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Edwards, Ky. Busch tops in Daytona 500 practice

5:38 PM, Feb 24, 2012   |    comments
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Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Most Sprint Cup Series teams that qualified for the Daytona 500 participated in Friday's practice at Daytona International Speedway, with Carl Edwards posting the fastest lap in the first session and Kyle Busch the quickest in the second.

During the one-hour morning session, Edwards, the pole sitter for the Daytona 500, turned in a lap at 198.671 mph. Edwards was followed by Richard Petty Motorsports teammates and fellow Ford drivers Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose.

Juan Pablo Montoya, in a Chevrolet, was fourth fastest. Edwards' Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Greg Biffle, the outside pole sitter for the 500, completed the top-five.

Just 16 drivers made laps around the 2.5-mile superspeedway in the opening session.

In the afternoon session, also an hour long, Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Joey Logano were fastest while the two drafted together. Busch and Logano posted identical lap speeds at 199.885 mph.

Kurt Busch, in a Chevrolet, was third quickest, followed by Denny Hamlin, also with JGR, and defending series champion Tony Stewart, who won Thursday's first Gatorade Duel qualifying event in a Chevrolet.

Several teams did more than just turn laps during practice.

"We were just working on coming to pit road, trying to get runs on and off pit road to see how that works," Biffle said. "We were just changing stuff up a little bit and running by ourselves a little bit. Mostly, we were working on getting on and off pit road and working on all those little things."

Twenty-three drivers, including Danica Patrick, hit the track during the final session of the day. Patrick's team spent the first practice working on her backup car for the Daytona 500.

In yesterday's first Daytona 500 qualifier, Patrick had a vicious crash during the final lap. After making contact with Aric Almirola coming out of turn two, she lost control and then spun along the backstretch apron before the right- front end of her car slammed hard into the inside retaining wall. Patrick did not sustain any injuries during the incident, but the front of her primary car was demolished.

"I feel good, and I'm ready to go," she said during a press conference held shortly before the start of Friday's practice. "Do I like crashing? Of course not. I don't think anybody likes crashing, but it's part of the business, and it's part of big pack racing like this."

There were no incidents that occurred in practice.

Final practice for the Daytona 500 is scheduled for Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (et). Sunday's 500-mile race is slated to start just after 1 p.m. (et).

The Sports Network

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