Herrin’s Race, Eslick’s Title

Henny Ray Abrams | September 6, 2009

Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing’s/RMR Buell’s Danny Eslick gave Buell their first major American road racing championship with a steady ride to seventh place in the final Daytona SportBike race of the season at New Jersey Motorsports Park.Eslick need to finish 12th or better to win the championship if Team Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin maximized his points take. Herrin won the race, which gave him a weekend sweep and four in a row to end the season, but Eslick got the crown by five points.Eslick finished the season with 387 points to 382 for Herrin and 340 for M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas, who sat out this weekend’s races with the hand injury suffered three weeks ago at Virginia International Raceway.Herrin, who led much of the second half of the race, re-passed Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke on the final lap to win by .063 secs. Tommy Aquino (Graves Yamaha) was third, just in front of the second Erion Honda of Chris Peris.Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki teammates Jamie Hacking and Roger Lee Hayden followed, then Eslick.Eslick was on the radar from the start of the year, despite a negative point finish in Daytona. At the next round at Auto Club Speedway, Eslick blew away the field in the first race, then fought hard to win the second. Then followed a third and win at Road Atlanta, and it was clear he was a championship contender. Eslick couldn’t find the podium in the middle part of the season, but he rebounded with a double at Mid-Ohio that strengthened his position. He finished the weekend within ten points of Cardenas.Cardenas was the competition from the start.. The Colombian went on a tear mid-season, winning five of six rounds and six of eight. Then came his second DNF. Still, he was a challenger going into the penultimate round at Virginia International Raceway when he broke his hand in qualifying. The hand was patched up and he was able to race, but not vie for the wins. And, despite an operation on the hand over two weeks earlier, he discovered in qualifying in New Jersey that the hand wasn’t up to the rigors of racing.That gave Eslick a much easier run to the title. He finished fifth on Saturday and went into Sunday’s race a virtual lock for the title.


1. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)

2. Jake Zemke (Honda)

3. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)

4. Chris Peris (Honda)

5. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)

6. Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki)

7. Danny Eslick (Buell)

8. Jason DiSalvo (Suzuki)

9. Clinton Seller (Yamaha)

10. Ricky Parker (Yamaha)

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.