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(Photo: John K. Harrelson/NKP)

Daniel Suarez Sweeps Friday Daytona 500 Practices

Daniel Suarez fastest in First Friday Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Practice 

Daniel Suarez was quickest during Friday’s first Cup practice at Daytona International Speedway. With Thursday’s Can-Am Duels completed, practice gave drivers and teams the chance to begin focusing on the main task at hand: Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Suarez turned a 45.036-second lap around the 2.5-mile track, recording a speed of 199.840 mph. His time was just .022 seconds faster than his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin.

While Toyota topped the charts, three manufacturers were represented inside the top five. Camrys took the top three spots, with defending champion Martin Truex Jr. third. David Ragan led the way for Ford (fourth) while Premium Motorsports’ Danica Patrick rounded out the top-five speeds.

36 cars hit the 2.5-mile oval for at least one lap during the session. Matt DiBenedetto, David Gilliland, Jamie McMurray, and Erik Jones were the lone exceptions during Friday’s first practice.

DiBenedetto, Gilliland and Jones’ teams were each working on their backup cars during the session after being involved in wrecks during Thursday night’s Can-Am Duels.


Suarez Fastest in Final Friday MENCS Practice

Clearly, Suarez has a fast hot rod this weekend. The Monterrey, Mexico native turned a lap of 44.296 seconds around Daytona to officially sweep Friday’s practice sessions. Finishing just .051 seconds behind Suarez, Ryan Newman turned the second-fastest lap.

Much like the first practice session on Friday, all three manufacturers were represented in the top five. Toyota and Chevrolet led the charge followed by the Ford of Michael McDowell. The Chevy of A.J. Allmendinger finished fourth followed by Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota.

Only 29 of the 40 Daytona 500 entries made laps in Friday’s second practice session. Justin Marks, Gray Gaulding, Mark Thompson, Corey Lajoie, David Gilliland, D.J. Kennington, Brendan Gaughan, Matt DiBenedetto, Darrell Wallace Jr., and Hamlin all didn’t make it out of the garage.


About Christian Koelle

Christian Koelle
Christian Koelle returns to Fronstretch in 2018 after joining the organization in late 2017. He is looking to write full-time this season with Frontstretch while also venturing into both College Football and Major/Minor League Baseball. During the off-season, Christian interned with the College Football Playoff in Atlanta during the National Championship Weekend and spent some time with family in Des Moines Iowa. He and his family reside in Ooltewah, TN, a town just outside of Chattanooga.

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