Earnhardt fastest in opening Daytona practice

The first practice of the weekend was slowed by 11-car wreck.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. topped the speed chart during the first practice for Sunday’s Coke Zero 400. 

Earnhardt posted a lap of 202.284 mph (44.492-seconds) followed by Austin Dillon (202.066mph), Clint Bowyer 201.993mph), Paul Menard (201.970mph) and Trevor Bayne (201.875mph). 

Despite Bayne’s speed in the early minutes of the session, after completing just seven laps the No. 6 Ford was one of 11 cars collected during a wreck triggered by Brad Keselowski getting into the rear of Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota in Turn 2 (Crash Video). 

“It’s frustrating and it’s not at all what these guys pour all their blood, sweat and tears into,” Busch said. “We wreck in practice and that’s not very smart.”

Busch, who is coming off of last Sunday’s win at Sonoma Raceway, was forced to go to a back up car — along with his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards.  

David Gilliland, AJ Allmendinger, David Ragan, Jamie McMurray and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top 10 in first practice. 

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Event Daytona II
Track Daytona International Speedway
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Trevor Bayne , Brad Keselowski , Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Roush Fenway Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , Team Penske
Article type Practice report