News & Media

Recapping Thursday's practices at Daytona

July 03, 2014, Staff report,

Brian Scott leads NNS practice; Jamie McMurray tops opening Cup session

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Jamie McMurray had to wait out a bit of spotty weather, but it was worth it for the Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who led the only practice for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday. Final practice, which was scheduled to run for 90 minutes, was canceled due to inclement weather at the track.

The two-time Daytona winner topped the leaderboard during Sprint Cup Series practice -- which was delayed an hour because of inclement weather -- pacing the field with a best speed of 201.952 mph, attained on his 13th of 14 laps.  His CGR teammate Kyle Larson was right behind him, as the rookie ran his 15th lap around the 2.5-mile superspeedway at a 201.889 clip.

Clint Bowyer (201.839 mph), the series' most recent winner Brad Keselowski (201.771 mph) and six-time Daytona victor and points leader Jeff Gordon (201.712 mph) rounded out the top five.

Roush Fenway Racing, which has struggled as a whole in 2014, placed its two of its winless cars in the top 10 in Greg Biffle (8th, 201.261 mph) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (7th, 201.590 mph).

Former surprise Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne (200.553 mph) was 13th. Austin Dillon, who won the pole for this season's 500 opener, was 14th with a best speed of 200.503 mph.

Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammates struggled, with Kasey Kahne (198.965 mph) pulling in 26th, 2014 Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. (198.247 mph) 32nd and Jimmie Johnson, who swept the two Daytona races last season, 42nd with a speed of 191.274 mph.

Cup cars were on track for 45 minutes on Thursday. The initial start of practice was delayed an hour due to bad weather in the area.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying is set to take place Friday at 5:10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. The Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola scheduled for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT.


Brian Scott set an early pace at Daytona International Speedway that could not be matched. His No. 2 Chevrolet stayed atop the leaderboard for more than 90 minutes in Thursday's two-hour NASCAR Nationwide Series practice.

The only driver to crack 193 mph, Scott's speed of 193.092 mph on his fourth of 10 laps was best on the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

Richard Childress Racing teammate Ty Dillon joined Scott in the top five. His speed of 192.336 mph in the No. 3 Chevrolet was good for third. Between those two was Darrell Wallace Jr., who is driving the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota this week. His speed of 192.724 in a Coca-Cola paint scheme was good for second.

Dakoda Armstrong (191.898 mph) and Ryan Reed (191.857 mph) completed the top five, with both driving Fords.

New series points leader Elliott Sadler finished 16th with a lap of 188.466 mph in his No. 11 Toyota. He's four points ahead of Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott (187.398 mph, 22nd) and eight points ahead of Regan Smith (186.714 mph, 25th).

Practice was delayed briefly twice, once for debris and once when Chris Buescher had a tire go down. Buescher finished sixth in the session with a speed of 191.853 mph.

Qualifying is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. ET on Friday, with the Subway Firecracker 250 powered by Coca-Cola to follow at 7:30 p.m.