Nov 15, 2013; Homestead, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick talks to crew chief Tony Gibson (left) during practice for the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NSCS: Preseason Thunder Recap

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After rain ruined practice Thursday, teams were working hard today to go gather data and speed as they gear up for the Daytona 500.

The No.3 was back on track at Daytona for the first time in NASCAR’s highest series since the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt back in 2001 and in good fashion: it was P1 on the charts. Austin Dillon topped the speed charts today with a top speed of 195.109mph. Dillon is running for Rookie of the Year in 2014 and will make his second Daytona 500 start. He finished 31st last season after an accident with just a handful of laps to go.

The 2013 Daytona 500 pole winner was near the top of the charts once again. Danica Patrick will be making her third career Daytona 500 start and after an impressive run in the Great American Race last season, she is on the list of possible winners in 2014. Patrick finished the day 10th on the charts with a top speed of 193.063.

Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace jumped back in the Blue Deuce at Daytona after an invitation from Brad Keselowski. Wallace went out for multiple runs throughout the day and by the smile of his face, he was having the time of his life. Keselowski, Wallace and the No.2 Penske Ford ended the day P20 on the chart.

Richard Childress Racing had the fastest cars at Daytona’s Preseason Thunder. Brian Scott was piloting the No.33 for the organization and ended P2 at the end of the night. Matt Crafton, filling in for a missing Paul Menard, followed up with a P3 finish putting three of the four RCR cars at the top of the board.

Although Preseason Thunder is just a test session, it can give us a good indication as to who just might be in line for the pole in February.

Here were the top-10 at the end of the day:

Pos. No. Name Make Laps Best Time (sec.) Best Speed (mph)
1. 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 38 46.128 195.109
2. 33 Brian Scott Chevrolet 57 46.253 194.582
3. 27 Matt Crafton Chevrolet 53 46.310 194.342
4. 43 Aric Almirola Ford 52 46.433 193.828
5. 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 73 46.533 193.411
6. 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 45 46.547 193.353
7. 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 44 46.572 193.249
8. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 67 46.604 193.116
9. 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 88 46.615 193.071
10. 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 56 46.617 193.063
11. 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 95 46.627 193.021
12. 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 43 46.635 192.988
13. 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 65 46.648 192.934
14. 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 106 46.658 192.893
15. 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 57 46.709 192.682
16. 26 Cole Whitt Toyota 53 46.758 192.480
17. 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 43 46.766 192.448
18. 22 Joey Logano Ford 60 46.826 192.201
19. 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 42 46.829 192.189
20. 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 44 46.850 192.102
21. 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 33 46.910 191.857
22. 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 50 46.950 191.693
23. 21 Trevor Bayne Ford 47 46.959 191.657
24. 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 48 46.966 191.628
25. 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 59 47.053 191.274
26. 16 Greg Biffle Ford 55 47.065 191.225
27. 7 Michael Annett Chevrolet 57 47.081 191.160
28. 14 Mark Martin Chevrolet 62 47.108 191.050
29. 52 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 41 47.163 190.828
30. 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota 59 47.193 190.706
31. 83 Alex Bowman Toyota 78 47.267 190.408
32. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Ford 47 47.351 190.070
33. 30 Parker Kilgerman Toyota 48 47.364 190.018
34. 95 Michael McDowell Ford 41 47.402 189.865
35. 77 Dave Blaney Ford 17 47.480 189.553
36. 99 Carl Edwards Ford 39 47.498 189.482
37. 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 46 47.771 188.399
38. 93 Ryan Truex Toyota 63 47.876 187.986
39. 32 Reed Sorenson Ford 38 47.942 187.727
40. 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 42 48.544 185.399
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Tags: Austin Dillon Brad Keselowski Danica Patrick Daytona International Speedway Preseason Thunder Richard Childress Racing Rusty Wallace

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