Bryce Ford Shines in Pro Debut
Cody Puts Forth Warrior-Like Effort Riding Injured
(Daytona Beach, Florida. March 10, 2020) – Daytona International Speedway is widely regarded as the “World Center of Racing”. The history of racing in the Daytona Beach area dates back to the early twentieth century, when the firm sands of Daytona Beach first hosted auto racing. Fast forward to early 1937, when the idea of Bike Week was first implemented and racing at Daytona was no longer just for cars. The next stage of Daytona’s progression was the first ever Daytona Supercross, which took place nearly 50 years ago in 1974 and was the first motocross event associated with Bike Week. Finally, fast forward one final time to 2015. This is when ATV motocross was welcomed inside the historic banks of Daytona International Speedway for the first ever Daytona ATV Supercross. It’s been five years since the first ATV Supercross, and this year’s 6th annual event may have been more anticipated than the first. With the most stacked AMA ATV Pro Class field in recent memory ready to go racing for the first time in 2020, the ATV world was abuzz with the typical opening day hype. But this season seemed even more advertised than season openers of the past, some of which was undoubtably due to all the anticipation surrounding Ford Brothers Racing.
For a half decade now, one single day during Daytona’s infamous “Bike Week” is headlined by ATV motocross. Where better to kick off another season of ATV racing with the best racers in the world than “The World Center of Racing” at Daytona International Speedway? The 2019 season was good to both Ford brothers of Springtown, Texas. Youngest Brother, Bryce, dominated the top amateur classes en route to National Championships in Pro Am and Open Pro Sport, as well as prestigious Rider of the Year honors. Bryce would be making the jump up to the AMA ATV Pro Class for 2020, joining his brother in the sport’s premier class. Cody, the eldest Ford brother, made his professional debut the season previous and saw a great deal of his own success. He shocked the world at Sunset Ridge when he finished 3rd overall, becoming the first Pro Class rookie to achieve a podium finish in nearly a decade. The Ford brothers were served with the tall order of bettering what was an extremely successful 2019 season, but they were up for the task – and it started on opening day.
Bryce Ford’s speed has never been in question, he may be without Pro Class experience at this point but he surely doesn’t lack speed. He started the day very solidly, by qualifying 6th in the morning’s timed qualifying sessions. The youngster’s speed is fierce, but he’s an even better racer than qualifier due to his superb starting ability. He grabbed one of his patented good holeshots in the heat race, his first gate drop as a pro. He was impressive, coming out second and challenging for the lead at times. He’d eventually get passed by his mentor, Thomas Brown, finishing 3rd in the heat race and moving on to the main event. This final race was for all the marbles and, just like in the qualifying race, Bryce Ford looked like a seasoned pro, not a rookie in his first professional race. Bryce came out of the first corner in the top 5 and stayed there for the entirety of the main event. On the final lap, Bryce moved into the number four spot where he would finish the moto and cap what was an extremely impressive day. In his very first race as a professional, Bryce Ford finished one position off the podium. The future is VERY bright for this 17-year-old!
What about Cody? Cody Ford has high hopes of his own this season, and it’s inevitable that he’ll be stronger than ever solely based on the fact that he’s training day after day with his brother, as well as one of the best ATV racers in the world – Thomas Brown. The two Ford brothers have always been the type cheer on the successes of their sibling and build each other up – but make no mistake about it, Cody doesn’t want Bryce to take ALL the headlines. That being said, Cody had to be smart at Daytona as he was riding with an injury. The focus shifted to simply getting as many points as possible without further damaging the fractured hip that he was dealing with. Cody saved himself in qualifying and the heat race but put forth a warrior-like effort in the main event, fighting through the pain to secure a 13th place finish in the season opener. The eldest Ford was on damage control and will look to heal up as much as possible before the second round of racing a few weeks from now.
“We were blessed with good people and results at Daytona.” The Ford Brothers Racing team stated via their Instagram account. “Bryce put his head down, stayed focused, and pulled a 4th place finish to match the new #4 on this number plate. Cody has a fractured pubic rami, which will take a few weeks to recover from but thankfully won’t require surgery. [Cody] pushed through the pain of his injury to earn 13th overall. Thankful for a day of health and good fortune.”
The Daytona ATV Supercross is a kind of one-off event each year, before the rest of the series is raced on rugged outdoor tracks all across the nation. The series will head outdoors to Underground MX Park in familiar Kemp, Texas, on the weekend of March 28-29, 2020. See you in the Lonestar State just over two weeks from now, where Texas’ own Ford brothers will look to build on the great foundation they laid in Daytona. See you there!