Danny Eslick Wins Daytona 200 By .086 Seconds!
The Daytona 200 may not have the same amount of prestige as its 500 counterpart, but rest assured, motorcycle riders still place a high amount of importance on the race. The 74th instalment of the iconic event proved as much, as we were treated to a barnburner that featured numerous traffic jams and red flags. In the end, it was Danny Eslick who took home the crown, winning the race for the second year in a row courtesy of a dramatic last turn pass of rival Josh Herrin to secure the thrilling victory.
Eslick’s back-to-back Daytona 200 tiles made him the first repeat winner of the event since Mat Mladin accomplished the same feat in 2000 and 2001. Rest assured, Eslick earned this victory in just about every conceivable way imaginable.
Entering the last lap, Eslick, who was riding for TOBC Racing Suzuki, was being challenged by Herrin and Wheels Wheels In Motion Motorsport.com Meen Motorsports. For a while, it seemed like Herrin was going to write his own Cinderella Daytona 200 story, catching up to Eslick in the last few corners before the defending champion turned the tables with a last draft passing across the line to eke out a victory by the slimmest of margins.
How slim you ask? Well, Eslick won the race by .086 seconds. It was that close.
Herrin was understandably disappointed by the finish. I mean, he was right there! But such is racing. In the words of legendary pedal smasher Ricky Bobby, “if you ain’t first, you’re last.”
Danny Eslick made sure that, for at least another staging of the Daytona 200, that wouldn’t apply to him.
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Why it matters
First of all, congratulations to Danny Eslick for winning the Daytona 200! It’s a great accomplishment to win have one Daytona 200 on your resume, but having two puts Eslick in esteemed company. It’s also a nice title to add to his growing trophy case that already includes two AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike championships.
Eslick’s 2015 Daytona 200 win will also go down as arguably one of the most thrilling finishes in the race’s long and proud history. You have to give it up to Josh Herrin, too. The rider made the race much more interesting than it should be and was actually on the brink of stealing Eslick’s thunder with a comeback worthy of legendary status.
In the end, Eslick proved his worth by digging deep and squeaking out a win at the final turn of the race, beating Herrin to the finish by .086 seconds! .086 seconds! That’s less than one-tenth-of-a-second! Incredible stuff!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t give some due props to Geoff May, who finished third behind his self-ran-crowd-sourced effort “Project Mayday.”
May was actually in the running for the win with five laps to go, but mechanical problems forced him to make an extra pitstop, leaving him out of the dramatic finish but still good enough to take the final step of the podium.
As far as bike firms are concerned, Eslick’s Suzuki may have taken the top step of the podium, but the rest of the Top 10 was dominated by Yamaha bikes.