Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing/RMR/GEICO Powersports rider Danny Eslick swept both races of the AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike double-header weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, clinching victory in Sunday’s second race with a dramatic last-lap pass on rival Jamie Hacking. With the double wins, Eslick closed the gap on championship points leader Martin Cardenas to 10 points with six rounds remaining in the 2009 season.
Eslick and Monster Attack Kawasaki’s Hacking battled for the lead throughout the race, with an official six lead changes coming between them and Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin, until Eslick took control on the final lap, forcing his Buell 1125R past Hacking on the inside of the lefthand entrance to the Esses on the track’s technical back section.
Danny Eslick Speaks…
"It was so close. Jamie went by [on the last lap]. I made a little mistake, missed a gear it just kind of caught a false neutral. He put a good gap on me but I ran him back down," Eslick said. "He slid through on a lapper and I got hung up around the outside and he made up a little ground. I knew I could catch him. I was a little bit faster in some spots. We had some contact. That was my opening. I had to do it and that was the last place I could do it. My hat’s off to Jamie. That was a heck of a race."
With the double-header sweep, Eslick moved to within 10 points of the Daytona SportBike championship lead behind Team M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas, who finished third in Sunday’s race. Heading into round nine at Heartland Park Topeka July 31-Aug 2, Cardenas leads with 285 points, followed by Eslick with 275 and Hacking with 241.
Fourth place in Sunday’s Daytona SportBike race went to Latus Motors’ Taylor Knapp, equaling his best class result of the season. Knapp pulled double-duty at Mid-Ohio, also piloting the new Buell 1125RR in its AMA Pro American Superbike competition debut to a 10th place finish in Sunday’s American Superbike race.
In other results Sunday, Eslick’s teammate Michael Barnes finished 13th on his GEICO Powersports/RMR Buell in Daytona SportBike, while Bartels’ H-D/Higbee-racing.com’s Shawn Higbee finished in 20th in the Daytona SportBike race and 15th in Sunday’s American Superbike contest.
The next round of the championship is set for July 31-Auguest 2 at Heartland Park Topeka, Kansas.