NASCAR Daytona 500: Paul Menard and Kyle Busch lead Friday practice

Paul Menard was fastest in Friday's practice sessions for the NASCAR Cup season-opening Daytona 500, with the second session ending up being a showcase for the new Ford Mustang

NASCAR Daytona 500: Paul Menard and Kyle Busch lead Friday practice

Wood Brothers driver Menard led the way with a time off 44.830 seconds and an average lap speed of 200.758mph as Ford drivers took four of the top five positions and nine of the top 10.

Jamie McMurray, the lone Chevrolet in the top 10, ended up second for Ganassi.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr was third, while Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer completed the top five.

McMurray aside, Fords swept the entire top 13 - with Austin Dillon the next of the Chevrolets in 14th.

But only 29 of the 40 cars entered elected to take part in the session, and Parker Kligerman was the sole Toyota to run.

In the earlier session, Toyota had been fastest as Joe Gibbs Racing team-mates Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr led the way.

Busch, who was involved in an incident with Jimmie Johnson in the first of Thursday night's Duel qualifying races, bolted to the top of the speed chart with a 44.936s effort and an average lap speed of 200.284 mph late in the session.

Truex was 0.019s slower in second, with rookie Ryan Preece completing the top three ahead of Erik Jones and Ryan Newman.

On the longer runs, Denny Hamlin - seventh fastest overall - set the best average among the drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps.

Matt DiBenedetto and Jones were second and third in that category.

Polesitter William Byron was 16th quickest in the first Friday session and 26th in the second.

Saturday's schedule features one more practice session before NASCAR's showpiece race on Sunday.

First practice times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 44.936s - 15
2 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 44.955s 0.019s 19
3 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 44.962s 0.026s 17
4 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 44.965s 0.029s 14
5 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford 44.979s 0.043s 21
6 Matt DiBenedetto Leavine Family Racing Toyota 44.982s 0.046s 18
7 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 44.990s 0.054s 18
8 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 45.084s 0.148s 28
9 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 45.159s 0.223s 20
10 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45.179s 0.243s 16
11 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 45.242s 0.306s 23
12 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45.244s 0.308s 21
13 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 45.309s 0.373s 20
14 Brendan Gaughan Beard Motorsports Chevrolet 45.338s 0.402s 8
15 Daniel Hemric Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45.392s 0.456s 26
16 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45.397s 0.461s 32
17 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45.404s 0.468s 22
18 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45.411s 0.475s 27
19 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 45.460s 0.524s 12
20 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 45.586s 0.650s 11
21 Parker Kligerman Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 45.820s 0.884s 8
22 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 46.203s 1.267s 9
23 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 46.617s 1.681s 20
24 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 46.660s 1.724s 12
25 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 46.716s 1.780s 13
26 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 46.894s 1.958s 16
27 Jamie McMurray Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 46.953s 2.017s 18
28 Matt Tifft Front Row Motorsports Ford 46.993s 2.057s 4
29 Daniel Suarez Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 46.999s 2.063s 9
30 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 47.013s 2.077s 13
31 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 47.207s 2.271s 18
32 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 47.261s 2.325s 18
33 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 47.322s 2.386s 10
34 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 47.353s 2.417s 9
35 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 47.486s 2.550s 21
36 Corey LaJoie Go FAS Racing Ford 47.818s 2.882s 12

Second practice times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 44.830s - 12
2 Jamie McMurray Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 44.844s 0.014s 18
3 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 44.851s 0.021s 16
4 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford 44.857s 0.027s 24
5 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 44.868s 0.038s 12
6 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 44.872s 0.042s 19
7 Daniel Suarez Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 44.880s 0.050s 14
8 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 44.899s 0.069s 16
9 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 44.904s 0.074s 16
10 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 44.904s 0.074s 16
11 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 44.913s 0.083s 15
12 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 45.035s 0.205s 13
13 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 45.056s 0.226s 15
14 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45.309s 0.479s 12
15 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 45.325s 0.495s 14
16 Matt Tifft Front Row Motorsports Ford 45.450s 0.620s 12
17 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45.584s 0.754s 10
18 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 45.672s 0.842s 18
19 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 45.707s 0.877s 11
20 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45.710s 0.880s 11
21 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45.747s 0.917s 10
22 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 45.760s 0.930s 23
23 Daniel Hemric Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45.782s 0.952s 12
24 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45.808s 0.978s 20
25 Brendan Gaughan Beard Motorsports Chevrolet 45.929s 1.099s 6
26 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45.978s 1.148s 6
27 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 45.983s 1.153s 9
28 Parker Kligerman Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 47.084s 2.254s 8
29 B.J. McLeod Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet 48.461s 3.631s 8


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