Wisconsin Racing and Pair-A-Nines Victorious In AMA Pro SunTrust Moto-GT Daytona Opener Purk/Martinez Ride Ducati 848 to Overall and GT1 Win; Springsteen/Cummings Score GT2 Win DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 6, 2009) - Jeff Purk and Calvin Martinez...
Wisconsin Racing and Pair-A-Nines Victorious In AMA Pro SunTrust Moto-GT Daytona Opener Purk/Martinez Ride Ducati 848 to Overall and GT1 Win; Springsteen/Cummings Score GT2 Win
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 6, 2009) - Jeff Purk and Calvin Martinez scored the overall and GT1 class victory on the No. 20 Wisconsin Racing Ducati 848 in the season-opening AMA Pro SunTrust Moto-GT 2-Hour at Daytona International Speedway Thursday while Hall-of-Famer Jay Springsteen and Nick Cummings finished third overall while co-riding to victory in the GT2 class on the No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki Ninja 650R.
Purk and Martinez played it fast and smart to stay in contention throughout the race and sealed the win with a late splash-and-go pit stop with about 15 minutes remaining. Around the same time, the race-leading No. 14 Crozier Motorsports Triumph Daytona 675 of Mark Crozier and Phil Caudill sputtered to a stop with an empty tank, and other front runners would soon suffer the same fate.
"The bike ran well but at first our pit strategy didn't really work out as planned," Purk said. "We were hoping to have to not come in for that last stop but I am glad we did. That definitely gave us the win but I really didn't know I was leading at the time."
Teammate Martinez made his 25th visit to victory lane at Daytona International Speedway after numerous wins and podiums in other series.
"Today made 25 times and that includes CCS, ASRA, Formula USA," Martinez said. "We knew coming down here that if we could get to victory lane one more time on this trip we would get it done. We did it today."
The winners completed 58 laps in the 2-Hour race and finished more than 90 seconds ahead of the second-place bike. The No. 37 Old Pros Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650R of Paul Schwemmer and guest rider JP Tache finished second and the No. 41 Liberty Waves Racing Buell 1125R of Eric Haugo and Eric Pinson finished third, but both teams also encountered fuel woes in the late going.
Tache - subbing for regular rider John Ashmead, who is focusing on tonight's Daytona 200 - was making a charge to the front but instead dashed to the pits for a quick splash in the waning minutes of the race. The quick pit work allowed them to maintain second but the fact that Haugo also ran dry on the No. 41 helped.
"It was a good race but I could have done without the run down the pits," said Haugo, who coasted to the pits and then had to run with his bike. "I pushed the bike half the pit lane."
The No. 41 Buell quickly got back on track but the hard-charging No. 9 with Springsteen on board slipped by for third overall as they also won the GT2 class.
"The last few laps I kind of tried to back it down but then they told me I was only a couple of tenths ahead so I had to get it going again," said Springsteen, who raced for the first time with Cummings in the spring Daytona race. "Nick did a good job and hung tough with us today." Cummings first raced with Pair-A-Nines in last year's 8 Hours At Daytona but this was his first time sharing a bike with just Springsteen.
"It is always fun to come to Daytona, especially when you can ride with Jay," Cummings said. "Every time you come here it seems like you learn a little more and a little more."
The No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati PS1000LE of Frank Shockley and Brad Phillips challenged Pair-A-Nines to the finish line to score a solid second-place finish. The No. 34 Cycle Dynamics Kawasaki Ninja 650R of Dustin Dominguez finished third. Kyle Martin rode the No. 34 for the minimum two laps as Dominguez ran nearly the entire race to celebrate his 19th birthday on Friday. Dominguez will also be part of the pit crew on Russ Wikle's No. 5 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki GSX-R600 in tonight's Daytona 200 by Honda.
Schwemmer (No. 177 Old Pros Racing Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R), Tache (No. 26 Four Feathers Racing Yamaha YZF-R6), Haugo (No. 19 Liberty Waves Racing Yamaha YZF-R6) and Crozier (No. 14 Crozier Motorsports Triumph Daytona 675) will also be racing in tonight's Daytona 200 by Honda.