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Kurt Busch sets aim on becoming fourth repeat Daytona 500 champ

12 February 2018

"I was like, 'Man, where was I on that one?' It would have just been a good gamble to use the backup but didn't think of it soon enough and was honestly just really concerned about the work getting done to put the primary vehicle out there for the 500".

Ryan Blaney topped the leaderboard in Daytona International Speedway's opening weekend practice for The Clash on Saturday, rounding the track at 199.601 miles per hour in the No.12 Team Penske Ford.

But Earnhardt retired at the end of last season and the empty seat went to Bowman, who drove 10 races filling in for Earnhardt when Earnhardt was sidelined in 2016 with a concussion.

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"It was really just to do Daytona and Indy and The Clash wasn't a priority", she said.

Denny Hamlin qualified second in a Toyota from Joe Gibbs Racing. "We don't want to crash the primary anyway, so we are going to be careful in the (Can-Am Duel qualifying races Thursday), then you don't have to worry about practicing too hard because you will have already had The Clash race". Bowman raced just three times on the national level last season, two Xfinity Series races and one in the Truck Series, and filled his time using a simulator as he waited for Earnhardt to retire.

"I don't really watch a lot of racing when I'm still racing", Patrick said.

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There was far less drama in the Senate , where the measure sailed through by a 71-28 tally once Paul's protest ran its course. He said he hoped his stand would teach conservatives "to not accept just anything because it comes from a GOP Congress".

The Toyotas were fast, though, and all four JGR entries were in the top seven Sunday.

"Speed-wise we've been off a bit here", Truex said. "I know where everything is, it's very easy". You kind of got what you got. His Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick had the fastest Ford at eighth and was followed by Roush Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who won two plate races last season.

"A couple of days ago I was thinking to myself that we should have run the backup auto in the Clash", said Patrick, who had made four consecutive starts in The Clash with a best finish of fourth past year. We felt that Jeffrey was the best fit for our team and VRX has already shown the type of enthusiasm and commitment that SCR has both for Jeffrey and for the sport.

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The 23-year-old produced two spectacular runs, the highest scoring of which was graded 87.36 by the judges. Fans quickly took to Twitter to praise Gerard , whose real name is Redmond Gerard , for his wonderful feat.

Danica Patrick's final NASCAR race will be next Sunday's Daytona 500. It was expected that Patrick would settle on a team with enough lead time before Daytona, but when that didn't occur due a lack of funding she stepped in to push things along.

Kurt Busch sets aim on becoming fourth repeat Daytona 500 champ