Racing for Graves Yamaha, Herrin did what he could over the final stretch of the season, with four straight victories and eight podium finishes in nine races, but he fell five points short of Eslick who finished fifth and seventh in New Jersey for Rossmeyer RMR Buell.
Herrin and his teammate Tommy Aquino led the field for most of Race One until Aquino lowsided while leading with three laps remaining.
“I got right in the spot that I like to be, I like to just sit second or third and just watch what’s going on,” says Herrin. “My plan was to try and strike at him in the last two laps. It’s a bummer that we had to win like that. Tommy was running a really good race and I know he would have fought right to the end.”
Chaz Davies finished second for the Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies team for his second podium finish of the season.
“In the end, I just didn’t quite have it,” says Davies. “I just didn’t have what it took to run with these two guys. Happy enough, and I was feeling pretty good in the opening four or five laps. I managed to keep in touch enough to get a good run up to the start-finish and got side-by-side with Josh, got some good top speed and knew I’d be pretty strong on the brakes. It was getting tight.”
Bazzaz Yamaha rider Steve Rapp completed the podium for his second third-place result of the season.
Race Two opened with a crash on the first turn that sent four riders down or off course. Herrin finished the first lap in sixth place but was soon able to make ground on the leaders.
“Turn 1 was definitely really scary,” says Herrin. “I thought we were done for, but luckily we got out of there. I think we were in seventh going into Turn 3 and it was definitely harder than I wanted it to be.”
Herrin moved up to battle Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke for the lead. The two riders swapped leads over the final few laps with Herrin coming out ahead by 0.062 seconds.
“On the white flag lap we went down into Turn 1 and I thought ‘There’s no way he’s going to make the corner, I’m just going turn right back underneath him,” says Zemke. “As soon as I took the thing in, I lost the rear and it skidded away. It gave Josh a nice little gap. I was able to close back up a little bit there at the end but it was just not enough. So, congratulations to Josh and congratulations to Danny on his first championship, that’s great to see.”
Aquino finished third, edging out Erion Honda’s Chris Peris for the final podium position.
|2009 AMA Daytona Sportbike top five standings|
|1st||Danny Eslick||Buell 1125R||387|
|2nd||Josh Herrin||Yamaha YZF-R6||382|
|3rd||Martin Cardenas||Suzuki GSX-R600||340|
|4th||Jamie Hacking||Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R||299|
|5th||Jason DiSalvo||Suzuki GSX-R600||283|