Duel winner William Byron tops Friday Daytona 500 practice

William Byron topped the leaderboard in Friday’s third overall NASCAR Cup Series practice at Daytona International Speedway at 204.587 mph in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Byron won the second of Thursday night’s Bluegreen Vacations Duel races that finalized the field for Sunday’s Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio).

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Right behind him was Ryan Preece, in the JTG Daugherty Racing No. 37 Chevrolet at 204.096 mph, and teammate Chase Elliott in the No. 24 Chevy at 203.869 mph

Rounding out the top five were Ty Dillon in the No. 13 Germain Racing Chevy (203.422 mph) and Tyler Reddick in the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet (202.922 mph). And next came Byron’s other Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Chevy (202.698 mph) and Alex Bowman in the No. 88 Chevy (202.657 mph).

MORE: Full practice results | Daytona 500 lineup

Defending Daytona 500 champ Denny Hamlin was eighth in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at 201.821 mph.

NASCAR on FOX’s Larry McReynolds announced during the session that he was informed by NASCAR’s Jay Fabian that Dillon would need to drop to the rear for Sunday’s race as a result of a gear change in his No. 13.


Final Daytona 500 practice is Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET on FS1.