Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Patrick leads practice for Daytona 500 qualifying

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick

DAYTONA BEACH — If two practices are any indication, Danica Patrick is a solid candidate to win the pole for the Daytona 500.

Patrick had the fastest lap Saturday in two practices at the 2½-mile Daytona International Speedway.

She went 196.220 mph and said she's eyeing the top starting spot for "The Great American Race" in today's qualifying.

"Everything that we do is to make sure that we do whatever we can to be on the pole," Patrick said. "That is what we all are shooting for."

The front row for the season-opening 500, on Feb. 24 will be set in today's time trials. The rest of the field is set Thursday after two qualifying races.

Patrick was nearly a second faster than the other drivers. Second fastest in the afternoon was three-time champion Tony Stewart, her teammate and car co-owner, who turned a lap of 195.363 mph in his Chevrolet.

Joey Logano paced the morning practice at 195.410 mph in his Penske Racing Ford.

Chevy a big player: NASCAR president Mike Helton and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said Chevrolet might have left NASCAR had the sanctioning body not agreed to redesign cars and make them more relevant to consumers.

But Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, said the auto giant never threatened to walk.

"We're not going to walk in and threaten we're going to leave anything," Reuss said.

Helton and Hendrick, though, believe it could have happened had NASCAR not developed the new "Gen 6" car that resembles those on showroom floors.

At the unveiling of the 2014 Chevrolet SS at DIS, Helton said Chevrolet "backed us in a corner and said, 'Here's what you guys need to think about doing' and causing us maybe to react a little bit ahead of our own schedules. But it worked, and it worked well."

ARCA: John Wes Townley won the Lucas Oil 200, nudging Bobby Gerhart out of the way with seven laps left and holding off Kyle Larson. Rookie Ricky Ehrgott of Riverview was third.

NHRA: Courtney Force earned her third career No. 1 qualifying spot in Funny Car heading into today's eliminations at the season opener, the Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) also led their categories.

East Bay Raceway: Jimmy Owens won the Late Model main event in Gibsonton.

Patrick leads practice for Daytona 500 qualifying 02/16/13 [Last modified: Saturday, February 16, 2013 10:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  2. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal on the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  3. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  4. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  5. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'

    Blogs

    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.