Stenhouse, McDowell lead opening Daytona 500 practice sessions

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. posted a lap of 202.643mph.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – RFR's Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has taken the title of 'fastest man in Daytona' away from Kurt Busch, topping the charts in the opening Daytona 500 practice session with a lap of 202.643mph. Unlike previous years, we saw some drafting today, due to the new group qualifying format.

Michael McDowell was fastest in the afternoon practice, leading a fleet of eight Chevrolets with a speed of 199.332mph.

Mechanical woes

We did have a couple red flags today, but none for accidents. Debris momentarily stopped on-track action, as did an engine failure on the No. 31 of Ryan Newman. The 2014 championship runner-up will start from the rear of the field for the Duels and should he secure one of the two front-row spots tomorrow, he will then go to the rear for the start of the 500 as well.

Martin Truex Jr. had a crack in the oil pan, but the team will not have to pull the engine out. 

These sessions precede Daytona 500 pole qualifying day tomorrow, which will lock in the front-row, plus the four fastest who do not have provisionals.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Michael McDowell , Martin Truex Jr. , Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Article type Practice report
Tags ford, roush-fenway racing