Suarez paces Friday's first Daytona 500 practice

Suarez paces Friday's first Daytona 500 practice

Cup Series

Suarez paces Friday's first Daytona 500 practice


Daniel Suarez paced the first of two practice sessions Friday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway with a lap of 199.840mph.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver went to the top of the leaderboard while drafting with his teammates and others during the 50-minute session. It was a calm and uneventful session following a crash-filled Thursday night in the Can-Am Duel races.

Second fastest was Denny Hamlin at 199.743mph while Martin Truex Jr. was third fastest at 199.694mph. David Ragan was fourth fastest at 199.650mph and Danica Patrick rounded out the top five at 199.406mph. Patrick will make her final NASCAR start Sunday afternoon.

Several teams had different agendas during practice. There were those who worked on single-car runs while others were not afraid to mix it up in the draft.

Completing the top 10 were Darrell Wallace Jr. (199.397mph), Kyle Busch (199.203mph), Brendan Gaughan (199.159mph), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (198.325mph) and Justin Marks (198.303mph).

Thirty-six of the 40 cars who will start the Daytona 500 participated in the practice session. Six drivers got on track for the first time in their backup cars following crashes yesterday: Austin Dillon was 12th fastest; William Byron was 13th fastest; Kyle Larson was 20th fastest; Brad Keselowski was 26th fastest; Aric Almirola was 27th fastest, and Jimmie Johnson was 32nd fastest.

NEXT UP: Practice at 3:05 p.m. ET.