- A hard crash at the opening round of the East Region Lites series would sideline MotoConcepts’ Tommy Weeck for the first three rounds of the series with a concussion. Weeck made his return at Daytona and secured a top ten in his first race back. Weeck’s teammate Jake Canada continues to impress, matching a seasons best 6th at Daytona—his fourth straight top ten to begin the year.
- Rockstar Star/Valli Yamaha’s rookie Kyle Peters made his first main event appearance of the year in Daytona, finishing 17th. Peters missed the first two rounds of the series with a collarbone injury. Joining fellow rookie, Peters, in his first main event appearance was Florida native Justin Starling. The DragonFuels/AGMotorsports fill-in rider finished 15th. Another impressive rookie performance came from Canada’s Cole Thompson. The privateer matched a career best in Daytona finishing 9th—which capitulates him into the top ten in the points standings.
- Troubles continued for Munn Racing/AnkleSavers KTM’s Lance Vincent in Daytona. Through two rounds Vincent was top ten in points, but after missing back-to-back mains has dropped back to 15th. Starts would be the demise of Vincent in Daytona—as he crashed in the same spot in both his heat and LCQ.
After an early season injury, Kyle Peters made his first career main event at Daytona.
Photo: Simon Cudby
- After a breakout season in 2011, HRT Racing Matt Lemoine’s rocky start to the 2012 season continued in the muddy waters of Daytona. The Texas native would miss his first main of the season, dropping him to 17th in the points standings. At this point in the season last year Lemoine sat seventh in points—including three top tens. He has zero top tens thus far in 2012.
- While his GEICO Honda teammate Justin Barcia was en route to his fourth straight win, rookie Justin Bogle was struggling just to get his bike off the track. Bogle was inside the top ten before a crash near the start/finish line. But the bleeding didn’t stop there. Bogle was able to remount but slid off the course into a massive mud hole and was unable to get his bike restarted. He finished the night in 18th.
- Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle has had hard time adjusting to the Supercross class in his rookie year. Struggling with a lack of results, Tickle had lost the confidence he garnered after winning the West Region Lites title in 2011. Daytona may prove to be a break out race for the rookie. Tickle ran inside the top ten all night, finishing a seasons best 8th.
- Kyle Regal made his long-awaited return to Monster Energy Supercross in Daytona after missing the first nine rounds of the season with dislocated hip and broken femur. Regal had moderate expectations entering the night stating, "I'm going to the beach to have fun and see where I'm at." Pitting out of the back of his van with help from Merge Racing, Regal didn’t miss a beat in Daytona. Running inside the top ten before crashing in a rhythm section, Regal would remount and fight back to finish 13th. We hear rumors of Regal getting picked up by a big team as a replacement rider as soon as this weekend in Indianapolis. Stay tuned.
It was a rough night in the mud for Justin Bogle.
Photo: Simon Cudby
- Troubles continued for the injury-riddled Dodge/Hart and Huntington team. Josh Hansen has been the rock for the injury ravished team, but struggled with mechanical issues in Atlanta and an ankle injury in St. Louis. But Daytona caused different problems for Hansen. After being shoved off the track in the first turn in his heat race, Hansen was relegated to the LCQ. Hansen’s night only got worse from there. He began the LCQ in third, but made an aggressive pass on Michael Stryker that sent Stryker to the ground and Hansen to the stands after his bike got tangled with Stryker’s.
- BTOSports.com Matt Goerke continues to impress in his fill-in role for the team. Goerke has steadily risen up the results page, capping off a seasons best 9th in Daytona. Better yet, he was battling as high up as fifth before casing a jump late and stalling. Georke is a Florida rider and is known for his prowess in sand, but he wanted to point out he’s been living in California and training on hard pack for the last few months—he thinks he can back up his Daytona performance on any track.
- It took all of one race for Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin to calm his nerves after a shaky beginning in his Supercross class debut. Although Musquin would finish ninth in St. Louis he stated after the race that his nerves got the best off him and he rode very tight. Well you can throw all of that out the window after Musquin rode to an impressive 4th at Daytona. And just in case you forgot, it was aboard a 350.
- Heartbreak of the night goes to… Ricky Renner and Ryan Smith. Bringing the two-stroke back to the masses Renner looked to have a qualifying spot on lock before suffering mechanical issues. Joining Renner on the two-stroke brigade was privateer Ryan Smith who contested the Supercross class on a Yamaha YZ250. Smith had problems getting his bike restarted after a crash in his heat race and was unable to qualify for the main.
Goerke continues to climb up the results ladder.
Photo: Simon Cudby
- It was a mixed bag of results for Honda in front of the big bosses at Daytona. Justin Barcia hung on for his fourth straight win and Kevin Windham was finally able to lock down his first podium of 2012. That was the good. The bad: Justin Brayton (16th), Cole Seely (17th) and Lites rider Justin Bogle (18th) all finished outside the top-15.
- A career night for JGR/Toyota Yamaha couldn’t have come at a better time and a better place. Deeply rooted in NASCAR traditions JGR had a monumental night at the most storied grounds in NASCAR—Daytona International Speedway. James Stewart picked up his second win of the season, with teammate Davi Millsaps following suit with a seasons best second, his first podium since 2010.
- Another team that turned around some early season misfortunes at Daytona was Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki. Although Darryn Durham has been strong all season, his teammate Blake Baggett has been riddled with inconsistent results. That all changed at Daytona. Baggett challenged Barcia for the win, before settling for second. Durham was also strong in Daytona, overcoming a bad start to charge past Ken Roczen late en route to his second podium of the year, moving him into second in points.