By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — In the final practice session ahead of Sunday’s 60th running of the Daytona 500, Darrell Wallace, Jr. took his No. 43 Chevrolet to the top of the board, posting the fastest time in the final hour of preparation before the Great American Race.
Wallace turned in a time of 45.696 seconds, 196.954 mph, followed by Daniel Suarez, who was fastest in the two practice sessions on Friday, in second.
With Richard Petty Motorsports’ new alliance with Richard Childress Racing and Chevrolet for this season, Wallace has been fast since he arrived at the World Center of Racing. In Thursday night’s Duels, Wallace brought home a third-place finish and will start the Daytona 500 in seventh place.
“We all know that means absolutely nothing, but it feels good,” said Wallace. “I didn’t know we were top of the board there. We were stuck in the back of the pack for a little bit there. Started making moves late and the pack split up and we started doing pit road runs and the next thing you know we are on top of the board.
“I’m like – cool! I even missed pit road opening looking at the pylon. That gives us a lot of confidence especially going into this week. A lot of stories, a lot of headlines being talked about. To win something is good.”
Ryan Newman, William Byron, Jimmie Johnson, AJ Allmendinger, Trevor Bayne, Chase Elliott, Danica Patrick, and Justin Marks rounded out the top-10.