For the second straight DAYTONA 200, Suzuki rider and Floridian Sean Dylan Kelly,18, became the youngest pole sitter for iconic event, posting a fast lap of 116.037 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). Dylan Kelly, from Hollywood, Fla., received a special edition, one-of-a-kind Arai helmet during the trophy presentation in Victory Lane.
When the 69-rider field launches off pit road at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, tradition will be renewed on the 3.51-mile DIS road course for the 57-lap/200-mile event that will wrap up the 80th Annual Bike Week At DAYTONA. Leading the front row will be Dylan Kelly, followed by the second-fastest qualifier and defending 2019 DAYTONA 200 Champion Kyle Wyman on a Yamaha (115.621). Third-fastest was rider Michael Barnes on a Yamaha (114.697) with fourth-place qualifier Tyler O’Hara on a Kawasaki (114.520).
Sanctioned by the American Sportbike Racing Association (ASRA), the DAYTONA 200 is an integral part of Daytona Beach’s rich racing history, dating to 1937 when it was held on the Daytona Beach-road course that utilized both the Atlantic Ocean shoreline and State Road A1A. It quickly became a companion to the course’s stock-car races that were first held in 1936. The DAYTONA 200 moved from the beach-road course to the speedway in 1961, the facility’s third year of existence.
Dylan Kelly unseated defending champion Wyman in the final of three Friday qualifying sessions. Only the second year qualifying for the DAYTONA 200, At 16, Dylan Kelly took the pole for the 2019 DAYTONA 200 in his first attempt, and then backed it up again this year (DAYTONA 200 wasn’t held in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic).
“We did a great job today,” said Dylan Kelly. “This makes it two times I have been here for the DAYTONA 200 and we have two poles. The important thing, however, is tomorrow with the race. We have really been focusing on our race pace. I am happy with the work we did and am super thankful for this position.
“We all want that Rolex (Cosmograph for DAYTONA 200 Champion). We had second place in 2019, and it definitely left something inside of us to come back and win. We are here to work, and here to win.”
Four-time DAYTONA 200 winner (2014-15, 2017-18) Danny Eslick will start seventh in the field. The Tulsa, Oklahoma rider qualified on a Suzuki and is attempting to become the third five-time DAYTONA 200 champion. Scott Russell (1992, ’94-95, ’97-98) and Miguel Duhamel (1991, ’96, ’99, 2003, ’05) share the all-time record for DAYTONA 200 victories.
The Bike Week Motorcycle Marketplace will be on display through Saturday outside of the Speedway just off International Speedway Blvd. The area’s largest motorcycle marketplace features the nation’s top motorcycle parts and apparel vendors, and is the only Bike Week location in the Daytona Beach area offering free manufacturer demo rides. Participating manufacturers include Kawasaki, Indian, BMW, Vanderhall and Yamaha. Guests can also enjoy live music on the Harley-Davidson Thunder Alley stage.
Tickets are still available for the DAYTONA 200. All Daytona International Speedway event tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Fans who can’t make it to DIS for the DAYTONA 200 can watch it live exclusively on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
Customers who purchased tickets to the 2020 DAYTONA 200 will be offered a 120 percent credit to any American Flat Track (AFT) Events race held through October 2021 or a full refund. Please email [email protected] for more information.
Guests of Daytona International Speedway are encouraged to visit responsibly. As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the DAYTONA 200 and the Bike Week Motorcycle Marketplace will be conducted in accordance with enhanced safety protocols and procedures. All guests will be screened before entering the facility and will be required to wear face coverings while maintaining six feet social distancing throughout their visit.
For a schedule of on-track activities and event protocols, log onto www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway and see the latest speedway news on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is a state-of-the-art motorsports facility and was awarded the SportsBusiness Journal’s prestigious Sports Business Award for Sports Facility of the Year in 2016. Daytona International Speedway is the home of The Great American Race – the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Cup Series event garners most of the attention – as well as the largest audience in motorsports – the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex, also known as the World Center of Racing, boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe. In addition to at least nine major event weekends, the Speedway grounds are also used extensively for events that include concerts, civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.