(Daytona Beach, Fla.) Wednesday afternoon the Sprint Cup cars hit the track for an hour and a half practice session for Thursday’s Gatorade Duel qualifying races.
Sporting new colors for 2010, Matt Kenseth was the fastest of the fastest of the 54 drivers to run around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. Kenseth ran a total of 25 laps, with his best (46.331 seconds at 194.254 mph) coming on just his third lap.
Last year’s Daytona 500 winner was only 0.008 seconds faster than Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch. One of the strongest cars in last year’s event, Busch ran 46 laps in the draft as he tested not only his car, but the competition in the draft.
The first session of the day was not without incident, however, as Clint Bowyer cut a tire going through Turn 2. Chasing the car up the hill, Bowyer’s No. 33 Chevrolet shot right across the nose of David Reutimann who was unable to slow down. Making matters worse for Reutimann and his Michael Waltrip Racing team, Derrike Cope ran into the back of the No. 00 and sent him spinning. All three teams were forced to pull out back-up cars.
Scott Speed as the fastest of those drivers outside the top-35, but is locked into Sunday’s race thanks to his qualifying time. Of those needing to race their way in during Thursday’s Duels, Mike Bliss was the fastest in 23rd.
The Cup cars are back out on the track for their second and final practice prior to Thursday Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races.