Penske teammates draft their way to the top of second 500 practice

Team Penske flexed its muscles with three minutes remaining in the second practice for Daytona 500 pole qualifying.

Ryan Blaney (195.797 mph) bumped Kurt Busch from the top position but moments later, Joey Logano (195.933 mph) and Brad Keselowski (195.848 mph) took over the top two positions in practice.

“We had a plan,” Blaney told “That’s what we usually do. Brad, Joey and I figure out how we can run together — a little three-car — to see how they draft up. You can’t tell much but you can see where you’re at and where they’re loaded down with extra drafting help. That was kind of the plan, to line up there at the end. 

“We have a pretty fast car, compared to the cars we need to beat — if we’re in the top two of the eight that don’t have charters. I feel pretty good about that. As far as overall raw speed, I think we need to find a little bit more, but I don’t feel like we need too much more. I feel pretty good about tomorrow.” 

Busch held on to fourth fast with a lap of 194.877 mph (46.183-seconds), followed by his brother Kyle, who turned a lap of 194.696 mph on his fifth attempt

Just after the one-hour mark, Carl Edwards moved up into the fifth fastest — but was bumped out of the top-five 10 minutes later by his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth whose lap of 194.338 mph held up for sixth. Kevin Harvick (194.045 mph), Chase Elliott (193.995 mph),

Edwards (193.986 mph) and Greg Biffle (193.907 mph) completed the top 10.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (193.823 mph), Casey Mears (193.723 mph), Jimmie Johnson (193.519 mph), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (193.473 mph) and Austin Dillon rounded out the top 15.

No driver ran 10 consecutive laps during the second practice.

For the second consecutive session, Ryan Blaney led the open teams. Matt DiBenedetto was second in 27th-place with a lap of 192.086 mph. Only 42 of the 44 Daytona 500 entrants participated in second practice. Logano’s 29 laps were the most logged during the session.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Daytona 500
Track Daytona International Speedway
Drivers Brad Keselowski , Joey Logano
Teams Team Penske
Article type Practice report