Team Penske drivers (and affiliate) top Daytona 500 practice

Joey Logano heads to the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Joey Logano heads to the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Joey Logano heads to the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Defending Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano saved his best for the last two minutes of the second and final practice session on Saturday afternoon.

Drafting with teammate Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney of Wood Brothers Racing, a Team Penske affiliate, Logano topped the speed chart at 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway with a lap at 195.933 mph (45.934 seconds), the fastest of the day.

Keselowski was a close second at 195.848 mph, followed by Blaney at 195.797 mph. Those three drivers were the only ones who cracked the 46-second mark.

Logano was consistently fast all day, running second to two-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Saturday’s opening practice for the Great American Race (Feb. 21 on FOX).

While Logano established himself as one of the favorites for the Feb. 21 season-opening points race, Blaney, who has to qualify for the race on speed, positioned himself for a spot in the field in the unlikely event of a qualifying rainout on Sunday.

“We had a plan,” Blaney said after practice in an interview with Motorsport.com. “That’s what we usually do. Brad, Joey and I figure out how we can run together — a little three-car — to see how they draft up. You can’t tell much, but you can see where you’re at and where they’re loaded down with extra drafting help. That was kind of the plan, to line up there at the end.

“We have a pretty fast car, compared to the cars we need to beat — if we’re in the top two of the eight that don’t have charters. I feel pretty good about that. As far as overall raw speed, I think we need to find a little bit more, but I don’t feel like we need too much more. I feel pretty good about (qualifying on Sunday).”

About Greg Engle 7420 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.