Dale Earnhardt Jr. fastest in first practice Saturday at Daytona

DaleJrDale Earnhardt Jr., with a lap speed of 194.116 MPH, kicked off the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) regular season Saturday morning, with being the fastest in the series’ first Daytona 500 practice session at Daytona International Speedway.

Last year’s Daytona 500 winner, Joey Logano, was second fastest in the session with a lap speed of 193.853 MPH, and he was followed by Matt Kenseth (193.782 MPH) who was third, series Rookie of the Year (ROTY) candidate, Chase Elliott (193.586) fourth and Kasey Kahne (193.582) was fifth.

Rounding out the top-10 fastest drivers in the practice were  Brad Keselowski (193.436 MPH) who was sixth, Greg Biffle (193.407) seventh, Kurt Busch (193.220) eighth, Carl Edwards (193.199) ninth and Martin Truex Jr. (193.100) posting the 10th-fastest lap speed.

The teams will have one more practice session this afternoon from 1:30 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. (ET On FOX Sports 1) prior to Sunday’s qualifying session.

Only the top-two starting positions will be decided on Sunday in qualifying, which is scheduled to get underway around 1:15 p.m. ET, and FOX will provide television coverage of the session. While the rest of the starting lineup will be determined on Thursday (Feb. 18th) at the conclusion of the Can-Am Duel #1 and Duel #2 qualifying races – they are scheduled to get started at approximately 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 respectively.

The 58th annual Daytona 500 is set to get started around 1:00 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Feb. 21st, with television coverage provided by FOX.

Daytona 500 First Practice
Pos. Car # Driver Best Speed Best Time Behind # Laps
1 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr 194.116 46.364 Leader 11
2 22 Joey Logano 193.853 46.427 -0.063 19
3 20 Matt Kenseth 193.782 46.444 -0.080 15
4 24 Chase Elliott # 193.586 46.491 -0.127 8
5 5 Kasey Kahne 193.582 46.492 -0.128 13
6 2 Brad Keselowski 193.436 46.527 -0.163 14
7 16 Greg Biffle 193.407 46.534 -0.170 9
8 41 Kurt Busch 193.220 46.579 -0.215 5
9 19 Carl Edwards 193.199 46.584 -0.220 14
10 78 Martin Truex Jr. 193.100 46.608 -0.244 3
11 18 Kyle Busch 193.087 46.611 -0.247 15
12 6 Trevor Bayne 192.963 46.641 -0.277 12
13 21 Ryan Blaney* # 192.914 46.653 -0.289 11
14 3 Austin Dillon 192.810 46.678 -0.314 6
15 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 192.786 46.684 -0.320 18
16 11 Denny Hamlin 192.686 46.708 -0.344 13
17 14 Brian Vickers 192.666 46.713 -0.349 7
18 31 Ryan Newman 192.629 46.722 -0.358 12
19 48 Jimmie Johnson 192.583 46.733 -0.369 16
20 95 Ty Dillon (i) 192.546 46.742 -0.378 5
21 1 Jamie McMurray 192.439 46.768 -0.404 14
22 13 Casey Mears 192.341 46.792 -0.428 5
23 4 Kevin Harvick 192.160 46.836 -0.472 5
24 7 Regan Smith 192.111 46.848 -0.484 13
25 44 Brian Scott # 191.971 46.882 -0.518 12
26 27 Paul Menard 191.894 46.901 -0.537 5
27 42 Kyle Larson 191.873 46.906 -0.542 15
28 43 Aric Almirola 191.714 46.945 -0.581 8
29 93 Matt Dibenedetto* 191.392 47.024 -0.660 6
30 83 Michael Waltrip 191.347 47.035 -0.671 3
31 10 Danica Patrick 191.091 47.098 -0.734 8
32 59 Michael McDowell* 190.977 47.126 -0.762 5
33 47 AJ Allmendinger 190.730 47.187 -0.823 10
34 34 Chris Bueshcher # 190.694 47.196 -0.832 6
35 38 Landon Cassill 190.484 47.248 -0.884 8
36 46 Michael Annett 190.440 47.259 -0.895 7
37 15 Clint Bowyer 189.314 47.540 -1.176 8
38 23 David Ragan 189.024 47.613 -1.249 12
39 32 Bobby Labonte 188.945 47.633 -1.269 8
40 98 Cole Whitt* 188.636 47.711 -1.347 6
41 35 David Gilliland* 188.017 47.868 -1.504 7
42 26 Robert Richardson Jr* 187.786 47.927 -1.563 5
43 30 Josh Wise* 186.474 48.264 -1.900 8
44 40 Reed Sorenson* 186.185 48.339 -1.975 3

# – Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate
* – must compete for the four remaining positions in the field each week
(i) – driver not running for 2016 Sprint Cup Series Championship Drivers Points

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