DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – The NASCAR XFINITY Series race was a tale of two opposite races. The first 97 laps were run without a hitch. We’d see just four cautions up to that point, two of which for stage breaks, another for a blown engine. Then, from Lap 98 until the record setting Lap 143 ending, we’d see nine of the record setting 13 caution flags.
But, those yellows aided in something special for the series as a whole, XFINITY Series regulars showing up the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stars.
While the Cup stars combined to lead 109 of the 143 laps in Saturday’s PowersharesQQQ 300 at Daytona, they were all involved in that chaotic ending.
Kyle Larson led a race high 61 laps on the high banked 2.5-mile track, but he directly caused a big 18 car melee on the backstetch on the first lap of the first overtime. He was blocking all race but that was his downfall too. Larson, was leading but he moved up to block Aric Almirola for the lead. It took out both Cup drivers as well as Joey Logano and others too. Logano, led 22 laps, second most of the race.
Daniel Suarez was involved a bit in the crash but continued on. He was shown as the leader but he ran out of gas during the caution. Chase Elliott led 17 laps and look like a favorite to win until being penalized for being pushed on the backstretch then having his right side window fall out on the second to last caution.
That opened the door for some not so usual suspects to run up front. They capitalized.
Tyler Reddick won a photo finish over his teammate Elliott Sadler. But, you had Ryan Reed, Kaz Grala, Garrett Smithley, Spencer Gallagher and Ryan Truex finish behind for a top seven sweep of the finishing order for XFINITY Series regulars.
While the race was fun for most of the way through, then had some amateur hour, it ended with a record setting finish and series regulars shining.