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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)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, suffers a mechanical issue during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeffrey Earnhardt, driver of the #55 Fronius USA/Viva Auto Group Chevrolet, spins out during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, soc during practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, drives in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS qualifies in seventh position Friday, February 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Team XTREME Racing #44 entry - driven in the Daytona 500 by Reed Sorenson (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, stands in the garage during a testing session at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 26, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, interim driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finishes in sixteenth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finishes in fifth place, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finishes in 33rd place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Gordon, who led for 87 laps,  was involved in a multi-car incident on the last lap. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS races to a third place finish with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finishes in fifth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS pulls into his pit on his way to a second place finish in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Percision Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, race three-wide during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the yellow and chequered flags to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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