Neil Hodgson became the first British rider since 1974 to win the pole position for the 67th Daytona 200 By Honda AMA Formula Xtreme Series race on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.
Hodgson, who sat out last year's motorcycle season unable to find a ride, toured the 2.9-mile road course aboard his factory No. 100 Honda at 105.086 mph, one minute, 39.347 seconds to earn the pole for Saturday's 69-lap race.
"It's an honor, it's a privilege" Hodgson said. "It's funny. Last year, I was here as a spectator. I was depressed and walking around jealous looking at all the riders. It's weird. 12 months later here I am on the pole position. It doesn' seem real."
Paul Smart was the last British rider to win the pole for the historic Daytona 200 back in 1974 aboard a Suzuki.
"I've got to thank Honda for giving me this opportunity to give me a shot at this" Hodgson said. "Hopefully, I can repay them this season with some hard riding and try to get some wins. If I can get the win Saturday, that would be absolutely awesome. I don't know if that's possible, racing with these guys. I'm looking forward to the race. I've watched it the last five years and always thought I wanted to be involved, it looks like a lot of fun."
Rounding out the front row was Attack Kawasaki riders Chaz Davies and Steve Rapp, the 2007 Daytona 200 winner, and five-time Daytona 200 champion Miguel Duhamel.
Duhamel was looking to join Kenny Roberts as the only rider to have won four straight Daytona 200 By Honda poles.
"It went really well," Duhamel said. "Next time we go testing, I'm just going to test qualifying tires, and get better with them. They were really good, and I just didn't take advantage of it."
The Daytona 200 By Honda will go green on Saturday at 2 p.m. with a field of 69 riders.
Tickets are available online at www.racetickets.com, 1-800-PITSHOP or at the gate.
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