Written by Adrian Beecher
Daytona, FL- After three Red Flags, and nearly 24 hours after the original start time, William Byron captured the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway in the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250. Here's how all the Chaos went down at the World Center of Racing.
Brennan Poole started off on the pole and led the cars to the start finish line. Poole was only able to maintain the lead for the 1st lap, with Ben Kennedy taking over the lead on lap 2. Then on lap 5, it was Blake Koch in the #11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet.
Despite all the excitement, Mother Nature had other plans as on lap 8 the caution flag came out for precipitation on the track. Then, on lap 11 the red flag came out and halted the race. The red flag would last 16 and a half hours as rain throughout the night forced the race to be rescheduled for noon on Saturday.
As things got underway Saturday, there were only 19 laps left of the 1st stage and Koch would cruise out in front to take the green white checkered flag for a stage 1 victory.
After the yellow flag pit stops, it was Justin Allgaier in the #7 Trademark Nitrogen Chevrolet out in front. His lead didn’t last very long as Poole found his way back to the front. Then lap 36 came, followed quickly by the lightning and rain. This once again halted the race under a red flag for 2 hours and 29 minutes
On lap 41, Kennedy, in the #2 Rheem Chevrolet took over the lead. Shortly after, it was Ty Dillon in the #3 Bass Pro Shop’s Tracker
On lap 48 it was Poole once again regaining the lead. as they came around the exit of turn four, Erik Jones taped Cole Custer which caused Daniel Suarez to cut to the right, which caused him to collide with Josh Williams in the #92 Chevy and Koch, who Suarez collected for a ride into the inside wall just before pit road. In addition, Brandon Brown was involved in the wreck. Only Jones and Cole Custer stayed out on the track as the rest of the drivers days ended.
After yellow flag stops, Elliot Sadler in the #1 Armour Vienna Sausage 150 Years Chevrolet was in the front of the pack as the cars got back to green flag racing on lap 57. On lap 59, Brandon Jones in the #33 Rain-X/Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet took over the lead.
However, as the cars entered turn two, Sadler made the pass to regain the lead. He was able to maintain the lead back to the start finish line to capture the stage 2 victory with 60 laps completed.
After yellow flag pit stops, 19-year-old William Byron in the #9 Axalta Chevrolet was out in front as they started the final stage. Byron was able to hold the lead until lap 83 when Joey Logano in the #22 Discount Tire Chevrolet helped push Dillon to the lead. As they came down the front stretch, JJ Yeley in the #14 TriStar Motorsports Toyota got into Jeremy Clements in the #51 RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet, causing Clements to spin out and bring out the yellow flag. Clements was able to save the car though and stay out on the lead lap.
After caution flag pit stops, Dillon was still out in front as the cars came to the green flag with just 10 lap’s to go. With 9 laps to go, Logano made the pass for the lead in turn two. As the cars came to the start finish line, Byron was pushing Poole which caused him to get loose and Poole shot to the bottom of the track collecting Dillon, bringing out the caution with just 8 laps to go.
With just four laps to go, the Green flag dropped with Logano out in front. That lasted just four laps before Logano got loose and almost spun out on the backstretch. He was able to save the car, but this allowed Byron to regain the lead. Then with just 2 laps to go on the back straight away, Brandon Jones got loose and shot down, collected Michael Annett in the #5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet. This caused a chain reaction that collected most of the field behind them.
This brought out the 3rd red flag of the race, which lasted 9 minutes and 46 seconds. This sent the race to overtime with Byron out in front still in the #9. On the restart, Byron was able to maintain the lead to the overtime line. That’s when chaos ensued behind him as the field wrecked, sending the caution flag out, ending the race.
“I can’t believe it, to be here in Daytona. It’s so cool!” said Byron in victory lane.
The win is Byron’s second win in a row as he captured the victory the previous week in Iowa. Finishing 2nd was Sadler, 3rd was Dakota Armstrong in the #28.
Written by Adrian Beecher
Daytona, FL- Brennan Poole in the #48 DC Solar Chevrolet will start on the pole in Friday evening’s Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway. Poole had a lap time of 49.194 in the final round of qualifying. Ben Kennedy qualified 2nd with a time of 49.236. In 3rd it will be William Byron in the #9 AXALTA/Vorteq Chevrolet, who clocked in at 4.281.
After the first round of qualifying, Kennedy, in the #2 Rheem Chevrolet was out in the front of the pack with Blake Koch in the#11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet in 2nd. Missing the top 12, qualifying in the 13th place was Tyler Reddick in the #42 BBR/Jason Aldean Chevrolet with a best speed of 181.521 MPH.
Written by Adrian Beecher
Daytona, FL- Friday’s evening’s Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway marks the start of the 4th of July Independence Day weekend. To pay tribute to those that continue to dedicate their lives to protecting this great Nation, Comcast-NBC Universal has partnered with the Xfinity Series to remove the sponsor logo from the top of the windshield of the Xfinity cars in the race. In place of the Xfinity sponsor logo, will be the names of current active duty military members as a part of the “Salute to Service” program.
Comcast Senior Vice President of Communications, Peter Intermaggio, relayed the message of why this partnership is so important. “We really are excited to be playing a role in NASCAR’s Salute to Service. NASCAR’S Salute to service is such an important program, and it takes place during a specific place and time, but it really is a part of the culture of NASCAR all year long. We want to participate in that and recognize that, use it as an opportunity to call attention to what employers can do to support military families and members around the country.”, said Intermaggio ahead of the Firecracker 250 at Daytona.
Leading the charge for the Xfinity drivers in the program is Matt Tifft, driver of the #19 Toyota Camry. His car has a special “Salute to Service” paint scheme this weekend. “It’s unbelievable and it's such a cool opportunity for me," said Tifft. "But beyond that, it just means so much to me to be able to have the honor to drive the “Salute to Service” Camry. It’s incredible what Comcast is doing, with hiring almost 10,000 Veterans, their families, and spouses this year. I think that is so important for our country and for our service members for what they do and the sacrifices they make for our country.”
The promotion is a part of Comcast and NASCAR’s continued efforts to bring awareness to those that have served and continue to serve. At Comcast, they are Military ready as Comcast Senior Vice President of Military Affairs, Ret. Brigadier General Carol Eggert explains, “We work really hard at Comcast to be what we call, more than military friendly, we're Military Ready. Military friendly means thanks for your service, Military ready means, we really make an effort to be ready to have policies and programs in place to support these great men and women that support our country.”
Tifft’s excitement will begin before the cars take to the track for the green flag. “I’m really looking forward to meeting the guys from the 3rd infantry division at Ft. Stewart, GA tonight.” He will do that before Friday's night's race.
In addition to Tifft, the rest of the drivers in the Xfinity Series will meet with members of the military. Also, as a part of the Salute to Service program, Comcast-NBC Universal has worked with NASCAR to bring 50 service members to the track to experience race weekend.
You can watch the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway at 7:00pm ET, Friday night on NBC Sports Network.
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