Opening practice is in the books for the 59th annual Daytona 500, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX.
Joey Logano in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford topped the four-hour Saturday afternoon practice session with a speed of 193.116 miles per hour, as Ford swept four of the top-five spots.
Aric Almirola was second fastest in his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford at 193.054 mph.
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Logano’s teammate, Brad Keselowski, finished third, as Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney completed the top five.
The big news was Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s return to the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet after missing nearly half of the 2016 season while recovery from a concussion.
Earnhardt finished 11th in the session with a time of 192.670 mph.
“It felt good. I was, not really nervous, but today (Saturday) went really smooth,” Earnhardt said. “Didn’t have any problems, so we just kind of got everything done we wanted to do and the guys will go to work and try to put together a good car for qualifying and hopefully we will get out there and get a good lap in.”
Rookie Joe Gibbs Racing driver Daniel Suarez finished sixth in the session, as he’ll compete in The Clash at Daytona on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET, FS1).
“I think this practice was the longest practice of my life,” Suarez joked after the four-hour session. “We learned some good stuff and have some good speed in our Arris Toyota Camry.”
Competing in his first Daytona 500 with Furniture Row Racing, opening practice didn’t go as planned for Erik Jones, as well as Martin Truex Jr. Both the No. 77 and the No. 78 were forced to go through template inspection multiple times due to tolerance issues.
The red flag was displayed during the second hour of practice after Reed Sorenson’s No. 55 leaked oil on the backstretch due to a fitting not being properly installed.
On Sunday, qualifying sets the Daytona 500 front row and the starting lineup for Thursday night’s Can-Am Duel. Coverage of qualifying begins at 3 p.m. ET on FOX.
For full Daytona 500 Practice No. 1 results, see below.