News 6 Mar 2010

AMA SBK: Herrin wins Daytona 200, Zemke does SBK double

Graves Motorsports’ Josh Herrin held off fellow Yamaha rider Dane Westby to win the 69th Daytona 200 AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike event on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway.

The 19-year-old rider from Dublin, Ga., received plenty of pressure from the hard-charging Westby, who was riding for Project 1 Atlanta, in the closing laps of the 57-lap event but was able to pull away for a 7.964-second victory.

“I just kept putting in the laps and trying to push as hard as I could just to keep Westby back and make it as easy as possible at the end and it all paid off,” said Herrin, who finished second in last year’s Daytona 200 to Ben Bostrom.

“This shows what you can do with a good bike,” Westby said. “I saw the gap open and close. I thought maybe I had but didn’t want to do something stupid and throw away second.”

For Yamaha, it was the manufacturer’s second straight victory in the Daytona 200 and its 20th overall in America’s most historic motorcycle race.

Steve Rapp, the 2007 Daytona 200 champion, rounded out the podium on a Ducati.

Zemke continued his impressive debut with Michael Jordan Motorsports giving the NBA legend his second straight American SuperBike win at Daytona International Speedway.

Zemke charged past fellow Suzuki rider Tommy Hayden at the finish line by a mere 0.009 seconds.

“It was so close,” Zemke said. “I didn’t know who won. I was riding around on that last lap after the checkered flag and I kept looking at the tower looking at the numbers. I’m like mine’s on top but when is it going to change. I couldn’t really celebrate until I got in here (in Gatorade Victory Lane). I still wasn’t sure.”

Tommy Hayden, who was runner up in Thursday’s race as well, hoped leading the race was the best position to be in coming to the checkered flag after watching Zemke ride away in the closing laps of Thursday’s race.

“I knew Jake was going to be tough again,” Hayden said. “I thought leading was going to be my best bet. I just didn’t have quite enough speed. The race was a couple feet too long for me today.”

The top-five motorcycles were separated by less than a second with Ben Bostrom rounding out the podium. Zemke’s teammate Aaron Yates finished fourth with Larry Pegram on a Ducati finishing fifth.

After barely missing the victory in the SuperSport race Thursday by .001 seconds, 17-year-old Joey Pascarella dominated Friday’s race leading every lap of the 35-mile race.

“We were all riding really good,” Pascarella said. “I just put my head down and rode as hard as I could.”

LTD Racing swept the podium with Pascarella’s teammates Jake Gagne and Tomas Puerta finishing second and third.