Friday, February 22, 2013

Drivers Play it Safe in Friday's Daytona 500 Practices

Ryan Newman one of 22 drivers to run in Friday's late practice session
Sporting News

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — With most drivers hoping not to wreck their cars, they did little drafting during Sprint Cup practice Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

Though they still have much to learn about passing and drafting with the new Sprint Cup car, most drivers either made single-car runs or ran in small packs on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

In an uneventful two hours of practice, 31 of the 43 drivers made at least a few laps around the 2.5-mile oval.

Kevin Harvick, who won his second race of Speedweeks on Thursday, was among the 12 drivers who sat out practice Friday and must run at least one lap in practice on Saturday per NASCAR rules. Others who sat out Friday sessions include: Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Mark Martin.

Only 14 drivers participated in the first session Friday with Aric Almirola posting the fastest speed at 196.941 mph. The second session featured 22 drivers — including only five who ran in the first practice — and was led by Tony Stewart at 197.131 mph.

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