The Night The Lights Went Out… In Daytona: Updated!

Paul Carruthers | March 6, 2009

At 10:45 tonight, Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom won the Daytona 200 – a race that didn’t appear to go 200 miles, though AMA Pro managing event director Colin Fraser just explained to a packed press room that it actually did. A snafu with the live timing and scoring indicated that the race only went 55 laps, but Fraser said that’s not the case. The race was indeed 200 miles, Fraser said. But the distance of the race wasn’t the only question hanging in the night air following the first-ever night running of the Daytona 200 – a race that ended up giving new meaning to the word confusing.Let’s just keep it as simple as possible.Yamaha’s Josh Hayes was winning the race, leading by some five seconds on the 34th of a scheduled 57 laps. Then the lights went out in the chicane. Yes, the lights went out in the chicane. That brought out the pace car, which the AMA prefers we call the safety car. Ironically, with the safety car on the track, there was a crash in the dark chicane when Yamaha’s Tommy Aquino hit the deck.What ensued was at least a 30-minute break while the mess was cleaned up and the lights were fixed. So the order at the red flag was Hayes, Bostrom, Martin Cardenas, Jason DiSalvo, Jake Zemke, Josh Herrin, Dane Westby, Jamie Hacking and Leandro Mercado – according to the timing screens.At that point we were scheduled to run a 17-lap sprint race to the finish. But it didn’t work out that way. On the following lap when the pace car pulled off, a crash in the International Horseshoe brought the pace car back out. Some went to the pits, including Cardenas. They were initially held at the end of pit road, then they were let loose.Then things got a bit confusing. Kris Turner crashed and that brought out the pace car again. At that point, Bostrom pitted, losing almost a full lap in the process. At one point, the pack takes off as if the pace car is gone, but it’s still waiting for Bostrom. Things get a bit dicey with bikes racing even though the pace car is running along the bottom of the racetrack.The finally get it all sorted out, with Bostrom allowed to take the spot right behind the pace car.Then they go back to racing with Hayes passing Bostrom on the 49th lap to take the lead. It was shortlived as Bostrom again took the lead shortly thereafter. There were five riders in the lead pack until Hayes crashed out on the 52nd lap. At that point, Bostrom put his head down in an attempt to get away from his pursuers – who by this point were his teammate Herrin and Team M4 Suzuki’s DiSalvo.Bostrom was able to stay out front, taking the checkered flag and his first-ever Daytona 200 victory.Herrin ended up second with DiSalvo third and Hacking fourth. Higbee was a surprising fifth on a Buell. Then came Aprilia mounted Chaz Davies, Westby, Cardenas, Mercado and Steve Rapp.And much head scratching ensued…

Daytona 200 Results

1.                  Ben Bostrom (Yamaha)

2.                  Josh Herrin (Yamaha)

3.                  Jason DiSalvo (Suzuki)

4.                  Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)

5.                  Shawn Higbee (Buell)

6.                  Chaz Davies (Aprilia)

7.                  Dane Westby (Yamaha)

8.                  Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)

9.                  Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki)

10.                  Steve Rapp (Yamaha)

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.