Fong Gets His First in Photo Finish Fashion at VIR

NEWS August 14, 2010


Fong Gets His First in Photo Finish Fashion at VIR

The AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL race was unbelievably exciting and came down to an even closer finish at the 2.25-mile Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va., in the opening day of competition for the Suzuki White Lightning AMA Pro Nationals presented by Foremost Insurance. After seeing Danny Eslick take the pole position, Eslick was joined on the front row by his championship rival Josh Herrin along with six time 2010 Daytona SportBike winner Martin Cardenas and Tommy Aquino.

At the start, a fast starting P.J. Jacobson shot into the lead on his Celtic Racing Suzuki, ahead of Eslick's GEICO Powersports Suzuki, Aquino and his Team Graves Yamaha, Martin Cardenas' M4 Monster Energy Suzuki and Clinton Seller, Steve Rapp and Bobby Fong. The big surprise was that Josh Herrin was hit by another rider diving into turn one and essentially, Herrin's day was done. Back on the track Eslick, Jacobson, Aquino, Cardenas and Fong put on quite a show. Right behind this group was Steve Rapp on his Team Latus Motors Ducati and also Cory West on the Vesrah Suzuki. On lap 15 David White, riding Grant Smith's Memory Racing Kawasaki fell in turn four and the race had to be red flagged to remove his stricken motorcycle.

At the restart, Eslick got a great start and led into turn one. Now there were six bikes running together and Cory West was a man in a hurry and a couple laps later, West made a major move and passed Cardenas for the lead but it was short lived as he fell before the end of the very same lap, letting Cardenas and the rest back by.

Bobby Fong had made a couple of major moves of his own and rode his DNA Energy Drink Ducati from tenth to the lead on a couple of occasions as he and Eslick had a quite the battle along with Cardenas who was right there. One would lead and then another, it was anybody's race. As the race wound down, Eslick was pushed back to third and watched as Bobby Fong and Cardenas went at it. Cardenas had the advantage and coming out to the last corner, he looked a sure winner but Fong moved to the outside as the two neared the flag and they went over the line virtually side by side.

It took a photo review by AMA Pro Road Racing Race Director David McGrath to determine that Fong had indeed won by the absolute slimmest of margins to take his very first AMA Pro Daytona SportBike victory. Fong had been knocking on the door for the last few races and after his heartbreaking fall while leading at the last round at Laguna Seca, this was a popular win for him and the CNR Motorsports team. Josh Herrin's misfortune enabled Eslick to take the points lead and allowed Cardenas to move into second in points ahead of Herrin.

"It feels awesome," said Fong. "We've been working at it all year long to get to the top of the box. With this class, you don't know, a person in fifteenth place could win it's so close and the guys are just so awesome out here."

Tomorrow's race will give Herrin a chance to make up some valuable points after losing ground today. Tommy Aquino took fourth ahead of a determined Steve Rapp and sixth was Fong's Ducati teammate, Michael Beck. Race two of the VIR doubleheader weekend tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. local time. Today's Daytona SportBike race can be seen on SPEED in a set of same-day delayed broadcasts tonight, Saturday, August 14, 2010 beginning at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).


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