(Updated) Second Sprint Cup practice in Daytona cancelled due to rain; McMurray, Larson fastest in first practice

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Having previously won the Daytona 500 in 2010 and the Coke Zero 400 in 2007, Jamie McMurray knows his way around Daytona International Speedway pretty well.

That’s why it’s no surprise McMurray was the fastest in the first of two practice sessions Thursday in preparation for Friday’s qualifying and then Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup main event.

(Updated) The second practice session was cancelled due to rain and thunderstorms in the DIS area.

And oh, did McMurray fly around the 2.5-mile, high-banked track, recording a field-best speed of 201.952 mph, followed by Sprint Cup rookie and Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Kyle Larson, who was second-fastest at 201.889 mph.

Third- through fifth-fastest were Clint Bowyer (201.839), Kentucky winner Brad Keselowski (201.771) and Jeff Gordon (201.712).

Sixth through 10th were Joey Logano (201.654), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (201.590), Greg Biffle (201.261), Landon Cassill (200.714) and Martin Truex Jr. (200.696).

All told, 18 drivers exceed the 200 mph mark.

Among more notable performances:

* Danica Patrick was 15th fastest (200.405 mph), followed by Kyle Busch (200.356).

* Kurt Busch was 23rd fastest (199.238 mph), followed closely by 2014 winless drivers Matt Kenseth (199.137), Tony Stewart (199.089) and Kasey Kahne (198.965).

* Dale Earnhardt Jr. struggled to a 32nd fastest speed of 198.247 mph, while teammate Jimmie Johnson was the third-slowest in the entire field, unable to turn a lap faster than 191.274 mph, more than 10 mph slower than McMurray’s pace-setting lap.

* Michael Waltrip was 43rd fastest of 44 (191.010 mph), while two-time Cup champion Terry Labonte recorded the slowest speed at 190.678 mph.

With the second practice session cancelled, qualifying will take place at 5:10 pm ET on Friday afternoon — weather permitting, of course.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.