DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Project One Yamaha’s Joey Pascarella of Vacaville, Calif., survived a four-bike scramble to win the 71st running of the Daytona 200 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
Pascarella, who led 41 of the 57 laps, held off 2011 Daytona 200 champion Jason DiSalvo, Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier and Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas to win by a margin of .048 seconds.
“Up front and in the lead was my most comfortable position,” said the 19-year-old Pascarella. “When someone was in front of me, I just didn’t like it as much. When I was up front, I was riding my own pace. I just stayed in the lead as long as I could. When someone would pass me, I just used the draft and got right back by them. I rode smooth laps.”
Pascarella and Beaubier were the only two riders remaining in the lead pack after the second round of pit stops, but Cardenas and DiSalvo managed to run down the lead pack to set up the four-man battle in the final laps.
“It’s a big deal,” Pascarella said. “Winning any Daytona SportBike race for me would be a big deal. This is the biggest one of them all. It’s the opener, the 200. This is probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m in shock, I still can’t believe it.
“I may not show it, but deep down inside I’m really excited.”
The victory in the historic Daytona 200 was Yamaha’s 21st and third in the last four years.
Rounding out the podium was DiSalvo riding a Triumph and Beaubier. Cardenas, the pole winner, took fourth.
Myers makes Daytona history: Suzuki rider Elena Myers of Discovery Bay, Calif., became the first female to win a professional motorsports event at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday when she captured the AMA Pro Motorcycle Superstore.com SuperSport race.
Myers, who finished fifth in Friday’s SuperSport event, found herself in a tight four-bike duel on the final lap of Saturday’s event. Coming off of Turn 4, she managed to hold off Suzuki rider Corey Alexander and Yamaha rider Hayden Gillim by a margin of .240 seconds.
“I’d say this is my first legitimate win because I won last time on a red flag,” said Myers, who previously won an AMA Pro SuperSport event at Infineon Raceway in 2010. “It’s really cool to be up here. I was crying like a baby the whole cool down lap. It’s a great feeling. Nothing compares to it. That’s why we come out here and do what we do . . . to stand on top of the box.”
In Friday’s SuperSport event, Myers, who rides the No. 21 Suzuki Scoop Fans/SportBikeTrackGear.com Suzuki, was in an eight-bike battle for the victory. On Saturday, there were only four bikes vying for the win on the white flag lap.
“Yesterday, I got the short end of the draft,” Myers said. “It was good to just have a few of us up there going back and forth (today). It was a phenomenal race. I stayed there, led a little bit just to see how much I could be behind and then catch up. Everybody’s bikes were really fast and mine was too. I can’t thank my team enough for giving me such a good bike. I’m just happy to get a win for them.”
National Guard SuperBike Race 2: Blake Young nipped two-time defending AMA Pro National Guard champion Josh Hayes by .002 seconds at the start/finish line to win the National Guard SuperBike Race 2.
Hayes trailed Young coming out of the chicane and attempted the slingshot move on Young at the start/finish line.
“It was 100 percent my fault, I just mistimed it,” said Hayes. “I had a good weapon today. I had the bike that could win the race. This one is on my shoulders. He rode a great race. He definitely upped his game from yesterday.
Young swept both rounds of last year’s SuperBike races and finished second in Friday’s race.
“Definitely today’s race was a lot better than yesterday’s race,” Young said. “I knew Josh was going to be good on the banking and out of the chicane but I just didn’t know how good. I needed to make it happen in the first five laps and be there right on him to see what he was doing out of the chicane that made him so good around the banking. I definitely learned and adapted fairly quick before he could get away. He has got more power than he did last year.”