Saturday, February 07, 2009

Elliott, Labonte lead first Daytona 500 practice

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Wood Brothers didn't make the field for the Daytona 500, but if Saturday's first practice for this year's race is any indication that might not be a problem this year.
Bill Elliott ran a lap at 187.645 mph in the No. 21 Ford in the two-hour practice and wound up first on the speed chart as the session ended. Elliott has won the Daytona 500 pole four times in his career, the last time in 2001 in a Dodge.
The Wood Brothers have had the No. 1 starter in 11 races at Daytona International Speedway, including seven in a row in a span from 1969 through 1971 that included No. 1 starting spots for Daytona 500 qualifying races.
Bobby Labonte was second fastest in the opening 500 practice at 187.414 mph in the No. 96 Ford. Both of those cars are powered by Roush-Yates built engines.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five in the session. Rookie Joey Logano had the sixth best time.
Sunday's qualifying will fill only the top two positions in the field for the Feb. 15 race. Beyond that, however, the three fastest cars among the go-or-go-home entrants will ensure themselves of being in the 500 once the field is set after Thursday's Gatorade Duels.
Elliott, Tony Stewart and Scott Riggs had the three fastest laps by go-or-go-home cars in the first practice.
Today's second practice is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.


Anonymous said...

Anybody know what the COT pole speed was at Daytona last yr??

Unknown said...

187.075 mph

Anonymous said...

You can bet it will be a good bit quicker this year. It will be about 189 mph I bet.

Monkeesfan said...

Last year the pole speed was 187.075 - they picked up a full MPH this year as Triex hit 188 and change.

Monkeesfan said...

Darn it, had a fit of typo disease -

it's TRUEX.