Race Weekend Central

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Wins Final Practice at Daytona

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished the week’s worth of practice sessions on top as he won final practice at Daytona International Speedway.

At a time of 45.655 seconds (197.131 mph), Earnhardt led defending Daytona 500 champion Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski in a session that saw 25 cars take to the track.

The Hendrick Motorsports veteran has momentum on his side following his second win in practice and a Can-Am Duel victory on Thursday night. Earnhardt’s teammates Chase Elliott, Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson finished eighth, 13th and 18th, respectively.

A four-car line makes its way through the Daytona tri-oval Saturday in final practice (Photo: Zach Catanzareti via Frontstretch)

Though the session was populated with single-car runs, Stewart-Haas Racing saw three of the four entries (Brian Vickers, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch) join Clint Bowyer and Elliott in a small pack early in practice.

Team Penske also formed a small pack with Joey Logano – who finished first or second in three of eight practice sessions – and Brad Keselowski drafting with the affiliated Wood Brothers Racing in driver Ryan Blaney. The three finished 2-3-4 behind Earnhardt, respectively.

Landon Cassill finished the Happy Hour session 11th on the board, the highest the driver of the No. 38 has finished any practice in Speedweeks.

The next time the Sprint Cup Series field of 40 sees the racetrack, the green flag will officially drop for the 58th Daytona 500 on Sunday.

About the author

Growing up in Easton, Pa., Zach Catanzareti has grown his auto racing interest from fandom to professional. Joining Frontstretch in 2015, Zach enjoys nothing more than being at the track, having covered his first half-season of 18 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. With experience behind the wheel, behind the camera and in the media center, he thrives on being an all-around reporter.

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What does the trophy look like for winning a practice session?

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