DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The opening race of the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike season came down to a three-bike battle with Graves Yamaha riders Josh Hayes and Cameron Beaubier and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden.
On lap 14 Beaubier, who won last year’s Daytona 200, entered turn one aboard his No. 2 Yamaha too hot and ran wide leaving Hayes and Hayden to settle the victory.
Hayden attempted to draft Hayes coming to the checkered flag but Hayes used side drafting to win by .025 seconds.
The victory was Hayes’ second Daytona SuperBike triumph.
“It was a really fun race, a very nerve-wracking race,” Hayes said. “It’s hard to see plus 1 on your board for a few laps and watch that dwindle away to a zero. Then you just see if you can keep yourself up at the front.
“All-in-all I’m extremely happy. At the end of the day it’s not just about being fast, I’ve got to win races. I’m glad I was able to pull this one off.”
SuperBike race two at Daytona Int’l Speedway is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m.
Celtic/Hvmc Racing finished first and second in the 10-lap SuperSport race. Pole winner Corey Alexander, riding the No. 5 Suzuki, led nine laps on his way to a 7.923-second victory.
“Getting away and breaking the draft is the biggest part of the race,” Alexander said. “That is all I really wanted to accomplish . . . just maintaining that gap so they can’t really draft you back. I’m obviously really happy for whole team. Having Wyatt (Farris) up here is a great showing for us in showing that we’re here for a good year.”
Teammate Wyatt Farris finished second and Dustin Dominguez on a Yamaha was third.
SuperSport race two is set for Saturday at 10 a.m.
In the seven-lap Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series, Kyle Wyman survived a furious finish to win by .068 seconds. The Daytona victory was Wyman’s third in the past four years.
“This is the third win for me and I just love this place,” Wyman said. “It’s the reason I love coming here and spending all winter thinking about Daytona. I couldn’t imagine going to the first race to a track that I don’t like because it would make the winter even more miserable. I get to look forward to Daytona. I’m just so happy to be up here. It was a long year last year and I feel like we’re off on the right foot.”
Tyler OHara, who nipped Wyman for the victory in last year’s race, finished second this year followed by Gage McAllister.