Race Report: Daytona SX 2012

By Michael Antonovich

Photos by Jeff Kardas

When the day’s practice schedule was abbreviated to only one timed session and the track was the altered due to collapsing weather conditions, many began to prepare for the worst. On a track that is already more brutal and unforgiving than any other on the Supercross circuit, the thought of rain makes the idea of racing the Daytona Supercross a nightmare. With no irrigation to divert the water and an already saturated base of grass and soil, the track breaks down to a rutted, wet quagmire almost instantly. It is a true test of skill and one that both Justin Barcia and James Stewart aced. Both outlasted the competition en route to main event wins at the most historic racing venue the Supercross series visits.

Lites Qualifying

Lites Heat One

MotoConcepts’ Jake Canada led the opening heat race of the night to the first turn and held of the pack for the majority of the first lap. But a charging Blake Baggett, aboard his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, who was able to step-on and then off of a treacherous tabletop section, stole the lead from the Canada just before the end of the first lap. Canada would stay within sight of Baggett for the duration of the race but was never able to mount a charge to retake the position. ElevenTen Mods privateer Alex Martin rounded out the podium over J-Star/JDR/KTM rider PJ Larsen and Baggett’s Pro Circuit teammate Darryn Durham.

  1. Blake Baggett (KAW)
  2. Jake Canada (HON)
  3. Alex Martin (HON)
  4. PJ Larsen (KTM)
  5. Darryn Durham (KAW)
  6. Jeff Gibson (HON)
  7. Cole Thompson (HON)
  8. Tommy Weeck (HON)
  9. Kyle Peterson (YAM)

Lites Heat Two

Defending East Coast Supercross Lites champion and fastest Lites qualifier of the day Justin Barcia snatched the holeshot over Geico Powersports Honda teammate Justin Bogle and Rockstar Suzuki’s Blake Wharton. Barcia would lead all six laps of the heat race to an uncontested win over Wharton and ElevenTen Mods’ Phil Nicoletti. Elsewhere in the pack was Red Bull KTM rider Ken Roczen, who charged from tenth to fourth by the final flag.

  1. Justin Barcia (HON)
  2. Blake Wharton (SUZ)
  3. Phil Nicoletti (HON)
  4. Ken Roczen (KTM)
  5. Justin Bogle (HON)
  6. Tyler Bowers (KAW)
  7. Justin Starling (KTM)
  8. Les Smith (KTM)
  9. Shane Sewell (KTM)

Lites LCQ

Star/Valli/Rockstar/Yamaha’s Kyle Cunningham was the first racer to the stripe, led the dwindled field of racers in the Lites LCQ, and ran away with the win over J-Star/JDR/KTM pilot Malcolm Stewart. Stewart took advantage of Ohlins/Langston Motorsports/KTM rider AJ Catanzaro early misfortune and secured the final transfer spot.

  1. Kyle Cunningham
  2. Malcolm Stewart

Lites Main Event

Blake Wharton beat Justin Barcia to the line for the Lites main event holeshot, but swept was wide in the following turn, which allowed Barcia to snake to the Suzuki rider’s inside. Barcia would hold control for the duration of the shortened 12 lap main event, but it did not come without pressure from a faster Blake Baggett. Baggett closed on the Honda rider early in the main event but was forced to remount a second valiant charge after tucking the front end of his Kawasaki down a long straightway. There was a six second gap between Barcia and Baggett in the final laps, but Baggett closed the gap with his three second a lap faster times, which set the stage for a thrilling final lap. Barcia nearly lost control after he scrubbed his Honda over one of the slippery and rutted singles, he but quickly corrected himself and kept Baggett at bay. The battle came down to the final turn, where Baggett attempted to go beneath and block Barcia, but Barcia’s momentum from the wider line allowed him to rocket away to the race win.

Baggett was not the only Pro Circuit rider who charged through the field. His teammate Darryn Durham outlasted a laundry list of racers, including Ken Roczen and Wharton, to earn the final podium spot.

Overall
1. Justin Barcia
2. Blake Baggett
3. Darryn Durham
4. Ken Roczen
5. Blake Wharton
6. Jake Canada
7. Kyle Cunningham
8. Malcolm Stewart
9. Cole Thompson
10. Tommy Weeck
11. Les Smith
12. Shane Sewell
13. Alex Martin
14. Tyler Bowers
15. Justin Starling
16. PJ Larsen
17. Kyle Peters
18. Justin Bogle
19. Jeff Gibson
20. Phil Nicoletti
250 Class East Coast Championship Standings (After 4 of 9 rounds)
1. Justin Barcia (100 pts./4 wins)
2. Darryn Durham (76)
3. Ken Roczen (75)
4. Blake Wharton (72)
5. Blake Baggett (62)
6. Jake Canada (56)
7. Justin Bogle (46)
8. Malcolm Stewart (42)
9. Kyle Cunningham (42)
10. Cole Thompson (32)

Top Lap Times
1. Blake Baggett 1:27.375
2. Justin Barcia 1:28.485
3. Darryn Durham 1:32.060
4. Ken Roczen 1:32.215
5. Jake Canada 1:32.460

Pages: 1 2