DRAFTING BEGINS AT DIS: The first two drivers to draft together on Thursday were Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth. Hamlin gave Kenseth’s car a couple of shots during the early afternoon session at Daytona International Raceway.
Afterward, crewmen from both JGR cars took a close look at Kenseth’s rear bumper, which received some minor damage in the contact. Hamlin said the new G6 cars make the old two-car tandem drafting a thing of the past.
“The back car gets a lot of air to it,” said Hamlin. “So it essentially makes it hard to suck up to the front car. I think it will bode well for our competition at other race tracks going forward, where the front car doesn’t have such a huge advantage. That part of it is pretty optimistic. And it definitely will lend more to pack racing vs. two-car tandem.”
[Thursday 1:34 pm ET]
THURSDAY MORNING PRACTICE SPEEDS:
1. Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, 192.757 miles per hour
2. Marcos Ambrose, No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, 192.736 mph
3. Danica Patrick, No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy, 192.583 mph
4. Jeff Burton, No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevy, 192.526 mph
5. Paul Menard, No. 27 Richard Childress Racing Chevy, 192.460 mph
6. Kyle Busch, No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, 192.349 mph
7. Clint Bowyer, No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, 192.143 mph
8. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy, 191.771 mph
9. Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy, 191.718 mph
10. Austin Dillon, No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevy, 191.648 mph