DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Triumph rider Danny Eslick captured the pole on Friday afternoon for Saturday’s 73rd Daytona 200 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
During the timed qualifying session, Eslick, riding the No. 69 Triumph Daytona 675, lapped the 3.51-mile road course in one minute, 49.292 seconds to secure the pole for the historic 57-lap, 200-mile race.
It’s the first time since 1971 that a Triumph has sat on the pole in the Daytona 200 and it’s the second career Daytona 200 pole for Eslick, a native of Broken Arrow, OK.
“My pole lap was amazing,” Eslick said. “I got a good clean run through the infield. It’s all about the draft here at Daytona and I caught the draft just perfect out of the chicane and around to the start/finish line and nailed it.”
After Thursday’s practice sessions, Eslick felt like he had a good opportunity to earn the Daytona 200 pole and the coveted Rolex watch that comes with it.
“I knew I had a shot at winning it when I had the fastest trap speed from the first practice yesterday,” Eslick said. “For me, I’ve never been the one to have the fastest bike or the fastest trap speed.”
As Eslick chases his first Daytona 200 victory, his strategy for Saturday’s grueling 57-lap, 200-mile race is simple.
“Try not to fall down and lead the last lap,” Eslick said.
Rounding out the front row for the Daytona 200 are Yamaha riders Garrett Gerloff and Jake Lewis and Triumph’s Jason DiSalvo.
Gerloff, who turned a time of 1:50.065 seconds, said following the qualifying session that he left some speed on the track.
“I don’t think that was the fastest I could go this weekend,” Gerloff said. “I’m disappointed I didn’t get the pole position but I’m not concerned about the race.”