Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fastest in first Daytona 500 practice

Leave a comment

The Ford teams of Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports took the top four positions in Saturday morning’s opening practice for the 57th Daytona 500.

Roush driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led the session with a lap of 202.643 mph in the No. 17 Fastenal Ford. Petty newcomer Sam Hornish Jr. was next at 202.193 mph.

Former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne was third for Roush with the same speed as Hornish. Fourth belonged to Petty’s Aric Almirola (201.979), who won at Daytona in the Coke Zero 400 last July.

The third Roush driver, veteran Greg Biffle, was sixth (201.762) just behind the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of defending 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. (201.767).

With group qualifying for the 500 coming up tomorrow afternoon, top speeds took a noticeable jump as teams ran in line with multiple cars in addition to doing single-car runs by themselves.

Martin Truex Jr., driving the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, was the only entry that did not turn a lap in the first practice.

A second 500 practice will take place from 1:30-3:25 p.m. ET later today. Here’s the speed chart from Practice 1:

Daytona 500 Practice 1
Daytona International Speedway

1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 202.643 mph … 19 laps run
2. Sam Hornish Jr., 202.193 … 20 laps
3. Trevor Bayne, 202.193 … 11 laps
4. Aric Almirola, 201.979 … 18 laps
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 201.767 … 29 laps
6. Greg Biffle, 201.762 … 11 laps
7. Denny Hamlin, 201.441 … 26 laps
8. David Gilliland, 200.642 … 15 laps
9. Danica Patrick, 200.356 … 31 laps
10. Carl Edwards, 200.312 … 24 laps
11. Kasey Kahne, 199.982 … 30 laps
12. Clint Bowyer, 199.663 … 18 laps (had best 10-consecutive lap average; 196.804, Laps 2-11)
13. Kevin Harvick, 199.146 … 28 laps
14. Justin Allgaier, 199.102 … 40 laps
15. Tony Stewart, 199.093 … 22 laps
16. Kurt Busch, 199.089 … 35 laps
17. Jamie McMurray, 199.031 … 24 laps
18. Michael Annett, 198.913 … 38 laps
19. Kyle Busch, 198.855 … 29 laps
20. Kyle Larson, 198.816 … 39 laps
21. Matt Kenseth, 198.570 … 24 laps
22. Austin Dillon, 198.509 … 26 laps
23. Paul Menard, 198.395 … 10 laps
24. Brian Scott, 198.382 … 10 laps
25. Ty Dillon, 198.330 … 5 laps
26. Ryan Newman, 198.277 … 5 laps
27. David Ragan, 198.220 … 16 laps
28. Michael McDowell, 198.129 … 22 laps
29. Ryan Blaney, 197.650 … 17 laps
30. Casey Mears, 197.546 … 17 laps
31. Joey Logano, 197.278 … 18 laps
32. Brad Keselowski, 197.256 … 25 laps
33. Justin Marks, 197.204 … 31 laps
34. Landon Cassill, 196.846 … 17 laps
35. Alex Bowman, 196.674 … 12 laps
36. Cole Whitt, 196.524 … 17 laps
37. A.J. Allmendinger, 195.997 … 16 laps
38. Mike Wallace, 195.874 … 5 laps
39. Jimmie Johnson, 194.839 … 28 laps
40. Jeff Gordon, 194.675 … 24 laps
41. Jeb Burton, 194.321 … 20 laps
42. Johnny Sauter, 194.263 … 7 laps
43. Michael Waltrip, 193.403 … 19 laps
44. J.J. Yeley, 191.738 … 13 laps
45. Bobby Labonte, 191.026 … 12 laps
46. Josh Wise, 189.390 … 3 laps
47. Ron Hornaday Jr. 189.290 … 11 laps
48. Reed Sorenson, 186.831 … 13 laps

Updated entry lists for Cup, Truck at Martinsville

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Here are the entry lists for this weekend’s races.

Cup – STP 500 (2 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox Sports 1)

Thirty-six cars are entered for the sixth Cup race of the year. D.J. Kennington is listed in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports entry.

Jeb Burton is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 52 Ford.

Click here for the entry list.

Gander Outdoors Truck – Martinsville 250 (2 p.m. ET Saturday on Fox Sports 1)

Thirty-nine trucks are entered. Those also entered in the Cup race are Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Ross Chastain. Bubba Wallace is entered in AM Racing’s No. 22 truck.

Click here for the entry list.

NASCAR America Motormouths at 5 p.m. ET with Bubba Wallace

Leave a comment

Today’s episode of NASCAR America presents Motormouths airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Rutledge Wood hosts with Kyle Petty and they’ll be joined by special guest Bubba Wallace.

Fans will have the chance to call into the show to ask questions.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Indy 500 analyst role part of looking forward for Danica Patrick

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s been 10 months since Danica Patrick last competed in an auto racing event and she is completely fine with that.

Patrick was last seen in a cockpit in last May’s Indianapolis 500, part of her mini-retirement tour from racing that also included a run in the Daytona 500.

Now she’ll be back at the track, serving as an analyst for NBC’s broadcast of the 103rd Indy 500 on May 26.

It will be an interlude to her post-racing career.

“I really don’t miss racing,” Patrick said during a teleconference Wednesday.  “I’m really happy. I selfishly set out (with) the intention I wanted to travel a lot. I’ve definitely done that. Also working on my other businesses.”

Without racing, Patrick is able to look over her “Warrior” clothing line and her Somnium wine. She’s also been a host of ESPN’s Espy Awards show.

“I’m not a look-back kind of person, I’m a look-forward (person),” Patrick said. “This is something that’s part of looking forward. This is something totally new and different for me. It’s coming at a place where I have a lot of history, but it hasn’t been my job, which is why I’m going to work really hard to make sure I’m ready, like anything else I do that’s different.

Since retiring, Patrick said she watches racing “when I can.”

“I’m not going to lie, I’m happy doing what I’m doing,” Patrick said. “It’s allowed me new opportunities like this.”

This won’t be the first time Patrick has served in an analyst role for a race. She did the same for some Xfinity Series race broadcasts in the last few years of her NASCAR career.

“It’s very good to have had that experience,” Patrick said. “Obviously I was giving my driving experience sort of perspective and that insight, which is something I’m going to be doing again. But it was a guest spot.

“This is firm and established, part of a small team of two with Mike (Tirico) and I. I think there’s going to be a lot more preparation involved, I’m going to need to know a lot more information.”

Patrick said there will be one difference in her Indy 500 experience this year compared to the eight times she competed in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“I didn’t purposely look at the buildup of the day,” Patrick said. “I didn’t want to see the fans rolling in, all the pomp and circumstance. I really liked to keep it quiet. I wanted to just walk out there and have it be the event, not let myself get built up too much in my head with nerves, just the platform, the iconic event that it was, the millions of people. I just wanted to stay focused and go do it.

“This time, I’m sure I will see the buildup. I’m sure I’ll see the place fill in and turn from a quiet, peaceful, magical place, (and) at the shot of a cannon it’s going to start unraveling. That will be a cool perspective for me that I purposely haven’t really watched closely.”

and on Facebook

Bubba Wallace entered in Truck race at Martinsville

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Leave a comment

AM Racing announced Wednesday that Bubba Wallace will drive the No. 22 entry in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.

AM Racing tweeted: “In an effort to advance the performance component of our program, we will be putting a different Chevrolet driver in the seat of the No. 22 Chevrolet Silverado for Martinsville Speedway this weekend.”

AM Racing stated that Wallace “has been selected with very specific objectives regarding program feedback and development. His record at the track speaks for itself.”

Wallace, who will be on Wednesday’s NASCAR America (5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN), has two wins in four starts in the Truck series at Martinsville. He won there in 2013 and in 2014. Both times he won driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Austin Wayne Self had driven the No. 22 entry in the first three Truck races of the season. He finished ninth at Daytona and followed that with a 27th-place finish at Atlanta and a 15th-place finish in Las Vegas. He is 12th in the points.