Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. posted a speed of 202.643 mph, covering the famed 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway in his No. 17 Fastenal Ford Fusion in 44.413 seconds to lead the opening session of Daytona 500 practice on Saturday. All three Roush Fenway Ford Fusions were in the top six of the session, with Trevor Bayne (202.193/44.512) turning in the third-fastest time and Greg Biffle (201.762/44.607) posting the sixth-quickest time of the session.
“It was great to get back out on the racetrack and it was a lot of fun out there,” said Stenhouse. “The Fastenal Ford Fusion is fast and feels really good on the track. We’ll keep working with it in the next session and see what we have for qualifying tomorrow.”
The session marked the on-track debut for Stenhouse and new crew chief Nick Sandler, as well as Bayne’s debut in the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion.
The field returns to the track at 1:30 p.m. ET for the second practice session. Daytona 500 Pole day is set for Sunday (Feb. 15) at 1:35 p.m. and will be televised live on FOX. The first session will be divided into two groups, with three sessions determining the front row of next Sunday’s Great American Race, as well as the order of Thursday’s Duel Qualifying races.
Biffle and Bayne will be in the first session of Sunday’s qualifying, while Stenhouse will roll out with the second group.
Biffle and Stenhouse will also compete in tonight’s Sprint Unlimited all-star race at 8 p.m. This race will be televised live on FOX.