Some 11 seconds back, Herrin narrowly fended off Pegram to finish second and take an early one-point championship lead over Cardenas.
“I felt really good today compared to yesterday in the beginning of the race,” Herrin said. “I felt really comfortable sitting behind him. He’d gap me coming out of the chicane but I’d be able to close back up to him every time going into Turn 1. Whenever Martin started dicing it up with us it got pretty crazy. It was fun, it went from just sitting there to having to think about it and be real smart.
“I just didn’t pull up hard enough on the lever going into turn one and went into neutral. I was lucky I was able to save it and regroup and hold off Larry to the end.”
Pegram leaves Daytona with a pair of thirds, his first two trips to podium since the 2010 season.
“It was pretty uneventful today until the end; I had a lot of fun racing with Josh Herrin,” Pegram said. “I’m not looking forward to the (angry) Josh Hayes that will show up at Road America. We can say whatever we want, but he was the guy to beat in both races and had some bad luck. I’m sure when we show up at Road America he’ll be fighting. But hey, we’ll take it.”
National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden bounced back from yesterday’s DNF with fourth after edging new Jordan Suzuki teammate Danny Eslick to the stripe.