Tyler Reddick Wins Photo Finish In PowersharesQQQ 300 XFINITY Series Opener at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – It took until the first lap in overtime for chaos to finally ensue in the NASCAR XFINITY Series season opener at the Daytona International Speedway. The race was thrilling all the way through, with some insane pack racing in the draft. It was a matter of time though when the big one would occur.

Unfortunately, it happened one lap after the scheduled distance.

Despite a series record five overtimes, we were treated to a thrilling photo finish. Tyler Reddick bested his JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler by centimeters in his No. 9 Chevrolet for his second career XFINITY Series victory, first with his new team JRM. 

Reddick, took over the lead for the first time on Lap 133 and never looked back leading the final 11 laps of the race. He had drafting help on the final restart from Sadler, while Ryan Truex was pushing Ryan Reed. The JRM duo prevailed.

Sadler, brought his No. 1 Chevrolet home runner-up to a JRM 1-2 finish. It was JRM’s fifth season opening Daytona win in the last nine years.

Reed finished third in his No. 16 Ford, while Kaz Grala came home fourth in his No. 24 Chevrolet. Garrett Smithley rounded out the top five.

In fact, the top seven finishers were all XFINITY Series regulars.

The big story of the day though was the chaos in the end.

On Lap 121, the first lap in overtime, Kyle Larson moved up to block Aric Almirola on the backstretch during the restart. The problem was, the cars weren’t back up to speed yet and they were battling for the lead. Larson spun and Almirola moved up into the outside SAFER barrier and the duo collected most of the field behind them.

Overall, 18 cars were involved in the crash including Matt Tifft, Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer, Brandon Jones, Daniel Suarez, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick and others all were collected in the melee.

But, Suarez escaped too much damage as he was shown as the leader when the caution flew. Unfortunately for him, he ran out of gas while leading before coming back to the green.  At that point of the race, 98 of the laps led to that point were taken out. We’d see four more yellows after, as the 143 laps was a race record, as was the 13 caution flags.

The start of the race began clean with just one crash in the first 97 laps. That’s a far cry from last year. The lone crash occurred when Austin Cindric finally lost control of his very loose race car entering the tri-oval and bounced between Daniel Suarez to the outside and Tyler Reddick on the inside. Christopher Bell, Ryan Reed, Brandon Jones, Brandon Brown and Josh Williams were all also collected.

The next two yellows in the race would occur for stage breaks. Then, on Lap 81, Gray Gaulding’s engine expired bringing out the fourth yellow. 17 laps later, we’d see another crash, this time for an incident that started when Ryan Reed ran Ryan Truex below the yellow line on the backstretch and when he came back up on the track, several cars behind him crashed. Those cars were Jeff Green, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer, Joey Gase and Brown.

Over the final 15 laps of regulation,  we’d see a spin for Garrett Smithley and Michael Annett on Lap 105, Vinnie Miller on Lap 110 and Elliott Sadler on Lap 117.

The series heads to Atlanta next weekend for the Rinnai 250.

PowersharesQQQ 300 Results

  1.  9 Reddick R
  2.  1 Sadler
  3. 16 Reed
  4. 24 Grala R
  5.  0 Smithley
  6. 23 Gallagher
  7. 11 Truex
  8. 18 Suarez
  9.  4 Chastain
  10. 19 Jones
  11. 38 Green
  12. 88 Elliott
  13.  8 Bacarella
  14. 00 Custer
  15. 55 Leicht
  16. 51 Clements
  17. 52 Starr
  18. 39 Yeley
  19.  2 Tifft
  20. 01 Miller R
  21. 93 Sieg
  22. 90 Williams
  23. 15 Nemechek
  24. 36 Labbe R -1
  25. 76 Boyd R -1
  26. 21 Hemric -3
  27. 28 Lupton OUT
  28. 40 Finchum OUT
  29. 42 Larson OUT
  30. 78 Ellis OUT
  31.  7 Allgaier OUT
  32.  3 Dillon OUT
  33. 35 Gase OUT
  34. 22 Logano OUT
  35. 98 Almirola OUT
  36. 86 Brown OUT
  37.  5 Annett OUT
  38. 54 Gaulding OUT
  39. 20 Bell R OUT
  40. 60 Cindric R OUT

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