Marlin fastest in Daytona final practice

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Sterling Marlin piloting the No. 40 Ganassi Dodge turned the fastest lap in final practice at Daytona International Speedway with a lap of 187.488 mph. Marlin picked it up considerably from his qualifying effort, his lap of...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Sterling Marlin piloting the No. 40 Ganassi Dodge turned the fastest lap in final practice at Daytona International Speedway with a lap of 187.488 mph. Marlin picked it up considerably from his qualifying effort, his lap of 184.411 mph during Thursday night's session; placed him fourth on the grid.

Marlin has twenty top ten finishes, including three victories at Daytona.

Times were exponentially up from last night's qualifying efforts, where the top speed which landed Steve Park on the pole was 184.752 mph. Park's quickest lap during Friday's 'happy hour' was 185.759 mph, making him 34th on the speed list. Park's teammate Kevin Harvick who rolls off from the outside pole was only 28th quickest, with a lap of 186.008 mph.

The tour de force DEI teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Michael Waltrip remain a strong threat for Saturday night's trophy. Waltrip posted the 16th fastest time at 186.359 mph and Earnhardt made the grid in 12th, clipping off a circuit at 186.567 mph.

Rookie Greg Biffle was second fastest with his speed of 187.356 mph, followed by Jeff Green, Rusty Wallace and Ricky Rudd.

Some of the fastest cars from last nights qualifying and today's earlier practice run, were oddly at the back of the speed times during final practice. Many teams "sandbag" at restrictor plate racetracks in an effort to fool their competitors as to how fast they can actually run.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Steve Park , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Jeff Green , Sterling Marlin