Hamlin, Kahne lead the way in final Daytona 500 practice

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Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne both set a blistering pace of more than 202 mph in Saturday’s final practice session for Sunday’s 57th running of the Daytona 500.

Hamlin was fastest at 202.106 mph, while Kahne was just a few ticks behind at 202.025 mph.

Greg Biffle, who has been strong throughout Speedweeks, was third-fastest at 201.853 mph, followed by Sam Hornish Jr. (201.816) and David Ragan (201.712).

Pole-sitter Jeff Gordon ran 30 practice laps, with a top speed of 200.454 mph, good for 13th on the speed charts.

Outside pole-sitter Jimmie Johnson ran 13 laps with a top speed of 194.058 mph, 29th-fastest among all drivers that took part.

Regan Smith, who will replace the suspended Kurt Busch in Sunday’s race, was 30th-fastest with a top speed of 193.661 mph. Smith took just 13 practice laps in the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.

Although there will be 43 cars in Sunday’s race field, only 35 drivers took practice runs in the Happy Hour session.

Notable by their absence in the final 500 tune-up were Penske Racing teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.

PRACTICE RESULTS

1. Denny Hamlin … 202.106 mph … 24 laps
2. Kasey Kahne … 202.025 … 11 laps
3. Greg Biffle … 201.853 … 11 laps
4. Sam Hornish Jr. … 201.816 … 20 laps
5. David Ragan … 201.712 … 13 laps
6. Trevor Bayne … 201.297 … 19 laps
7. Kyle Busch … 201.293 … 17 laps
8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. … 201.095 … 32 laps
9. Michael McDowell … 201.023 … 5 laps
10. Aric Almirola … 201.001 … 22 laps
11. Tony Stewart … 200.709 … 22 laps
12. Carl Edwards … 200.548 … 11 laps
13. Jeff Gordon … 200.454 … 30 laps
14. Kevin Harvick … 200.187 … 21 laps
15. Kyle Larson … 199.734 … 38 laps
16. Clint Bowyer … 199.720 … 10 laps
17. Matt Kenseth … 199.588 … 15 laps
18. Martin Truex Jr. … 198.404 … 18 laps
19. Casey Mears … 198.369 … 14 laps
20. Ty Dillon … 198.273 … 19 laps
21. Landon Cassill … 198.268 … 23 laps
22. Ryan Newman … 198.229 … 8 laps
23. Paul Menard … 198.225 … 14 laps
24. Michael Annett … 197.611 … 8 laps
25. Justin Allgaier … 196.502 … 15 laps
26. Dale Earnhardt Jr. … 195.537 … 22 laps
27. David Gilliland … 195.419 … 9 laps
28. Cole Whitt … 194.435 … 11 laps
29. Jimmie Johnson … 194.058 … 13 laps
30. Regan Smith … 193.661 … 13 laps
31. Jamie McMurray … 192.616 … 9 laps
32. Austin Dillon … 192.608 … 12 laps
33. Bobby Labonte … 190.347 … 8 laps
34. Johnny Sauter … 188.001 … 2 laps
35. JJ Yeley … 187.586 … 2 laps

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