Guts, But No Glory at the Daytona 200
Jason Aguilar returned to professional competition in 2019 ready to show the world that he was back in Championship form with his own team. With the help of Crew Chief, Rocky Stargel, and a new team of mechanics, support teammates, and old and new sponsors, Jason was ready for his first trip back to Daytona since his AMA debut in 2014. The team was quickly up to speed, and Jason put his Yamaha R6 on the front row with a qualifying time of 1:49.706.
“After a strong qualifying position, I had high hopes for my first ever Daytona 200. Lining up next to some great riders, and even ahead of some of my heroes was amazing. I didn’t rush the start or the first few laps of the race, knowing this race would not be won in those first few laps. I eased into my pace and was running comfortably with the front group before our first stop. In the first pit stop I only took a rear tire and fuel. But we had an issue with the fueling which cost us time and saw me drop back to 7th place 13 seconds behind the 4th place rider. I put my head down and did the best I could to make up time. I worked my way up to 4th place before the second pit stop. I made the decision to only take a rear tire and fuel again to try and save us time. I rushed back out of the pits to see myself back in 6th place. Once again, I put together some good laps and saw myself get back up to 4th place. But then, I made a mistake on lap 48, pushed the front too hard, and tucked the front in turn 6. I was furious with myself as I rushed to pick the bike up and bring it in the pits to fix the crash damage. My crew quickly fixed the bike, but I had a brake failure coming out of the pits which caused me to slam right into and over the wall at Turn One. And that’s where my race ended, bringing out the red flag with 4 laps to go. Although the result was less than ideal, I’m very happy with the pace I was able to show throughout the weekend. It was nice being back at the races, having fun again, while showing the racing world that I can run up front with the leaders.
There are so many people I would like to thank that did everything they could to help us out in my first ever Daytona 200: Big thanks to my crew chief Rocky Stargel. He built me the fastest motorcycle on the grid, and gave me as close to a perfect setup as possible. Thanks to my mechanics Jimmy Le, Ward Wilson, and John Newman for all the hard work and long hours making sure the bike was at 100% at all times. Thanks to Beth Stargel for working the pit board, and for serving as a great team mom for the race weekend. Special thanks to Lexin for title sponsoring the team at Daytona and giving us their latest edition LX-FT4 headset which was essential for coordinating pit stops and communicating with my crew. https://www.lexinmotorcycle.com Thanks to Dunlop for providing us with the best tires out there. Tony, Cori, Tom, and the whole Dunlop crew worked their butts off to make sure we had everything we needed for the race. Their knowledge combined with how well the dual compound Dunlop tires worked were a big key in our performance all race weekend. Thanks to Kory from Moto Station for making sure we had all the equipment we needed and constantly overnighting us parts and supplies. Thanks to Steve at Evol Technology for working late machining us quick change equipment and overnighting everything to the track for us. We plan on being back at Daytona next year to try again!”