Sean Dylan Kelly, age 18, was the quickest rider Friday morning during the opening practice session for the 79th Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway.
Riding his M4 Palm Beach Police & Fire Foundation 1-833-CJKNOWS Suzuki GSX-R600 built by Team Hammer on Dunlop tires, Kelly lapped the 3.51-mile infield road course in 1:51.845 to lead the 70-rider field.
In 2019, Kelly, then 16, became the youngest rider to earn pole position for the Daytona 200 and then finished a close second in the red-flag-interrupted race, which was won by Kyle Wyman.
Wyman may have gone faster than Kelly in Friday morning’s first session, unofficially recording a 1:51.760 according to his team, but a mix up with a transponder not being correctly identified as Wyman’s left him without any lap time on the official session result sheet.
Brandon Paasch was officially second-best in the first practice session with a 1:52.786 on his Pirelli-shod TSE Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.
Cory West, riding the Puraglobe Syntainics Powered by Penz13 Yamaha YZF-R6 in place of South African Sheridan Morais, was third in the opening session with a time of 1:52.997.
Weather conditions were good with warm temperatures and no wind during the first practice, but track conditions were compromised by the remnants of an oil cleanup in the International Horseshoe, forcing competitors to ride non-traditional lines in the corner.
Daytona 200 participants will have three qualifying sessions later on Friday.
The race is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday.