Bubba Wallace leads opening Daytona 500 practice

Bubba Wallace kicked off the first NASCAR Cup Series practice of the 2021 season putting his No. 23 Toyota at the top of the speed chart.

Wallace, in his first season driving for 23XI Racing – founded by NASCAR star Denny Hamlin and NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan – topped the 50-minute practice at Daytona International Speedway with an average lap speed of 199.746 mph.

Wallace posted the fast lap early in the practice session while five Toyotas briefly participated in a drafting run.

The session marked the first practice session for the Cup Series since March 6 of last year. Once the COVID-19 pandemic began, NASCAR eliminated all practice and qualifying sessions last season.

This year, about eight Cup series race weekends will see practice and qualifying, including this week’s Daytona 500.

Martin Truex Jr. (199.693 mph) was second and Denny Hamlin (199.689 mph) – who has won the past two Daytona 500 races – was third. Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell rounded out the top-five.

Jamie McMurray was sixth-fastest (and the top Chevrolet), Corey LaJoie was seventh, Michael McDowell was eighth (and the top Ford), Ryan Newman was ninth and Cole Custer 10th.

All 44 entries for the Daytona 500 made it out during the session.

Qualifying to lock in the front row of the Daytona 500 begins at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight.

123 Bubba WallaceToyota2045.057  199.747
219 Martin Truex Jr.Toyota1945.0690.0120.012199.694
311 Denny HamlinToyota2045.0700.0130.001199.689
418 Kyle BuschToyota1945.0840.0270.014199.627
520 Christopher BellToyota2245.0850.0280.001199.623
677 Jamie McMurrayChevrolet1345.1450.0880.060199.358
77 Corey LajoieChevrolet1245.1900.1330.045199.159
834 Michael McDowellFord1445.2360.1790.046198.957
96 Ryan NewmanChevrolet1145.3070.2500.071198.645
1041 Cole CusterFord1545.3870.3300.080198.295
1143 Erik JonesChevrolet845.4130.3560.026198.181
1221 Matt DiBenedettoFord1145.4270.3700.014198.120
1310 Aric AlmirolaFord1345.4890.4320.062197.850
1417 Chris BuescherFord945.4980.4410.009197.811
154 Kevin HarvickFord1345.5000.4430.002197.802
1614 Chase BriscoeFord1545.5160.4590.016197.733
1722 Joey LoganoFord945.5800.5230.064197.455
183 Austin DillonChevrolet1246.2371.1800.657194.649
1937 Ryan PreeceChevrolet1146.2561.1990.019194.569
2038Anthony AlfredoFord1046.3731.3160.117194.078
2147 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Chevrolet646.8971.8400.524191.910
225 Kyle LarsonChevrolet1347.2792.2220.382190.359
2348 Alex BowmanChevrolet847.4652.4080.186189.613
242 Brad KeselowskiFord547.4892.4320.024189.518
2599 Daniel SuarezChevrolet1147.5752.5180.086189.175
2624 William ByronChevrolet847.5992.5420.024189.080
271 Kurt BuschChevrolet1247.6022.5450.003189.068
2896 Ty DillonToyota647.6112.5540.009189.032
299 Chase ElliottChevrolet1147.6802.6230.069188.758
3016 Kaz GralaChevrolet147.7812.7240.101188.359
3136 David RaganFord547.8032.7460.022188.273
3233 Austin CindricFord747.8282.7710.025188.174
338 Tyler ReddickChevrolet1247.9442.8870.116187.719
3442 Ross ChastainChevrolet1047.9812.9240.037187.574
3512 Ryan BlaneyFord848.0102.9530.029187.461
3662 Noah GragsonChevrolet448.3183.2610.308186.266
3713 Garrett SmithleyFord448.3503.2930.032186.143
3866 Timmy HillFord548.3523.2950.002186.135
3900 Quin HouffChevrolet448.3703.3130.018186.066
4015 Derrike CopeChevrolet948.8173.7600.447184.362
4178 B.J. McLeodFord550.1605.1031.343179.426
4253 Joey GaseFord550.2015.1440.041179.279
4352 Josh BilickiFord350.7365.6790.535177.389
4451 Cody WareChevrolet250.8215.7640.085177.092

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