The first Daytona 500 practice session is in the books, officially putting an end to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series offseason.
While most drivers focused on single-car runs in anticipation of Sunday afternoon’s time trials, the Joe Gibbs Racing quartet took the final few minutes in the opening practice to get some drafting laps on the board ahead of tomorrow’s Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway.
Of the four Gibbs drivers, Kyle Busch posted the fastest lap of 45.058 seconds. He was followed in suit by teammates Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones. Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon rounded out the top-10 in his brand new Chevrolet Camaro.
Jamie McMurray, Ty Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson were sixth through 10th.
Gray Gaulding, in the No. 23 Toyota for BK Racing, was the only car of the 40 entered who did not make a practice attempt. His former teammate at BK Racing, Corey Lajoie, who is now racing a part-time schedule for Tri-Star Motorsports, was slowest in practice with a lap speed of 49.096 seconds.