Danny Eslick, aboard the No. 1 GEICO Powersports Suzuki for Richie Morris Racing, captured the pole on Thursday night for the 69th Daytona 200 Daytona SportBike AMA Pro Racing event.Eslick, the defending Daytona SportBike champion, turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 50.085 seconds, 116.092 mph, on Daytona International Speedway’s 3.51-mile road course to edge M4 Monster Energy Suzuki rider Martin Cardenas by two thousandths of a second.Danny Eslick Speaks…"I thought I had it in my hands (last year) and that one slipped away," Eslick said. "To get it this year, means a lot. It hasn’t sunk in yet, I don’t think. Maybe tomorrow when I see that Rolex it will be a little different. It’s great. It’s good momentum to get the season started off on the right foot."
Rounding out the front row will be Team Graves Yamaha riders Tommy Aquino and Josh Herrin.Other notable qualifying efforts include 2007 Daytona 200 champion Steve Rapp (fifth), Michael Barnes (12th), MPH Racing’s Melissa Paris (28th) and 1989 Daytona 200 champion John Ashmead 38th.The Daytona 200 will go green under the lights on Friday night at 8 p.m.