Majority of Cup teams decide not to participate in Thursday practice

Only a handful of cars went out on track during Thursday's pre-Duel practice session with no pack forming.

With the crucial qualifying races mere hours away, many teams dared not risk their primary cars with just seven cars practicing.

Shaking down the backup cars

Among the cars that went out included those involved in yesterday's five-car accident (VIDEO). Kyle Larson was the first driver to post a time, shaking down his backup car. "There are no issues at all," reported the Chip Ganassi Racing driver.

Michael Waltrip, Ryan Newman and Ty Dillon - all drivers involved in the accident - also ran a few laps during the session.  The No. 83 adjusted the splitter after Waltrip went out.

Jimmie Johnson ended the session atop the speed charts, posting a fast lap of 193.054mph. He also ran the most laps at 26. Crew chief Chad Knaus attempted to tighten the car up after what Johnson described as a "darty" condition. The crew worked on the left front suspension after his feedback, changing a shock.

"Very productive hour," Jimmie said after getting out of the car.

RPM teammates draft

While most everyone that went out ran alone, Richard Petty Motorsports teammates Aric Almirola and Brian Scott did experiment with one another in a two-car draft.

"Just trying to see if (Scott) can get to me, but he can't," Almirola radioed to his team. The duo switched positions after a couple laps with the No. 44 leading the way for the remainder of their run.

"(Scott's) going to drag back so you can go to the inside of him, just so he can check his mirrors," the team told Almirola. The teammates ended up running identical lap times, putting the Fords second and third on the leaderboard behind Johnson.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Daytona 500
Sub-event Thursday practice
Track Daytona International Speedway
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Jimmie Johnson , Aric Almirola , Brian Scott , Kyle Larson
Teams Richard Petty Motorsports , Hendrick Motorsports
Article type Practice report