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

Formula 1: Ricciardo nurses power unit trouble to win in Monaco

Photo: Getty Images
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Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo had dominated the Monaco Grand Prix weekend heading into Sunday, topping every practice session and laying down a lap-record 1:10.810 to secure the pole.

The race itself was also going according to plan for Ricciardo, as he got the jump off Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel on the start to lead into Sainte Devote.

However, on Lap 28, after the leaders all made their lone pit stops of the race, Ricciardo’s day nearly came unglued when he reported a loss of power on his RB14.

With the Red Bull team monitoring the issue, Vettel was able to close back in on Ricciardo and began stalking him for the lead.

However, Ricciardo brilliantly utilized a combination of late-braking and sustained cornering speed to keep Vettel at bay and secure his first victory at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The victory, Ricciardo’s second of the 2018 Formula 1 season, serves as sweet redemption after a pit stop error cost him a possible victory in 2016, when he settled for second behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel, meanwhile, saw his challenge hampered after a Lap 72 Virtual Safety Car for a crash between Sauber’s Charles Leclerc and Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley – Leclerc suffered brake failure on the run up to the Nouvelle Chicane, and collected Hartley in the process.

When the VSC ended, Vettel could not get his Pirellis back up to temperature, and Ricciardo pulled away in the final laps.

While Vettel ended up second, Hamilton rounded out the podium in third, despite struggling with a graining issue on his Pirelli ultrasofts in the second half of the race. Hamilton held off Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who also fended off Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas for fourth – the trio finished up third (Hamilton), fourth (Raikkonen), and fifth (Bottas).

Esteban Ocon was sixth for Force India, with Pierre Gasly coming home a strong seventh for Toro Rosso. Nico Hulkenberg ended up eighth for Renault, while Max Verstappen came home ninth after starting last – Verstappen ran long on his first stint before switching to hypersofts on Lap 48. He ran the hypers all the way to the end to finish ninth.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was the final points finisher, coming home tenth for Renault.

Results are below.

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