Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads Ford parade in final Daytona 500 practice

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads Ford parade in final Daytona 500 practice
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Feb 25, 2017, 7:10 PM

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led a Ford parade atop the final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session in preparation for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford, stands in the garage area
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Daniel Suarez, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Daniel Suarez, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Stenhouse posted the fastest average lap speed at 198.452 mph. He was followed by five fellow Ford drivers – Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer.

Logano, who won the 2015 Daytona 500, said he was anxious to try to win it again.

“Our car is pretty good. I wanted to make one last run with some other Fords and see how it ran with the new motor in it,” he said. “We saw the stage racing in the Truck race last night. There is a lot to race for – playoff points are hard to come by.”

Elliott Sadler, Ryan Blaney, Michael McDowell and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top-10 in speeds. Kahne completed the most laps (36) in the session.

Busch said he was confident as his No. 41 Ford had speed and durability.

“This has been a great two weeks for us. All of the preparation and all of the great teamwork, it’s been very exciting,” he said. “We’ve been out there plugging away trying to find a little bit, a little bit and a little bit more and now we’re ready.”

Only 28 of the 40 cars in the field elected to participate in the final practice before the 500.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he experienced some light vibrations in his No. 88 Chevrolet during practice.

“We were able to flip the drive shaft and it’s smoothed out pretty good,” he said. Earnhardt ended up 19th fastest (194.473 mph).

The session was interrupted by a brief light rain shower but there was no significant loss of track time. Few cars even participated in the final 20 minutes.

Shortly before the start of Saturday’s session, Joe Gibbs Racing announced on its Twitter account that none of its four drivers – Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch – would be participating in the session.

 

Final Practice

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford   45.351     198.452
2 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford   45.743 0.392 0.392 196.751
3 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford   45.744 0.393 0.001 196.747
4 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford   45.749 0.398 0.005 196.726
5 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford   45.755 0.404 0.006 196.700
6 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford   45.761 0.410 0.006 196.674
7 7 united_states Elliott Sadler  Chevrolet   45.782 0.431 0.021 196.584
8 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford   45.785 0.434 0.003 196.571
9 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet   45.814 0.463 0.029 196.447
10 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet   45.833 0.482 0.019 196.365

CLICK HERE for complete practice results

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