Photography by Brian J. Nelson
BIRMINGHAM, AL (June 22, 2014) – Dane Westby came out on top in a torrid 19-lap Daytona SportBike final at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday. The race was a thriller the entire way, with a lead group of six battling most of the way with countless passes among them. After the dust settled it was Westby taking the checkered flag on his Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha 0.235 seconds ahead of Jake Lewis and Jake Gagne.
Daytona SportBike in the early laps was a thriller with a six-rider breakaway and plenty of passing among them. Gagne, coming back strong after crashing Satruday, led most of the time with Lewis and DiSalvo swapping second back and forth in the early going. Bobby Fong, Dane Westby and JD Beach made up the rest of the lead pack. Daytona winner Danny Eslick, ran about five seconds back of the leaders, battling himself with Blake Young.
Westby was the rider on the move in the closing laps. He moved up and actually passed Gagne briefly for the lead on lap 15, but couldn’t hold. He went back by again however at the end of the lap and led officially for the first time as the group crossed the line for lap 16.
On lap 16 Gagne made the first mistake of the race when he slipped wide in a turn and lost a few positions. With two to go Beach ran off the track into the gravel trap and did a great job hanging onto it. On the final lap Fong made a mistake at the same place Beach had the lap before and ended up crashing out.
Westby emerged from the chaotic final lap in control. Lewis and Gagne were in range had Westby made a slip, but he didn’t and crossed the line 0.235 seconds in the lead over Lewis and Gagne, who were practically side by side at the line. DiSalvo, after missing yesterday’s race with engine issues, came home fourth. Beach survived his off-track excursion to round out the top five.
“For a second there I didn’t think I had anything for those guys,” Westby admitted. “I kept telling myself that I was as fast as anyone out here. This is an awesome feeling because it’s my first double. This goes to show anyone can do it, because I came from the clubs.”
Gagne leaves Alabama with a 12 point lead over Eslick. Lewis, Beach and Westby are now closely grouped in a battle for third in the series, just five points separating the trio.
Daytona Sportbike results from Sunday Barber Motorsports Park – June 22, 2014
1 00 Dane Westby Tulsa, OK Yamaha YZF-R6 19 Laps 1:27.599 Yamalube Westby Racing
2 85 Jake Lewis Princeton, KY Yamaha YZF-R6 +00.235 1:27.828 MotoSport.com/Meen Yamaha
3 32 Jake Gagne San Diego, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 +00.292 1:27.960 RoadRace Factory/Red Bull
4 40 Jason DiSalvo Batavia, NY Triumph Daytona 675 +05.552 1:27.834 Castrol/Triumph/Sportbike Track Time
5 6 JD Beach Philpot, KY Yamaha YZF-R6 +13.066 1:27.842 Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/
6 69 Danny Eslick Broken Arrow, OK Triumph Daytona 675 +21.162 1:28.736 Riders Discount Racing Triumph
7 79 Blake Young Waunakee, WI Yamaha YZF-R6 +21.357 1:28.965 GN Gonzales Racing
8 98 Jake Zemke Paso Robles, CA Honda CBR600RR +21.857 1:28.705 GEICO Motorcycle Racing
9 35 Benny Solis North Hollywood, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 +28.977 1:29.024 Team H35
10 12 Tomas Puerta Medellin, Colombia Yamaha YZF-R6 +33.289 1:29.662 RoadRace Factory/Red Bull