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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)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell wreck at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the #77 WORX Ford, prepares his equipment in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, captures the flag with his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 after winning Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 3, 2014 in Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 after winning Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 after winning Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane with a broom after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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