Kyle Busch led the way for Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing as Sprint Cup Series practice resumed at the Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday.

In a session shortened by rain, the first to fall during Speedweeks 2008, Busch placed his #18 M&M's sponsored Camry on top of the timesheets with a best time of 47.238-seconds (190.525mph) as the 53 competing teams got down to some serious drafting practice ahead of Thursday's two Gatorade qualifying races.

With Chevrolet mounted drivers having taken the glory in both the Bud Shootout and Bud Pole Qualifying so far this week it was refreshing to see the top six places in practice taken up by mostly Toyota, Dodge and Ford drivers with Busch leading the Roush-Fenway Ford of Matt Kenseth, the lone GM interloper in the form of Haas CNC Racing's Scott Riggs and the quickest of Kenseth's teammates, Carl Edwards.

Busch's JGR teammate Tony Stewart was fifth fastest followed by Bobby Labonte and the fastest of the non-top 35 drivers, Furniture Row Racing's Joe Nemechek.

With Nemechek having already secured his place in Sunday's Daytona 500 thanks to his third fastest time in qualifying the fastest driver looking to race his way into the field on Thursday was the sister FRR Chevrolet of fellow veteran Kenny Wallace in 12th place.

Among the other drivers not yet assured of a place in the 43-car starting line-up Boris Said was 20th fastest, Patrick Carpentier 23rd, Stanton Barrett 25th, AJ Allmendinger 28th and Sterling Marlin 29th.

Defending Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick was 17th with Bud Pole winner Jimmie Johnson 27th and Bud Shootout winner Dale Earnhardt Jr 43rd.

Of the single seater converts Carpentier and Allmendinger were best placed with Sam Hornish Jr, Juan Montoya and Dario Franchitti, who are all guaranteed a start on Sunday 34th, 38th and 46th fastest respectively. Jacques Villeneuve, who has to fight for his place on the grid, was 47th fastest after scraping the wall.

 

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