Kyle Busch was fastest during Friday’s second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Daytona International Speedway, turning a top lap of more than 197 miles per hour.
Busch’s fastest lap was timed at 197.285 mph to be exact. He no doubt is pleased to be posting fast times in his No. 18 JGR Toyota as he is seeking his first Daytona 500 victory in what will be his 12th attempt this Sunday live on FOX at 2 p.m. ET.
Earlier in the day, Busch expressed some concerns about being able to pass cars in Sunday’s race – based on what he observed while finishing 11th in his Can-Am Duel race on Thursday night.
“It seems harder to pass this year than in years past,” Busch told FOX Sports. “Whenever you get three-wide or even two-wide, you’re kind of stuck next to each other and you can’t get any movement going. You can’t get any momentum going in that particular lane.”
Of course, if Busch is out front, he won’t have to worry so much about passing anybody.
Following Busch at the top of the speed chart in the last of Friday’s two practices were Matt Kenseth (197.256 mph), defending Daytona 500 champion and Thursday Duel winner Denny Hamlin (197.106) – and two Cup rookies in Erik Jones (197.653) and Daniel Suarez (197.036).
Martin Truex Jr. finished sixth in the session as Toyota swept the top-six spots.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was 10th-fastest in the practice, said he was pleased with his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
“The car is great. … It’s been fun out there practicing. I’ve been having fun out there, making some moves,” said Earnhardt, who is looking forward to making a return to the track in a points race for the first time since sitting out the second half of last season – 18 races in all – because of a concussion.
For full results from Friday’s second practice session, click here.