In the heat of the day on Thursday afternoon, 45 Nationwide Series teams took to the 2.5 mile tri-oval that is Daytona Internationals Speedway for their only practice session, two hours of grinding and searching to see who was best in the draft. Ultimately, the speeds may not matter all that much on the surface, but they could be important should qualifying Friday be rained out.
All of the fastest laps occurred in the frantic first few minutes of the session. Brian Scott turned in the fastest lap of the day at 46.610 seconds (193.092 mph) all but at the beginning of the session. That held up as the fastest lap of the session. Darrell Wallace, Jr. was second fastest at 46.699 seconds (192.724 mph), while Ty Dillon was third. Rookies Dakoda Armstrong and Ryan Reed rounded out the top-5.
The session did not pass without some issues. While there were no spins or crashes, Bobby Gerhart did lose an engine in his No. 85 Lucas Oil Chevrolet exiting Turn 2. The red flag for cleanup cost teams roughly 20 minutes of on-track time. Gerhart’s team will naturally have to change the engine and drop to the rear of Friday night’s Subway Firecracker 250, if he qualifies for the race tomorrow on speed.