FORWARD PROGRESS FOR WESTBY IN NEW JERSEY
September 8, 2012
M4 Suzuki's Dane Westby made a stunning return to form on Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park with a spirited charge to the podium.
Seeking redemption following a frustrating Friday in which he crashed and was penalized during qualifying and only given a single flying lap to claim his grid position, Westby had his work cut out for him in Saturday's Daytona SportBike race.
Unable to improve upon his fourth row grid position in a morning qualifying session that was spoiled by damp conditions, 'the Wolverine' systematically carved his way forward in the race.
Westby quickly made up a handful of positions and then was reslotted in eighth position for the race's restart following an early red flag. From there, the Oklahoman put himself in victory contention, slicing through a multi-rider pack to claim the lead.
Working away from the big group as part of a three-man dogfight for victory, Westby ultimately finished third, just 0.465 seconds off the victory, aboard his GSX-R600.
The result was Westby's seventh podium of the season and he continues to rank second in the championship chase. He said, "I had a problem yesterday and got a penalty. I had to start from 13th but we've won from 12th so we weren't too worried about it. After the restart we were right up there with the guys, trying to carve through. Everything was going good. I saw at the end we had a little gap -- it was just the three of us so we could focus on our battle.
"The M4 Suzuki was working really well for me. We were right there at the end and it was a really fun race."
Suzuki SportBikeTrackTime.com's Elena Myers put forth a determined effort on Saturday as well. Quickly away in third, Myers was a primary player in the scrap for the podium until an off track excursion pushed her down the order.
She came home in eighth after earlier showing the potential to finish as high as second in the hard-fought race.
M4 Suzuki's Chris Ulrich capped a fine day for Team Hammer with an encouraging ride in which he missed a top-ten result in the premier AMA Superbike class by just over a tenth of a second.
Westby, Myers, and Ulrich will be back at it on Sunday in an attempt to improve on an already outstanding Saturday effort.
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