Race Weekend Central

Daniel Suarez Sweeps Friday Daytona 500 Practices

Daniel Suarez fastest in First Friday Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Practice 

Daniel Suarez was quickest during Friday’s first Cup practice at Daytona International Speedway. With Thursday’s Can-Am Duels completed, practice gave drivers and teams the chance to begin focusing on the main task at hand: Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Suarez turned a 45.036-second lap around the 2.5-mile track, recording a speed of 199.840 mph. His time was just .022 seconds faster than his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin.

While Toyota topped the charts, three manufacturers were represented inside the top five. Camrys took the top three spots, with defending champion Martin Truex Jr. third. David Ragan led the way for Ford (fourth) while Premium Motorsports’ Danica Patrick rounded out the top-five speeds.

36 cars hit the 2.5-mile oval for at least one lap during the session. Matt DiBenedetto, David Gilliland, Jamie McMurray, and Erik Jones were the lone exceptions during Friday’s first practice.

DiBenedetto, Gilliland and Jones’ teams were each working on their backup cars during the session after being involved in wrecks during Thursday night’s Can-Am Duels.


Suarez Fastest in Final Friday MENCS Practice

Clearly, Suarez has a fast hot rod this weekend. The Monterrey, Mexico native turned a lap of 44.296 seconds around Daytona to officially sweep Friday’s practice sessions. Finishing just .051 seconds behind Suarez, Ryan Newman turned the second-fastest lap.

Much like the first practice session on Friday, all three manufacturers were represented in the top five. Toyota and Chevrolet led the charge followed by the Ford of Michael McDowell. The Chevy of A.J. Allmendinger finished fourth followed by Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota.

Only 29 of the 40 Daytona 500 entries made laps in Friday’s second practice session. Justin Marks, Gray Gaulding, Mark Thompson, Corey Lajoie, David Gilliland, D.J. Kennington, Brendan Gaughan, Matt DiBenedetto, Darrell Wallace Jr., and Hamlin all didn’t make it out of the garage.


About the author


His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.

During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.

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