Kyle Busch tops first of today’s two Daytona 500 practice sessions


Kyle Busch knocked Daytona 500 front-row starter Jimmie Johnson from the top spot late in today’s first 500 practice session with a lap of 200.776 mph in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Johnson, a two-time 500 winner, was fastest for much of the 45-minute run before his best lap of 200.530 mph was eclipsed by Busch.

2011 500 champ and Roush Fenway Racing Cup newcomer Trevor Bayne was third-fastest at 200.053 mph. Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kasey Kahne, was fourth on the time sheets at 199.858 mph, and the top-five was completed by 2008 500 winner Ryan Newman, who posted a top lap of 199.645 mph.

The early moments of the session saw Danica Patrick, Jeb Burton, Denny Hamlin, Casey Mears, and Michael Annett involved in an accident that forced Patrick, Annett, and rookie Burton to backup machines.

JGR reported that their driver, Hamlin, took cosmetic damage to the left side and right front fender of his No. 11 Toyota but would not need to go to a backup himself.

A second practice session will take place today at 3:15 p.m. ET.

Daytona 500 Practice 3
Daytona International Speedway
1. Kyle Busch, 200.776 mph … 24 laps run
2. Jimmie Johnson, 200.530 … 21 laps run
3. Trevor Bayne, 200.053 … 17 laps run
4. Kasey Kahne, 199.858 … 16 laps run
5. Ryan Newman, 199.645 … 23 laps run
6. Brian Scott, 199.552 … 17 laps run
7. Jeff Gordon, 199.437 … 20 laps run
8. Casey Mears, 199.313 … 13 laps run
9. Michael Waltrip, 199.164 … 12 laps run
10. David Gilliland, 199.150 … 12 laps run
11. David Ragan, 199.146 … 12 laps run
12. Justin Marks, 198.921 … 17 laps run
13. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 198.869 … 19 laps run
14. Tony Stewart, 198.702 … 26 laps run
15. Carl Edwards, 198.684 … 13 laps run
16. Paul Menard, 198.264 … 14 laps run
17. Justin Allgaier, 198.129 … 9 laps run
18. Josh Wise, 197.972 … 12 laps run
19. Denny Hamlin, 197.928 … 16 laps run
20. Ty Dillon, 197.694 … 16 laps run
21. Austin Dillon, 197.663 … 13 laps run
22. Landon Cassill, 196.850 … 9 laps run
23. Kevin Harvick, 196.640 … 10 laps run
24. Brad Keselowski, 196.447 … 6 laps run
25. Michael McDowell, 195.537 … 8 laps run
26. Sam Hornish Jr., 195.499 … 11 laps run
27. Ryan Blaney, 195.427 … 8 laps run
28. Greg Biffle, 194.961 .. 10 laps run
29. Jeb Burton, 194.767 … 1 lap run
30. Michael Annett, 194.738 … 1 lap run
31. Matt Kenseth, 194.489 … 16 laps run
32. Kyle Larson, 194.275 … 1 lap run
33. Kurt Busch, 193.970 … 15 laps run
34. Joey Logano, 193.332 … 14 laps run
35. Clint Bowyer, 193.199 … 5 laps run
36. Jamie McMurray, 192.674 … 9 laps run
37. A.J. Allmendinger, 192.489 … 11 laps run
38. Alex Bowman, 192.489 … 2 laps run
39. Aric Almirola, 192.102 … 8 laps run
40. Danica Patrick, 192.090 … 1 lap run
41. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 191.636 … 11 laps run
42. Cole Whitt, 191.355 … 7 laps run
43. Ron Hornaday Jr., 188.913 … 5 laps run
44. Bobby Labonte, 0.000 … 0 laps run

Best 10-Consecutive Lap Average
1. Kyle Busch, 197.905 mph … Laps 15-24
2. Kasey Kahne, 197.672 … Laps 2-11
3. Jeff Gordon, 197.591 … Laps 2-11
4. Carl Edwards, 197.521 … Laps 4-13
5. Tony Stewart, 197.509 … Laps 4-13
6. Jimmie Johnson, 197.420 … Laps 12-21
7. Michael Waltrip, 197.373 … Laps 3-12
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 197.338 … Laps 1-10
9. Brian Scott, 197.274 … Laps 3-12
10. Trevor Bayne, 197.158 … Laps 4-13
11. Justin Marks, 197.136 … Laps 7-16
12. Denny Hamlin, 197.086 … Laps 7-16
13. Ryan Newman, 196.743 … Laps 13-22
14. Austin Dillon, 196.510 … Laps 2-11
15. Ty Dillon, 196.487 … Laps 1-10
16. Paul Menard, 196.263 … Laps 4-13
17. Casey Mears, 196.166 … Laps 3-12

Updated entry lists for Cup, Truck at Martinsville

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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

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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:/ 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

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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.”

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Bubba Wallace entered in Truck race at Martinsville

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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.