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McWilliams wins Daytona King Of The Baggers, 'not what I expected’

Jeremy McWilliams proved he’s far from done racing after sealing victory in Saturday’s second King of the Baggers race during the Daytona 200 weekend.

The 57-year-old returned to Daytona 16 years after his debut, riding a V-twin-powered Indian - complete with boxes - against a raft of Harley Davidson cruisers.

Florida’s famous International Speedway had previously seen the Northern Irishman just off the podium for Friday’s eight-lap race, with the experienced Ulsterman returning for more and securing the win in Saturday’s six-lap sprint.


The celebration came at the cost of his Mission Foods/S&S Cycle/Indian Challenger teammate as McWilliams denied the American by 0.025s across the line, original leader Bobby Fong a mere 0.160s back as the duo relegated him to third for the all-Indian podium.

“I kind of learned how to ride it off Tyler,” McWilliams admitted of the Indian Big Twin on Saturday evening. “Give him all the credit for that because he rides it differently than I do.

“I came along not knowing and riding it a little bit like a sportbike, and that’s not how it works. It just needs to be nursed a little bit differently. It’s got so much torque that you’ve got to change your throttle position and stuff. You’ve got to learn how to do that because it’s got an incredible amount of go off the bottom.

“You can see me spinning up and that’s still me learning.

“Still not quite there yet. I struggled off six. I’ve been struggling off six the whole way through. I probably haven’t been using the RPM range as well as I should be over the whole weekend. I did have the slightly different aero on. I was short-shifting a little. I didn’t learn how to draft until discussing it with Tyler, really. The drafting was the big thing at the end of the day. Getting across the line, Bobby went low, and I stayed high, thinking, ‘Should I be down there, or should I be up here?’

“I think it was 16 years or 17 years ago, so I kind of forgot how to draft like this. It’s a very unique racetrack. Very special. And it’s very special just to be here and standing on top of the box. That’s not really what I expected. I’d be really happy to just get on the podium. I was a bit disappointed coming up short yesterday. Today made it all up for it. It’s a great team scenario where we can all speak openly and try to help each other.”

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