Herrin Captures His Third Daytona 200 Victory

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Herrin Captures His Third Daytona 200 VictoryJosh Herrin Earns His Third 200 Victory With A Flawless Performance At Daytona International Speedway.

Josh Herrin waited 13 years to win his second Daytona 200 last year, but he only had to wait 364 days to win his third on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway.

Herrin became the sixth three-time winner of the Daytona 200 with the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati rider joining Dick Klamfoth, Brad Andres, Roger Reiman, Kenny Roberts, and Mat Mladin as those with a trio of victories.

The 82nd running of the Daytona 200 featured the drama and luck, both good and bad, that is a mainstay of a 200-mile race that features two pit stops and 57 laps. This year’s bad luck award goes to Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante, who spent most of the afternoon trying to chase down Herrin and had second place in the bag until running out of gas on the final lap. Fortunately, Escalante at least managed to coast to the finish line, but he lost three positions in the process and crossed the line a heart-breaking fifth.

For all practical purposes the race was won during the first of two pit stops on the 17th lap when Herrin and Escalante pitted for fuel and tires at the same time. While Herrin’s stop was lightning-fast, Escalante’s was the opposite. When they both rejoined the race, they were no longer close and once the pit stops cycled through, Herrin was in a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.

Herrin Captures His Third Daytona 200 Victory
Bobby Fong (5) leads Richie Escalante (54), Josh Herrin (2), Richard Cooper (147) and the rest of the pack early in the Daytona 200. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Escalante didn’t give up and he got to within five seconds of Herrin after the second pit stop, but he would run out of laps in his pursuit and then he simply ran out of gas. His misfortune moved his teammate and pole sitter Tyler Scott to second, 45.660 seconds behind Herrin. It also propelled Vesrah Racing’s Hayden Gillim to third, for his first career Daytona 200 podium in his third attempt. It was also 18-year-old Scott’s first podium in the “Great American Motorcycle Race.”

The final rider to pass a coasting Escalante was Wrench Motorcycle’s Bobby Fong, one of those who took a turn at the front of the pack early in the 200. Fong also incurred a three-second pit-lane violation penalty. Things got worse for Fong post-race when he was DQ’d for having a fuel tank that was over the 50-liter limit.

Herrin Captures His Third Daytona 200 Victory
Josh Herrin was dominant in winning his third Daytona 200. Photo by Brian J. Nelson 

As a result, Fong’s DQ moved Escalante up to fourth.

YART’s Karel Hanika and his teammate Marvin Fritz were fifth and sixth, respectively, with the Czech and the German finishing some 11 seconds apart as they led the large international contingent in their first-ever 200s.

Two-time Daytona 200 winner Brandon Paasch was seventh on the third Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki with the New Jerseyan just .115 of a second behind Fritz.

Boulder Motor Sports’ Stefano Mesa rode the team’s Ducati Panigale V2 to eighth with Team BATTLAX’s three-time Canadian Superbike Champion Ben Young ninth and Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Teagg Hobbs rounding out the top 10.

Forty riders finished the race with 17 failing to do so. Notables amongst those DNFs included Peter Hickman, Josh Hayes, David Anthony, Richard Cooper, and Xavi Forés, with the Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha Racing YZF-R6 expiring on the opening lap.

Herrin Captures His Third Daytona 200 Victory
Herrin celebrates with the Daytona 200 trophy in Victory Lane. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

82nd Daytona 200

  1. Josh Herrin (Ducati)
  2. Tyler Scott (Suzuki)
  3. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
  4. Richie Escalante (Suzuki)
  5. Karel Hanika (Yamaha)
  6. Marvin Fritz (Yamaha)
  7. Brandon Paasch (Suzuki)
  8. Stefano Mesa (Ducati)
  9. Ben Young (Suzuki)
  10. Teagg Hobbs (Suzuki)

Quotes

Josh Herrin – Winner

“That was two dream pit stops. I’m not going to lie. I didn’t have much faith in my team going into the race after the pit stop challenge yesterday and some of the practice we did yesterday. I was nervous. But they impressed me. I owe them an apology for doubting them, for sure. They’ve been working super hard this week to make everything as perfect as they can. That was as close to perfect as we could have gotten. I owe the entire race to those guys for doing those two amazing pit stops. To have my teammate, Loris Baz, doing the fuel… I don’t know when the last time that happened. When your teammate and a MotoGP podium finisher was the fuel guy in the 200. So, that was cool to see. It was the second pit stop when I was by myself. I ran out of fuel entering the pits. The bike was just sputtering all the way. I had to have lost two, three seconds for the sputtering, because it happened before I got to pit lane. I was scared. At some point during the second stint, my pit board guy, who it was his first ever time I think doing my pit board, decided to switch the number from white numbers to green numbers. And I cannot see the green numbers. That’s been a thing the last two years on this team is don’t use green numbers for me. For some reason, the green numbers came out and I thought the whole time it was a different guy in front of my guy, so I literally had no idea when to come in, other than the last lap. I told the guys this week before the race. Let’s add something to the pit board. So, we added another piece of plastic cardboard, and we put my smiley face on top of it, so it was a little bit different when they threw the in board than all the others. That was the only reason I saw my in-board. So, for whatever reason that I thought of that, I’m super happy that we were able to get it done. They didn’t do it until today after the first practice, so it was last second. Without that, we would have been screwed. A lot of drama for me, even though it seemed like there wasn’t. But that was a dream finish. I don’t remember what the finish was like in 2010 when I won, but it was a little bit of a gap. I don’t know how big. But it’s hard doing 30 plus laps, 40 laps by yourself and trying to stay focused and thinking about fuel. Right before the race, my crew chief said, ‘Don’t lead the race. I’m too nervous about the fuel. Do not lead the race.’ And then I ended up in a position where I’m leading for the last two stints. We got lucky; I think. I owe it all to my team. Ducati USA, Ducati Corse for putting me on an amazing motorcycle for the last three years. Warhorse Racing, HSBKRacing.com. I’m so bummed that we weren’t able to run OnlyFans on the bike. It is what it is. At least I got to run the helmet, so I’m happy that I got to support them, because that’s three years in a row that we’ve had OnlyFans on the helmet. Three Daytona pole positions, two wins, and countless laps led. I feel like they’re a little bit of good luck. So, thank you to Dylan and everybody there for their support. Thank you to my family. I’m just so happy to be up here.”

Tyler Scott – Second Place

“Yeah, the race was good. Got a decent start. Made a big mistake coming across the start/finish the one lap. I went really sideways. Maybe it was because there were so many people around drafting. It kind of put me at the back of the lead group there. A little bit later in the race, I kind of lost Richie’s (Escalante) draft and I feel like that would have helped me to stay close. Most of the race, I was just riding by myself. Rode with Bobby Fong before the one pit stop there. It was good. The pit stops, we were really clean. No issues. Just rode by myself in third the whole race. Unfortunately for Richie (Escalante), he ran out of gas, but we secured second.

Hayden Gillim – Third Place

“I felt good. I was just kind of chilling in the back of the group, just hanging out. Halfway through the first stint, a couple guys came by me going into the chicane and kind of came across me towards the wall and I had to kind of avoid them. Ended up having to go through the chicane and the hay bales. Luckily, came out with (Josh) Hayes and I think one of the YART guys. Was able to kind of get going again but wasn’t able to run the pace that these guys were going, so I wasn’t losing a ton of time. But I had lost a bunch with that mistake. Then we had a couple really, really, really good pit stops and was able to make some time up. Every time Bobby (Fong) would get away from me, I would make it up in the pits and be right back on him. Then the last couple laps, I was kind of by myself and then Bobby caught up to me. I thought we were fighting for fourth place. So, I was kind of ready for the race to be over. I’m just hanging out. I let him go by. I kind of just played with the draft to the line to make sure I could get there. On the last lap, he (Fong) made a little mistake on the infield and so I pushed and came across the line and looked at the score board and was in third. So, it was a lot of luck. I think the crew, having the Vesrah Racing guys come back into this, and put a bike out there for me and being able to wear the pink and yellow for them was pretty special. To be able to put it on the box for those guys was awesome. One up from last year with fourth last year. I wish I wouldn’t have made those mistakes and could have tried to at least be a little closer to these guys, but that’s all right. This is only my third 200, so I’m good with it. Slow progress.”