NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Tops Daytona 500 Final Practice

Ford, who’s had success throughout Speedweeks, teamed up to form a six-car parade Saturday morning. Their raw speed made a statement, taking the top six spots in Daytona 500 final practice as teams made their last preparations for tomorrow’s Great American Race.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led the way at 198.452 mph, more than three-tenths of a second quicker than second place Joey Logano (196.751 mph).

Brad Keselowski turned the third-quickest lap (196.747 mph), flexing some muscle once again for Team Penske. Kevin Harvick was fourth (196.726 mph), Kurt Busch fifth (196.700 mph) and Clint Bowyer was sixth in the session (196.674 mph). It was a nice 4-5-6 effort for Stewart-Haas Racing while teammate Danica Patrick chose to sit this one out.

Elliott Sadler, a former Ford driver in the Cup Series was seventh; he’ll run tomorrow as part of a limited schedule with Tommy Baldwin Racing. Ryan Blaney was eighth, Michael McDowell ninth and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top 10.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended up 19th on the scoring pylon, but had to overcome adversity as he attempts to win his third Daytona 500. With about 20 minutes remaining in the final session, the team had to replace a driveshaft due to a vibration in the No. 88 car.

Earnhardt went out and made a single-car run, hoping that the vibration had gone away, and it did.

“I thought our car was a little bit better yesterday in practice,” Earnhardt told the FOX Sports telecast. “It developed runs a little better. It seemed like I had to get a little bit luckier today with what was happening, whereas yesterday the car would do some things on its own.”

Kahne completed 36 laps in final practice, the most of the 28 cars that participated in the session. Keselowski had the best 10 consecutive lap average (195.635 mph). He was ahead of Harvick, Bowyer, Blaney and Kahne, as 12 cars total made a run of at least 10 laps.

DAYTONA 500 FINAL PRACTICE RESULTS

DAYTONA 500 STARTING LINEUP

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