Daytona 200.
“It’s great to get this opportunity to go after the Daytona 200 win with Squid Hunter Racing this year,” says West. “Everything is falling into place perfectly and I’m looking forward to getting back on the high banks!”
This past weekend, we set out for Virginia to participate in Championship Cup Series motorcycle racing. It was very challenging and the team was put to the test.
The Squid Hunter team had a busy, winning race weekend at the Championship Cup Series season opener in Daytona. This race coincided with the 77th annual Daytona 200 and Daytona Bike Week, giving us the chance to convene with teams that eat, sleep, breathe, and eat motorcycle racing.