Byron Leads Friday Daytona 500 Practice

William Byron led a Chevrolet 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 on Friday evening’s Daytona 500 practice session. Byron paced the 50-minute practice at 204.587 mph (43.991 seconds).

Ryan Preece was second-quickest at 204.096 mph with Chase Elliott third fastest at 203.869 mph. Ty Dillon was fourth-fastest at 203.422 mph as Tyler Reddick rounded out the top five at 202.922 mph.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman were sixth and seventh fastest respectively. Johnson’s fastest lap was 202.698 mph, while Bowman ran 202.657 mph.

Three Toyotas, all from the Joe Gibbs Racing camp, completed the top 10. Denny Hamlin was eighth-quickest at 201.821 mph with Erik Jones ninth-fastest at 201.812 mph and Martin Truex Jr. 10th-fastest also at 201.812 mph.

The session was the only on-track activity for NASCAR Cup Series teams on Friday, and featured manufacturer teammates drafting together in separate packs.

Among those in the Chevrolet pack were Byron, Preece, Elliott, Bowman, Johnson, Ty Dillon, Reddick, Austin Dillon, Darrell Wallace Jr., Ross Chastain, Justin Haley, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The Ford pack featured Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Ryan Blaney (in his backup car), Matt DiBenedetto, Cole Custer, Joey Logano, David Ragan, John Hunter Nemechek, and Chris Buescher.

And the smallest drafting group was the manufacturer with the least teams, Toyota. Hamlin, Jones, Truex, Christopher Bell, and Kyle Busch took turns either pushing or pulling the pack.

Corey LaJoie also made in on track for practice in his backup car.

Only 32 of the 40 teams entered in the Daytona 500 participated in the session.