ESLICK WINS INAUGURAL XR1200 RACE AT ROAD AMERICA
NEWS June 10, 2010
GEICO Powersports RMR Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing's Danny Eslick and Jake Holden put on an incredible show with a thrilling 1-2 finish in the inaugural AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 race at Road America. The two muscled their tightly-restricted Harley-Davidson XR1200s at the front of the pack, stealing the lead from one another at every possible opportunity around the scenic racetrack.
The result at the checkered flag was almost too close to call with Eslick ultimately going down in the record books at the class' very first race winner, taking the honor over fellow Lucas Oil-sponsored competitor Holden by a minuscule 0.055 seconds.
"I didn't know what I was getting myself into," Eslick said with a laugh. "I've been riding one on the street, having some fun with my buddies, but then I got to come out here and hot rod it around with Jake. I think we were comfortable at first but then we got going a little too fast maybe! No, it was a whole lot of fun.
"It was basically a big game of drafting. Jake can do some pretty wild things on a bike and I can get 'em around pretty good too. But we were the same speed so it was hard to get away unless there was a big mistake. I just tried to play it smart and get a good drive out of the last corner like I did and get a draft on him."
"Man, it was so much fun," Holden confirmed. "I really didn't know what to expect because Friday was my first time on the bike. I had looked at them, but riding them was even more fun than what they looked like. I mean they look cool, but I didn't think I'd be able to do the things I did on the bike. I mean we were backing them into the corners and just having fun on them. It was a blast."
In the Daytona SportBike class, the weekend was all about damage control for the reigning class champion. Eslick, who was still feeling the effects of a pulled hamstring suffered while flat tracking at Springfield last weekend, registered a pair of gritty rides to come away with two important points paying results.
After putting his GEICO Powersports RMR Suzuki GSX-R600 on the front row in qualifying (third, 2:20.711), the Oklahoman took a well-deserved fifth place on Saturday and backed that up with a seventh on Sunday to keep his title defense very much alive.
"I'm taking fifth and seventh in stride," he said. "For a ‘bad' weekend I'll take that. I kind of hurt myself last weekend at Springfield riding flat track. Actually on the Harley, it wasn't bad, but where the seat is on the SportBike, there's a pressure point right where I'm sore. I was struggling a little bit this weekend.
"We had the speed both days. But on Saturday I got caught up behind a bike that blew up early in the race and it just oiled me down. There was shrapnel, stuff bouncing up off the racetrack and all over the place. Once I got the shield cleaned off I held my own. And then on Sunday we had some front tire issues.
"It was one of those 'I had the speed to run with them, but I couldn't really race ‘em' weekends. I figured I'd just go out and salvage as many points as I could out of it. I can remember when I was pumped because I was getting a seventh and a fifth. I'll take a bad weekend being a fifth and seventh."
Eslick is currently ranked second in the Daytona SportBike title chase with 198 points at the season's midpoint on the strength of a win, five podiums, two pole positions, and four points earned for leading the most laps. He'll continue his quest to retain the #1 plate on July 16-18 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH.
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