Johnson on Unlimited Pole, McMurray Gets Bank, Larson & Hamlin lead practices at Daytona

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By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service

Jimmie Johnson won the pole for Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited without getting behind the wheel of his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. The starting order for the race was determined by a blind draw by crew chiefs in the Fan Zone at Daytona International Speedway.

The No. 48 team picked pit stall 43, closest to the entrance to pit road, leaving pit stall 4, closest to pit road exit, to Brad Keselowski, who drew the second starting position. AJ Allmendinger and Kyle Larson will occupy the second row for the start of the 75-lap non-points exhibition race…

NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing on Friday announced sponsorship agreements with Credit One Bank, one of the largest and fastest-growing credit card issuers in the United States. Credit One Bank will carry the designation “Official Credit Card of NASCAR” and will serve as primary sponsor for three races on Jamie McMurray’s No. 1 Ganassi Racing Chevrolet…

Kyle Larson led opening practice for the Sprint Unlimited with a lap at 199.344 mph. Kasey Kahne was second fastest at 199.159 mph. As is his custom, Jimmie Johnson eschewed the draft in favor of single-car runs and was 23rd quickest of the 25 cars.

Denny Hamlin topped the speed chart in the second Unlimited practice, posting a lap at 198.930 mph with a strong run from the back of a drafting pack. Clint Bowyer was second fastest at 195.253 mph.