Piloting the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, the 18-year-old was quickest in the lone practice session of the weekend at Talladega Superspeedway for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Putting up a time of 50.704 seconds, the Texas winner was slightly ahead of Darrell Wallace Jr.
Daytona winner Ryan Reed, Regan Smith and Daniel Suarez rounded out the top five, which consisted of Xfinity Series regulars. Kasey Kahne, making his only scheduled start of the season, was the quickest Cup Series driver in sixth for JR Motorsports.
Boris Said is making his Xfinity Series debut at Talladega. Running seven races for JGR, he was scheduled to run the events that Busch would not be entered in prior to his injury in the season-opener at Daytona. Said was 17th in practice in the No. 54 car.
45 cars are entered for Saturday’s Winn Dixie 300. Five cars will miss the race following qualifying Saturday morning, which will consist of single-car runs with multiple cars on track at the same time.