Childress cars search for speed

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Richard Childress Racing's resurgence was the talk of Daytona Speedweeks last year.

This year, the RCR cars appear to be a little bit behind.

Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick posted practice speeds outside the top 20 on Friday, and Clint Bowyer didn't practice at all.

Burton, who sat on the Daytona 500 pole for RCR last year, hinted Friday morning that he hoped the team could find him more horsepower for Sunday's Daytona 500.

"We felt good about racing yesterday pretty well," he said. "Hopefully we'll bolt in a little more horsepower for the 500, and we'll try to make the car drive even better than it does."

After a disappointing showing in pole-position qualifying - all three RCR cars qualified 29th or worse - Burton and Bowyer performed well in their qualifying races Thursday.

But Harvick, who has been one of the fastest drivers at Daytona since joining the Cup series in 2001, has struggled since finishing fifth in the Bud Shootout last Saturday.

RAGAN ADMINISTRATION: Roush Fenway Racing rookie David Ragan will go to a backup car after an accident in his qualifying race Thursday, meaning he will start from the back of the pack in Sunday's Daytona 500.

But, Ragan said, at least he's in good company. Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon also are starting near the rear.

Racing for fries: The Arby's fast-food chain announced it will give away free curly fries every time driver Matt Kenseth wins a race in the Nextel Cup or Busch series this season.

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