Erion Honda's Odom Wins AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei Season-Opener at Daytona Winner Reels in Pascarella and Wikle for Near Last Lap Victory in 12-Lap SuperSport Sprint DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 5, 2009) - Erion Honda's Tyler Odom won...
Erion Honda's Odom Wins AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei Season-Opener at Daytona
Winner Reels in Pascarella and Wikle for Near Last Lap Victory in 12-Lap SuperSport Sprint
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 5, 2009) - Erion Honda's Tyler Odom won Thursday's season-opening AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei race at Daytona International Speedway after passing leaders Joey Pascarella and Russ Wikle two laps from the checkered flag.
Odom, who recently turned 16, started fifth in his No. 46 Erion Honda CBR600RR and raced well clear of the leaders for the majority of the 12-lap sprint. After polesitter Josh Day was uninjured when he crashed out early in Turn 1 on his No. 4 ESP Yamaha YZF-R6, Pascarella and Wikle stepped up to stage a great battle for the lead for most of the race.
Pascarella, riding the No. 25 Suzuki GSX-R600, unofficially swapped the top spot with Wikle's No. 5 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki GSX-R600 nearly a dozen times before Odom reeled them in with less than three laps remaining and had enough left in his Dunlop tires to make the winning move.
"About halfway through the race I could see them getting closer and closer and tire wear comes in as a big part," said Odom, who scored the biggest win of his young career. "I don't mind running on a worn set of tires. My Dad and Kevin Erion have been trying to really stuff into my head to wait for the last laps to make my move. I saw that they were holding me up just a little bit here and there in the infield and I figured if I can get around them for it then I could pull enough bike lengths to not worry about having to draft around them at the end."
Odom passed Wikle at the start of the next to last lap and then took the lead from Pascarella after the first chicane in the infield. The winner crossed the finish line .311 of a second ahead of Pascarella and averaged 101.300 mph in the caution-free race that was completed in 20:37.087. Pascarella and Wikle literally battled to the end and crossed the finish line in nearly a dead heat. Wikle was just .002 of a second behind runner-up Pascarella and the margin back to third place was a snug .313 of a second.
"It was a really good race and I got off to a really good start," said Pascarella, who is also 16. "I actually missed a shift in the last chicane on the last lap and I thought I was going to get passed by Russ. I was surprised he didn't draft past me. We had a good battle."
Wikle, 17, believed he was well positioned to draft to the front from third on the last lap.
"I thought I was sitting pretty fat and happy in third and I thought I was going to be able to draft by both of them with ease," said Wikle, who is also racing in Friday's Daytona 200 by Honda AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL race. "Coming out of the chicane I kind of timed it a little off, I guess, and I got right up beside Joey. I think we were just side-by-side around the whole banking. I couldn't really get in his draft but two thousandths of a second is pretty close."
Kyle Wyman (No. 33 Yamaha YZF-R6) and Matthew Sadowski (No. 77 Kiwi's Care Yamaha YZF-R6), son of 1990 Daytona 200 by Honda winner David Sadowski, rounded out the top five.
AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei is AMA Pro Road Racing's new showcase of the sport's future motorcycle racing stars today. The proving ground series is reserved strictly for up-and-coming riders between the ages of 16 and 21 who compete on 600cc sport bikes that are only minimally modified from what you will find at your local Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda or other motorcycle dealerships.
-credit: ama pro racing