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Ricky Stenhouse Jr leads Ford sweep of final Daytona 500 practice

Ricky Stenhouse Jr led an all-Ford top six in the final practice session ahead of Sunday's NASCAR Cup season-opening Daytona 500

Roush Fenway driver Stenhouse posted the fastest lap with a 45.351-second effort at an average speed of 198.452 mph.

He was followed by five fellow Ford drivers - Penske's Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, then Stewart-Haas's Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer.

The session was interrupted by a brief light rain shower but there was no significant loss of track time.

Few cars participated in the final 20 minutes and only 28 of the 40 qualifiers ran at all.

Gaunt Brothers Racing's DJ Kennington was the sole Toyota on track, with the Japanese firm's lead squad Joe Gibbs Racing among those opting to save their equipment for Sunday's race.

Gibbs drivers Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch head into the 500 among the favourites, having dominated last Sunday's non-championship Clash race before a last-lap collision between Hamlin and Keselowski let Logano through to win.

Last year's 500 winner Hamlin then triumphed in one of Thursday night's Duel qualifying races, with Sunday's polesitter Chase Elliott winning the other for Hendrick Motorsports.

Elliott and front row partner Dale Earnhardt Jr were back in 21st and 19th respectively in Saturday afternoon's practice session, with Earnhardt experiencing some vibrations cured by a driveshaft adjustment.

PRACTICE TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 45.351s - 7
2 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 45.743s 0.392s 9
3 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 45.744s 0.393s 10
4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 45.749s 0.398s 10
5 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 45.755s 0.404s 24
6 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 45.761s 0.410s 10
7 Elliott Sadler Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 45.782s 0.431s 9
8 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 45.785s 0.434s 10
9 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 45.814s 0.463s 11
10 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45.833s 0.482s 36
11 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports Ford 45.833s 0.482s 17
12 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45.908s 0.557s 15
13 Jeffrey Earnhardt Circle Sport / TMG Chevrolet 45.925s 0.574s 17
14 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45.967s 0.616s 16
15 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 46.103s 0.752s 17
16 Brendan Gaughan Beard Motorsports Chevrolet 46.128s 0.777s 9
17 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 46.139s 0.788s 24
18 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 46.160s 0.809s 11
19 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 46.279s 0.928s 30
20 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 46.317s 0.966s 15
21 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 46.346s 0.995s 12
22 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 46.369s 1.018s 7
23 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 46.446s 1.095s 9
24 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 46.596s 1.245s 19
25 D.J. Kennington Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 46.677s 1.326s 14
26 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 47.401s 2.050s 16
27 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 47.551s 2.200s 13
28 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford 48.089s 2.738s 2

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