2011 Daytona 200: Josh Herrin Penalized
There were many issues at the 2011 Daytona 200: the Dunlop tire heat problems that caused a red flag and subsequent lengthy break; the controversy over Team Latus Ducati 848EVO rider Jason DiSalvo winning due to being able to swap out the blown motor during that break; and the huge wreck on the first restart.
But there was yet more to come; when the Daytona 200 grid restarted for the third time, the race came down to a 15-lap sprint for the win. During the last lap of the race that was eventually won by DiSalvo, Team Graves Yamaha R6 rider Josh Herrin had some contact with Dane Westby, causing the M4 Suzuki rider to take crash.
During the Daytona 200 wreck, Westby also took down Taylor Knapp on the Vesrah Suzuki (Westby finished 13th, Knapp 14th).
Both riders walked away unharmed, but many began pointing fingers at Herrin, although nothing was confirmed. After the race, AMA Pro Racing reported someone will be penalized for certain actions, but didn't release any details.
But on Monday, the AMA said that "penalties and an accompanying fine have been assessed against Josh Herrin and Graves Motorsports, respectively, as the result of actions during the March 12 Daytona 200, specifically those related to the rider's last-lap approach to start/finish."
The AMA Sites the 2011 Rule Book (rules A1.1, A2.1, A2.3.p, and A2.3.u), and charged Herrin and the Graves Yamaha team with the following:
- Rider penalty: One-event suspension, to be applied at Infineon Raceway Round 2, May 13-15
- Rider penalty: Season-long probation, in effect through December 31, 2011, the violation of which shall result in further and more-serious penalties
- Team penalty: $7,500 fine, the entire proceeds of which will be applied to the purchase of additional Airfence
AMA Pro Racing says: "Both rider and team were notified of the above details in advance of this release, and the penalties do not prevent them from taking part in the May 2-3 official AMA Pro test at Miller Motorsports Park."