DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Graves Yamaha rider Josh Herrin kicked off the 2013 AMA National Guard SuperBike campaign by holding off Yoshimura Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas to earn his first Daytona SuperBike victory.
On the last lap, Herrin was able to pull away aboard his Yamaha R1 from Cardenas’ Suzuki GSX-R1000 exiting the chicane toward the start/finish line to win the 15-lap opening round by .135 seconds. Cardenas settled for second with Larry Pegram coming home in third on a Yamaha.
Three-time defending AMA National Guard SuperBike champion Josh Hayes opened his title defense with a disappointing 17th-place finish. Hayes took the whole shot and lead early but developed clutch issues on lap six and dropped out of the race.
“I just feel bad for the boys here,” Hayes said. “I’m sure they are going to go back to the drawing board and make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Another top contender, Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden, crashed early in the race.
“I don’t want to beat up on myself but it almost feels like it’s not a win because Josh (Hayes) was out, Roger (Hayden) was out, Danny (Eslick) crashed. It’s still a win and the bike was working good and (the crew) has been putting in a lot of hours. I can’t thank them enough.”