Early Saturday afternoon the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series had its final practice session before the 58th running of the Daytona 500, where 25 teams took to the high banks of the 2.5-mile superspeedway. It was the first time that teams were able to switch over to its race engine in preparation for the 500-mile event on Sunday.
After running eight laps, the No. 88 Chevrolet was atop the leader board with a speed of 197.131 mph, almost two-tenths of a second faster than second quick Joey Logano.
Logano, the defending winner of the Great American Race drafted in a three car parade with Ryan Blaney and teammate Brad Keselowski, each running 29 laps. In their Duel race on Thursday, the No. 21 and No. 22 worked well together and came close to charging by Earnhardt for the win.
The Stewart-Haas Racing duo of Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick finished practice fifth and sixth. Those two drafted the majority of the session with teammate Brian Vickers, Clint Bowyer and pole-sitter Chase Elliott, all in which were among the top 10 in final practice.
After posting the fastest lap early on in practice Greg Biffle ended seventh with a lap of 195.959 mph.
Drivers who are currently under the radar finished just outside of the top 10 including Landon Cassill, Regan Smith and David Ragan whom all were in the top 15 on the speed charts.
Many drivers with big teams made just single car runs, including Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman.
The green flag will fly on the 2016 season just after 1:00 on Sunday afternoon, where one driver’s career will change forever.