Joey Logano posted the fastest lap in Saturday’s lengthy practice session at Daytona International Speedway.
Fords went 1-2-3 in the session, which lasted 3 hours, 55 minutes.
Logano led the way with a lap of 193.116 mph. Aric Almirola piloted his Richard Petty Motorsports ride to a lap of 193.054 mph. Logano’s Team Penske teammate, Brad Keselowski, was third on the speed chart at 193.046 mph. Kyle Larson was fourth at 193.034 mph. Ryan Blaney completed the top five in his Wood Brothers Racing Ford at 192.980.
“In all honesty, I’ve never been that fast in qualifying here in Daytona in my whole career,” Logano said. “I feel like I’ve never had a shot at it, but now I feel like I’m closer than ever. I feel like I’m kind of in new territory, plus I think some of these other guys sandbag a lot, so (Sunday) will be the telltale sign.”
Qualifying is Sunday.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., making his return to racing after missing half of last season because of concussion symptoms, was 11th on the speed chart at 192.670 mph.
“It felt good to just get out there and get to work a little bit and be with the guys and see all the familiar faces in the garage, other drivers and team members and so forth,” Earnhardt said. “Yeah, just trying to put as many laps as I can behind me and get further and further into this deal to where the events from last year become more of a distant memory and don’t define me as who I am so much anymore.”
Martin Truex Jr. ran only one lap Saturday. His team struggled to get through inspection and missed most of the session. His teammate, rookie Erik Jones, had similar issues and ran only nine laps. Kyle Busch ran the most laps at 32.