|Kyle Busch is one of the co-favorites to win Daytona 500|
Who cares about practice?
Kyle Busch, that's who.
MORE: Danica wrecks | NASCAR makes qualifying changes | Budweiser Duel breakdowns
Busch made an aggressive move through the middle of a pack of traffic Wednesday to post the fastest speed in Sprint Cup practice at Daytona International Speedway as drivers practiced for Thursday's Budweiser Duel qualifying races.
Busch paced practice with a speed of 200.776 mph. Jimmie Johnson, who will start on the front row for the Daytona 500, was second-fastest at 200.530 mph.
Rounding out the top 10 were: Trevor Bayne, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Brian Scott, pole-sitter Jeff Gordon, Casey Mears, Michael Waltrip and David Gilliland. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 13th.
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Practice 3 Speeds
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How aggressive were drivers in practice?
“People say in practice that you can’t make aggressive moves, but we also have to put ourselves in decent positions where we’re going to have to figure out what our car is doing. I went through the middle and it was really wide – it just closed as soon as I had already got inside of her (Danica Patrick) and the lane closed. It knocked me into the 13 (Casey Mears) and we had some attrition after that.”
How much damage was sustained to your Camry?
“It’s nothing that we have to go to a backup car for, but it messed up other cars. That’s the tough part about it. You always have to give a little bit extra room in practice. There’s typically not a whole lot of blocking in practice and things like that – that you’ll see in the race. Also, you do have to go three-wide in those situations because you have to figure out what your car is going to do. That’s just a miscalculation one way or another on one of our parts. Unfortunately some cars got torn up.”
- Toyota Racing
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS was involved in a multi-car accident during today’s first practice session and will go to a back-up car and start at the rear of the field in Thursday’s Budweiser Duel.
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE ACCIDENT?
“It’s unfortunate. I know it was a car. I know it was a good coming from the shop. And with this new format that we have with qualifying and the race and everything, we knew we were going to have to race hard through the Duels anyway. That’s not going to change. It just makes extra work for everybody having to get everything ready with the other car. Hopefully we’ll get out soon and we’ll go make sure everything is all right and we’ll make sure it’s good on time.”
WE JUST SAW YOUR BACK-UP CAR COMING OUT IN THE GARAGE. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE BEFORE WE SEE YOU BACK OUT ON THE TRACK?
“That’s a good question. Hopefully we get out by the end of second practice. If not, we didn’t plan on running tomorrow, but I would imagine that would mean we might run tomorrow. But hopefully we should get out here in the second practice and we’ll have 40 minutes to make sure everything is okay. We probably won’t get through our list of things that we wanted to try to make sure on single car runs that we were getting the most speed out of it. But, at the end of the day when you’re in a pack, you see cars with damage all over the place and they manage to hang on just fine. So, we’ve just got to make sure everything is okay to roll for tomorrow.”
WHAT HAPPENED? ARE YOU OKAY?
“I’m fine. I’m obviously disappointed and I know that it was a good car and it’s never a good thing to crash. But, I was just riding along and it turned, so it’s the nature of pack racing and that’s what makes it challenging, too. Sometimes there’s not much you can do about it. I could have collected more people and it wouldn’t have been anything that they were a part of. But that’s just group racing at Daytona. That’s the gamble that we all face. That’s what makes it exciting and very frustrating. So, we knew we were going to have to run hard in the Duels no matter what, and that just doesn’t change.”
DENNY HAMLIN KIND OF TOOK RESPONSIBILITY. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR CHANCE OF GETTING IN THE DAYTONA 500
“I was following the No. 6 (Johnny Sauter). He (Hamlin) pulled out in front of me in our lane out of (Turn) 2; I was riding behind him and the car sort of started turning toward the right and the back end was coming around and then it swapped ends. So, it just looked like he was trying to pull out and make a third lane in the middle and it felt like it mush have caught my bumper.”
WHAT ARE YOUR CHANCES FOR THE 500 WITH A BACK-UP CAR?
“Well, I really don’t know the circumstances for the race and qualifying and back-ups. I really don’t. I was fairly confused in and of itself just with what you’ve got to do to get in other than being in the Top 15 even without going to a back-up. So, I don’t know. I just know that I have to race hard and that’s the end of it.”
- Team Chevy