DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Leading a charge for the list of new faces in new places this season, Tyler Reddick led the opening practice session for the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Daytona Int’l Speedway on Friday.
Reddick piloted the No. 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet Camaro to a time of 45.874 seconds (196.190 mph) around the 2.5-mile superspeedway, his best of 19 laps, to lead a list of 41 drivers that took time.
The 22-year-old Corning, California native was the only driver to top the 196 mile per hour threshold during the 50-minute block.
Reddick won his first XFINITY Series race for Chip Ganassi Racing last season at Kentucky Speedway, driving the team’s No. 42 entry, and will embark on his first full season in the series this year for JR Motorsports after running part-time for CGR in 2017.
He will attempt to win the championship in the same No. 9 that William Byron captured the title in at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.
Behind Reddick in second on the speed charts was the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry of 2016 XFINITY champion Daniel Suarez, who turned a best lap of 45.927 seconds (195.963 mph) for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Third was another Camaro in GMS Racing sophomore driver Spencer Gallagher (45.973/195.767), with the top three in the first practice round all within a tenth of a second of one another.
Two more Bowtie Brigade representatives — two-time Daytona 500 pole winner and 2016 Daytona XFINITY winner Chase Elliott and series regular Michael Annett — completed the top five on the pylon, giving JR Motorsports three of the first five positions on speed early on.
JGL Racing’s Dylan Lupton was the fastest Ford driver in sixth, followed by rookie Austin Cindric, Matt Tifft, Cole Custer and Cup regular Aric Almirola.
Notables outside the top 10 included Cup Series stars Kyle Larson (11th), Austin Dillon (13th) and Joey Logano (14th), as well as preseason championship favorite Christopher Bell, who landed 16th in his first drive with the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 team.
A minor incident during the pactice saw Austin Cindric run up on a slowing Daniel Hemric as Hemric was heading to pit road, making slight contact with Hemric’s right rear quarter panel and causing slight, but repairable, damage.
“He just didn’t see me slowing there,” Hemric admitted. “A little bit of contact, but I think we’ll be okay. The guys are working hard to repair it.”
Second practice for the XFINITY Series kicks off at 2 p.m. ET, live on FOX Sports 1.
Full practice results can be viewed on the next page…