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Daytona 500 - Practice Final

Saturday lunchtime was the final chance for Sprint Cup drivers to shakedown their cars ahead of Sunday's Daytona 500.
Hendrick Motorsports' Dale Earnhardt Jr. got a small but important boost in morale ahead of the Daytona 500 race, the curtain-raiser to the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

Earnhardt set the best time in final practice with a lap of 45.319s (198.592mph) on the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway, putting him 0.039s ahead of David Gilliland.

However, no one was really pushing hard and only 33 drivers participated in the session. Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch ran the most laps, with Busch in particular looking for improvements to his race pace.

“We made improvements with handling and on the power side of things,” explained Busch. “It's a little crisper."

Practice 7

1. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 45.319s (Leader) 198.592mph (11 laps)
2. #38 David Gilliland Ford 45.358s (-0.039s) 198.421mph (13 laps)
3. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 45.399s (-0.080s) 198.242mph (12 laps)
4. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 45.421s (-0.102s) 198.146mph (8 laps)
5. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 45.446s (-0.127s) 198.037mph (18 laps)
6. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 45.485s (-0.166s) 197.867mph (19 laps)
7. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 45.533s (-0.214s) 197.659mph (16 laps)
8. #55 Mark Martin Toyota 45.534s (-0.215s) 197.654mph (24 laps)
9. #56 Martin Truex Jr Toyota 45.573s (-0.254s) 197.485mph (13 laps)
10. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 45.584s (-0.265s) 197.438mph (8 laps)
11. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 45.586s (-0.267s) 197.429mph (27 laps)
12. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 45.742s (-0.423s) 196.756mph (8 laps)
13. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 45.914s (-0.595s) 196.019mph (16 laps)
14. #26 Michael Waltrip Toyota 45.949s (-0.630s) 195.869mph (18 laps)
15. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 45.982s (-0.663s) 195.729mph (6 laps)
16. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 46.128s (-0.809s) 195.109mph (11 laps)
17. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 46.153s (-0.834s) 195.004mph (23 laps)
18. #22 Joey Logano Ford 46.187s (-0.868s) 194.860mph (23 laps)
19. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 46.187s (-0.868s) 194.860mph (10 laps)
20. #21 Trevor Bayne Ford 46.200s (-0.881s) 194.805mph (7 laps)
21. #35 Josh Wise Ford 46.403s (-1.084s) 193.953mph (13 laps)
22. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 46.442s (-1.123s) 193.790mph (13 laps)
23. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 46.486s (-1.167s) 193.607mph (15 laps)
24. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 46.521s (-1.202s) 193.461mph (27 laps)
25. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 46.619s (-1.300s) 193.054mph (18 laps)
26. #34 David Ragan Ford 46.683s (-1.364s) 192.790mph (6 laps)
27. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 46.726s (-1.407s) 192.612mph (22 laps)
28. #33 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 46.999s (-1.680s) 191.493mph (7 laps)
29. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 47.017s (-1.698s) 191.420mph (15 laps)
30. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 47.041s (-1.722s) 191.322mph (12 laps)
31. #95 Scott Speed Ford 47.308s (-1.989s) 190.243mph (9 laps)
32. #51 Regan Smith Chevrolet 47.331s (-2.012s) 190.150mph (23 laps)
33. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 47.558s (-2.239s) 189.243mph (7 laps)
34. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet No time

The Daytona 500 is scheduled to run on Sunday afternoon, but showers in the area are predicted to be a factor.



Related Pictures

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. drives the #88 Chevrolet during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway on January 12, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS qualified for 9th position Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Newman, who is in the Chase, is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, laughs before practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, leads Ben Kennedy, driver of the #31 Heater.com Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, looks on during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, left, talks with crew chief Alan Gustafson in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
A view of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, driven by Darrell Wallace, Jr., in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney and Matt Crafton confer. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney at Kansas. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finished in 5th position and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS finished in 12th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Newman, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Kahne, who was also in the Chase, did not advance. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Crew members work on the Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, in the garage area during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, races Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch. August 20 2014. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Newman, who is in the Chase, is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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