Daytona USA (arcade) Track Guide
                                 Jason Lewis
                             ke6drt@hotmail.com
                            GameFAQs alias: JaSoN
                            Version 1.5a 11/5/2001
                                 8:00 pm CST


Daytona USA, quite possibly the greatest arcade racing game, even if 
it's years old. This game was a revolution in it's time, because never 
before did a game look and feel so amazingly real. This game was created 
by Sega's AM2 division, and uses the Model 2 polygon board. It pales in 
comparision to the newer Naomi board, but anyone who played Daytona when 
it was new will tell you that it NEVER gets old.

So, why make this track guide now? This game is years old, and there are 
already a couple respectable FAQs out there. Well, this track guide will 
teach you, not only some good novice and advanced strategies, but also 
my own hot dogging, kamikazie strategies that will allow you to blow the 
doors (or window-nets) off the competition.

Legal stuff: Daytona USA track guide is Copyright 2001 Jason Lewis. 
Print this out, share with your friends, whatever. I don't really care 
if you post a modified version of this FAQ somewhere, just as long as I 
receive the proper credit.  And don't let me find out you're making 
money off this.

Version history:

1.5a: corrected some formatting errors
1.5:  Expert Track Guide has been added!
1.1:  Prettied up the FAQ a little, corrected various errors
1.0:  First version

Beginner Track   
--------------
Cars on track: 40
Laps in normal mode: 8
Comments: This track looks easy enough, but even this requires a certain 
level of strategy. 40 cars on a 1 mile track, gets a little crowded. 
This is a great beginner track, as it forces you to learn to navigate 
through heavy traffic, and the Sonic turn is great to learn how to 
slide.

Beginner Guide:
For the advanced and kamikazie strategies, I will assume you are using 
manual transmission.  Manual isn't very hard to learn, and the 
advantages are huge.  You will get a higher top speed, and more control 
through corners. You start with a rolling start. Floor the gas, and put 
the shifter in 4th if using manual. Make sure you have firm control of 
the steering wheel, because as soon as the race starts, you will notice 
that you're MUCH faster than most of the computer cars. Try to draft the 
cars: line up directly behind them to cut down on wind resistance on 
your car to gain speed. Just don't hit them. Navigate through the 
traffic quickly but carefully.  The tri-oval is a gentle left, stay on 
the bottom unless you need to get around traffic on the outside.  For 
the second bend, try to cut the corner low, and let off the gas a little 
if you're going 203+ mph (325+ kph) to avoid hitting the outside wall.

Novice: on the backstretch, pass all cars on the inside. As you are 
approaching the Sonic turn, get into the second to outside lane. Once 
you reach the turn, let your foot off the gas and brake down to 175 mph 
(280 kph) and slide into the corner. Then feed the gas back in and 
counter-steer if neccesary.

Advanced: pass cars on the inside, and get into the second to outside 
lane. At the Sonic turn, shift down to 1st and slide in, keeping your 
foot on the gas. Slow to 180 mph (290 kph) then shift up to 3rd. 
Immediately as you exit the turn, shift to 4th.

Kamikazie: try to pass cars on the outside, but beware if you go 3-wide. 
Stay in the outside lane as you approach the Sonic turn. A little before 
you get to the turn, shift to 2nd and slide in.  Slow to 185 mph (295 
kph) then shift to 3rd, then to 4th as you near the end of the turn. 
Note: if you're feeling lucky, try going straight to 4th from 2nd.  
However, this will cause you to gain speed in the middle of the turn, 
and that concrete wall can get mighty close. 

Final Comments: So how long can you hold your breath? A respectable lap 
time is 18 seconds.  Anything under 17.50 should be considered very 
good.


Advanced track 
--------------
Cars on track: 20
Laps in normal mode: 4
Comments: A very hilly and winding track.  Most of the corners are quite 
narrow, and a basic knowledge of powersliding is required.  However, 
it's a fun track to drive, and is a great track to refine powersliding 
skills.

Advanced guide:
I am assuming everyone would be using manual. If you still want to use 
automatic, follow the novice or advanced strategies using the brake to 
slow down. Standing starts can get a bit tricky. For the quick 
jumpstart, hold down the brake and rev up to 7000 rpm. Right when it 
starts, take your foot off the brake but don't move the gas yet. Wait 
for a half second to a second, then floor it. Draft on the long 
straights to gain speed.  The first turn is a gentle right. Stay low and 
try to pass on the inside here. But beware, this gentle right quickly 
becomes a gentle left. Be smooth with the wheel as you enter the tunnel.

Novice: the tunnel becomes a gentle right. Let off the gas slightly and 
stay in the middle.  For the S-turn, cut through the left turn and as 
you approach the right turn, brake to 185 mph (295 kph) and turn in. 
Then you approach the windmill right turn. Downshift to 3rd and press 
the brake, slow down to 150 mph (240 kph) and slide in. As you exit, 
shift back to 4th, counter-steering to keep the car straight.

Advanced: through the gentle right, stay in the gas and take the low 
line. At the S-turn, as you hit the apex of the left, tap the brake to 
slow to 190 mph (305 kph) and slide into the right. At the windmill 
turn, downshift to 1st and slow down to 165 mph (265 kph). Then shift to 
3rd through the corner, and 4th coming off. Counter-steer if neccesary.

Kamikazie: as you hit the first apex of the S-turn, turn right and shift 
very quickly to 2nd and back to 4th, taking the turn at 200 mph (320 
kph). At the windmill turn, shift to 2nd and turn in, slowing down to 
180 mph (290 kph) then shift back to 4th.  Watch the outside grass, and 
tap the brake if you think it's gonna get close.

Line up to the right of this downhill straight as you approach the 
hairpin left. Novice: watch the tire marks. As they cut to the hairpin, 
downshift to 3rd and brake to 140 mph (225 kph). Be easy on the 
throttle, a spin here would be disasterous.  Shift back to 4th and go 
downhill toward the final turn. When the road levels out, downshift to 
3rd and brake to 165 (265 kph), then floor the pedal and shift to 4th as 
you exit the corner.

Advanced: as the tire marks cut in, downshift to 1st and slow to 160 mph 
(255 kph) then shift back to 3rd, then 4th as you exit the turn. Going 
downhill, as soon as the road levels out, downshift to 1st and slow to 
175 mph (280 mph) then shift back to 3rd, then to 4th coming off the 
turn.

Kamikazie: just before the tire marks cut, downshift to 1st and slow to 
170 mph (270 kph) then back to 4th, watch the outside grass and tap the 
brake if neccesary. Then going downhill, just before the road levels, 
downshift to 1st, take your foot off the gas, and slow down to 182 mph 
(292 kph), then shift back to 4th and gently feed the gas back in. Don't 
jerk the pedal back in or you may cause tire spin and ruin your lap.

Respectable lap times would be 52 seconds 1st lap and 46 seconds for the 
other three. Under 50/44 seconds is very good.


Expert track
------------
Cars on track: 30
Laps in normal mode: 2
Comments: This track is filled with a mix of tough rythmn sections and 
even tougher hairpins.  Lots of concentration and precision is needed to 
even finish the race.  Novices need not apply here.  You really need to 
use the manual transmission for this one, and I will assume that you 
will.  I'll distinguish between Advanced and Kamikazie strategies when I 
can, but sometimes the only way to take the corner is fast and furious, 
right on the edge.

As in the Advanced track, the race begins with a standing start.  Do the 
quick start as described in the Advanced Track guide.  Note: at the very 
beginning here, watch out for a very slow purple car; apparently he 
likes to block and annoy people.  Draft the cars for speed down this 
long frontstretch.  There is a gentle left, then a gentle right to enter 
the underpass.  As you enter, take your foot off the gas and watch out 
for the pillars.

There is a little trick for this section called the crossover.  As you 
approach the upcoming sharp right turn, cross over the median away from 
the main track into the lane on your left, then back over to the main 
track as you approach the turn.  This will sqare off the corner a little 
and will allow you to take the turn a bit faster.

Advanced: when you cross the first time, take your foot off the gas and 
shift to 3rd.  As you cross back, shift to 1st and brake to 150 mph (240 
kph) as you slide in, then shift to 3rd and floor it.

Kamikazie: keep the throttle wide open as you cross, then as you cross 
back, shift to 1st and brake hard to 155 mph (248 kph) and slide in, 
then shift to 4th, and floor the pedal as you exit the turn.

Shift to 4th on the short chute if you haven't yet, then for the gentle 
left, be smooth with the wheel.  If you're not smooth enough, the car 
might slide, preventing you to accelerate through the corner.  The next 
corner is the Statue of Jeffrey hairpin.  Shift to 1st, keeping your 
foot in the gas, and slow to about 160 mph (255 kph), then to 3rd, then 
4th as you exit the corner.  There is a short straight to a rather 
gentle right.  Lift off the gas to stay around or below 190 mph (305 
kph).  Pay close attention, this gentle right becomes a hard left.  
Shift to 1st and brake to 160 mph (255 kph) as you slide in, then back 
to 3rd, and 4th as you exit the turn.  There is another short straight, 
which leads into the first real hard corner of the course, a hairpin 
right.

Advanced: shift to 3rd and brake to 140 mph (225 kph) and slide in, 
counter-steering in the middle.  You'll need to accelerate for a bit 
before shifting back to 4th.

Kamikazie: shift to 1st and brake to 150 mph (240 kph), then shift back 
to 3rd, gun the gas, counter-steer hard in the middle, then shift to 4th 
as you exit the corner.

This next section is a rather tricky rythmn section.  Take the gentle 
left, and when you get to the double-bend right, shift to 1st and slow 
to 160 mph (255 kph) then back to 3rd as you slide through, shifting to 
4th as you exit.  There is then a gentle left, and a sharp left 
immediately following.  For the sharp left, shift to 1st and slow to 155 
mph (248 kph), then back to 3rd, and 4th as you exit.

Then we get to the long backstretch, which runs parallel to the 
frontstretch.  Draft the cars for speed.  Speeds of 210+ mph (335+ kph) 
are possible here.  At the end of the straight, there is a gentle right, 
then a slightly harder right.  For the harder right, take you foot off 
the gas and tap the brake.  Avoid sliding here, and make sure you are 
going absolutely no faster than 190 mph (305 kph) through this turn.  
The next turn is a gentle left which quickly becomes a hard left.

Advanced: for this turn, watch for the fence being drawn in on your 
right.  Right after you spot it, shift to 1st and slow to 165 mph (265 
kph) as you turn in.  Then shift to 3rd, and then 4th as you exit the 
turn.

Kamikazie: this is probably my favorite turn in this game, a long 
sweeping turn which looks tough but can actually be taken fast, REAL 
fast.  This requires perfect timing, you'll definitely want to race the 
track a few times before you try this.  Watch for the fence.  
IMMEDIATELY as the fence begins to draw in, shift to 2nd and slow to 175 
mph (280 kph), then shift to 3rd and hang on!  This really isn't hard to 
do once you get the timing right.  Shift to 4th as you exit and prepare 
for the homestretch.

The next four turns are a series of 2 s-curves.  The right to left s-
curve is a bit tricky to go through at full throttle, but you should be 
fine as long as you don't jerk the wheel.  Then the left to right s-
curve is a very gentle curve, but the next corner is a monster!

Advanced: as you exit the last s-curve, slowly apply brakes to slow to 
190 mph (305 kph) as you approach this difficult hairpin left.  Then 
when you get there, shift to 3rd and brake to 123 mph (197 kph).  Keep 
your foot off the gas through the corner, then gun the gas as you exit, 
take the gentle right that leads you back to the frontstretch.

Kamikazie: unfortunately, if you try to really charge this corner, 
you'll have no trouble spinning out.  As you exit the last s-curve, take 
your foot off the gas to slow down to below 200 mph (320 kph).  At the 
hairpin, shift to 2nd, then to 3rd as you brake down to 130 mph (208 
kph).  Keep your foot off the gas through the corner.  Note: one time 
almost by complete accident, I approached this hairpin at full throttle, 
then shifted to 1st and slammed on the brakes and took the hairpin at 
140 mph (225 kph) without spinning out.  Unfortunately, all attempts to 
replicate this have been fruitless.  Floor the pedal and take the gentle 
right onto the front stretch.

Consider yourself at least pretty good if you can finish this monster! 
Laps under 1:45 first lap and 1:40 for subsequent laps is very good.

Personal best times: here are my best laps and times using my own 
kamikazie strategies. Note: my multi-player bests are not included, 
because of the "warp-speed" handicap, allowing racers running behind to 
catch up. (I've seen laps on the Beginner track UNDER 16 seconds because 
of this!)

Track       Best 1st lap      Best lap      Course time
Beginner:   N/A               16.95         2:18.xx
Advanced:   48.50             42.70         2:57.xx
Expert:     1:42.xx           1:37.xx       3:20.xx


I would like to hand my thanks out to Sega AM2, for making such a fine 
game; Eugene Moon, for the novice strategies in his FAQ I used as a 
bumbling rookie; Mark Kim, for his advanced strategies I used to improve 
my game; The Game Room at the Birdcage Walk in Citrus Heights, CA for 
having that 4-player machine all those years; and the Main Event bowling 
alley in Lewisville, TX for having the 8-player deluxe extravaganza, 
which is also the most well-maintenced Daytona USA machine I have 
played.

Thanks for reading my FAQ!  If you have questions, comments, or 
corrections, feel free to email me.