Earnhardt makes NASCAR return, practices for Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Dale Earnhardt Jr. has made his return to NASCAR by taking part in the first Daytona 500 practice of Speedweeks.

Earnhardt turned nine laps at Daytona International Speedway during a four-hour session Saturday and ranked 11th on the speed chart. He averaged 192.670 mph during his fastest lap in the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.

It was his first stint in the car since a test in Phoenix last month.

NASCAR's most popular driver missed the final 18 races of last season because of a concussion, fueling speculation about his future. But he's back and eager to move past his medical history.

Team Penske's Joey Logano was fastest in practice, helping Ford land seven of the top 10 spots in the practice session.

The Daytona 500 is Feb. 26, with pole qualifying scheduled for Sunday.


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