Live From Daytona! NASB Races: Russell Smokes 'em. 3/4/95

Daytona NASB Race Results Courtesy of NASB and Daytona International Speedway

Scott Russell edged Colin Edwards in a photo finish Saturday to earn the pole for Sunday's inaugural North American Super Bike Series races at Daytona International Speedway. With both World Superbike factory riders gridded in the first of two five-lap qualifying heats, it was a cat and mouse game from the drop of the green flag.

Edwards' Yamaha was showing more power on the straights, but Russell was making up the difference with handling on his Muzzy Kawasaki. At the checkers, Russell drafted past Edwards, with Edwards giving it a little goose right at the end to pull deaden at the line. Official scorers gave Russell the nod with a 0.005 second margin of victory. Dave Sadowski rode alone in third place throughout the race on his Ducati.

Edwards' Yamaha teammate on the world tour, Yasutomo Nagai, took an easy win in the second qualifying heat, beating Eric Moe and Chuck Graves by over a second. Graves led most of the way but was caught and passed by Nagai and Moe in the closing laps.

"I think it was a dead heat between myself and Colin," Russell said after the race. "We didn't get done what we needed to do in that race. It shows we've still got a lot to do. We ran 52's (1 minute, 52 second laps) and that's two seconds off where should be. We ran some different tires this morning and they were better. We've got good engines. We need to get more power to the track."

"He just drafted by," Edwards noted. "He was outbraking me into the first horseshoe, but the bikes are pretty even. I think it will probably play out the same in tomorrow's races - except I'll be out in front."

Two 50-mile races will be run to kick off the 1995 North American Super Bike Series. All riders will compete in both races with separate purses and points earned for each race. The same grid based on Saturday's qualifying will be used for both races.