Suzuki Genuine Accessories 750 Superstock Tommy Hayden , No. 22 Kawasaki, race winner - Well I knew that was the only chance I had (leading out of the infield). As soon as I got into second there off turn one, the only chance I had was to get...
Suzuki Genuine Accessories 750 Superstock
Tommy Hayden , No. 22 Kawasaki, race winner - Well I knew that was the only chance I had (leading out of the infield). As soon as I got into second there off turn one, the only chance I had was to get some kind of break there in the infield. I got Lee going into the first horseshoe. I put my head down and that was my only hope. I must have just got enough gap to just hold it off because they were coming by the finish line fast. Definitely feels good to start off the season with a win.
I definitely knew I wanted to lead. I was just battling every lap just to stay ahead of guys. I didn't really have much of a strategy other than just try to get as close as I could to the front because I definitely wasn't going to be drafting by three or four guys. Even before the race I knew for sure I could run the pace and I was in the hunt but I found out that beating the 750 sometimes was a little tougher than just going fast. I knew it was going to be close.
Lee Acree , No 45 Suzuki, second place finisher - I didn't get a good drive out of the infield on the last lap like I wanted to that time. A couple guys came by and I was hoping to be second going into the chicane not fourth. Like I said, the bike was incredible. Steve and Eric and Mike, they ended up getting kind of wide, but giving me a good draft and I got a good run. Came up on Tommy and man it was awful close to the line. It was close. I thought I got him, but that's not what the screen said when we came back around. Hat's off to Tommy. He rode incredibly. He rode a smart race. He did exactly what he needed to do.
I thought I had squeaked by but unfortunately that didn't turn out to be the case. I had a great bike under me. I had a little bit of an issue mid race. The shifter stuck on it and that's what dropped me so far back. I just tried to be real precise with the shifter and work my way back up. The bike was incredible. I think that's part of what got me back in it. The bike and tires were awesome.
The last lap, I didn't mind being behind Tommy when he came by through the infield. I figured if I don't tow somebody else I'm going to get towed and somebody's going to slingshot by me. It's the typical deal. Nobody wants to lead unless they absolutely have to here. I didn't get the kind of drive I wanted out of the infield. I think I was just being a little bit too careful on it. A tire that had 15 hard laps on it, not wanting to be too aggressive with it. I paid the price a little bit for that. Fourth wasn't exactly what I had in mind going into the chicane on the last lap. But luckily I was able to get out of there pretty good and get a good tow.
I had a good run on Tommy. Man I thought I was there. It was so close. I think they said one or two inches on the TV screen when they went back and reviewed it.
Eric Wood , No. 36 Suzuki, third place finisher - Any time you get a lead you try and stretch out and put your head down. The only disadvantage to that is that you're pushing your own wind and all these guys are helping each other along. We were all getting a little bit sideways those first few laps. I went from first to sixth the first time in the draft. I got drafted by five guys at once. We just put our head down and made our way back to the pack so we could get back in the box.
Believe it or not I was exactly where I wanted to be the last lap. I saw Tommy, his strategy was to be aggressive the last lap and made a couple of good passes and got himself the lead on the first horseshoe. I tried to get away and I said well if I just stay behind Lee all the way through the chicane where I could get a run on Tommy we can do it. I got a draft off of Lee and passed him in the chicane. I didn't actually want that to happen, but I said well I'm going to try and get a run on Tommy and hopefully his tow will keep me from letting the guy behind me from get a draft on me and get back by. Lee was riding my tow right out of the chicane and slowed the draft down a little bit and got by me and got to Tommy. I tried to pass by but ended up being third.