NSCS: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Tops Saturday Morning Daytona 500 Practice

Photo Credit: Noel Lanier

The first Daytona 500 practice session kicked off this morning, and last year’s champion Kyle Busch was the first driver on track, but he wasn’t the fastest.

Two-time Daytona 500 Champion Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had the top speed in the early morning practice with a fast speed of 194.116 MPH. None of the 44 drivers entered in the race elected to draft, as all were preparing for single-car qualifying tomorrow.

Last year’s Daytona 500 race winner Joey Logano was second in practice, closely followed by Matt Kenseth and rookie Chase Elliott in car No. 24 and Kasey Kahne rounding out the top-five.

Brian Vickers is running the No. 14 for Speedweeks as Tony Stewart, who will retire at the end of the year, is out with a non-racing related injury. Vickers, who was sidelined with blood clotting issues for most of the 2015 season, hadn’t stepped foot into a Sprint Cup car since Las Vegas last year where he finished 41st, placed 17th in today’s first practice session.

Single-car qualifying tomorrow will only be one-lap runs. Greg Biffle had the fastest one-lap speed, followed by Martin Truex, Jr. in second.

The two fastest non-charter cars in practice were the No. 21 of Ryan Blaney in 13th, and the No. 93 of Matt DiBenedetto in 29th. The top-two non-charter cars in time trials will secure their spots in the Daytona 500 tomorrow afternoon.

Full practice results can be seen below.

2016 NSCS Daytona 500 First Practice Session Speeds

Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed Lap # # Laps -Fastest -Next
1 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Nationwide Chevrolet 46.364 194.116 11 11 —.— —.—
2 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 46.427 193.853 19 19 -0.063 -0.063
3 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 46.444 193.782 15 15 -0.08 -0.017
4 24 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 46.491 193.586 8 8 -0.127 -0.047
5 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet 46.492 193.582 13 13 -0.128 -0.001
6 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 46.527 193.436 14 14 -0.163 -0.035
7 16 Greg Biffle KFC Nashville Hot Ford 46.534 193.407 9 9 -0.17 -0.007
8 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation/Monster Energy 46.579 193.22 5 5 -0.215 -0.045
9 19 Carl Edwards ARRIS Toyota 46.584 193.199 14 14 -0.22 -0.005
10 78 Martin Truex Jr. Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota 46.608 193.1 3 3 -0.244 -0.024
11 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s 75 Toyota 46.611 193.087 15 15 -0.247 -0.003
12 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 46.641 192.963 12 12 -0.277 -0.03
13 *21 Ryan Blaney Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 46.653 192.914 11 11 -0.289 -0.012
14 3 Austin Dillon DOW Chevrolet 46.678 192.81 6 6 -0.314 -0.025
15 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 46.684 192.786 17 18 -0.32 -0.006
16 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 46.708 192.686 5 13 -0.344 -0.024
17 14 Brian Vickers Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 46.713 192.666 5 7 -0.349 -0.005
18 31 Ryan Newman CAT Chevrolet 46.722 192.629 12 12 -0.358 -0.009
19 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Chevrolet 46.733 192.583 16 16 -0.369 -0.011
20 95 Ty Dillon(i) Cheerios Chevrolet 46.742 192.546 5 5 -0.378 -0.009
21 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald’s/Cessna Chevrolet 46.768 192.439 14 14 -0.404 -0.026
22 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 46.792 192.341 5 5 -0.428 -0.024
23 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John’s Chevrolet 46.836 192.16 5 5 -0.472 -0.044
24 7 Regan Smith Nikko RC/Golden Corral Chevrolet 46.848 192.111 13 13 -0.484 -0.012
25 44 Brian Scott Albertsons Co./Shore Lodge Ford 46.882 191.971 12 12 -0.518 -0.034
26 27 Paul Menard Peak Antifreeze/Menards Chevrolet 46.901 191.894 5 5 -0.537 -0.019
27 42 Kyle Larson Target Chevrolet 46.906 191.873 15 15 -0.542 -0.005
28 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 46.945 191.714 8 8 -0.581 -0.039
29 *93 Matt DiBenedetto Dustless Blasting Toyota 47.024 191.392 6 6 -0.66 -0.079
30 83 Michael Waltrip Maxwell House Toyota 47.035 191.347 3 3 -0.671 -0.011
31 10 Danica Patrick Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet 47.098 191.091 5 8 -0.734 -0.063
32 *59 Michael McDowell Thirvent Financial Chevrolet 47.126 190.977 5 5 -0.762 -0.028
33 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger/Scott Products Chevrolet 47.187 190.73 10 10 -0.823 -0.061
34 34 Chris Buescher Love’s Travel Stops Ford 47.196 190.694 2 6 -0.832 -0.009
35 38 Landon Cassill Florida Lottery Ford 47.248 190.484 5 8 -0.884 -0.052
36 46 Michael Annett Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet 47.259 190.44 7 7 -0.895 -0.011
37 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Chevrolet 47.54 189.314 8 8 -1.176 -0.281
38 23 David Ragan Dr Pepper Toyota 47.613 189.024 12 12 -1.249 -0.073
39 32 Bobby Labonte C&J Energy Services Ford 47.633 188.945 8 8 -1.269 -0.02
40 *98 Cole Whitt Toyota 47.711 188.636 2 6 -1.347 -0.078
41 *35 David Gilliland Ford 47.868 188.017 7 7 -1.504 -0.157
42 *26 Robert Richardson Jr. Stalk It Toyota 47.927 187.786 5 5 -1.563 -0.059
43 *30 Josh Wise Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet 48.264 186.474 8 8 -1.9 -0.337
44 *40 Reed Sorenson CRC Brakleen Chevrolet 48.339 186.185 3 3 -1.975 -0.075

(i) Ineligible for Driver Points in this Series
# Denotes Rookie
* Required to Qualify on Time

About Tyson Lautenschlager 548 Articles
A 22-year-old from Ontario, Canada, Tyson Lautenschlager is a Humber College journalism graduate. He is currently the managing editor of OnPitRoad and a chase producer at CTV News Channel in Toronto.