Logano, Ford lead marathon Daytona 500 NASCAR practice

Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, drives during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 59th Annual DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Getty Images)

In a practice session nearly as long as the Daytona 500 itself, 42 cars took to the highbanks of Daytona International Speedway Saturday. The four hour practice session consisted of single car runs as teams prepared for Sunday’s qualifying. That session will not only set the front row for the Daytona 500, but also the rest of the field for Thursday’s Duel qualifying races which will set the rest of the field and will also be lined up according to Sunday’s qualifying speeds.

At the end of the session, Ford took seven of the top 10 spots with Team Penske driver Joey Logano claiming the fastest lap, 193.116.  Kyle Larson in a Chevrolet was fourth, with Daniel Suarez in a Toyota sixth. Perhaps the biggest news of the day came with the return to the track of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

After missing the second half of the 2016 season while recovering from a concussion, NASCAR’s most popular driver was cleared to race in December and is making his return to competition in this years Daytona 500. Earnhardt wheeled his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to eleventh on the charts Saturday MORE>>>

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.