Menard leads first two hours of Daytona 500 practice

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The first two hours of single-car runs are in the books for Daytona 500 practice, and Richard Childress Racing dominated the timesheets in the first official session of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Paul Menard was quickest as four of the top five drivers were from the RCR camp. The Wisconsin native turned a flier of 195.042, with Ryan Newman second in the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, and youngsters Austin Dillon and Brian Scott fourth and fifth.

Two-time Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth was the lone interloper in the top five in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, at 194.561.

Martin Truex Jr. was sixth in the Furniture Row Chevrolet, ahead of four Fords, driven by Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose, Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne.

2013 Daytona 500 polesitter Danica Patrick was 19th; six-time series champ and defending ‘500 race winner Jimmie Johnson was 29th.

The second two-hour practice session occurs at 1:30 p.m. ET.

VIEW: Practice 1 Times

Lewis Hamilton enjoys epic trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston earlier this week, a thrill for the driver of a land-speed rocket for Mercedes AMG Petronas to then see actual ones.

In today’s pre-race coverage for the United States Grand Prix, NBCSN takes you behind the scenes of the trip in Houston. You can see that video, above.