Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads Ford parade in final Daytona 500 practice
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led a Ford parade atop the final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session in preparation for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
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.
|1||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||45.351||198.452|
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|Location||Daytona International Speedway|
|Drivers||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
|Teams||Roush Fenway Racing|