In the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL final at the Honda Superbike Classic, Cardenas made a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap for the second straight day to record his third AMA Pro Daytona SportBike victory in the last four races.
Riding the No. 36 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600, Cardenas stalked leader Jamie Hacking throughout the race before making his move in Turn 5 on the Lap 15 of the 16-lap event. After making the pass, Cardenas put his head down and pulled away to win by 2.204 seconds over Hacking.
1st – Martin Cardenas Speaks…
"The conditions weren’t very good, and I got to him by Lap 4 or 5," said Cardenas, who moved to third in the Daytona SportBike point standings with the victory. "I knew there were 16 laps, so I didn’t want to pass him and crash trying to get away, (because) maybe he would sit behind me and do the same thing that I did to him. I was going to wait until the last lap or maybe until two laps to the end, try to make a pass and then try to make a good lap and finish the race in first position. That’s what I did and this time it worked out, so I ended up winning the race but it was really tough because of the conditions. My M4 Suzuki worked awesome and I want to thank everybody, the sponsors and the whole team."
In nearly a carbon copy of his start in Saturday’s Daytona SportBike race, Hacking motored the No. 88 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R into the lead heading into Turn 1 on the opening lap. Unlike Saturday’s race, however, when he nearly crashed at the end of Lap 2, Hacking held the lead until Cardenas’ pass on Lap 15. Hacking wound up second, putting it on the box for the second consecutive race and the fourth time in seven races.
Despite the fact that he hasn’t recorded a Daytona SportBike victory yet, Hacking has finished seventh or better in every race thus far and those consistent performances have moved him to the top of the point standings by three points, 146-143, over Danny Eslick. Cardenas trails Eslick by just one point.
2nd – Jamie Hacking Speaks..
"I managed to glance up at the board and noticed that Martin was in P2, and I tried a couple times to put a pretty good brake on him and kick down the lap times," Hacking said. "But, obviously, he was able to do the same thing and match me. I couldn’t ever put anything on him and I knew there was a good possibility that I could maybe hold him off, but just gauging off yesterday’s comments where he could figure out where Jason (DiSalvo) was stronger, and he decided to wait on him, I figured that’s probably what he would do with me and it ended up turning out that way.
"He managed to step the pace up a pretty good bit when he passed me and I just wasn’t able to match it today. Martin rode a great race and we pulled a pretty good gap on the rest of the field. It feels good, the Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki was working great this weekend and we got two solid podium finishes. We’re really looking forward to going to the Infineon race in a couple of weeks."
Charging from 11th on the starting grid, Eslick rode his No. 9 Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing/RMR Buell 1125R to a third-place result. Eslick gained two positions on the final lap of the race as Dane Westby (No. 213 Westby Racing/Kneedraggers.com Yamaha YZF-R6) and Chris Peris (No. 10 Erion Honda CBR600RR) tangled while battling for the final podium spot in the final series of turns. It was Eslick’s fifth podium result from the first seven races of the season.
3rd – Danny Eslick Speaks…
"It was definitely a surprise," Eslick said. "I was running just a little better than the top 10 and picked a couple of guys off, and was stuck in about fifth going back and forth with Chaz (Davies). That was the pace that I was comfortable at and that was pushing it. We were all over the place, so I didn’t want to crash and give a whole bunch of points away, I just wanted to finish and get through this weekend without losing too many points and move on. Third is awesome."
Davies picked up his best result of the season to date with a fourth-place ride on the No. 57 Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies Team Aprilia RSV1000R. Michael Barnes made it two Buells in the top five with a fifth-place performance on the No. 34 GEICO Powersports/RMR/Buell Racing Buell 1125R.
The last-lap incident sent Westby to the track medical facility and later to UAB Medical Center in Birmingham for further evaluation. No. 32 Roadracingworld.com/Suzuki GSX-R600 rider Santiago Villa was also transferred to Birmingham’s UAB Medical Center for evaluation after an incident in Turn 1 just after taking the checkered flag. According to Ferguson, both riders were awake and alert before being transported to the hospital, and further updates will be provided as they are available.