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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)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, smiles at Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, prepares for practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, crosses the finishline to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, sits on the grid under an umbrella prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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