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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)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Team battled back from a bad re-start after the first caution of the race to finish 17th in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo Credit: Campbell Marketing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Plaid Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, November 20, 2015 Sunday`s final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for thirteenth position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick will be joined by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eleventh position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Truex, Jr. will be joined by Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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