William Byron fastest in Saturday's MENCS Daytona practice

Lynette Rowe
February 12, 2018

"I was like, 'Man, where was I on that one?' It would have just been a good gamble to use the backup but didn't think of it soon enough and was honestly just really concerned about the work getting done to put the primary vehicle out there for the 500".

Patrick has made six Daytona 500 starts, finishing a career-best eighth in 2013.

Earnhardt was a seven-time pole victor at Daytona, too. That was Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s auto, and NASCAR's most popular driver won six races at Daytona International Speedway behind the wheel of that Hendrick Motorsports entry. She published a wellness book and revealed she's now dating Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who will be at the Daytona 500.

Patrick's deal for the Daytona 500 is with Premium Motorsports. "I never would have thought it would happen after the path my career took". Only the front row was locked in during Sunday's qualifying session.

But Earnhardt retired at the end of last season and the empty seat went to Bowman, who drove 10 races filling in for Earnhardt when Earnhardt was sidelined in 2016 with a concussion. Hendrick is now tied with Harry Ranier for the record of most consecutive Daytona 500 poles at four. Stenhouse won two plate races last season, at Talladega in the spring and at Daytona in July. "A couple of days ago I was thinking to myself that we should have run the backup vehicle in the (exhibition). It's Daytona", he said.

SCR's recent Charter acquisition guarantees the team a position in the Great American Race, where it will showcase its partnership with VRX Simulators in the 00 Chevy Camaro.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Hendrick Motorsports rookie William Byron has posted the fastest lap in practice for the Daytona 500. The driver simply turns the laps on qualifying day, and the fastest cars climb to the top. "We knew we were going for the pole".

Patrick is retiring after she races in both NASCAR's February 18 season-opening Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 in May.

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Hamlin was thrilled to have earned such a strong starting spot at second.

"I don't really watch a lot of racing when I'm still racing", Patrick said.

Defending NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr., also a Toyota driver, was 26th and searching for the same speed the Gibbs cars displayed. "It will be a very exciting year for us", Cope said. "I mean, obviously, I was in 38 of them or 37 or sometimes 36 [in a season], but I'm sure I will watch some of it when it's somewhat convenient or when it's a big one". There's not a whole lot you can do when you get down here.

Millican broke his own record of 3.631 set a year ago in Madison, Illinois.

Penske Racing Ford's were impressive in the draft.

Danica Patrick's final NASCAR race will be next Sunday's Daytona 500. The team typically fields unfunded cars that run at the back of the Cup Series field but her effort will be fully-financed by longtime sponsor GoDaddy.

The Homestead race, Patrick said, represented her end of the road as far as the grand passion of the moment.

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