BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s not the championship weekend it was originally scheduled to be for MotoAmerica Superbike riders at Barber Motorsports Park, but that doesn’t diminish the excitement for rider Josh Herrin.
Herrin, who rides the No. 2 Scheibe Racing BMW Superbike, grew up in Georgia and has been racing at Barber since 2004. He says the layout always leads to great racing, but there’s much more to this track than the competition.
“I own a Go-Kart track in Georgia, or my family does,” Herrin said. “I’m really big on the whole landscaping side of it, making it presentable and everything. So when I come to Barber, it’s cool because it’s not just a race track, it looks like a well-maintained golf course or resort.”
He also likes seeing fans sitting on the hills that cover the grounds at Barber. And he’ll have a chance to see them this weekend at the track, which is allowing fans. They’ve been absent from some other tracks in a season that’s been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They’re almost like family like me, because I’ve been traveling to the same tracks for 15 years,” Herrin said. “So it becomes like a circus – you see the same people over and over, and you get close with them. So it’s weird going to tracks and not seeing those people. So I’m happy that we’re racing here at Barber, and we get to see all the fans.”
The season also has been defined by schedule changes. Because of postponements, there will be two more race weekends following the races here. This would have been the weekend a champion was crowned.
But changes with the fans have had the biggest impact for Herrin, who said he misses the autograph sessions that have been eliminated this year. Fans can interact with the competitors in Superbike much more than in most other sports. Herrin said it was his favorite part of attending a race when he was a child.
“That’s been the weirdest part of it, is not being able to interact with the fans as much as we’d like,” he said. “They’re there so it’s nice because we get the support. At a track like Barber, they’re close and there’s lots of hills that they can sit on so we can see them cheering for us. But it’s been weird not being able to interact with them.”
The races are today through Sunday. For more information, click here.
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