Cameron Petersen had never seen Daytona International Speedway and he hasn’t raced a 600cc middleweight motorcycle in seven years, but it didn’t stop him from emerging from a day of ever-changing weather to record the fastest lap on Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s 80th running of the DAYTONA 200, the culmination of Bike Week Presented By Monster Energy.
Attack Performance Yamaha’s Petersen lapped the 3.56-mile road course in 1:50.544 to nab provisional pole position for Saturday’s 200 on his Yamaha YZF-R6. Petersen led a South African one-two on Thursday with SYNTAINICS Racing Team’s Sheridan Morais ending the session in second, just .310 of a second behind. Squid Hunter Yamaha’s Josh Hayes was the last rider in the 1:50s as he completed the provisional front row with a 1:50.956.
“It’s a trip, honestly,” Petersen said of his first time lapping the high banks of Daytona International Speedway. “My first session out, I left the pits with all the fast guys and the first thing they did was go to the top of the bank, so I went up there with them. It took me a good two laps to hold it wide open through there. It’s a bit of a trip. Honestly, it’s just so fun. I’m having so much fun around this place. It’s so much fun.”
Petersen was obviously surprised at taking provisional pole on his first day at the Speedway.
“I came in and I know that they’ve had some issues with timing and scoring and stuff today, so I came in and saw my number at the top of the board,” Petersen said. “I was just like… something’s wrong, Even Richard (team owner, Stanboli) said, ‘There’s no way, there’s no way you’re quickest.’ They confirmed it and I still can’t believe it. I just put myself in the right place and got the perfect lap and the perfect tow behind Shez (Morais). It was good and I’m looking forward to the rest of it.”
Josh Herrin, the 2010 DAYTONA 200 Champion, made his Warhorse HSBK Ducati NYC debut at the Speedway today and ended the qualifying session in fourth just ahead of the defending DAYTONA 200 Champion Brandon Paasch and his TOBC Triumph teammate Danny Eslick, with the four-time Daytona 200 winner ending the day in sixth.
BobbleHeadMoto/N2 Racing’s Kevin Olmedo, Attack Performance Yamaha’s Jake Gagne, and Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammates Geoff May and Samuel Lochoff rounded out the top 10.
The Mission King Of The Baggers class was rained out of its first qualifying session, but that was after defending series champion Kyle Wyman led morning practice over his H-D Screamin’ Eagle factory teammate and brother, Travis Wyman. Kyle Wyman lapped at a best of 1:57.814, .846 of a second faster than Travis.
Vance & Hines Racing’s James Rispoli was third-fastest followed by Mission Foods/S&S Cycle/Indian Challenger Team’s Jeremy McWilliams and Roland Sands Design’s Bobby Fong.
The DAYTONA 200, which features the incredible machines on both the high banks of Daytona International Speedway as well as the infield road course, has tickets starting at $35 for frontstretch seating only and $45 for frontstretch seating coupled with infield access, which includes garages and UNOH Fanzone. Parking is also available for $20 in advance. All ticket options can be found at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
It will mark the first time the Baggers will race on the high banks of a Superspeedway. It will also be the first round of the Twins Cup Championship, plus there will be a Super Hooligans race. Race times are scheduled as follows for Saturday’s main events:
10:30 a.m.: Super Hooligans (5 laps)
11:15 a.m.: Twins Cup (9 laps)
11:50 a.m.: Daytona Supersport Alternate Main (12 laps)
1:00 p.m.: DAYTONA 200 (57 laps)
4:00 p.m.: Mission King Of The Baggers
Monster will also be bringing the action and excitement this week with autograph sessions, demonstrations a FREE concert Friday – Steel Panther. The concert, which will be held in Lot 4 outside the Turn 4 tunnel entrance, are brought to fans by Monster Energy and will go from 4-5:15 p.m. For detailed information on all events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
In addition, fans and visitors can enjoy the Bike Week Motorcycle Marketplace at Daytona International Speedway, located just off International Speedway Blvd. The area’s largest motorcycle marketplace features the nation’s top motorcycle parts, apparel vendors and much more.
For all Daytona International Speedway event information, fans can visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest speedway news.
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.
- From Daytona International Speedway