NASCAR Daytona 500: Front Row Ford's McDowell leads final practice

Front Row Motorsports Ford driver Michael McDowell set the pace in the final practice session for the NASCAR Cup season-opening Daytona 500 on Saturday

NASCAR Daytona 500: Front Row Ford's McDowell leads final practice

McDowell set his top average speed of 191.440mph early in the 50-minute session with a 47.012-second while drafting with the Germain Motorsports Chevrolet of Ty Dillon.

Dillon (pictured below) ended up second-fastest, 0.002s off McDowell, while pole-winner William Byron and his front row partner Alex Bowman were third and fourth in their Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets.

Only 21 of the 40 cars entered in the race elected to take to the track on Saturday, and of the Toyota squads only Parker Kligerman of part-time entrant Gaunt Brothers Racing participated.

There were no incidents during the session, and Kurt Busch completed the most laps with 16.

Saturday practice was the last track activity for the majority of the Cup field before the 500 on Sunday afternoon, although a handful of the entrants - including Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski - will contest the Xfinity Series season-opener later on Saturday.

Final practice times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 47.012s - 9
2 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 47.014s 0.002s 5
3 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 47.037s 0.025s 5
4 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 47.052s 0.040s 10
5 Daniel Hemric Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 47.140s 0.128s 3
6 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 47.276s 0.264s 4
7 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 47.279s 0.267s 14
8 Daniel Suarez Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 47.336s 0.324s 2
9 Jamie McMurray Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 47.339s 0.327s 12
10 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 47.367s 0.355s 11
11 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 47.433s 0.421s 16
12 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 47.573s 0.561s 5
13 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 47.592s 0.580s 3
14 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 47.617s 0.605s 8
15 Matt Tifft Front Row Motorsports Ford 47.665s 0.653s 7
16 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 47.712s 0.700s 10
17 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 47.767s 0.755s 3
18 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 47.976s 0.964s 10
19 Parker Kligerman Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 48.000s 0.988s 5
20 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 48.318s 1.306s 6
21 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford - - 0


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Series NASCAR
Drivers Michael McDowell
Author Jim Utter
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