Danny Eslick took his third win of the season Sunday after another typical epic AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Presented by AMSOIL race.
From the start, there was a solid, ten motorcycle group battling tooth and nail for the lead.
Lead by Eslick on his GEICO Powersports Suzuki, the pack consisted of Tommy Aquino on his Team Graves Yamaha, Cory West on his Vesrah Suzuki, Dane Westby, Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha; Bobby Fong, DNA Energy Drink Ducati; Steve Rapp, Team Latus Motors Ducati; Martin Cardenas on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki, Chris Fillmore on his Vesrah Suzuki, Josh Herrin, Team Graves Yamaha and Paul Allison on the Chronic Motorsports Yamaha. The action was hectic as the tension started to mount.
The first to exit the stage was Steve Rapp, he had an unfortunate fall on lap 14 and ended up retiring his Ducati.
Dane Westby had a big save the next lap and he was part of the now nine that were covered by less than one second. After his dramatic crash in yesterday’s race, Tommy Aquino showed his courage and skill by not only running up front, but he lead a number of laps.
On lap seventeen, Cory West, who had been right in the thick of things, running second for a number of laps, had a mechanical problem going into turn one on lap 17 and without impeding anyone else, he calmly drove his Vesrah Suzuki off the track, and parked his bike in the sand, ending his good day.
Championship contender Josh Herrin had worked his way to the front again after starting eleventh. He was ninth after one lap and by lap seventeen, he was right up front fighting for the lead.
He then made a big move on lap twenty to take the lead and he looked like he was again going to rebound with another Sunday win. The third rider in the thick of the championship battle, Martin Cardenas also took a shot at the front on lap 21 in turn one but couldn’t hold his line and was quickly re-passed after the ambitious move.
On the same lap, Chris Fillmore went down in turn three. On the last lap, Bobby Fong and Dane Westby collided and fell but both were quickly back up and continued to finish sixth and seventh.
But it was up front where the real action was and Eslick totally committed himself to a pass on Herrin in turn nine and there was nothing Josh could do to hold Danny back.
Eslick took the position with a clean but decisive pass and won by only 0.510 of a second. Cardenas was a fortunate third after the incident between Fong and Westby and the championship battle will now be settled at the final doubleheader race weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, Sept. 24-26.
AMA Daytona SportBike Race 2 Results:
1. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)
2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) +0.509
3. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
4. P.J. Jacobsen (Suzuki)
5. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)
6. Dane Westby (Yamaha)
7. Bobby Fong (Ducati)
8. Paul Allison (Yamaha)
9. Michael Beck (Ducati)
10. Russ Wikle (Suzuki)
AMA Daytona Sportbike Standings (after 11 of 12 rounds):
1. Danny Eslick, 356
2. Josh Herrin, 345
3. Martin Cardenas, 344
4. Steve Rapp, 267
5. Cory West, 209
6. Dane Westby, 208
7. Tommy Aquino, 202
8. Bobby Fong, 185
9. Chris Fillmore, 151
10. P.J. Jacobsen, 138