Attack Kawasaki’s Chaz Davies became the shock winner of the Daytona 200 when Erion Honda’s Josh Hayes was disqualified for technical violations.
Hayes had beaten Davies by 32.762 seconds in the 69-lap, 200 mile race on the famed Daytona International Speedway, run in cool, windy conditions.
But hours after the race ended, AMA officials announced that Erion Hayes’ Honda CBR600RR had illegal crankshaft modifications and that the penalty was disqualification.
That elevated Chaz Davies to the top of the podium, the first time ever that a Brit has win America’s most prestigious national race.
Reached at dinner late Saturday night, Chaz Davies, who’s friends with Hayes, was initially reluctant to comment pending an official announcement.
Once that came, Davies said: “I’m absolutely shocked. I’ll believe it a bit more when I see it (the AMA release). I’m shocked, but also gutted for Josh (Hayes).
“If Josh isn’t the eventual winner, obviously this stuff is out of his control. He deserved to win the 200.
“He was on a mission. And I feel bad for him as I like Josh.”
The Erion Honda team said it will appeal.
The AMA appeals process involves convening a non-partial three member board within 45 days of the offence. However, the offence was clear cut, according to someone who saw the offending parts, but who asked not to be identified.
“We’ve appealed their decision and basically that’s our side of it,” Hayes’ crew chief said in a Saturday evening phone call.
“He (Hayes) said he was notified just before the team left the track.
“We’ve appealed the technical inspection and also the penalty of disqualification.”
With Hayes’ disqualification, Davies becomes the winner, while team-mate and 2007 Daytona 200 winner Steve Rapp is second. Leo Vince Foremost Insurance Ducati Racing’s Larry Pegram is third.
Not only is this the second Daytona 200 win in a row for the Kawasaki satellite team, but it’s also the second year in a row that Pirelli tires have swept the podium.