MILLVILLE, N.J. (Sept. 14) – Dane Westby was all smiles after racing to a fifth-place finish aboard his GEICO Motorcycle Honda in Saturday’s GoPro Daytona SportBike race.
Westby spent most of the New Jersey Lottery Devil’s Showdown, this week’s stop in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series, in a pack of four riders jockeying for third place for most of the race. Being a part of that group fighting for a podium all race long gave Westby a lot of confidence.
“It was a lot of fun with those guys,” Westby said. “We’ve hit on a great setup and were able to run with those guys today and battle back and forth. It’s nice to get a fun race out of the deal. The track, the bike, and I are gelling together this weekend. It’s a nice feeling.”
Westby started off the race ninth on the grid, but he didn’t stay that deep in the field for long.
“Historically it’s when I do best here,” Westby said. “Last year I did the same thing: Started pretty far back and moved my way through. It kind of lit a fire under me. That’s what happened today. It seems to work for me. I’m able to get into a groove, have fun riding, and not be so on edge.”
Westby worked his way up into the pack with Jake Gagne, Bobby Fong, and James Rispoli. Positions were changed in every corner and down every straight stretch as the quartet of riders made their way around the circuit.
“All those guys were making mistakes, I was just making the fewest mistakes,” Westby said. “We really have a great setup for this track, and I was able to make passes in a lot of different places. At the end I wasn’t sure how much I had left in my bike and on my tires, so I didn’t think it was a good idea to push too hard and do something that might ruin such a good run.”
Westby is ready to jump right back on the bike and keep racing.
“It wouldn’t be bad if it were a quadruple-header this weekend,” Westby said. “We’ll just have to wait for tomorrow and the second half of the doubleheader. We should be good tomorrow. I’m going to try the same thing. I’m going to relax and have fun.
“I’m missing the taste of some champagne, so hopefully we can get up on the podium tomorrow.”
Sunday’s second half of the Devil’s Showdown starts at 3 p.m. EDT and will be aired live on CBS Sports Network.