William Byron leads Daytona 500 practice on opening day

By on February 10, 2018


FILE: William Byron (Photo by Sarah Stierch - Own work, CC BY 4.0)
FILE: William Byron (Photo by Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Hendrick Motorsports rookie William Byron has posted the fastest lap in practice for the Daytona 500.

Byron turned a lap of 210.681 mph in Saturday afternoon’s practice at Daytona International Speedway. It was the fastest lap of two sessions.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was second fastest at 201.649 mph. Stenhouse won two plate races last season, at Talladega in the spring and at Daytona in July. Joey Logano was third and followed by Denny Hamlin.

David Ragan and Michael McDowell were the surprises of the first day of practice by posting the fifth and 10th fastest speeds. Qualifying for the first two spots in the Feb. 18 season-opening race is Sunday.

In Saturday’s first practice, Kyle Busch led all four Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas to a sweep of the speed chart. Busch’s best lap was 199.743, with no driver topping 200 mph in the early practice.