Danica Patrick and Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Tony Stewart grabbed the top two spots in the day’s second NASCAR Sprint Cup practice session at Daytona Saturday after the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet notched third in the opening session.
Patrick, who finished 38th in her Daytona 500 debut last season and finished 10th in Nationwide Series points, only ran two laps in the initial practice but made the second one count, running a lap of 46.069 seconds with a top speed of 195.359 mph.
“That was a really good, clean cold car run that we feel good about,” said Patrick after her first session.
She improved on that the second time around, hitting 196.220 on the radar, running a best lap of 45.867.
It’s a safe assumption that with her early excellence, Patrick is a fan of the Generation-6 car.
"That was a really good, clean cold car run that we feel good about."
“We’re trying to be smart. …Trying to be as accurate as possible,” she said following the second practice of the day. “I think so far, so good at Daytona. This is a testament to how consistent the (new) car is.”
Stewart registered the second fastest time of the second practice, finishing his second lap in 46.068 (195.363). He was 11th fastest the first time around with a 46.237 lap.
Stewart was 0.180 seconds behind Joey Logano, who was the first practice’s fastest driver. Logano earned the fastest lap with a time of 46.057 with a top speed of 195.41.
Twenty-two-year-old Austin Dillon, in his initial Daytona 500 practice, was right behind Logano with a lap time of 46.085 (195.291) in his fifth lap. Dillon was followed by Patrick, Paul Menard and Jeff Burton to round out the top five.
Juan Pablo Montoya blew an engine midway through his second practice session, ending his day, but was seemingly unphased.
“We will change the motor and give it a good go tomorrow in qualifying,” said the driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet. “I think tonight is going to be a fun night and just looking forward to the (Daytona) 500.”
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